Food is the essence of life and I think it’s wonderful how the same ingredients can be combined in a different way to make a whole new scrumptious dish. What can be better than food? Travelling of course. And one of the best countries to travel to for a food tour in Japan. Among fashion and neon lights, you can also find tons of unique and delicious dishes being sold from picturesque stalls to classy restaurants right in the bustling cityscape.
My love for Japanese food
I love going on food tours in general because the best way to explore a different culture is from their cuisine. Well, it’s also the tastiest way. When I booked a ticket from Japan from the best travel agents London at a cheap rate, I ended up falling in love with Japanese cuisine on my trip. The best part is that most of the ingredients used are seasonal and fresh. Plus Japanese are known to be perfectionists so their food is nothing short of being works of art.
This is probably the most common dish that comes to mind when we think about Japanese food. In fact, it’s so popular that you can find sushi restaurants and bars all over the world. However, on your trip to Japan, make sure to try the authentic version of this delicate dish. While there are now western variations of sushi, you can still eat at old restaurants in Japan to try out the original recipes. The expertly cut fish with rice and other fresh ingredients along with the Japanese soy sauce, which is thicker.
Classic Japanese street-food, these are basically chicken skewers grilled over charcoal. This dish is so popular that it can be found everywhere in Japan. Made with many different parts of a chicken, it has a very unique flavourful taste. It’s also a bit different than normal barbecue because of the seasonings. Most common seasonings include tare (a type of soy sauce), wasabi, and Japanese mustard and even sour pickled plum paste. And different stands have different variations. I ate one which has chicken thigh meat with green onions. Other meat skewers are also found sometimes, like beef or pork.
Perhaps the most well-known dish throughout Japan, you’ll have to do some research to find out which places sell the best one. Basically, small golden fried balls with octopus filling along with other seasonings. This particular dish originated from Osaka, and it’s an ongoing debate about whether Osaka has the best takoyaki or not. Either way, I tasted some in Tokyo and found them really delicious. This delicious bite-sized food is fried in a special pan and it’s quite impressive to see the vendors flip them at a fast pace using only chopsticks. This dish is best enjoyed hot as the outer side wit be crispy while the inside will be gooey goodness. It’s topped with Japanese mayonnaise, dried bonito fish flakes, dried seaweed and a brown sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce. Be wary though as the dish is the addictive type.
A much-loved dish by people who love Japanese cuisine as well as anime fans. It actually represents the beauty of Japanese food and culture because, believe it or not, this dish requires a lot of patience and accuracy. Not only that but each region have their own variation representing them. There are speciality restaurants that are dedicated to ramen and have a long row of seats where patrons can sit if they came alone. And in some restaurants, you have to pay first then bring your ticket to the counter to get your meal prepared. Either way, this dish is so iconic that it’ll be a sin not to try it.
Another common street food, in fact, any Japanese festival is incomplete without this sizzling dish. It’s also quite easy to make so you can even try it at home. Made with wheat noodles, meat, cabbage, with onions fried on a girdle. Then they are topped with sauces and other local ingredients making it a very flavourful dish that will surely appeal to many people.
Rice with curry
A common dish that’s popular among kids. While it’s simple curry with rice, the taste is very different from the Indian version of it. Used made with variety of fresh meats and vegetables. The spiciness level is variable and the Japanese condiments used really make this seemingly simple dish very unique. Try the golden curry because it has the smoothest texture. A hearty dish that just melts in your mouth.
A sweet dish that kind of seems similar to those filled pancakes. Make from a batter of eggs, flour, sugar, and water, which is then baked using small disk-shaped moulds. This small cake-like dish is then filled with either chocolate, custard or their traditional red bean paste called anko. The name is inspired by an Edo-era bridge in Tokyo, but it’s called taiko-manju in the Kansai region.
An iconic dessert in Japan that is shaped like a fish as “tai” translates to fish. Just walking by the stand or stall is a delight to your olfactory senses. Basically, it’s a sponge cake filled with different fillings much similar to Imagawayaki. However, there are seasonal fillings too like sweet potato or chestnuts.
Perhaps the most popular sweet street-food in most of Japan, these are sweet rice dumplings that come is a variety of flavours. They say that this awesome dessert on-the-go originated in a tea house in Kyoto. In fact in the Mitarashi festival, dango was the top offering given to Japanese deities. Either way, the verity of flavourings is something to try out for sure!
These are known as raw sweets that are quite important in their culture as they’re served in their tea ceremonies. Made from rice flour and a sweet bean paste filling, these sweets are expertly and delicately shaped by hand to match the current season. To be honest, just looking at them is nice enough because of how beautiful they look.