Japan is known worldwide for having a peculiar gastronomy, by this word I mean both distinctive but also unusual. So let’s share it together and I hope you’ll find out new flavours to try during your next trip. Enjoy!
Umeboshi: Sour little plum, generally red-coloured by perilla (shiso leaves), pickled into salt.
In traditional lunch boxes, it is arranged in the middle of the white rice. Not only to give it an additional taste, it also symbolizes pretty well the Japanese flag. Have you ever noticed it? Another common use is to fill rice balls named “onigiri” with one pickled plum to get a delicious snack called “ume onigiri”. But because I’m greedy and because I love sour taste, I usually eat the plum by itself as a snack. Though, it’s not recommended to do this every day.
Umibudo (literally “sea grape”): green seaweed shaped as tiny grapes, also named “green caviar”
Known as one of the best food from Okinawa Islands, this plant has a soft texture and a lightly salted taste. It is often prepared raw with vinegar and eaten as a snack. Because it’s not a so common dish, I highly recommend to try it when you have the opportunity.
Jingis Khan Mutton Barbecue, also written Jingisukan
If you travel in Hokkaido, don’t miss this local specialty. It’s a grilled mutton meat dish which was named after the famous Mongolian warrior-king because the shape of the grill represents the warrior’s helmet. You can try different kind of barbecue food in Japan but this one is, as far as I can tell, the tastiest.
Kamameshi: rice dish cooked in an iron pot
The rice is cooked with different kinds of vegetables and meat and/or seafood in the pot. It usually is slightly burned at the bottom, which gives a special flavor to the rice. My favorite one is made with sea bream fish (“Tai”), and is called “Tai Kamameshi”.
Ramen: noodle dish
Sapproro Ramen
While this dish is originated from China, many Japanese regions or cities have their own specialty. Because it’s a really popular, convenient and cheap dish, I was able to try different types of it in all Japan. If I may recommend some, I’d like to introduce Sapporo Ramen from Hokkaido Island and Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen from Kyushu Island.
Sapporo Ramen’s broth base is made with miso (fermented soybean paste). The noodles are covered with a large quantity of this broth and topped with lard, stir-fried vegetables such as corn, cabbage and bean sprouts… and butter which is the Sapporo style signature.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen’s feature is its broth base made with pork bones, which gives it a milky colour. The noodles are thinner from usual and also whiter. Depending on your taste, you can often ask the boiling time according to the texture required. Contrary to Sapporo ramen, the portion served are typically small but don’t worry, you can order extra servings of noodles.
by Vola
Check our tour visiting Shinjuku Kabukicho, Harajuku Takeshita Street and Shibuya Crossing and 109.