You may have had sushi or tempura at your local sushi restaurant, but here are some foods that really should be experienced in Japan.
Travelling to a new country means seeing and experiencing new things. Food is a big part of that, and here are some unique dishes to Japan that are worth a try.
Try Eating Takoyaki
Takoyaki can be roughly translated as octopus balls. They are dumplings with chopped up octopus. They usually come in a tray of six to eight and have a Japanese savoury sauce, fish flakes and shredded seaweed on top. It’s a popular snack that is often sold by vendors during festivals.
Have a Savoury Pancake called Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki is basically an omelette –pancake hybrid. It is usually made with flour, eggs, cabbage and sometimes meat or fish are added too. A lot of toppings are also involved with this omelette-pancake. They can include mayonnaise, shredded seaweed, fish flakes, Japanese-style Worchester sauce and pickled ginger. It is considered a traditional fast food snack but can be eaten as a meal. Many places let customers each individually pick out what they want in their okonomiyaki and then cook it up, others let customers cook up the food on their own on a hot plate.
Natto for Breakfast
When you first see natto, your impression will likely be of a bowl of stinky rotten beans. To be exact, they are fermented soybeans. The smell is intense and as they are picked up with chopsticks, there will likely be gooey strings of slime clinging along for the ride. Natto is traditionally eaten for breakfast with rice, and it’s said to be very good for one’s health, being high in protein. Natto is considered an acquired taste, and whether a visitor likes it or not, tasting it is a memorable experience.
Shabu Shabu is Great to Eat with Friends
Shabu Shabu is a fun and delicious meal to share with a group. A gas or electric hot plate is used to heat a pot of hot broth right at the table and a variety of raw vegetables and meats are brought out so each person can cook up what he or she likes. Just pick up a veggie with chopsticks and move it around in the broth until it is cooked, then choose one of the tasty dipping sauces that comes with this meat and start eating!
Have Eel for a Meal in Japan
Unagi translates to eel in English. It’s a popular food said to give one strength and vitality. It is generally grilled with a sweet sake sauce and in taste and texture it is very similar to fish. It can be eaten on its own or on a bed of rice as a main meal.
There are many original and interesting foods to try in Japan. Some of them include takoyaki, okonomiyaki, natto, shabu shabu and unagi.