National cuisine of Japan for gourmets. Authentic recipes, delicacies and specialties
Japan is a state on islands surrounded with water. This fact defines the peculiar nature of the Japanese culinary system. Most of her dishes are prepared using fish and seafood. The Japanese do not like to fry their seafood. They may however let it fry a little on the frying pan. The sea gifts are subject to braising, steaming or served practically raw. The fish is cooked in soy sauce and fried on the frying pan-grill on an open flame or deep fried. Sausages and chips are produced from it. The favorite food in Japan is made from fish in the raw form. For their preparation, different types of fish are used depending on the season or district.
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One of the most popular dishes of Japanese cuisine is “Sashimi” which is raw fish sliced into thin pieces and served with uncooked vegetables. The sliced fish is delicately arranged on a plate among vegetable garnish. Sashimi is eaten with “Wasabi”, a green burning paste also called the “Japanese horseradish”. Sushi is a traditional food that enjoys a worldwide popularity. The dish is prepared from raw fish cut into thin slices, seafood, vegetables and boiled rice. Traditionally, sushi is usually served during festivities. However, today it is served in snack-bars, cafe and restaurants, even as takeout. Preparation of sushi is a whole art, the secrets of which experts pass on to their children.
Many dishes popular in Japan today have a rich history. One of them is Nigirizushi, which are small sausages made from rice. For preparing a portion, the amount of rice that the person can eat at a go is required. Nigirizushi is covered with Wasabi and eaten with the hands, with the slices of raw fish or seafood. To accompany the dish, “Gari” (slices of pickled ginger) and green tea is served alongside. Makizushi is rice balls stuffed with tuna and cucumbers and wrapped up in Nori (dried seaweed sheets). Oshizushi comprises of rice which is eaten from a small wooden box with fish spread on top of it. Chirashizushi is rice served with omelet, sea foods and vegetable garnish. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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The Japanese eat fish not only raw, but also in its life state. That is exactly how Odorigui is prepared. Shrimps, squids or “dancing Perch” are also used in its preparation. Fish or seafood is scaled in boiling water, after which sauce is poured over it, and then it is cut in parts and eaten. At this time, the fish can even slash or wiggle the tongue. A unique delicacy of Japanese kitchen is Fugu-sashi – food from the toxic fish Fugu. It is distinguished by its unique taste which is responsible for its popularity. The nacreous meat of the fish is cut by the lobes and spread on the plate in a round form. Fish slices are eaten, dipped in a mixture from soy sauce, grated daikon and red pepper. This dish is served with Fugu-zosui (fish fugu broth with raw eggs and rice) and in cups for tea (chawan with a cover, to which Fugu fins deep fried on the grill for a few minutes is added).
The preparation of Fugu begins with the extraction of poisonous organs. After that, the fish is cut into fine slices. The meat is washed well with water for removal of residues of poison. The slices are beautifully placed on a plate, portraying the flight of a crane or other artistic images. Highest level of skill is to leave very little milligram of poison so that the guests have a feeling of pleasant euphoria. Sometimes tasting of dishes from fugu turns round for some foodie to palsy.
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All these as well as many other delicacies of the Japanese kitchen can be tried in the country’s restaurants, most of which are opened from 11am to 2am, and some – even overnight. Drinking and snack-bar establishments located in the underground area or stations prepare different dishes of domestic kitchen at satisfactory prices. Small restaurants of local cuisine where you can have a tasty and cheap lunch are frequently located on ground floors of big supermarkets. In many of such restaurants, it is possible to order teishoku – Japanese complex lunch on a food-tray. Many establishments display photos or plastic models of dishes for tourists who do not know the language. In Japan, noodles shop and fast food booths that prepare different Japanese food for take-away are common. Cheap establishments accept only cash payments. It is not acceptable to leave tips in Japan.
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