Japanese cuisine is a source of extraordinary flavours and variety of dishes. Indeed, many regions have their own famous specialties. So here are our top ten of foods that you should try in Japan!
1) Sushi (寿司)
Sushi is probably the most famous Japanese food. There are many different sushi types. You can click here to look at our list of popular sushi types along with their explanations.
2) Noodles (麺)
Japanese cuisine wouldn’t be the same without noodles. You can find different types of noodles in Japan, but the most popular are:
・Ramen: made from wheat, ramen noodles are thin and long.
・Udon: made from wheat, udon noodles are thick and white.
・Soba: soba noodles are thin, brown, and contain buckwheat flour. Soba can be prepared in hot and cold dishes.
3) Tempura (天ぷら)
Tempura consists of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried. It can be served with a special dipping sauce, or with udon, soba or cooked rice.
4) Takoyaki (たこ焼き)
Takoyaki is a street snack from Osaka, mostly sold during matsuris (festivals). Takoyaki literally means “grilled octopus”. It is made with a wheat-flour based batter filled with octopus slices, green onion, pickled ginger, and topped with mayonnaise. In general, it is about the size of a golf ball.
Okonomiyaki is a kind of pancake containing meat or seafood and vegetables, and dressed with mayonnaise. But in some restaurants, ingredients can vary depending on customer’s requests. Actually, the name okonomiyaki is derived from the words “okonomi” (what you like), and "yaki" (grill).
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Anko is a sweet red bean paste, very famous in Japan, and used in many sweets. The most popular anko sweets are “daifuku” (rice cake stuffed with anko), “dorayaki” (2 pancakes with anko in the middle), “taiyaki” (warm fish-shaped cake filled with anko), and “anpan” (pan with anko).
7) Sukiyaki (すき焼き)
Very popular during winter, Sukiyaki is a hot-pot dish including thin slices of beef and vegetables cooked with soy sauce, sugar, and mirin.
8) Yakitori (焼き鳥)
Yakitori are grilled chicken and vegetables skewers. Actually, the name “yakitori” is derived from the words “yaki” (grill), and “tori” (chicken/bird.) Yakitori are mostly found in Izakayas (Japanese pubs) and during matsuris (festivals).
9) Japanese curry (カレー)
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Japanese curry is not really spicy, and a little bit thick. It is made from curry powder, and includes carrots, onions, potatoes and meat. Most of the time, curry is served on top of cooked rice, and is therefore called Curry Rice (カレーライス).
10) Nattô (納豆)
Already hungry ?
Here is a challenging one! Natto is fermented soybeans and is famous for its health benefits. Actually, it smells like a mixture of old socks and cheese and has a gooey texture. In Japan, the opinion about Nattô is divided equally: some Japanese love it, others hate it.
Do you like Japanese food? Have you ever try one of these dishes?
More informations about Japan's Regional Best Food on our article here!