Japan Food: An Eating Odyssey!
Did you know there’s more to Japan food than just sushi and tofu? Don’t get me wrong, sushi and tofu are both great! But, there’s much more to be eaten and enjoyed in Japan! In fact, I would go so far as to say the food is one of the things that makes living in Japan so wonderful. Japan is one of the healthiest countries in the world, with the longest average life expectancy and almost no obesity whatsoever. And, you know what? THEY EAT!! Here’s a little sampler of my favorite delicacies.
Sashimi- Okay, this is the raw fish you’ve heard so much about. In the States, most sushi rolls you get in your local Japanese restaurant contain no raw fish and often no fish at all. Sashimi refers to the slabs of raw fish that you get either wrapped up with some rice and a spot of wasabi. You can also get sashimi by itself on a platter and dip it in your own mixture of soy sauce and wasabi. Get over your fear of the rawness! Japanese people eat it all the time and nobody gets sick. It’s actually very delicious and healthy, and I recommend it for anybody who likes seafood.
Okonomi-yaki- I’m not quite sure how to describe this in order to best convey the tastiness to you. Okonomi-yaki, a delicacy of the Osaka region which you can get just about anywhere in Japan, is like a pancake with meat, vegetables and whatever other goodies you want cooked inside it. It’s not sweet like a western pancake, and instead of syrup, you pour Japanese-style mayonnaise and a kind of barbecue sauce on it. It’s delicious and you can’t get enough, but as soon as you’re done eating it expands in your stomach and you feel like a good, long nap. Often it is served on top of yakisoba, or fried noodles.
Tonkatsu- This is a favorite among westerners in Japan. When I first ate it I thought about how all my old relatives back home would flip if they could eat something like this. It’s basically fried cuts of pork served over rice, that you dip in mustard. The pork is fried Japanese-style, so it’s light and crispy. I’m not sure how or what they use to fry things in Japan, but its so fluffy and crispy and delicious!
Octopus- My friends and family think I’m crazy, but I’ve developed a hell of a taste for this deep-sea beast. There are a variety of ways to eat octopus, but usually it’s eaten in little tiny bite-sized chunks of tentacle. A favorite snack among Japanese people is takoyaki, or tiny pieces of octopus fried in batter into little balls and covered with onions and sauce. MMMM! Okay, you just have to come over here and try it yourself.
Japan is an eating adventure.
Food is one of my favorite things about living here. Be open minded and adventurous and you just might find a new favorite food while you’re here!