Japan: Food                                                           

Check out what the Japanese eat and how it has changed from 1961-2011 by finding the "pie" chart for Japan on the right side!

Dobin mushi           

Clear fish bouillon soup with bits of chicken, ginko nuts, mushrooms and vegetables

 

Fugu                         

The notorious blowfish with the fatally poisonous liver (the part not to be eaten), prepared by only licensed chefs, very expensive

 

Miso shiru              

Bean curd soup served at almost every meal

  

Nimono                   

Cooked fish dish

 

O-cha                        

Green tea

 

Ramen                     

Chinese-style thin noodles

 

Sashimi                    

Choice parts of the best-quality fish sliced just before it is served, served raw

 

Shabu shabu          

Sliced beef and veggies swirled in boiling broth

 

Shuto                        

Hors d’oeuvre of salted fish guts

 

Soba                         

Japanese-style buckwheat noodles

 

Suimono                  

Clear soup with boiled vegetables

 

Sukiyaki                   

Choice beef sliced thin and sautéed in a rich sauce

 

Sunomono              

Salted fresh vegetables mixed with pieces of raw fish

 

Sushi                         

Savory, vinegared rice topped with raw fish (photo)

 

Takiawase              

Boiled vegetables with tofu

 

Tempura                  

Batter-dipped deep-friend seafood and vegetables

 

Teppanyaki            

Japanese steak served on a hot slab of iron

 

Tofu                          

Soy bean curd

 

Tonkatsu                 

Breaded pork cutlet with sauce

 

Unagi                        

Charcoal-grilled freshwater eel

 

Yaki hamaguri       

Broiled clams

 

Yakimono               

Grilled fish

 

Yakitori                   

Chunks of grilled chicken on bamboo skewers

 

Rice in the Japanese Culture

  • —Rice has been a staple in the Japanese diet for centuries, but the Japanese have many uses for rice other than for eating. Historically rice has played a major role as a symbol of power and wealth in Japan. From ancient times until the end of World War II, not all Japanese were able to eat white rice. The poor ate barley, millet or occasionally brown rice. The fact that everybody can eat white rice today represents, to the Japanese, their nation’s new wealth.

 

  • —Japanese etiquette says that you may lift your personal rice bowl close to your mouth with one hand, as you use the chopsticks to push the rice into your mouth.

 

  • — Some common ways to prepare rice to eat include:

Sushi - Thinly sliced pieces of raw fish served on a small bed of rice. Seaweed is an important part of the Japanese diet, as well.

Rice Crackers and Cakes are usually served on special occasions such as festivals and during New Year celebrations. Rice with sweet red beans is a food traditionally served to someone on his or her birthday.

Mochi is a traditional and a very common rice-based food in Japan. It is made by pounding rice until it becomes a single mass of sticky dough, which is then steamed, toasted, or filled with sweets. Mochi is often eaten on festive occasions.

 

Paste is made from rice starch. The Japanese used to make paste at home using leftover rice. Rice (being planted in the photo) was considered so valuable and essential in Japanese life, that to throw out even a single grain was considered a terrible waste. Even today it is considered proper etiquette to finish every grain of rice in one’s bowl.

10 Things Not to do with Chopsticks

  1. Do not stick your chopsticks straight in to your rice bowl.
  2. Do not pick your teeth with your chopsticks.
  3. Do not hit the bowl or plate with your chopsticks.
  4. Do not point at people with your chopsticks.
  5. Do not rub your chopsticks together.
  6. Do not wave your chopsticks over the food trying to decide what to eat next.
  7. Do not spear the food with your chopsticks.
  8. Do not lick, suck or nibble the ends of your chopsticks.
  9. Do not eat food directly from the central plate but rather transfer it to your bowl first.
  10. Do not use chopsticks as drumsticks.