What is Traditional Japanese Cuisine?

      2016/09/10

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Do you eat Japanese food?

Japanese food is not only sushi, but do you know what others are?

 

Today I’m going to discuss Japanese cuisine.

 

 

History of Japanese Cuisine

 

It is believed that ancient Japanese used to eat sansai (plants from mountain), meat, acorns and chestnuts.

 

Researchers and archeologists confirmed that Japanese also cooked and ate shellfish, seeds of plants and nuts during Jyomon period (縄文時代: 14000 BC – around 300 BC).

 

Japanese already started to eat rice during Yayoi period (弥生時代: around 300 BC – 350).

 

Between 592 and 1185, Japanese had a concept of main dish and side dishes. Main dish was prepared with rice, Poaceae grasses and millets, while side dish was prepared with vegetables and seafood.

 

Whereas miso and tofu was made during Kamakura period (鎌倉時代: 1185-1333), soy source was made during Muromachi period (室町時代: 1336-1573).

 

After Meiji period (明治時代: 1868-1912), Japanese started to eat more meat.

They also started to eat bread and Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き: Japanese pan cake) as Japanese government imported tons of flour from US.

 

 

Types of Japanese Cuisine

 

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The concept of basic Japanese cuisine is formed with 1 soup and 3 vegetables. This means that ideally meals should be prepared with rice, soup and different kinds of vegetables.

 

Here are some examples of Japanese dishes.

 

Rice: Sushi, Okowa (sticky rice), Congee, Kuri Gohan (栗ごはん: chestnut rice)

Noodles: Ramen, udon, soba (thin noodle made by buckwheet)

cuisine ramen

Source:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Lombroso

 

 

Soup: Miso soup, Ton jiru (豚汁: lots of veggies and pork in miso soup)

Vegetables: Tempura, Nimono (煮物: simmered vegetables), Kimpira (金平: burdock root with carrot)

Fish: Tempura, Sashimi, Grilled fish (eg, 秋刀魚: mackerel pike, アジ: horse mackerel)

Meat: Syabu syabu (しゃぶしゃぶ: Japanese hot pot with sliced meat), Sukiyaki (beef with vegetables cooked with soy sauce, sake and sugar)

 

cuisine syabu

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shabushabu.jpg

Syabu syabu: usually have meat and vegetables and dip into sauce

 

 

Summary

 

For Japanese cuisine, plates matter.

Therefore if you go to fancy restaurants, they would have famous plates as well.

Even for alcohol, Japanese do care about glasses.

This is because taste would be different depends on glasses.

 

If you visit Japan, try those traditional dishes.

You must eat authentic ones in Japan!!

 

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 - Food