Japanese cuisine 1. Introduction apanese cuisine is as refined as any of the world¶s great cuisines.

Due to its near-universal appeal, Japanese restaurants have sprouted in many countries, especially in the West. The traditional Japanese diet is one of the healthiest in the world due to the presence of tofu, miso, sushi, green tea, and soba. These products are characterized as nutritious, rich in fiber, low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. Another factor is that Japanese are among the world¶s largest consumers of tea. Result is that the Japanese people are generally known to have the longest life span in the world. Recent figures have placed the average lifespan of women at 81 and men at 74.


The modern term "Japanese cuisine" (nihon ry ri, or washoku, ) means traditional-style Japanese food, similar to what already existed before the end of national seclusion in 1868. In a broader sense of the word, it could also include foods whose ingredients or cooking methods were subsequently introduced from abroad, but which have been developed by Japanese who made them their own. Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on seasonality of food ( , shun), quality of ingredients and presentation. Japanese cuisine is based on combining staple foods (shushoku, ), typically rice or noodles, with a soup, and okazu ( ) - dishes made from fish, meat, vegetable, tofu and the like, designed to add flavor to the staple food. These are typically flavored with dashi, miso, and soy sauce and are usually low in fat and high in salt. A standard Japanese meal generally consists of several different okazu accompanying a bowl of cooked white Japanese rice (gohan, ), a bowl of soup and some tsukemono (pickles). The most standard meal comprises three okazu and is termed ichij -sansai ( ; "one soup, three sides"). Different cooking techniques are applied to each of the three okazu; they may be raw (sashimi), grilled, simmered (sometimes called boiled), steamed, deep-fried, vinegared, or dressed. This Japanese view of a meal is reflected in the organization of Japanese cookbooks, organized into chapters according to cooking techniques as opposed to particular ingredients (e.g. meat, seafood). There may also be chapters devoted to soups, sushi, rice, noodles, and sweets. Noodles are an essential part of Japanese cuisine usually as an alternative to a rice-based meal. Soba (thin, grayish-brown noodles containing buckwheat flour) and udon (thick wheat noodles) are the main traditional noodles and are served hot or cold with soy-dashi flavorings. Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat stock broth known as ramen have become extremely popular over the last century. There are many foods in japan that are healthy such as seaweed.

after the English word "rice"). where rice is often served on a plate (such as curries). ) Noodles often take the place of rice in a meal. ) The rice most often served in Japan is of the short-grain Japonica variety. tsukemono and miso-shiru (miso soup). but since its introduction in the 19th century it has become common. ) Bread (the word "pan" is derived from the Portuguese pão) is not native to Japan and is not considered traditional Japanese food. . Common staple foods found on a national level (Shushoku) There are many staple foods that are considered part of Japan's national cuisine today. Other rice dishes include okayu. served in a conic bowl) it is known as gohan ( ) or meshi ( . generally only referred to as such by males).  Rice (gohan.g. They are featured in many soup dishes. or served chilled with a sauce for dipping.it is called raisu ( . Tamago kake gohan (left).2.In western-influenced dishes. donburi ( . Below are listed some of the most common. In a traditional Japanese setting (e..  Bread (pan.  Noodles (men-rui. "bowl") and sushi.

steamed dishes (mushimono ( )). Common Japanese savory main and side dishes (okazu. ). stewed/simmered dishes (nimono ( )). deep-fried dishes (agemono ( )). sunomono ( )). oyatsu ( )) Japanese-style sweets (wagashi. western-style sweets (y gashi. and dressed foods (tsukemono ( ). Common foods and dishes found on a national level There are many dishes that are considered part of Japan's national cuisine today. salted. ). List of ingredients found in Japanese cuisine:  Rice  Beans  Eggs  Flour  Fruits  Fu (wheat gluten)  Meats  Mushrooms  Noodles  Soy products  Vegetables 6. pickled. ) . Below are listed some of the most common. stir-fried dishes (itamemono ( )). soups (suimono ( ) and shirumono ( )). sashimi. aemono ( ). ). Common Japanese Sweets and snacks (okashi ( found on a national level . sweets bread (kashi pan. 5. ) found on a national level : Grilled and pan-fried dishes (yakimono ( )). chinmi 4. old-fashioned Japanese-style sweets (dagashi. Types of Seafood are part of Japanese cuisine Includes freshwater varieties:         Seafood Finned fish Sea mammals Shellfish Crab (Kani) Roe Processed seafood Seaweed .3.

In the following centuries.a reflection of its historic fermented roots. 1799±1858) at the end of Edo period in Edo. Sliced raw fish alone is called sashimi. as distinct from sushi. The science behind the fermentation of fish packed in rice is that the vinegar produced from fermenting rice breaks the fish down into amino acids. Originally. because it used freshly caught fish in the Edo-mae (Edo Bay or Tokyo Bay).1 Sushi In Japanese cuisine. Narezushi evolved into Oshizushi and ultimately Edomae nigirizushi. Toppings stuffed into a small pouch of fried tofu is inarizushi. In Japan. literally. Narezushi still very closely resembles this process. where it remains popular today. allowing the fermentation process to be shortened and eventually abandoned." Beginning in the Muromachi period (AD 1336±1573) of Japan. In spelling sushi its first letter s is replaced with z when a prefix is attached. sushi ( . such as fish." was invented by Hanaya Yohei ( . usually topped with other ingredients. this form of sushi had reached Edo (contemporary Tokyo). Though the fish used in modern sushi no longer usually comes from Tokyo Bay. "sushi" means "it's sour".7. The oldest form of sushi in Japan. The sushi invented by Hanaya was an early form of fast food that was not fermented (therefore prepared quickly) and could be eaten with one's hands roadside or in a theatre. The vinegar accentuated the rice's sourness. it is called nigirizushi ( ). as in nigirizushi. Famous Japanese Cuisine 7. preserved with salt in a process that has been traced to Southeast Asia. sushi in Osaka evolved into oshi-zushi. and was known to increase its life span. The term sushi comes from an archaic grammatical form no longer used in other contexts. Origin of sushi The traditional form of sushi is fermented fish and rice. due to consonant mutation called rendaku in Japanese. The seafood and rice were pressed using wooden (usually bamboo) molds. . vinegar was added to the mixture for better taste and preservation. By the mid 18th century. Sushi served rolled inside or around nori (dried and pressed layer sheets of seaweed or algae) is makizushi ( ). Combined with handformed clumps of rice. which is what the world today knows as "sushi. . called umami in Japanese. This results in one of the five basic tastes. it is still formally known as Edomae nigirizushi. ) is vinegar rice. this sushi was known as Edomae zushi. internationally known as "sushi. The contemporary version. Toppings served scattered over a bowl of sushi rice is called chirashizushi ( ).

algae was scraped from dock pilings. complemented with other ingredients.Ingredients of sushi All sushi has a base of specially prepared rice. in a process similar to making rice paper. Nori is a type of algae. rolled out into thin. short-grained. short grain brown rice and wild rice are also used. Sushi rice Sushi is made with white. edible sheets. traditionally cultivated into the harbors of Japan. In some fusion cuisine restaurants. A sheet of nori. Nori by itself is an edible snack and is available with salt or flavored with teriyaki sauce. It has to be cooled to room temperature before being used for a filling in a sushi. and occasionally kombu and sake. Nori The black seaweed wrappers used in makimono are called nori. Originally. salt. . and dried in the sun. sugar. Japanese rice mixed with a dressing made of rice vinegar.

Western sushi-The increasing popularity of sushi in North America as well as around the world has resulted in variations of sushi typically found in the West . lit. Futomaki wrapped with sweet-tamagoyaki. The variety in sushi arises from the different fillings and toppings. This consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that is pressed between the palms of the hands. soy paper. condiments.Types of sushi The common ingredient across all the different kinds of sushi is sushi rice. usually with a bit of wasabi. or parsley. called a makisu ( ).Such creations to suit the Western palate were initially fueled by the invention of the California roll. and a topping draped over it. creating a very different final result. A bowl of sushi rice with other ingredients mixed in (also refers to barazushi). and the way these ingredients are put together. fast and easy to make Ebifurai-Maki ( . It is commonly eaten in Japan because it is filling. scattered sushi). cucumber. but can occasionally be found wrapped in a thin omelette. The same ingredients may be assembled in a traditional or a contemporary way. Makizushi is generally wrapped in nori. Chirashizushi ( . variety of rolls) A cylindrical piece. rolled sushi) or makimono ( . Nigiri-zushi ( . Some examples include: . A wide variety of popular rolls has evolved since. formed with the help of a bamboo mat. lit. Makizushi rolls ( . Date-Maki ( ).hand-formed sushi).Fried Shrimp Roll. ). lit.

"old noodles") as the original form. By the early Sh wa period. At the same time. dried seaweed ( . cheap flour imported from the U.S. and a broth flavored with salt and pork bones. It is served in a meat. while popular. from the tonkotsu ramen of Ky sh to the miso ramen of Hokkaid . In the early Meiji period. meaning hand-pulled noodles. is a Japanese noodle dish that originated in China. selling ramen and gy za dumplings to workers. literally "Chinese soba") but today ch ka soba ( . Eating ramen. Many Chinese also pulled portable food stalls. Even the etymology of the word ramen is a topic of debate. these stalls used a type of a musical horn called a charumera ( . also meaning "Chinese soba") is a more common and politically correct term. often flavored with soy or miso. Many of these returnees had become familiar with Chinese cuisine and subsequently set up Chinese restaurants across Japan. green onions and even corn.or fish-based broth. ch sh ?). ramen was called shina soba ( . "lo mein"): means to "dredge up" and refers to the method of cooking these noodles by immersing them in boiling water before dredging them up with a wire basket. from the Portuguese charamela) to advertise their presence. a few toppings." A second hypothesis proposes (laomian. restaurants serving Chinese cuisine from Canton and Shanghai offered a simple ramen dish of noodles (cut rather than hand pulled). . kamaboko. r men. and uses toppings such as sliced pork ( . it is unclear when ramen was introduced to Japan. ramen had become a popular dish when eating out. One hypothesis is that ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese: (la mian). was still a special occasion that required going out. By 1900. . while another states that ramen was initially (l miàn).7. Origin of Ramen Though of Chinese origin. . Almost every locality or prefecture in Japan has its own variation of ramen. By the mid 1900s. A fourth hypothesis is (l omiàn. a practice some vendors still retain via a loudspeaker and a looped recording. millions of Japanese troops had returned from China and continental East Asia. After World War II. nori).2 Ramen Ramen ( . swept the Japanese market. starchy sauce. noodles cooked in a thick.

containing sodium carbonate and usually potassium carbonate. Seasonings commonly added to ramen are black pepper. This uniquely Japanese ramen. combined with a variety of ingredients such as kombu (kelp). It is the lightest ramen. with geographical and vendor-specific differences even in varieties that share the same name. and seaweed. miso. katsuobushi (skipjack tuna flakes). which was developed in Hokkaid . sesame seeds. features a broth that combines copious amounts of miso and blended with oily chicken or fish broth ± and sometimes with tonkotsu or lard.Ingredients A wide variety of ramen exists in Japan. and savory yet still fairly light on the palate  Miso ramen is a relative newcomer. Noodles Most noodles are made from five basic ingredients: wheat flour. thin. and kansui which is essentially a type of alkaline mineral water. It is similar to the Chinese baitang ( ) and is a thick broth made by boiling pork bones. as well as straight or wrinkled. or soy sauce. having reached national prominence around 1965. a pale. beef bones. water. yellowish broth made from plenty of salt and any combination of chicken. salt. based on a chicken and vegetable (or sometimes fish or beef) stock with plenty of soy sauce added for a soup that¶s tangy. Making noodles with kansui lends them a yellowish hue as well as a firm texture. Soup Ramen soup is generally made from stock based on chicken or pork. The resulting combination is generally divided into four categories (although new and original variations often make this categorisation less clear-cut):  Shio ("salt") ramen is probably the oldest of the four and. clear. and then flavored with salt. . fat. salty. Ramen can be broadly categorized by its two main ingredients: noodles and soup. They may be fat. shiitake. Occasionally pork bones are also used  Tonkotsu ("pork bone") ramen has usually a cloudy white colored broth. and onions. as well as sometimes a small amount of phosphoric acid. Ramen comes in various shapes and lengths. butter. chili pepper. fish. or even ribbon-like. vegetables. and crushed garlic. Soup recipes and methods of preparation tend to be closely guarded secrets. niboshi (dried baby sardines). and collagen over high heat for hours  Sh yu ("soy sauce") ramen has typically a brown and clear color broth.

basic miso soup) ramen Tokyo-style ramen Tonkotsu ramen Butter Corn ramen Hokkaido speciality .Types of Ramen Sh yu (soy-based broth) ramen Miso ( .

only soy sauce is typically offered. many teppanyaki restaurants feature Kobe beef. shrimp. somewhat more familiar than more traditional Japanese dishes. which introduced the concept of cooking Western-influenced food on a teppan in Japan in 1945. The word "teppanyaki" is derived from teppan ( ). the chain increased the performance aspect of the chef's preparation. In Japan. chicken and assorted vegetables. cabbage with sliced meat or seafood (okonomiyaki) which are cooked using regular vegetable oil. As the restaurants became popular at tourist spots with non-Japanese. okonomiyaki. shrimp. yakisoba. Soybean oil is typically used to cook the ingredients. broiled or pan-fried.7. and for Japanese style are noodles (yakisoba). . However. Origin The originator of the teppanyaki-style steakhouse is the Japanese restaurant chain Misono. producing a flaming onion volcano. They soon found that the cuisine was more popular with foreigners than with the Japanese. lobster. including steak. In Japan. animal oil from fat or a mixture of both. teppanyaki refers to dishes cooked using a iron plate. zucchini (even though zucchini is not a popular vegetable in Japan and rarely found in the market). and yaki ( ). Side dishes of mung bean sprouts. such as stacking round slices of onion in the shape of Mount Fuji and lighting alcohol (usually sake) contained within on fire. Ingredients Typical ingredients used for teppanyaki western style are beef. who enjoyed both watching the skilled maneuvers of the chefs preparing the food as well as the cuisine. which means grilled. Some restaurants provide sauces in which to dip the food. which means iron plate.3 Teppanyaki Teppanyaki ( teppan'yaki?) is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. in Japan. scallops. garlic chips or fried rice usually accompany the meal. and monjayaki.

the rice bowl is placed on the left and the soup bowl on the right. donburi or ochazuke may be lifted to the mouth but not white rice. Before the 19th century. and one in the center. noodle soup. one to far back left. . a dipping dish is usually provided. Bowls The rice or the soup is eaten by picking the relevant bowl up with the left hand and using chopsticks with the right. each okazu is served on its own individual plate. Larger low tables (chabudai. but these gave way to western style dining tables and chairs by the end of the 20th century. ) or flat floor trays were set before each diner. It's considered rude to waste soy sauce so moderation should be used when pouring into dishes. but left-handed eating is more acceptable today. Chopsticks are generally placed at the very front of the tray near the diner with pointed ends facing left and supported by a chopstick rest. Soy sauce is. however. meant to be poured directly onto tofu and grated daikon dishes. (literally "I [humbly] receive") before starting to eat a meal. In particular. (literally "It was a feast") to the host after the meal and the restaurant staff when leaving. behind the rice and soup are three flat plates to hold the three okazu. Traditionally. or vice-versa if you are left handed. This is for cleaning of the hands prior to eating and not after. and gochis sama deshita. Dining etiquette It is customary to say itadakimasu. Hot towel Before eating. Pickled vegetables are often served on the side but are not counted as part of the three okazu. It is rude to use them to wash the face or any part of the body other than the hands. Soy sauce Soy sauce is not usually poured over most foods at the table. depending primarily on the type of table common during a given era. ) that accommodated entire families were gaining popularity by the beginning of the 20th century. Bowls of soup. Traditionally. Behind these. Based on the standard three okazu formula.8. or hashioki. 9. everyone holds chopsticks in their right hand and the bowl in their left ± this avoids running into each others' arm when sitting close together ± and this is safest in formal situations. soy sauce should never be poured onto rice or soup. most dining places will provide either a hot towel or a plastic-wrapped wet napkin. small individual box tables (hakozen. one at far back right. Traditional table settings The traditional Japanese table setting has varied considerably over the centuries.

It is not customary to pour oneself a drink. When someone moves to pour your drink you should hold your glass with both hands and thank them. people are expected to keep each other's drinks topped up. and it is not customary to ask for special requests or substitutions at restaurants. Better. These dishes include:  Botamochi. have a separate set of chopsticks for the communal dish. 10. Using chopsticks to spear food or to point is also frowned upon. move it directly from one plate to another. It is considered ungrateful to make these requests especially in circumstances where you are being hosted. Good manners dictate that you respect the selections of the host. it is considered more sanitary. Being a picky eater is frowned upon. .  Soba: New Year's Eve. ) when everyone is ready. which gives the rice its distinctive red color. as in a business dinner environment. while the term Hagi/Ohagi is used in the fall season. Communal dish When taking food from a communal dish.  Osechi: New Year. unless they are family or very close friends. is served for any celebratory occasion. Ushiojiru (clear soup of clams) and amazake: Hinamatsuri.  Chirashizushi.Chopsticks Chopsticks are never left sticking vertically into rice. but rather. This is called toshi koshi soba (ja: ) (literally "year crossing soba"). Never pass food from one pair of chopsticks to another.  Hamo (a kind of fish) and somen: Gion Festival. literally "red rice". as this recalls passing bones during a funeral.  Chimaki (steamed sweet rice cake): Tango no Sekku and Gion Festival. Dishes for special occasions In Japanese tradition some dishes are strongly tied to a festival or event. as this resembles incense sticks (which are usually placed vertically in sand) during offerings to the dead. or red bean.  Sekihan. Eat what is given It is customary to eat rice to the last grain. a sticky rice dumpling with sweet azuki paste served in spring. turn the chopsticks around to grab the food. Drinking Even in informal situations. It is usually sticky rice cooked with azuki. Sharing If sharing with someone else. It is also very bad manners to bite on your chopsticks. drinking alcohol starts with a toast (kanpai.

Japanese cuisine is widely spread around the world. I prefer sushi among all Japanese cuisine. Japanese take these foods daily. It emphasizes on the seasonality of food. such as sashimi. this might be partially due to Japanese cuisine. The reason I prefer sushi is that sushi is low in fat and is generally rich in unsaturated fat Omega-3. Personally. Therefore.11. Nevertheless. Japanese restaurant such as Sushi King which is located all around the country has amazing accomplishment in food service industry. I also fanatic about the soy sauce ( shoyu) used as condiment while eating sushi. natto and others. As what I can see. Japanese cuisine has emerged as a trend nowadays. From posh dining through healthy meal to a quick bite. In my opinion. A lot of Japanese food and drinks is healthy such as green tea. Japanese people are probably one of the most courteous people in the world. I am also amazed by the dinning etiquette of Japanese. which can promote health. It fits perfectly well and adds great taste to sushi. quality of ingredients and presentation. Japanese cuisine is present in practically every niche of the ever diversifying restaurant market. It is because I prefer the texture and mouth feel from cooked food. Comments In my opinion. Japanese generally have long life span. . Japanese cuisine is a fine art in every aspect. instead of raw. It shows that people embrace this foreign cuisine very well though it is not originated from their own country. It is important that we have well manner during dinning to show respect to others and also ourselves. I dislike the food which is served raw in Japanese cuisine. Other than that. thus it is so appetizing once looking at it. Most people nowadays have forgotten the proper manner during dining. such Japanese cuisine should be promoted to all people around the world so that more people can share the secret of longevity. In my opinion. and thus they can stay healthy and live longer. Sushi is so delicately designed. I have high respect for those chefs who prepare Japanese cuisine as they have put in a lot of effort and patience to ensure the satisfaction of the customer.

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