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Saturday, February 14, 2015


Japan is an island with the great diversity of culinary pleasure. In order to shed a light on under-valued delicacies overshadowed by sushi and sashimi, we carefully picked out ten lesser-known Japanese cuisines that you should never leave the island without trying. Japan have far more just sushi and sashimi.

1. Ramen


If you think of cheap instant noodles stacked up at super markets nearby your house, you are wrong big time. This Japan’s favorite late night soup comes in three major soup styles: tonkotsu (pork bone), miso and soy sauce. Ramen is so popular in Japan Japanese even made this delicacy into numerous movies. 

2. Unadon

Unadon is grilled river eel over a bowl of rice. It might not sound so special, but the combination of rice and river eel lacquered with a sweet barbecue sauce is just amazing. In Japan, some Unadon restaurants have their own special dipping sauce recipe and tirelessly developed and passed down for generations. If you want to taste the ultimate taste of Unadon, go to Ginza and Asakusa in Tokyo. 

3. Yakidori  

Pints of beer and a few skewers of Yakidori have become a Japanese ritual to celebrate their weekend after exhausting battles during the week. Japanese grill almost every part of Chicken including hearts and kidneys, and they go really well with beer.   

4. Onigiri

This simple rice ball filled with all sorts of foods used to be samurai’s meal on the battle field. Despite its simple appearance that seemingly lacks creativity, depending on what’s inside, Onigiri offers whole lots of different flavors.

5. Oden

Oden is similar to the taste of fish ball, and it comes with dash broth stew cooked with many different vegetables and meat. Thanks to its hot and tasty soup, it gets supper popular every winter. This representative Japanese’ winter dish is so popular you could even get it from any convenience store. Hot oden soup and Sake are remedy for the cold winter night of Japan.

6. Soba

Soba - buckwheat noodles in a soy sauce-flavored broth – is definitely one of the must eat Japanese cuisines. Try cold soba during the intolerably humid and hot summer of Japan, it will surly sweep away your heat.

7. Shabu-Shabu

Shabu-shabu is the Japanese style hotpot served with broth and thinly sliced meat. Although you might get puzzled by a big pot of plain broth and plate of raw meat on it, all you have to do is to pick a slice of meat and swish around in a bubbling broth.

8. Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki means “grill as you want” in Japanese. As the pancake’s name implies, this comfort pancake can be cooked with pretty much anything, typically with cabbage and pork. No matter what you use for cooking, Worcester-style sauce, mayonnaise and fish flakes will guarantee somehow authentic taste.

9. Kaiseki

Kaiseki refers to a certain style of meal, not a name or type of cuisine, and dishes included in Kaiseki vary depending on every season. This ultimate symbol of Japanese multi course cuisine actually started as a tea ceremony meal. Most ryokans offer Kaiseki, and it is a critical factor that decides the quality of ryokans (traditional Japanese style inns).

10. Takoyaki 

There is no such dish quite like this octopus balls. In Japan there are countless places solely specialized in this bread balls with bits of octopus and green onion. It goes down well with beer.

Written by  Shibasaki Tabong

Over-sized Japanese cook is an epicure who loves to eat all sorts of Asian foods. He used to own a restaurant in Osaka, but his great passion for Asian food made him leave his homeland and travel around Asia.

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