Japanese cuisine is proving to be a instant hit among culinary enthusiasts in India, especially the young and the health conscious people – even though many of the ingredients have to be imported from Japan, making it an expensive proposition. It was initially limited to premium restaurants in five-star hotels. But now Japanese cuisine has been made more accessible to a number of popular fine dining restaurants.
Today’s generation is independent and wants to experiment with its food choices. Trying various types of food have become a fashion now, nowadays when youngsters are well travelled, they are more open to new things than their parents. As a result there is more demand for these cuisines among the youth. Many restaurant have also played with a variet of ingredients to make authentic Japanese cuisine more acceptable to Indian customers taste buds like introducing more vegetarian variant.
Here’s a list of Japanese food items you are likely to find in any Japanese restaurant and you would love to eat :
The most famous Japanese dish known to the world is Sushi. It is a vinegar-flavored rice rolled dish with cooked seafood, vegetables and egg in the centre. It is often served with pickled ginger, Wasabi, and soy sauce. Some common types which you are likely to find in every menu are-
Nigiri Sushi is a sliced raw fish with a moulded ball of rice underneath. Most sushi chefs often add a dab of Wasabi in between the rice and fish. The fish may include Salmon, Octopus, Tuna, Eel and Scallop.
Maki is a Sushi which is rolled with a bamboo mat and wrapped in nori, which is dried seaweed. These sushi rolls are cut into six to eight pieces.
Sashimi has no rice, only a piece of fish and can be eaten with Wasabi mixed with soya sauce.
Few Japanese restaurants in Delhi have conveyor belts where they keep all different types of Sushi that rotates around the diners.
There are basically three types of noodles which are most popular –
Udon are thick wheat noodles, they are chewy and soft; they are often served both hot and cold.
Ramen is made of wheat, the noodles size is much thinner and longer than udon and have a very nice chewy bite when cooked. Ramen is usually served in a hot broth with a topping of raw egg or tofu.
Soba, these noodles are made from buckwheat flour and have a corresponding strong, nutty flavor and served cold with a topping of sliced green onions and Wasabi.
3. BENTO BOX
The Bento box is nothing but a boxed meal and it is made up of rice, fish with pickled vegetables a selection of eggs (boiled, fried, scrambled or omelette), vegetables (pickled or boiled), meat (grilled or fried). The presentation of a dish is a very big deal for the Japanese, so part of the challenge of making a Bento box is to make it look so beautiful that you feel hungry just on the spot. Comparing Bento box to the Indian ‘Thali‘ won’t be wrong.
Gyoza are basically momos but with a thinner wrapping. They originated from China and became a very popular dish in Japan. These dumplings are usually made of minced vegetables and ground meat with a rich garlic flavour. Japanese gyoza are often deep fried.
Tempura is almost as famous as sushi. It is a popular element of Japanese cuisine. Tempura is batter-coated, deep-fried pieces of seafood, vegetables, mushrooms or meat. It is light and crispy, and comes with a very light sauce. Tempura can be added to soups or ordered with set meals. Tempura are similar to “pakora” of India.
6. MISO SOUP
Miso soup is a very simple flavorful broth of seaweed and fish shavings, with a dash of miso paste (soya bean). Some restaurants usually add a topping of nori, mushroom and tofu to it.
Sukiyaki is one of the most famous hot pot dishes in Japan. It usually consists of thinly sliced beef, tofu and onions and a sweet soup of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. Some restaurants may add greens and udon which is thick wheat flour noodles to the regular recipe.