There are many wonderful aspects to life in Japan. I have been living here for almost six years and really enjoy it. I really love life in my native Canada as well, but it’s difficult to compare the two countries. As the saying goes, “It’s like comparing apples and oranges.” Yes, they are both fruit, but taste and look very different. The same goes with Canada and Japan. Although they are both countries, they are extremely different in many ways.
One of the things that makes me happy to be in Japan is the food. Japanese cuisine is varied, healthy and delicious. Lots of fresh seafood (some of it possibly being radioactive these days) and vegetables make for a vast array of tasty and “good for your body” dishes.
There are many types of food that I love here in Japan. Great restaurants and conbinis that carry yummy eats surround me. I am also very lucky to be married to an amazing cook. My Japanese wife always makes amazing meals that leave me smiling.
I’m going to list my TOP 5 favorite Japanese dishes. There are many wonderful ones I enjoy that I cannot add to the list…cause it’s a top 5 list and I like more than five types of food.
Soba noodles: Soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat. Soba noodles are thin noodles made from buckwheat flour. Soba is made from newly harvested buckwheat known as “shin-soba” and is sweeter and filled with more flavour than regular soba. In the summer it is normally served cold and in the winter, in a hot broth. A very simple and delicious meal, soba makes me very happy!
Nabemono: Nabe is the Japanese work for “cooking pot” and mono is/are “thing or things.” Often it is called nabe and refers to a wide variety of Japanese hot pot dishes.
Nabemono are soups or stews served in the colder months in Japan. The pot is heated on the dining table by using a portable stove. The food is cooking in front of the people eating it. The people eating nabe can pick the cooked ingredients they want. Often there is a wide variety of vegetables, meats such as pork and chicken and other things such as fish and tofu. There are a wide variety of broths used and the pot it is cooked in is normally made of clay.
I love the “self service” aspect of this dish. It’s also wonderful to eat in a typically cold Japanese apartment or house on a cold winter’s evening.
Kinpira Gobo: Although not a main dish, this side dish sometimes served in bento boxes and with other meals is delicious with a little kick of spice and sweetness at the same time.
Gobo is “burdock root” and this sautéed dish consists of thinly sliced gobo with thin slices of carrot. The vegetables are sautéed with sesame oil, chili pepper flakes, sugar, mirin and soy sauce. I really love this one!
Ramen: I LOVE Japanese ramen. Japanese ramen is the original. I’m not talking about that instant/right out of the package crap either. Chinese-style wheat noodles are served in meat and sometimes fish broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso. The soup normally is topped with meat and vegetables. It’s the best!
Sashimi: Thin slices of cold raw fish. These are yummy. I don’t have sashimi very often, but when I do I really enjoy it. The fish is normally dipped in soy sauce mixed with wasabi (Japanese horse raddish).
Let me know what Japanese foods you enjoy in the comment section below!
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