Today we talk about Japanese cuisine: much more than sushi, miso, and ramen, to discover what more dishes you may like and you can cook at home.
No doubt rice is one of the fundamental ingredients in Japanese cuisine, as in the rest of Asian cuisines. In a Japanese meal, there is usually a rice bowl with which to accompany the broths or miso soups, being usual to serve the rice and the broth with three side dishes with a different preparation technique for each.
This way of serving is called ichijū-sansai which means precisely a soup and three side dishes, which are usually a few cuts of sashimi or raw fish, a plate cooked on the grill and a stew made over low heat that can be finished in the table like the meat dish cooked in broth with vegetables called shabu-shabu , which you see on this paragraph.
Appetizers and starters
The Japanese are fond of having a snack while preparing the main dishes. As its cuisine is usually done at the moment, except for the stews, the wait is usually shortened by taking edamame, very tasty green soybean pods.
It is also common to start with gyozas, a variety of dim sum or empanadillas, similar to the Chinese, which is usually steamed and then passed through the Gyozas can have stuffed vegetables and fish, shellfish or beef or poultry. They are one of my favorite dishes in this kitchen.
Noodles and other varieties of pasta.
Noodles and other pasta formats are also prepared both fresh and dry. There are many varieties, the best known to be the Udon, long and thick, similar to spaghetti, and made with wheat flour and water, which the Japanese incorporated into their cuisine from China. With them, we have prepared this simple recipe of the work of udon with sepia and prawns ideal to start.
Other varieties are Soba noodles, made with buckwheat that usually have a darker or brown color as you will see in the image above; noodles Somen, kishimen and Hiyamuji are varieties of Udon with different thicknesses.
The popular ramen are noodles of Chinese origin, which are prepared in a dish served with broth, vegetables and animal proteins, which is tasted very hot and is another recipe spread throughout the world.
Sushi, sashimi and other dishes with raw fish
As we told you a long time ago, there are many varieties of sushi in addition to the makis or maki rolls. Sushi comes from making a contraction of two Japanese words, Su, which means vinegar and Meshi, which means rice, so sushi is all dishes made with Japanese-style vinegar rice.
In that strict sense, sashimi is not a kind of sushi, but another recipe for Japanese cuisine since that fish cut does not carry rice. Yes, they are varieties of sushi, nigiri, uramaki, temaki, gunkan, onigiris, and other formats. Here you can see how to make an easy sushi recipe with which to start in this way of cooking.
Broths and soups
In addition to dashi broth, made with Kombu seaweed and seasoned with katsuobushi or dried fish scales – with that broth we have taught you a delicious recipe for a long time – and that can also be served with vegetables, or with mushrooms, prawns and other combinations. It is a very tasty broth that serves as the basis for numerous recipes. These broths are ideal for light dinners or to make dishes with noodles or ramen that we talked about before.
A few days ago, when the cold wave arrived, I taught you how to prepare a comforting miso soup with chicken that I recommend you try one of these days. If we wanted we could make as many combinations with these broths and soups as ingredients we can think of.
The recipe for unagi, a star of Japanese cuisine
This recipe is made with an eel open in half transversely and cooked on the grill with sweet soy sauce. Normally this fish is served on a tray covered with rice or used to make varieties of sushi. Its sweet taste and light texture are much appreciated by fans of Japanese cuisine (and me).
Other dishes of hot Japanese cuisine
The hot tables or irons – called teppanyaki – are, in addition to being very fun to see the juggling with which the Japanese handle food and their kitchen utensils, a way of cooking meats, vegetables and fish giving them a perfect point.
Tempura is another classic recipe – here are the tricks to make it perfect for you – that we have incorporated into our culinary knowledge. It is about frying vegetables cut into small pieces Juliana type after bathing them in a very light batter that is crispy.
The Tonkatsu is a kind of crispy breaded, made with a pork chop or with chicken – chicken katsu in that case – that is served cut into strips. It can be made with panko or with normal breadcrumbs.
Japanese tortillas, called okonomiyaki or tamagoyaki, depending on the format are another surprising Japanese classic. They can be made sweet or savory and here you have the recipe to learn how to make them at home.
Japanese cuisine sweets
The mochis are spongy and elastic buns, steamed, – here you have a good recipe – which are usually served in special meals. Another classic sweet is a red bean paste called azuki, which is served alone or as a pasta filling, such as fish-shaped Taiyakis, or round-shaped Imagawayakis.
As you can see, Japanese cuisine is much more than sushi, miso or ramen. In fact, we could continue putting recipes such as homemade teriyaki with which we can make grilled dishes, oriental lacquers for meats or fish, such as when we made this grilled salmon with oriental lacquer.
Enjoying all kinds of different foods and preparations is what enriches us in the kitchen. Do not put on barriers and dare to try different dishes than we always know, opens our sights and gives us gastronomic culture. Surely now, when you think of Japanese cuisine, you don’t just think it’s just sushi. Enjoy your meal!