Japanese Food - Japanese Cuisine

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Cuisine of Japan

History of Japan

History of food in Japan
The food of Japan carries an influence from other cultures but has worked to create its own eating habits and cooking styles. In about 300 BC, China was Japan's first foreign influence. This was when Japan learned about rice. In the 700's AD, Buddhism caused a ban on consuming meat, so the popular dish of sushi, which is raw fish with rice, was developed. During the 1800's, cooking styles simplified and many different vegetarian dishes became common.
Around the 1200's, Japan began trading with other countries, which led to many Western influences. For instance, the Dutch brought potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn, but foods like coffee, ice cream and bread were not popular until the late 20th century.

Gyoza - popular dish in Japan

About Japanese Food

Traditional Food in Japan
Two essentials to the Japanese diet include noodles and rice. Steamed or boiled rice is served with every meal and noodles are often served as well.
Some of the more common foods include bamboo shoots, ginger, seaweed, daikon - a large white raddish - and sesame seeds. Pickles in Japanese culture are called tsukemono and are served with each meal. The national beverage of Japan is green tea. Japanese cuisine is characterized by very fresh ingredients and it is very common that only seasonally fresh foods are used for meals.
It is common for the people of Japan to eat three meals a day. Rice, and sometimes noodles are the main ingredients in each meal. Also, pickles and miso soup are always on the menu. Meals that are eaten early in the day are simpler than those served at night. Often breakfast will have rice, grilled fish, an egg, or miso soup.
For lunch, many Japanese enjoy noodles. Commonly, a bowl of vegetables, seaweed or fish with broth will be enjoyed. For dinner, pickles, fish, soup and rice might be served.


Japanese Dishes

Japan on map

        Japanese Food Dishes

  • Miso - Japanese soup that is made from miso paste. Served at all times of the day, it has green onions and tofu.
  • Udon - These are classic Japanese noodles. They are in a soy based soup and are thick and white.
  • Ozoni - This is a special New Year's soup. It is made out of chicken breasts and rice cakes.
  • Onigiri - This is a ball of rice made out of cooked salmon, pickled plums and cooked rice.
  • Sekihan - This is a red rice that is served at special occasions. It is usually sticky and cooked with red bean or azuki.
  • Soba - This is a thin noodle made out of buckwheat flour that is served with a dipping sauce or as a noodle soup.
  • Sushi - This Japanese favorite is made of rice with vinegar topped with fish and other seafood and then made into rolls.
  • Botamochi - This is a dumpling that is made out of sticky rice and is served with a sweet azuki paste.
  • Gyoza - These are dumplings made out of pork, green onion, cabbage, dough, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and salt.
  • Nikujaga - This meal is made out of pork or beef, potatoes, and soy sauce.

Japanese Drink

        Drinks in Japan

  • Chuhai - This is an alcoholic beverage. It is traditionally made with shochu and soda water that has a lemon flavor.
  • Sake - This is an alcoholic beverage that is based off rice. It is often served warm.
  • Happoshu - This is low malt beer.
  • Tamagozake - This drink is made of sugar, raw eggs and heated sake.

About Japan

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