Japanese cuisine has long made its way all over the world. Be it sushi or ramen, we are met with restaurants and eateries that offer their best. The most authentic taste, though, can only be found in the country of anime itself. Whether you’re moving to Japan, have booked your ticket for a vacation or just want to explore what the country offers best, here are 10 Japanese foods you need to try when you’re there.
The sweet Japanese street food called Imagawayaki is a delightful treat for your sweet tooth. It is made using eggs, flour, sugar and water; this batter is then baked in small molds, and filled with either red paste, chocolate or custard.
Yakitori is a classic chicken dish popular all over Japan. All parts of the chicken – thigh, tail, and even skin can be used. The skewers are grilled over charcoal. Yakitori is often seasoned with tare and shio, but other flavorings can be found at stalls, too.
Yakisoba is like lasagna – it is the standard food in Japan whenever there is a feast or a gathering. Unlike lasagna, it is fairly easy to make.
It requires wheat noodles, meat, cabbage, and onions fried on a griddle. These are then topped with benishoga, katsuobushi, aonori, a squeeze of Worcestershire sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, and occasionally, a fried egg.
Ikayaki is an exotic street food from Japan. Fresh squid is grilled over charcoal, smothered with soy sauce and served with lime. Even though squid-on-a-stick won’t sound great to the Western ear, the peculiar taste is worth a shot.
Are you an ardent lover of corn on the cob? You’ll love the Japanese version, Yaki Tomorokoshi. The char-grilled whole cobs of corn are glazed with soy sauce, mirin and butter. Enjoy this delectable style during peak summers on your strolls.
Another one for the sugar babies here. You will love this cotton candy – one of those Japanese foods that will fix your sugar craving right away. A mouth-watering treat for both kids and adults, you will find Wataame being spun around sticks. For storage over a few hours, you can buy this sugary cotton in packs that are decorated with manga characters
If you’re one of those people who find it hard to eat a fruit as it is, you might want to try the Japanese candied fruit. From apricots and almonds to apples and pears – anything and everything is dipped in sugar syrup for an appetizing appearance and flavor. A must try candied fruit is the Japanese mandarin called Milan ame.
Among all sweet Japanese foods, Kakigori is a summer favourite and for the right reasons. Forget bland, everyday flavors like vanilla, cookie-cream and strawberry; Kikigori comes in flavors as rare as matcha, lime, plum, and a hundred more. It can be topped with jelly, whipped cream, syrup, powdered rice, and more. Explore Japan’s nightlife during the warm days and enjoy this cold sweet dish.
Experience Japanese sweet potatoes at their best – baked on wood fire and served in brown packets of paper. Occasionally, vendors add sugar syrup to make Yakiimo fulfilling. The skin is chewy, the inside fluffy. The perfect time to look for warming Yakiimo is fall or winter – it is as satiating as apple-cinnamon.
Takoyaki are balls of dough filled with octopus, ginger, tempura scraps and spring onion. These balls are deep fried in special cast iron pans and flipped at a fast pace. Like all dumplings and balls, Takoyaki are eaten hot – a crispy outer and a mushy inside. You never realize how many you’ve had!
Which of these must-try Japanese foods can you already taste in your mouth? Tell us in the comments below!
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