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Common dishes

Despite the western influence that is slowly invading Asia, countries like Japan still considers rice as the most important food stuff and its staple food. There are authentic Japanese dishes that have rice as the main ingredient like sushi for example.

There are syllables that indicate what kind of meat or food you are eating for example, if it ends with don, it usually has rice, gyu pertains to beef, katsu is pork and tori is chicken, maki is rolled and sushi is balled rice with a lot of variations as to its presentation and recipe.

Rice Bowl
Rice is a common side dish during lunch and dinner and is the main dish during breakfasts. It is usually eaten plain or mixed with raw egg and soy sauce, this simple mixture is called tamago-kake-gohan. Rice bowls usually have various toppings.

Sushi can be defined as a dish which contains sushi rice, cooked rice that is prepared with sushi vinegar. There are various kinds of sushi dishes.

It is more popularly known as rice toppings. Some of the common toppings are tempura (tendon), egg and chicken (oyakodon), tonkatsu (katsudon) and beef (gyudon). The clue here is the “don” ending.

Onigiri are rice balls made of cooked rice and usually wrapped with nori seaweed. They are slightly salted and often contain some additional food in the center, for example an umeboshi (pickled Japanese apricot), katsuobushi (dried bonito shavings), tuna or salmon. Rice balls are a popular and inexpensive snack available at convenience stores.

Kare Raisu
Kare Raisu (Curry Rice) can be served with additional toppings such as tonkatsu. Curry is not a native Japanese spice, but has been used in Japan for over a century.

Fried Rice
Fried rice or chahan has been originally introduced from China. A variety of additional ingredients such as peas, egg, negi (Japanese leek) and small pieces of carrot and pork are mixed to the rice when stir fried.

Chazuke is a bowl of cooked rice with green tea and other ingredients, for example, salmon or tarako (cod roe) added to it.

Kayu is rice gruel, watery, soft cooked rice that resembles oatmeal. It is often served to sick people because it is easily digested.

Sashimi is raw seafood. A large number of fish can be enjoyed raw if they are fresh and prepared correctly. Most types of sashimi are enjoyed with soya sauce and wasabi.

Yakizakana means grilled fish. Many varieties of fish are enjoyed in this way.

Noodle Dishes
There are various traditional Japanese and introduced Japanized noodle dishes in Japan. Many of them enjoy a very high popularity.

Soba noodles are native Japanese noodles made of buckwheat and wheat flour, it is about as thick as spaghetti. They can be served cold or hot and with various toppings.

Udon noodles are native Japanese noodles made of wheat flour. Udon are thicker than soba and can also be served either hot or cold and with various toppings.

Ramen are Chinese style noodles prepared in a soup with various toppings. Ramen is one of the many popular dishes that were originally introduced from China but have become completely Japanized over time.

Like Udon noodles, somen are Japanese noodles made of wheat flour, but they are much thinner than Udon and Soba. Somen are usually eaten cold.

Yakisoba are fried or deep fried Chinese style noodles served with vegetables, meat and ginger.


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