Nori-dried seaweed.Best known as a wrapper for sushi and onigiri.Nori has a fresh,crisp taste. Seaweeds are very nutritious(30-50% protein content and various vitamins). Japan produces about 10 billion nori sheets(20x20cm) a year!!!
Renkon-lotus root. Eaten in winter and spring. Rich in vitamin C and potassium. Renkon is associated with long life.Eaten sliced. You can taste it in many Japanese Cuisine dishes.Roots are crunchy and they look great.
Tofu-soft,white bean curd cake.Made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds into blocks. Tofu is low in calories and rich in protein,calcium,iron and phosphorus.It is very easily digestible for the body.
Wakame-another popular seaweed in Japanese Cuisine. Japanese people say that wakame effective in treating hair loss and giving a nice shine to your hair.Harvested from May to June. Wakame very rich in iodine and minerals.Wakame is cut and dried.
Yakisoba-fried noodles.Made from wheat flour,salt and water.Dried on iron plate with some vegetables or seafood.You can add pork as well.With some ginger sauce this dish tastes the best.
Japanese Cuisine has it’s own stew-Nikujaga. Stew-like dish with potatoes, beef, onions and carrots.Flavored with soy sauce.”meat-potatoe” in english. You’ll laugh,but Japanese eat this meal with a bowl of rice!!!
Wagashi-Japanese sweets.Wagashi are made from natural ingridients.Main ingridient is a sweet paste made from red azuki beans with wheat flour and glutinous rice.Wagashi sweets are popular gift among the Japanese.
Tobiko-is the Japanese word for the flying fish roe. Tobiko used for many types of sushi.Plain Tobiko has a red-orange color,a mild salty taste,and a crunchy texture.Sometimes Tobiko is colored with Wasabi(green),Yuzu(orange)or squid’s ink(black).
Azuki-azuki beans.Brought to Japan from China about 3000 years ago.Second most popular bean after the soy bean.Azuki beans have a mild taste.Rice cooked with Azuki beans gives the dish a red color.Azuki uses for Japanese sweets.Beans are high in protein and iron.
Kushikatsu- Japanese kebab.Anything that can be skewered can be used.Popular ingridients are:chicken,pork,beef,squid,fried fish,shrimp,eggplant,potato,lotus root and many more.There are special Kushikatsu restaurants,but sometimes you can get it from street stalls.Easy and tasty!
Kinako-soybean flour.Toasted and grounded into flour from soybeans.Has a nutty flavor.Used as a topping for dishes.
Contains protein and vitamin B.Kinako commonly used in Japanese Cuisine.
Momo-Japanese peaches.Originally came from China,but have been known in Japanese Cuisine since olden times.Peaches are high in potassium and vitamin C.
Fugu-Japanese pufferfish.Extremely famous Japanese Cuisine dish.Fugu contains a strong poison(tetrodotoxin).Can be cooked by licensed chefs only.The poison works by paralyzing the whole body -except the brain.There is no known antidote.
Amazake. Made by letting a mixture of cooked rice, water and koji ferment at 50-60 degrees C. for 12-24 hours. Drunk sweetened and flavored with ginger. Amazake-hot,sweet rice drink.Despite the name,amazake does not contain alcohol.
Rice porridge. Just rice and water flavored with some salt. Although some toppings as an umeboshi, or furikake, may be used, these should be sober and the rice should not be cooked with ingredients as it starts to resemble zosui.Very simple Japanese dish.
Tako-yaki-octopus balls.Means ”fried octopus”.Pieces of boiled octopus covered with batter.Some people add to this meal ginger and green onion.Tako-yaki are baked on a hot iron plate. Eaten with a tooth pick. Originally from Osaka.Very popular meal in Japanese Cuisine.
Goya-Japanese vegetable.You may say it’s pumpkin,ok sort of.Goya has a funny look,but very useful food.In english ”bitter melon” has been used in various Asian medicine systems for a long time.Goya is claimed to stimulate digestion.Rich in phosphorus,potassium and magnesium.Goya can be eaten in salads,made into tempura or as a stir-fried dish called “goya-champuru”.
Shiitake. Well known Japanese Cuisine mushrooms.Cultivated and consumed in many Asian countries.These days you can try Shiitake anywere in the World.Mushroom has long been considered a delicacy as well as a medicinal agent. Shiitake mushrooms contain big amounts of vitamin D.Ingredient in many stiamed and simmered dishes.
Tonkatsu. Pork cutlet Japanese style. Breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets are sliced and served on a bed of shredded cabbage. As dressing a Japanese version of Worcestershire sauce is used; in Nagoya this is replaced by a thick miso-based sauce. This dish was invented in the late 19th century. It is served in traditional Japanese style with a bowl of rice, miso soup and pickles.
Shabu. Another one-pot beef dish cooked at the table, but very different in taste from sukiyaki. Paper-thin slices of marbled beef are swished for a few seconds with chopsticks in a Mongolian hot pot with simmering konbu (kelp) broth. To Japanese ears, “shabu-shabu” is the sound made when you swish your slice of meat in the hot water. Vegetables (Chinese cabbage, chrysanthemum leaves), mushrooms and tofu are also cooked in the broth. You eat the meat and vegetables after dipping them in one of two dip sauces: a sesame-flavored sauce which goes perfectly with the beef.
Kobe beef in Japan is a registered trademark of the Kobe beef marketing & distribution promotion association. It must fulfill all the following conditions:
- Tajima cattle born in Hyōgo Prefecture
- Farm feeding in Hyōgo Prefecture
- Bullock or castrated bull, to purify the beef
- Processed at slaughterhouses in Kobe, Nishinomiya, Sanda, Kakogawa and Himeji in Hyōgo Prefecture.
- Marbling ratio, called BMS, of level 6 and above.
- Meat Quality Score of 4 or 5
- Gross weight of beef from one animal is 470 kg or less. This post from Wikipedia.