Japanese cuisine: a voyage to the Land of the Rising Sun

What you need to know about Japan

Orient is a delicate matter, said Comrade Sukhov, and he was very right. The story of any country and its traditions should start with the people who live in that country. Without knowing the portrait of a typical Japanese, is it possible to talk about what he eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Who is a typical Japanese, what does he or she do for a living, where does he or she go?

Rice Kernel One. The Japanese and their traditions.

How do you imagine ancient Japan? Samurai, vassals, beautiful pagodas, sakura blossoms, harakiri, katana. And all this is laced with a code of honor, loyalty to one’s lord, the pursuit of beauty and skill in all things.

It seems that the old days had nothing to do with it. But if you look more closely, all the national peculiarities stem from there. The Japanese are still loyal to their vassal and work hard and responsibly. They take very few vacations. Some organizations have even introduced special people who drive the workers home. The Japanese spend their vacation time observing cherry blossoms, climbing Mount Fuji, making tea, and eating. And they prefer to eat a lot and, we would say, interestingly.

Most sources describe the Japanese as polite, inquisitive, responsible, cooperative, hardworking people. Statistical surveys show that residents are proud of the country’s history and traditions, so the entire culture is steeped in them.

Rice Kernel Two. How to strive for the beautiful and think about the little things.

Furyu – “wind and flow”, a concept that means the ability to feel a sense of beauty – this is the main trait of the Japanese character, it is already superimposed on all the other features, so says the Japanese writer Tetsuzo Tanikawa.

Another important detail is that the inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun raise many things to the rank of art and try to become masters of this art. For them, art (jutsu in Japanese) includes such everyday things as tea drinking, cooking, making ikebana, calligraphy, and there is even the art of drawing the sword (batto-jutsu). The philosophy of Japan, unlike the Western one, says that one should penetrate into the essence of things, give oneself to the present moment and realize oneself here and now, pay attention to details.

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The desire for beauty is reflected in the fact that almost every home has a tokonoma, a niche in which a scroll of hieroglyphics, bonsai or ikebana is usually located.

Rice Kernel Two. What do they prefer to eat and with what

For the typical Japanese, a good rest is a good meal and drink. Therefore, the dishes here are varied. Mostly they are made of rice, a wide variety of seafood, meat, soy, and its derivatives. Because of the prevalence of Buddhism in Japan, for a long time meat was not a frequent guest on the menu of the average Japanese. Now the situation has changed, and the Hida and Kobe regions grow the world-famous marbled beef.

The Japanese eat with chopsticks, even soup. But originally they were used, only at the time of cooking, during the meal itself the food was taken with the hands.

Many people in Japan are known to die of poisoning each year, the reason being their love of Fugu, a fish that must be properly prepared to avoid poisoning. Cooks are even issued licenses for this activity. Already bred a species of Fugu safer to eat and cheaper, but in restaurants are still offering and poisonous variety, as the euphoria of its proper preparation and eating is incomparable with a safe alternative.

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Rice Kernel Three. French envy and diners are the stars.

Speaking of Japanese food – you can’t say nothing about sushi and Michelin stars.

It is wrong to say that sushi and rolls are fast food. In many current establishments in Japan, you can visit such places only by booking them months in advance. About one of these places – below.

You would be surprised, but one eatery in the underpass, near the subway station, was awarded 3 stars by the authoritative guide Michelin in the restaurant business. It is a very serious award and it was given to the establishment with 10 seats and serving exclusively sushi. It is not easy to get there; you have to book months in advance.

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The owner of the establishment, Jiro Ono, is a true Japanese, putting his statements at the beginning of the article would save time in describing the character of this nation, it is notable that they also include the principles of local cooking:

1. Before you can learn to win, you have to feel the bitterness of defeat.

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2. Don’t be afraid to repeat the same thing every day.

The essence of perfection, according to Jiro, is to repeat the same actions, but get better results every time. You reach the top by honing in on the smallest detail. 3.

3. to reach the top is to have talent and persistence.

In order to reach the top, you must work, work and work, and the talent will help.

4 Give yourself to what you are doing.

Few, having achieved good results, continue on their way. There is always room for improvement.

5. You can’t succeed by leaving fallbacks.

No fallback options – less reason to lose.

6. It is not necessary to be able to communicate and cooperate well with people.

Many greats were not able to do this at all, but we remember them.

7. Don’t overcomplicate.

There is wisdom and depth in simplification. The simpler the sushi, the better the result. Sushi is served with plain soy sauce and ginger, which the owner chose himself from the suppliers.

In these statements is the whole Japanese spirit, the whole essence of this nation.

Jiro’s is not the only place that has received Michelin stars. What’s more, they have been awarded to some establishments in Japan that serve French cuisine, which is a sting to the French.

Rice Kernel Four. Rice should be rice.

One of the basic principles of Japanese cuisine is simplicity; fish should be fish, rice should be rice. Emphasizing the natural flavor is what the Japanese cook needs.

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So what does the average Japanese eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?


Boiled rice and natto: lightly fermented soy beans that make you hungry for a long time.

Tamago yaki – an omelet to which soy sauce and a little sugar have been added, rolled up into a roll.

Tsukemono – pickled vegetables. Cooked without heat treatment, so they contain a lot of nutrients.

Green tea is a popular drink.

At work, wives put containers of food – bento boxes – for their husbands. The food from them is eaten immediately at the workplace at lunchtime. Lunch consists mainly of rice and fish/meat. Vegetables and salads serve as supplements to lunch. Young people can be found eating fast food.

Dinner is like a combination of lunch and breakfast. It may include pickled vegetables, rice or noodles, meat or fish, dessert and tea. Various types of noodles are popular in Japan: buckwheat, wheat, and rice noodles. Wagashi sweets are consumed as dessert and are made from various ingredients from beans to fruit.

Rice Kernel Five. What spices are used in Japanese cooking.

Chefs in Japan prefer to add spices not in the dish itself, but after it is ready. Soy, oyster sauce with various additives is widespread. Some dishes are caramelized, vegetables are often pickled, specific vinegar is added to salads, sesame and wasabi are often added. Noodles and rice are often fried and pickled in sauces, and Szechuan peppers are added. Combined with the very ritual of eating, which combines how one should eat, where one should put things, what to eat first, and what to eat last, the result is a rather complex system with which everyone in the country is familiar.

Rice Kernel Sixth. O-nigiri is shawarma from Japan.

How about eating “Japanese shawarma”? There is such a dish in Japan, it’s called o-nigiri. By the way, the prefix “o,” the Japanese express their respect. O-nigiri is rice wrapped in nori seaweed in the shape of a triangle. Inside there may be a variety of fillings – meat, fish, vegetables, and sauce. As you can see, the description of this dish is already its recipe

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Rice Kernel Seven. How to become a little Japanese?

What follows are simple instructions on how to make a Japanese dish and have yourself a day of the land of the rising sun.

Choose a day on which you want to think about the samurai and traditions of Japan and order everything you need to make a Japanese dish from our online store.

Roll o-nigiri, make noodles, rolls or sushi, drink hot green tea and enjoy a movie about Jiro Ono, aesthetic pleasure is guaranteed!

Japanese cuisine: a voyage to the Land of the Rising Sun

Japanese cuisine can be included among the most popular cuisines in the world. According to Japanese research in July 2015 there were 89 thousand restaurants abroad specializing in their cuisine. What is the appeal of Japanese cuisine to people around the world? And what is known about it besides the fact that the main ingredients are fish and rice, and eating dishes is accepted with wooden chopsticks?

The main ingredients of Japanese cuisine are simple and not the most exotic products. Such as rice, seafood, soybeans, some varieties of vegetables and beans, and meat.

Japanese Cuisine: A Journey to the Land of the Rising Sun - Photo 2

Japanese cuisine: a voyage to the Land of the Rising Sun

The most common dishes of Japanese cuisine are sushi and rolls . Sushi first appeared in South Asia. The cleaned and salted fish fillets were mixed with rice and placed under a stone press, which was later replaced by a lid. In this way, the fish remained edible for several months. The smell, accordingly, was not the most pleasant. At that time, sushi was considered food for the poor. Today, however, chefs offer dozens of different variations of sushi, for which people are ready to lay out a lot of money.

Japanese Food: A Journey to the Land of the Rising Sun Photo 3

Japanese cuisine: a voyage to the Land of the Rising Sun

What is impossible to imagine not only sushi, but Japanese cuisine in general, it is rice. It is selected of special varieties so that when cooked it has increased stickiness: this is important in order for the sushi and rolls to hold their shape. The same principle applies to the selection of rice for cooking it as a separate dish because it is easier to crumple and take with sticks. Rice is cooked without salt and spices so that it does not lose its flavor and absorb the smell of the filling.

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The second important ingredient for cooking sushi and rolls are dried seaweed Nori. Before cooking, chefs pre-fire them on the flame. In this way, the seaweed becomes more elastic and sticky, and it is easy to twist them into rolls.

Japanese Food: A Journey to the Land of the Rising Sun Photo 4

Japanese cuisine: a voyage to the Land of the Rising Sun

Of course, sushi and rolls are not the only dishes popular in Japanese cuisine. A full meal includes rice, two soups (such as the famous misosuri soup) and several kinds of snacks. Green tea, which can be drunk before, during and after meals, occupies an important place.

As for alcohol, the Japanese prefer beer and sake.

No matter how varied is the Japanese menu, much attention is paid to serving, special culture of serving and eating. The set table must be pleasing to the eye and the plates are arranged in such a way that they create a whole composition.

Meals are eaten at a low table, sitting on the tatami. Unlike in other countries, spoons and forks are not popular in Japan and wooden chopsticks are used instead. In the case of soup, they first drink the liquid and then use the chopsticks to take the solid pieces from the bottom. It is worth noting that chopsticks should not be inserted into the food, passed to other people or put in their plates. Such actions are similar to a meal during the burial of the deceased, so are not allowed in everyday life.

Japanese Cuisine: A Trip to the Land of the Rising Sun Photo 5

Japanese cuisine: a voyage to the Land of the Rising Sun

Japanese cuisine is multifaceted with its customs and dishes. Exploring it can help you immerse yourself in the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun, understand its people and their history.

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