What is the typical cuisine of Japan?

Japan's cuisine has become known to the world thanks to its exquisite sushi. As it responds to ancient traditions, the concepts that define it are very broad and complex. In this article, we are going to give an overview of its main features.

Characteristics of Japanese cuisine

One of the main ingredients is white rice, which is consumed at almost every meal. It is combined with fish, seafood, meat, vegetables, seaweed, noodles or soya. Seasonal produce is predominant. These include chestnuts and maple leaves in autumn, bamboo shoots in spring and lotus leaves in summer. In winter, mandarins and yuzu, a citrus fruit with an intense sour flavour, stand out.

Harmony is a rule, and the colours white, green, red, yellow and black are all present. For the Japanese, the presentation of dishes and the sappari, a word that serves as a guide and encompasses the concepts of tidy, clear, simple and light, are very important.

In the organisation of each meal, Japanese cuisine is governed by a rule called ichijū-sansai, which means "soup followed by three courses". The cooking techniques are different for each dish. The aim is to enhance the flavours by steaming, boiling, frying or grilling the food.

The Japanese consider five flavours, which are sour, sweet, sour, salty and spicy; you will find a surprising range of condiments that provide them. Wasabi, soy, teriyaki or yakisoba sauces, sesame, pickled ginger, miso paste and rice vinegar are just some of them.

Typical dishes

Many of the traditional dishes serve as accompaniments to festivals such as the spring equinox, New Year's Day and the Gion Festival. You probably already know some of them.

Okonomiyaki is made with a wheat dough, to which bacon, onion, nori seaweed, leeks, potatoes, seafood or fish are added. Tempura is well known because it is a common dish in sushi restaurants. It consists of various ingredients that are battered and fried to obtain a very light and crispy delicacy. Ramen is a soup of vegetables, meat, eggs, seaweed and fish paste seasoned with garlic and onion.

Among the noodle dishes, yakisoba is the most popular. It also includes meat, seafood, fish and plenty of vegetables. Thick wheat noodles are the main ingredient in udon. It is served with prawns, tofu, soy sauce, onion and fish stock.

Enjoying the subtlety of Japanese cuisine at home or at a celebration is possible thanks to the skills and knowledge of the great masters. We offer you the best variety, the most rigorous procedures and the most select ingredients from the hand of our chef.

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