If you're a lover of Japanese food, you're undoubtedly familiar
with sushi, tempura, teriyaki, and other common Japanese food fare, but in this
article I'd like to introduce you to three delicious Japan food items that you
might not yet have heard of. All of these foods are both common and popular in
Japan (not to mention delicious!), but have not yet found their way to the
masses overseas in the same way that sushi has. Trust me, though, it's just a
matter of time before they do!
Okonomiyaki Japanese pancake is a popular food item in Japan at restaurants, festivals and home parties. Translated literally as "cook what/as you like," okonomiyaki is especially fun to eat at restaurants and home parties, where participants gather around a flat grill, mix up the ingredients, and have fun cooking the pancakes themselves.
The okonomiyaki pancake batter consists of flower, eggs, water, grated yam, and cabbage. Fillings include pork, assorted seafood, vegetables, kimchi, cheese, mochi, and yakisoba. Toppings and seasonings include nori seafood flakes, katsuobushi (fish flakes), pickled ginger, mayonnaise, and a Worcestershire-like sauce.
Japanese Takoyaki is a snack of grilled octopus balls consisting of a pancake-like batter and a little piece of octopus as a filling. The dumpling batter is poured into a special pan molded into rows of little semi-circles and grilled for a few minutes on one side. Then the balls are flipped over with a toothpick or chopsticks and grilled on the other side until golden brown.
The takoyaki are then served up, usually in portions of 8 or so, in a plastic or paper container and topped with a sweet soy-based sauce and ingredients like green onion, pickled ginger, green onion, mayonnaise, and katsuobushi (dried fish shavings).
3. Onigiri Rice Balls
Onigiri rice balls are a favorite picnic and snack food in Japan. Onigiri is a popular carry out food item in Japanese convenience stores, and is a common item found in bento boxed lunches. Simple to make and delicious to eat, onigiri is a staple food item in Japan.
Popular onigiri fillings include tuna salad, salmon flakes, seafood salad, konbu (a type of sea vegatable), umeboshi (a sour bright-red pickled Japanese plum), and shrimp tempura.
If you're planning to travel to Japan, make sure to keep an eye out for these delicious Japan food items and give them a try!