I haven’t been answering the questions like this much lately because I just don’t get a chance, and I am tired now, but I am going to take time to answer one because I know I have many followers who like to hear about Japan. Some of the foods I ate in Japan I really liked, I learned how to make so I could take them with me. Some of them you can find instructions on my blog for how to make them. Here are some I like:
Many people who visit Japan love tempura, and I love tempura too. They eat tempura in Korea too and call it twigum. Tempura is shrimp and vegetables dipped in a batter separately and deep fat fried. When they are done, you eat them with rice and soy sauce, and they are extremly delicious. There is a recipe for this on one of my blogs.
When I first got to Japan, my professor to me to eat katsudon. He said that in his experience, all the foreigners loved katsudon, and I loved it. It was the right thing to feed me. It is a bowl of rice topped with scrambled eggs seasoned with soy sauce with pieces of pork and onion in the eggs. It is delicious!! If you want another rendition of this that is close to it, it is oyakudon. My Japanese son in law really likes that. It is the same thing, but instead of pork, you use pieces of chicken. I think I also have a blog among all my blogs that teaches you how to make katsudon.
Miso soup has to be on this list. Miso shiro is my favorite type of miso soup. Miso is a kind of fish paste, but it doesn’t taste fishy at all. Miso soup has small pieces of seaweed and tofu in it as well as small pieces of green onion. I have been shown how to make it, but I never mastered it. You can buy packages that you just open them up and pour water in the contents of the package, and you have miso soup, and it is really worth trying.
O’mochi is something else I love that is Japanese. O’mochi are glutenous rice cakes with sweet bean paste in the middle. Sometimes they are white on the outside which means they only have rice flower in them. Sometimes they are green on the outside which may mean they have a special kind of grass in the flour or group up green tea in the flour. They may also be pink. If they are pink, flower petals are ground up into the rice flour. These things are absolutely delicious! If you are finicky, don’t try them, but if you are adventurous, try them, and you will love them!! They are just the right amount of sweet without being too sweet. I have tried to make them, but never quite gotten them right. I go to a Korean store here in Oklahoma City to buy them. I bought a couple of packages for a party I had a while back, and they were so popular they ate them all, and I didn’t get even one.
Okonomiyaki is another great Japanese dish. They call it “Japanese pizza.” It is like a huge pancake with all different kinds of vegetables and perhaps shrimp in the pancake, and it is served with a special okonomiyaki sauce. If you go to a restaurant in Japan that serves these, there are grills at the tables where you can choose what kind of vegetables go into it, so you can make it to your own taste. The last time I lived in Japan, the mother of one of my friends had an okonomiyaki shop, and she had a long grill where everyone sat on stools at the grill while she was cooking telling her what they wanted in their okonomiyaki. It isn’t hard to make, but you would have to buy the sauce special because I have no idea what is in it. When my son was going through culture shock in Japan, he used to hang out in the okonomiyaki shop wanting to eat it all the time because he enjoyed it so much and made his stay in Japan more enjoyable. One way to get over culture shock is to find things you like and do them, and this is what helped my son adapt to Japan.
One of my Japanese friends taught me to make Japanese style fried rice many years ago, and it is also really good. You use left over rice and whatever meat or vegetables who happen to have in the fridge. You cut the meat and vegetables up into small pieces and fry them sprinkling them with soy sauce. My friend told me the more different colors you use in the vegetables, the better it tastes. After you fry the meat and vegetables, then you take the cold cooked rice and fry it seasoning it with a bit of soy sauce, and then add the meat and vegetables to it. When it has cooked so that the flavors have all meshed together, you take it out of the frying pan and make some scrambled eggs with soy sauce as the seasoning. You cut the scrambled eggs up into strips and put it on top of the rice as a garnish. If you can get your hands on seaweed and like it another good garnish is to cut the seaweed up in small strips and sprinkle it on top with the eggs. My kids love this dish!!
There are probably some other really great dishes I can’t think of right now, but there are some to think about. If you cook, you could try making some of them. If you are in Japan, you are in luck because they are all pretty common. However, I have learned that katsudon is not so common around Fukoka, but I finally found it in one place when I visited there. I have never eaten oyakudon in a restaurant. My Japanese son in law suggested I try making it because he likes it so much. Some of these dishes are quite east to make, and I blogged about how make some of them if you can find them in my blog. Good luck on o’mochi. My kids told me the o’mochi I made looked like space aliens. Japanese students tried to teach me to make it, but I was pretty well unsuccessful. They offer classes in Korea on how to make certain Korean and Japanese dishes, and my Korean son in law has been taking cooking classes. I hope he learned how to make o’mochi so when he joins us, he can make it for us, but I don’t know if he did yet. If he didn’t, we can find them in import shops. I hope you enjoy some of these dishes.