100 Dishes from Japan Part 3

#68 Hoshigaki is very popular in Asia, it is a very sweet dried persimmon. The persimmon is peeled off and washed. Then you tie them to a cord rope and let them for at least 30seconds in boiling water. Finally they are hung outside in the sun for over 2 weeks. The Hoshigaki are usually eaten like this with tea yet it can also be cut and put in yogurt as a sweetener or in fruits cake.

#69 The word Ekiben is a combination of the words eki (station) and bento (lunchbox). Lunchboxes at train stations are very popular and it is very popular to eat lunch boxes in the train at almost any time of the day. There is a large variety of styles and varieties.


#70 Genghis Khan (pronounced Jinjisukan) also is a dish with foreign roots. Lamb meet is roasted with vegetables at the table ad dipped into a sauce. It is very popular in Hokkaido and once boomed throughout Japan. It is a kind of Yakiniku that is said to be healthier due to the higher share of veggies and the lamb.


#71 Matsutake is a mushroom available in autumn. It has a very intense scent and flavor and Japanese pay high prices for high quality Matsutake. During its season many restaurants offer special Matsutake menus or at least feature one special Matsutake dish.


#72 Goya Champul is a speciality of Okinawa, it is made with Goya, which is also called bitter melon, lots of vegetables and pork meat. Okinawa is especially hot during summer and this dish is very appreciated as it is fresh and has many vegetables. It is also very good for one’s stamina mostly because of the vitamins.


#73 Surume Dried shredded Squid is a traditional dish in Japan. It is actually more like a snack. The dried seasoned squid is very commonly found. Because it is dry it can be conserved for a long time. In the past it was considered as a lucky dish, especially for women’s health and pregnancy. Nowadays it is eaten fried on a grill or with a little butter. It can also be consumed as tempura or like this when drinking alcohol.

#74 Soup Curry it is a specialty of Sapporo in Hokkaido. The base is the same as the traditional Japanese Curry but it is more liquid. There are many different version on soup curry, they usually contains lots of vegetables and different type of meat. Very popular during Sapporo’s winter, the soup curry is very spicy and while drinking the soup you feel warmer from the inside. It is a very healthy dish with a delicious taste. In Sapporo, many restaurants are specialized in soup curry and provides special version of it. It sometimes has a very dark, almost black color and is used for detoxification.

#75 Buta no Kakuni is a pork meat dish very popular with men. Easy to realize, delicious and giving lots of energy it is especially appreciated in winter. It is made by marinating the meat in Japanese sake but the cooking process takes the alcohol away leaving only a great flavor. The meat of Buta no Kakuni is especially tender and melts on your tongue. Some recipes are especially made for woman in order to reduce the calories.

#76 Dorayaki is a very popular dish in Japan. The outside is really similar to pancakes and in the middle there is a big portion of Azuki, sweet Azuki bean paste.  Nowadays there are many versions of the classical Dorayaki, filled with whipped cream, custard, chocolate… However the most popular version in Japan remains the Azuki beans’ one. BTW, the popular manga figure DORAEMON loves dorayaki so much that it become part of its name.

#77 Taimeshi is a classic Japanese dish often served at the end of a menu. It is basically a bowl of white rice on the top of which is put some fish meat that was marinated with soy sauce, miring and dashi. Thanks to this, the plain white rice is flavored with the fish meat and soy sauce creating a delicious dish very simple to realize. It is usually eaten after the main dish.


#78 Takenoko Gohan is a typical spring dish made of fresh bamboo roots and rice. It is also often seasoned and mixed with other vegetable such as carrots and japanese pepper leaves. It is a very good dish that is complete with rice and vegetables. It is also refreshing in summer and allows to change from plain white rice.


#79 Yuba is a Japanese delicacy composed of fresh or dried layers of the skin of soybean milk. It is used in cooking but also, just like sashimi can be eaten raw like this.  The two main area of production are Kyoto and Nikko. According to the region the process of production is a little different and the Yuba will have more or less volume.


#80 Monaka ressembles Dorayaki since it is also filled with sweet Azuki beans paste in it core but the external parts are made of crispy mochi. It can also be found very easily in supermarkets or convenient stores as it is a popular snack. The Monaka also exists with various flavor, for instance Monaka filled with ice cream instead of Azuki are gaining great popularity with younger people. You can also find it filled with whipped cream, chocolate…


#81 Kuzumochi it is mochi, the japanese typical rice cake. It is served with a dark brown sauce called kuromitsu, made of brown sugar, crystal sugar and water, over which is sprinkled the kudzu, a Japanese arrowroots powder. It is a very good desert in summer, very sweet it is delicious to balance the bitterness of Japanese green tea. It is sold everywhere in supermarkets and convenient stores but the best one are to be found in specialized shop selling home made mochi. It gives lots of energy to go through the hot and humid Japanese summer but it can also be eaten hot during winter.


#82 Kiritanpo is a speciality of Odate in the Tohoku prefecture. The origin of Kiritanpo are not for sure but it is commonly said that it was first created by people who, stuck in the mountains during winter, would cook  the rest of rice and the scorched part of rice together and spread Miso on it. Nowadays, Kiritanpo is a very important part of the family cooking in Odate, it is also a dish to make guest comfortable. Especially consumed in autumn and winter it is also present in other parts of Japan.


#83 Amanatto is a traditional japanese sweet from Azuki beans or other beans covered with refined sugar, sugar and then dried. Developed during the Edo period it was really appreciated as a snack with green tea. In Hokkaido it is very popular and use for the preparation of various dishes, even salted one giving a peculiar sweet and sour taste to the cuisine of this region.


#84 Tazukuri is dried Japanese anchovy. In the traditional recipe, they are dried and marinated with mirin and a little sugar. Often served during the meal of the New Year, they are the most common in the Kanto region. You can find many recipes of Tazukuri with different tastes and texture. The crispy version of Tazukuri is also a popular snack in Japan.


#85 Kuromame are black sweet beans that are a must in every menu served at new year where they sometimes also are decorated with gold. Outside the new years season they sometimes are part of formal kaiseki cuisine as a starter with a fe beans on a stick.


#86 Karinto is a type of Japanese sweet mostly made of flour, yeast and brown sugar which is deep fry in vegetal oil, giving it a dark brown appearance. The origin of Karinto are unsure but can be tracked back to the middle of the 19th century. It now has many different flavor such as miso, peanuts or sesame.


#87 Edamame are immature soybeans boiled in salty hot water. They are not only a very popular appetizer often served with alcohol, but also very health. Any Izakaya restaurant serves Edamame. The season fresh Edamame is in summer but frozen Edamame taste almost as good as fresh ones.

#88 Satsumaage is seasoned fish meat with flour which produces a thick paste that is deep fry. Many different type of fish can be use, it is usually the fishes found in big quantities that are use for this. The most famous area for it is Satsuma in the prefecture of Kagoshima but it is also well-knowned in Okinawa where it is called Chikiagi. It can be eaten like this but also slightly fried with ginger or served with Udon noodles.


#89 Kamameshi is a Japanese dish in which the rice is cooked together with vegetables, different type of meat and fishes in an iron-pot called Kama which is specially designed for it. The rice get a little burn at the bottom which adds a nice flavor to it and is flavored with miring or soy sauce. This dish is very popular, it used to be the kind of dishes eaten in community by coworkers or family members who would eat out of the same iron pot. The Kama is put directly on the table on a wooden support specifically designed for it.


#90 Shabu Shabu is a very typical dish of Japan. In a nabe, a soup base is bring to the boil. Then, many ingredients can be put in, vegetables, tofu, noodles such as udon are also added at some point. Yet, the main point of the Shabu Shabu is the pork meat, cut in very thin slices it is dipped raw in the boiling soup cooking it just enough to be eaten. It is a very convivial dish to eat in family or with friends. The meat is usually served with soy sauce or tare sauce.


#91 Kushiage is a kind of deep fried Yakitori. Fish, vegetables or meat or put on a stick and deep fried. The sticks are dipped into a similar sauce as Tonkatsu. Many restaurants have all you can eat plans and even have prices for people who manage to eat all varieties. It is very popular in Osaka can also be found in other place in Japan.

#92 Sukiyaki is a very traditional and popular dish in Japan. It is a kind of hot pot cooking eaten in winter and usually in family. It is mainly meat (beef most of the time) cut in slices and cooked together in a Nabe with different ingredient such as tofu, many vegetables such as shiitake mushrooms and noodles. Everything is cooked in a sweet and sour sauce made from mirin, soy sauce and sugar. Before eating the ingredients are usually dipped in raw beaten eggs. It is a delicious, energetic, healthy dish to eat in winter.

#93 Yakiniku is grilled meat, also known as “Japanese barbecue” it originated in Korea but became really popular in Japan. The meat is usually  beef, pork or offal. Vegetables are also grilled together on a grill put on the flame. It is very popular and often eaten with friends at the restaurant. Meat set for Yakiniku are also common in supermarkets for home made Yakiniku. The 29th of August is also the official “Yakiniku Day” indeed 29 can be pronounced “niku” in Japanese meaning meat.

#94 Buri Daikon is a winter dish, speciality of the prefecture of Toyama it is Daikon boil together with a fat type of fish the “Ara” in a marinade. The daikon will take the flavor of the fish and become tender. It is a popular dish all over Japan that is often cook in family.


#95 Otsumami refers to the different snack that are usually serve along when drinking alcohol. In Izakaya, japanese bar-restaurants, alcohol is always serve with food in small proportion. It is not a proper meal though. The most common otsumami are yakitori, beans, peanuts, tofu, sashimi, pickles and so on. It is very popular and convivial when people go drinking together.

#96 Shiso also known as Perilla frutescens is an aromatic leaf that can be either red or green. The green shiso is usually eaten raw with sushi or tempura but the red shiso cannot be eaten like this. Red shiso is usually pickled in salt and transformed. Red shiso is often served with Umeboshi.

#97 Satsumaimo is the sweet potato, it is popular in Japan has another base apart from rice. However it is not consumed in such large quantities. The most common way to eat satsumaimo is grilled. However it is use for sweets, for instance, the daigaku-imo but also other desserts. Shochu can also be made from fermentation of sweet potatoes, it is called Imo joshu.


#98 Nagasaki Chanpon is a very famous dish from Nagasaki in Kyushu. It originated in China and arrived in Nagasaki during the Meiji period when Japan opened itself to foreigners. It is complete dish with pork meat, seafood, vegetables, a soup base which is a little thick and Udon noodles. Nagasaki Chanpon is very delicious and can be eaten everywhere in Japan especially thanks to a few chain shops specialized in it. There is two versions of the Nagasaki chanpon, one with thick and soft Udon noodles and another one with thinner crispy noodles. It is a must eat dish when going to Nagasaki and Kyushu in general, it is the best place for it.

#99 Ningyo Yaki is made from a Castella cake base, a sponge cake from Nagasaki, filled with Azuki beans sweet paste and then baked. The castella has a plain natural taste which is enhance by the Azuki beans paste’s sweetness creating a nice Japanese “Wagashi”: Japanese sweet. Ningyo means doll, indeed the ningyo yaki are usually shaped in Bunraku character, the Japanese puppet theatre, or as the Seven Gods of Fortune of the Japanese mythology. However, it is common to found Ningyo yaki shaped as Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma and other cute characters nowadays.

#100 Tsukudani is usually made from kombu or wakame seaweed marinated in soy sauce and mirin. It was first created during the Edo period and is usually eaten with plain white rice to enhance the taste. It can be keep in the refrigerator for a long time thus it is a very good side dish. Different recipes exists some including meat or fish. It is a simple but useful way to create a delicious meal.


100 Dishes from Japan #1 – #34, #35 – #67


One thought on “100 Dishes from Japan Part 3”

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