Japanese Cuisine: A Short Introduction

Ramen

Ramen is a solid staple of the cuisines that can be found in Japan. Unlike the cheap packaged ramen found all over the United States or the overpriced versions found in some restaurants, ramen in Japan is both affordable and quite delicious. There are many different kinds of ramen that can found ranging from rich umami broths and ingredients like tonkatsu ramen or more lighter and refreshing kinds such as miso ramen. Ramen shops in Japan are meant to be efficient and some shops have ticket machines where you order from instead of having a sit-down menu. During my stay in Fukuoka, I had both tonkatsu ramen and pan-fried ramen and while in Nagasaki I had their famous Champon, which is a seafood-based ramen.

Karaage

              Karaage is fried chicken thighs, and although they are not a significant part of Japanese cuisine, they are still a unique marker for Japanese food. In my case, I ordered a karaage bowl, which come with rice, a sauce, some small salad, and of course the karaage. Of all the small dishes in Japan, I would have to say that karaage is in my top favorite.

 

Curry

Japanese curry is, in my opinion, the best meal to eat regularly in Japan. From its affordability, filling nature, and different directions that the dish can take, I was blown away by Japanese curry and will be quite saddened when I won’t be able to have it in the United States. The curry is unlike Indian styled curry because it is not very spicy, mild at most, and the flavor is something incomparable and very difficult to describe. Although a lot of emphasis is put on the curry, the rice is just as important considering it constitutes a majority of the dish. If the rice in a Japanese curry dish was made incorrectly, or if the wrong kind of rice was used, I highly doubt it could taste as good as it does.

Traditional Meal Experience

While in Beppu, our class got to experience a traditional Japanese meal. It began with all of us toasting our glasses and then the staff quickly came in and lit all our hot pots. As we would finish off plates, more and more kinds of food came in on trays, there must have been 15 different plates and different kinds of food that we had that night! The meal concluded with a phenomenal Japanese cheesecake, which all of us finished without hesitation. Of all the meals I had in Japan on this trip, this meal takes the cake. The incredible atmosphere, fantastic food, and polite staff made the whole experience truly amazing.

 

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