Tokyo is one of the exciting dining destinations of the world. There you will be having a wide range of both local and regional Japanese cuisine. The top restaurants in Tokyo have accrued more Michelin stars than New York and Paris. Tokyo is a city where you will find a portion of good food at a cheap price and as well as high-class restaurants. It all depends on your budget.
When you go to Japan, you will surely be trying Japanese foods. Trying different traditional dishes will help to find out the taste and culture within those dishes. No trip to Tokyo is complete without tasting the Tokyo-made Japanese food.
Japanese Foods You Must Try While in Tokyo
Sushi is the most famous Japanese food in the world. Eating sushi is common in many foreign destinations these days. A trip to Tokyo would not be complete without trying this gourmet delight in its homeland. In all of the varieties available of sushi, the main ingredient is vinegared rice.
The origins of sushi date back to the 4th century BC. The original sushi from that time was called nare-zushi. The term “sushi” is derived from a grammatical form that is no longer used in modern Japanese and that means “bitter taste”. The dish is served in a simple Japanese style, on lacquered or wooden plates. It usually involves dipping the sushi in soy sauce. Other secondary key ingredients include wasabi and pickled ginger.
In the 16th century, Tempura was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese missionaries. It consists of seafood, vegetables, and other ingredients coated in flour and eggs. They are fried in vegetable oil to form a crunchy texture. Also, it is served with common dishes, such as udon and soba. To fully enjoy the dish, it is recommended to try it in a restaurant specializing in tempura.
Ramen is originally a Chinese food the Japanese have adapted to their liking. Today, it is one of the staples of Japanese cuisine. Ramen tastes different across the country. In Tokyo, you can find ramen made with thin and curly noodles served in chicken broth with the added flavor of soy. The toppings used for ramen are usually eggs, slices of pork, nori, and spinach. It is one of the affordable fast food in the city.
There are various ramen restaurants in Tokyo, where you can choose the type of ramen you want from a vending machine by pressing the button to get a ticket. Then hand it to the chef and wait for the ramen to be delivered to your table. Remember to make a sound sipping while eating ramen with the chopsticks. It is quite common in Tokyo and taken as a sign of appreciation.
Sukiyaki is a real treat for meat lovers. Usually, it is cooked at the table in a Japanese hot pot style known as nabemono. Sukiyaki is having few cooking variations like most Japanese dishes. In Tokyo, the most common ingredients used for sukiyaki are tofu, vegetables, and Negi. They all are added to the beef ad cooked. There is a mixing of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.
To absorb the broth, sometimes boiled soba or udon are added in the end. Sukiyaki is considered a winter dish because it perfectly warms up the eaters from the inside.
Sashimi is considered a Japanese delicacy. The Japanese chefs consider it to be the best and finest dish in formal Japanese cuisine. Essentially, these are fresh and raw seafood or meats that are thinly sliced. For serving they use soy sauce. Wasabi or ginger is used for the topping. It is the most commonly offered while serving sashimi. You can have sashimi as a first course rather than something strong flavored.
In terms of being noodles, Udon is quite similar to Soba. Udon is made from wheat flour. Same as soba, udon can be served hot or cold. The simplest hot dish of udon is prepared in a broth known as Kakejiru. For the topping, a variety of ingredients can be added but the common ones are shrimps and chives. This udon soup is known as Kake Udon. The other types of Udon are as tasty as Kake Udon.
A type of noodles made from buckwheat flour is known as Soba. They have been in traditional Japanese cuisine since the Edo period. It was from 1603 to 1868. The Japanese are having different opinions on how to best enjoy the soba. The cooked version as a noodle soup or chilled version of the soba is the most popular type of cuisine.
It is usually taken with a soy sauce that is known as tsuyu. It is set aside for steeping (cold soba) or boiled (hot soba). The most common type of cold soba is Mori Soba. From street vendors to markets and specialty restaurants, you will find the best soba in Tokyo to eat. Sipping is a sign of appreciation same as other Japanese cuisines.
Chankonabe was originally prepared for sumo wrestlers based on their weight gain diet. Today, this dish has gained popularity with the general public in Tokyo and throughout Japan. It is a hot dish made from vegetables, chicken broth, tofu or you can add fish. The food itself is protein-based. To boost the calories, it is sometimes served with rice and beer.
You can easily find it at several city’s specialty restaurants. To your surprise, you will be able to see former sumo wrestlers who are running these chankonabe specialty restaurants.
Okonomiyaki, an all-Japanese comfort food dish, is a pancake stuffed with all kinds of things. Mostly it contains shrimps, pork, or cabbage. It is topped with dried seaweed, gravy, and mayonnaise. The name translates to something similar to whatever you love about the grill. Hence the multiple ingredients present in the dish are to your taste.
Okonomiyaki is considered as fast food and you can easily find it at the street vendors. Some restaurants also serve it and they cook it in front of you. Some of the restaurants even let you prepare it for yourself or give a hand to prepare it.
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese food. It is considered to be the cornerstone of nutritious local breakfast. It consists of dashi, a broth with the addition of miso paste. Sometimes, tofu is also added, depending on the recipe and equation. Also, meat, vegetables, and seafood can be used for preparing a miso soup. The soup consists of a high protein blend that balances the floating ingredients and sinking ingredients.
The miso paste defines the soup as texture and flavor that highly depends on the miso paste. Miso soup is a staple Japanese dish and you must give it a try when you are in Tokyo.
Tokyo – A Hub of Traditional Japanese Cuisines
Tokyo is Japan’s political center for four centuries but it has a great influence on Japanese cuisine. Some of the cuisines are so popular among locals and foreigners that they have become a standard of the cuisine rather than the traditional ones. Tokyo has promoted traditional Japanese cuisines throughout the world. When you visit Tokyo, you must give a try to these traditional cuisines!