Ramen presents the beauty of Japanese cuisines and culture because it requires patience in cooking and each region’s specialty.
a) Ramen noodles
Ramen noodles are a combination of wheat flour, water, salt, and saltwater (Kansui). Depending on each area, ramen noodles have different sizes, colors, and tastes.
b) Ramen soup
Ramen soup is not only sophisticated but also varied according to the creativity of the region.
Salt, water (Shio ramen), tunnel boned pork (tonkatsu ramen), Japanese soy sauce (Shouyu ramen), and miso (miso ramen) are essential ingredients to make a delicious ramen broth.
The sauces used in ramen vary based on region and type.
A bowl of ramen usually contains vegetables (green onion, bean sprout), Chashu pork, dried bamboo (Menma), and Japanese Marinated Soft Boiled Egg (Ajitsuke Tamago).
c) Ramen in different regions
You can try different Ramen types in each part of Japan: Sapporo Ramen, Hakata Ramen from Fukuoka, Hiroshima Ramen, Kitakata Ramen from Fukushima, and Toyama Ramen.
The most ordinary ramen restaurant have one long row of seats, so customers can eat freely even when they go there alone.
In some restaurants, customers don’t pay after eating but pay at the machine first. Then, they will bring the ticket to the waitress or a cook and get their meals.
Do you know that there is a Ramen theme park in Japan?
This park is Aqua City Odaiba, and you can try different ramen in booth stands there.
3. Udon (うどん)
The most popular Udon types are Cold Udon, Udon, and Yaki Udon.
a) Cold Udon
With Cold Udon, Udon is put in cold water first and then served with sauce and chopped scallions in a bowl. You can choose the topping to make your dish more delicious.
The purest form of Udon (Kake Udon) is served hot with Udon noodles and broth (Kake Udon), with thinly chopped scallions.
You can choose different toppings to eat with, such as Tempura or meat.
c) Yaki Udon
Yaki Udon, or Fried Udon, is stir-fried with vegetables, sauces, and different ingredients according to your choices (meat, eggs, etc.)
4. Soba (そば)
Soba noodles can have yellow colors or gray or green (if it’s made from broccoli).
You can eat soba with some toppings or try Yakisoba (Fried soba). Ingredients for Yakisoba are usually Soba noodles, cabbage, meat (chicken, pork, or beef), and sauce. Although it’s so easy to make Yakisoba, its taste is fantastic.
5. Sashimi (刺身)
Sashimi is one of the most famous Japanese dishes. Fresh raw meat or fish are sliced into thin pieces and served with delicate decoration.
Even though the most common sashimi is seafood (fish, octopus), there are other types of meat (horse, beef). If you visit Kumamoto, you should try their specialty, which is horse sashimi.
How to eat sashimi?
You can eat sashimi by dipping each one into a small dish of soy sauce. Sometimes people also add wasabi and ginger slide to eat with sashimi.
6. Miso Soup (味噌汁)
Miso soup is one of the most common dishes that you can find in Japan. It consists of “dashi” stock, wakame (a type of seaweed), 1/2-inch cube soft tofu, drained and sliced scallion greens. Miso soup is very healthy as it improves digestion and provides beneficial probiotics.
7. Takoyaki (たこ焼き)
Takoyaki is a Japanese octopus cake. It is typically served with fried fish, Takoyaki sauce, and chopped green onion.
You can make your Takoyaki with a Takoyaki machine by mixing Takoyaki flour, eggs, water, and octopus and adding green onion and cheese according to your preferences.
Also, you can buy Takoyaki in Japanese restaurants or stands at the festival. It is recommended to try Takoyaki in Osaka.
8. Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き)
Another Japanese food that you should try when visiting Japan is Okonomiyaki.
It’s a Japanese style of pancake and is made of eggs, water, flour, cabbage, and meat. You can choose the topping as your preference, but the most common toppings are dried fish and okonomiyaki sauce.
9. Tempura (天ぷら)
Tempura is a common name for Japanese fried dishes of seafood or vegetables. Usually, Tempura is served with udon, miso soup, or rice set.
10. Karaage (からあげ)
Karaage is a Japanese version of fried chicken. There are various types of Karaage with different cooking methods, but it is commonly marinated and then coated in potato starch.
Biting a piece of Karaage, you can feel the crispiness outside and soft, juicy and yummy chicken inside.
11. Yakitori (焼き鳥)
Another chicken dish in Japanese culinary is Yakitori. Yakitori is the combination of Yaki (Grilled) and Tori (Chicken), so Yakitori is grilled chicken.
Yakitori is a common name for all grilled parts of chicken: skin, leg meat, heart, etc. Eating Yakitori in Izakaya and drinking is common.
12. Gyoza (餃子)
Gyoza is a Japanese dumpling filled with vegetables and ground meat, then wrapped in a thin dough. People usually eat Gyoza as a side dish.
13. Yakiniku (焼肉)
Yakiniku, a combination of 2 words: Yaki (Grilled) and Niku (Meat), is generally used for grilled meat in Japan.