Japanese food, from traditional dishes to contemporary snacks, is meant to be tasted, savored, and experienced than talked about. Sushi, sashimi, and ramen may be the top-of-mind foods often associated with Japan. But the country’s cuisine actually encompasses more extensive regional and traditional dishes that are begging to be explored and savored. Here are some of the unique, unusual, and delicious foods you might want to try in Japan.
Eating something raw in Japan is not unusual. After all, it is famous for its sliced fresh raw fish or sashimi. Basashi, however, falls into the raw meat category — horse meat sashimi. This dish is typically served with soy sauce or a special dressing and garnished with fresh ginger.
Fugu refers to the poisonous puffer fish served sashimi-style. This type of fish carries a deadly toxin that makes it extremely dangerous to eat. In Japan, fugu sashimi is prepared by experts who learn and master the art of preparing this dish for many years.
Mochi refers to the Japanese rice cakes made with glutinous rice. The traditional method of preparing it involves pounding the rice into paste and shaping it as desired. It can be enjoyed as is or used in making traditional Japanese sweets and wagashi. Some of the most popular variations include daifuku or mochi with fillings like sweetened red bean paste or strawberries and kinako or mochi coated with sesame seeds.
Omu-rice or omu-rice (rice omelette) is the Japanese take on a western food. The dish is prepared by cooking fried rice using ingredients like chicken or other meat, vegetables, ketchup or some kind of sauce then wrapped in an omelette.
Eating shirako is essentially eating fish sperm sacs typically from the male cod. It is served hot or cold and cooked or raw depending to your taste and sense of adventure.
Uni refers to the edible pieces, the gonads or reproductive organs, of the sea urchin often eaten in Japan. Uni’s delicious combination of flavors and textures make it one of the Japanese delicacies worth trying out.