Sunday, October 28, 2012

Who Doesn't Love Japanese Cuisine? Not Me!

Hundreds of years ago, before westernization, each community had its own traditions. Just like the traditions in other continents and countries, the Japanese are well known for their culture and their traditional food. Food lovers, chefs or any restaurant owner is familiar with their cuisine. Some of the Japanese cuisines that are well known locally and outside the country include sushi, sashimi, tempura and buckwheat noodles. These delicacies are mainly based on combination of the staple food, usually steamed rice, with a number of side and main dishes. It might also come with a clear "miso" soup and a few pickles. Another unique characteristic of this cuisine is the fact that some ingredients are only used seasonally, making it dependent on nature.

When it comes to serving the dishes, the Japanese serve their food in a way that contrasts greatly with the other countries where large sauce pans, pots and plates placed at the middle of the table. On the other hand, Japanese cuisines are served in a unique style. Rice is served solely in a small bowl and the side dish is served in a separate plate or bowl.

Well, everyone uses their own bowls. According to tradition, different dishes are not supposed to be in contact with each other and that is why every dish is served in its own plate. Alternatively, the dishes are partitioned using leaves. A good example is in the preparation of "tamagoyaki" where the eggs and the fish are separated carefully. In the olden days, each meal would be brought in serving trays and it is common to see the faldstool trays in use.

Traditional Japanese food is characterized by the rare use of meat, oils and fats, and dairy products. The use of the soy sauce leads to a high content of mineral salts in many of their traditional dishes. The less consumption of meat comes from the fact that Japan is an island and its citizens have always taken advantage of the abundant seafood supply. Japanese diet consists mainly of grains, vegetables and seaweeds. Red meat, on the other hand, is rare in Japanese meals. In the preparation of Japanese meals, fat is used in very small proportions and the food is normally flavored using additives like: soy sauce, sake and mirin, vinegar, sugar and salt.

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