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Japanese Food: What is Japanese Cuisine?

Japanese Food: What is Japanese Cuisine?



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Japanese food is one that is rich with regional specialities

Japanese food is varies from region to region in Japan.

Japanese food is a very diverse cuisine that is reflective of the different regions of Japan. Japanese food is also often reflective of traditions within the culture. Many people associate Japanese food with sushi, but there is more to it than that.

Traditional Japanese food is usually based off steamed white rice, which can be served with miso soup and other side dishes like fish or pickled vegetables as well as with a main protein and sauce. Instead of rice, many Japanese dishes are noodle-based; soba noodles and udon noodles are the most popular. Traditionally, noodles are eaten as a main dish and do not come with any sides.

Japanese food is rich in regional specialties. In the Kanto region, Monja-yaki is a very popular, pancake dish while in Hokkaido, uni, or sea urchin, and other types of seafood dishes are most popular.

There are other regional specialties of Japanese food, including dishes that come from Okinawa, Tohoku, Kansai and Chugoku, Chubu, and Kyūshū.


The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

No meal is complete in Japan without steamed rice, from breakfast through late night. The name for steamed rice, Gohan, literally means "meal." You must cook it properly and with the respect and attention it deserves.

Polished, short-grain rice (hakumai) is the preferred variety for making steamed rice. Look for Calrose short-grain rice, sushi rice, or Japonica rice. You can use a rice cooker (suihanki) or a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The rice is meant to be a little sticky when cooked so it can be easier to eat with chopsticks.


The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

No meal is complete in Japan without steamed rice, from breakfast through late night. The name for steamed rice, Gohan, literally means "meal." You must cook it properly and with the respect and attention it deserves.

Polished, short-grain rice (hakumai) is the preferred variety for making steamed rice. Look for Calrose short-grain rice, sushi rice, or Japonica rice. You can use a rice cooker (suihanki) or a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The rice is meant to be a little sticky when cooked so it can be easier to eat with chopsticks.


The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

No meal is complete in Japan without steamed rice, from breakfast through late night. The name for steamed rice, Gohan, literally means "meal." You must cook it properly and with the respect and attention it deserves.

Polished, short-grain rice (hakumai) is the preferred variety for making steamed rice. Look for Calrose short-grain rice, sushi rice, or Japonica rice. You can use a rice cooker (suihanki) or a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The rice is meant to be a little sticky when cooked so it can be easier to eat with chopsticks.


The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

No meal is complete in Japan without steamed rice, from breakfast through late night. The name for steamed rice, Gohan, literally means "meal." You must cook it properly and with the respect and attention it deserves.

Polished, short-grain rice (hakumai) is the preferred variety for making steamed rice. Look for Calrose short-grain rice, sushi rice, or Japonica rice. You can use a rice cooker (suihanki) or a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The rice is meant to be a little sticky when cooked so it can be easier to eat with chopsticks.


The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

No meal is complete in Japan without steamed rice, from breakfast through late night. The name for steamed rice, Gohan, literally means "meal." You must cook it properly and with the respect and attention it deserves.

Polished, short-grain rice (hakumai) is the preferred variety for making steamed rice. Look for Calrose short-grain rice, sushi rice, or Japonica rice. You can use a rice cooker (suihanki) or a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The rice is meant to be a little sticky when cooked so it can be easier to eat with chopsticks.


The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

No meal is complete in Japan without steamed rice, from breakfast through late night. The name for steamed rice, Gohan, literally means "meal." You must cook it properly and with the respect and attention it deserves.

Polished, short-grain rice (hakumai) is the preferred variety for making steamed rice. Look for Calrose short-grain rice, sushi rice, or Japonica rice. You can use a rice cooker (suihanki) or a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The rice is meant to be a little sticky when cooked so it can be easier to eat with chopsticks.


The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

No meal is complete in Japan without steamed rice, from breakfast through late night. The name for steamed rice, Gohan, literally means "meal." You must cook it properly and with the respect and attention it deserves.

Polished, short-grain rice (hakumai) is the preferred variety for making steamed rice. Look for Calrose short-grain rice, sushi rice, or Japonica rice. You can use a rice cooker (suihanki) or a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The rice is meant to be a little sticky when cooked so it can be easier to eat with chopsticks.


The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

No meal is complete in Japan without steamed rice, from breakfast through late night. The name for steamed rice, Gohan, literally means "meal." You must cook it properly and with the respect and attention it deserves.

Polished, short-grain rice (hakumai) is the preferred variety for making steamed rice. Look for Calrose short-grain rice, sushi rice, or Japonica rice. You can use a rice cooker (suihanki) or a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The rice is meant to be a little sticky when cooked so it can be easier to eat with chopsticks.


The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

No meal is complete in Japan without steamed rice, from breakfast through late night. The name for steamed rice, Gohan, literally means "meal." You must cook it properly and with the respect and attention it deserves.

Polished, short-grain rice (hakumai) is the preferred variety for making steamed rice. Look for Calrose short-grain rice, sushi rice, or Japonica rice. You can use a rice cooker (suihanki) or a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The rice is meant to be a little sticky when cooked so it can be easier to eat with chopsticks.


The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

No meal is complete in Japan without steamed rice, from breakfast through late night. The name for steamed rice, Gohan, literally means "meal." You must cook it properly and with the respect and attention it deserves.

Polished, short-grain rice (hakumai) is the preferred variety for making steamed rice. Look for Calrose short-grain rice, sushi rice, or Japonica rice. You can use a rice cooker (suihanki) or a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The rice is meant to be a little sticky when cooked so it can be easier to eat with chopsticks.


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