Japanese Food

by Stef.

What are common foods of Japan? - Common Foods

In Japan, many common dishes include fish, rice, and vegetables.

Sushi is a common dish which is eaten with hands traditionally, and it consists raw fish in white boiled rice wrapped in a type of dark, flat seaweed called Nori.

Another commonly eaten food in Japan is noodles. there are three main types of noodles; cold, slippery somen noodles, warm udon noodles, and soba noodles.

An average Japanese meal normally includes lots of fish, an enormous amount of rice, some meats such as beef, chicken, pork, and farm-grown vegetables such as broccoli, cauiliflower, carrots, and onions.

What are Traditional Meal Times Like? - Table Manners

In Japan, there are many strict traditions relating to meal times.

At school, students rarely bring their own packed lunches from home, but when they do, their mothers spend sometimes more then 10 minutes carefully arranging the food neatly and beautifully in a lunchbox. Japanese schoolchildren get served lunch at the school cafeteria.

When every pupil is served, everyone then says 'Itadakimasu' which, translated to English, is 'Have a good meal.'

When it is supper time, it is traditionally eaten at a low table, while sitting cross-legged on a straw or bamboo mat on the floor.

When eating, chopsticks are the main utensil used. But several types of chopsticks have been created for several different purposes. Eating, for one, is a pretty obvious reason to use chopsticks for mealtimes. Another reason is for cooking in general; these chopsticks are long and strong, rarely made of anything other than metal or bamboo. Yet another type of chopsticks are serving chopsticks; the name obviously tells you what they're used for, serving.

Chopsticks can be made from bamboo, plastic, wood, metal or even ivory!

Where do these ingredients come from? - Food Production

Many foods used in Japanese cooking come from Japan's own farmland or sea.

Japan has a huge fishing industry due to the many kilometers of coastline and open sea surrounding the many islands. So many "fish farms" have been set up, because in certain parts of the sea, only one or two specific types of fish that may be very popular in one place reside there.

Farms are uncommon in Japan due to the rocky dirt and mountainous terrain. But if you see one, it will be clear that these farms are well looked after.

The main crop grown in Japan is rice, but some farmers also grow many vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.

The paddy fields used to farm rice are flooded with water in spring, and then rice seedlings are planted by farmers.

Seaweed is also eaten regularly, due to the large amount of coastline. Special 'seaweed farms' have been created, where seaweed is specially grown, but it's more common for Japanese people to pick seaweed fresh out of the sea, then dry it out to use in cooking, (Such as using Nori to wrap sushi) Seaweed is good source of fibre, the vitamins B and C, and several minerals like iron and iodine.