Sushi Bazooka Sushezi is the best rated sushi maker among sushi lovers. Its design, accessible price, ease of use and amazing preparation results make it the best sushi making kit in 2019, perfect to prepare and enjoy maki sushi and Californian rolls with your kids, friends or family.
Size: 6 x 29.5 cm cylinder (2.6 x 12 inches)
Material: Polypropilene (PP) plastic
3 Pieces: Bazooka Cylinder, Plunger and End Cap
Latches: Plastic latches to secure ingredients inside the cylinder
important thing to do before buying a new sushi maker is to know which its
advantages are compared with other similar products. On this review we show you
the most outstanding advantages:
Ideal for beginners: Sushi is not the easiest recipe to make within the Japanese cuisine. Making sushi in the traditional way requires some time and practice. For those who are starting in the world of sushi, Sushezy sushi maker will provide all the facilities to prepare perfectly shaped and delicious sushi rolls.
Perfect size: The reduce size of this sushi bazooka maker makes it very easy to storage after usage. The 3 pieces that make this tool assemble perfectly reducing the effective space needed to keep it safe.
Quickest solution: Making sushi using other methods (even the traditional Japanese way), requires several steps: the proper distribution of the rice over the nori, selecting the right amount of rice, placing the sushi filling ingredients in the right position, etc. This, not only requires more practice, but also, after master the technique, consumes longer time than using Sushezi Sushi Bazooka . The cylinder shape of this sushi maker works as the perfect delimiter of ingredients and helps compacting them to obtain sushi rolls with great consistency.
Fun to prepare: His intelligent design is compared with a bazooka because of the fancy way in which the rice roll is push out from the cylinder. This function is not only practical and convenient but also fun when preparing sushi with your friends or kids.
Easy to clean: Some other products with fancy design also include small spaces and holes in which rice and other ingredients get stacked. When this happens, taking your time cleaning the device is important to avoid those little pieces of food get rotten within your sushi maker. You will not have that problem with the Sushi Bazooka Sushezi. His inner structure lacks those inconvenient spaces making this sushi maker very easy to clean in a very short time.
Best quality-cost kit: Sushezi sushi maker relies on a very efficient design that allows the preparation of professional sushi rolls using a structure of inexpensive polypropylene plastic. This sushi making kit gives you the best possible performance using modest materials. This is the main reason why Sushi Bazooka Sushezi is the best rated sushi maker among buyers.
How to use
your Sushezi sushi maker. Step by Step
sushi maker is a gadget that allows the preparation of quality sushi recipes in
a short period of time with a quite fast learning curve. Right after a couple of trials you will get used
to the device. In the following video you will see how to use this sushi making
kit and the kind of results you can get using it. I addition, we also provide a
step by step guide based on the official instructions of this tool:
step instructions for Sushi Bazooka Sushezi
Step-1: Open the Sushezi Bazooka main body (cylinder) and spread a bit of oil in the inside.
Step-2: Wet your hands before handle the rice. Place 1/2 cup of boiled sushi rice mixed with rice vinegar into one half of the cylinder and repeat with another 1/2 cup into the other half.
Step-3: Take the plunger rod and lay it in the center of the rice on one half of the cylinder. Press firmly to make space in the center of the cylinder to place the ingredients. Repeat the same process in the other half
Step-4: Lay the ingredients into grooves you created.
Step-5: Relocate the plunger laying the thread end into the screw channel. Be sure that the end place is against the end of the thread.
Step-6: Close both halves together to form the main cylinder and compact the ingredients. Make sure you start with an angle of 45 degrees.
Step-7: Clip the latches firmly and close the top with the end cap making sure it is secure by locking it properly.
Step-8: Turn the plunger knob about 5 times while holding the sushi bazooka until the mark of the rod is reached (5-6 full turns). Depending on the amount of rice and ingredients used you might compress more or less to obtain the right consistency.
Step-9: Prepare a nori sheet with its glossy side face down. Unlock and remove the end cup and locate the Sushezi Bazooka near the longest edge of the nori.
Step-10: Push the plunger right through while fitting the rice roll properly over the nori seaweed.
Step-11: Roll the nori around you rice roll using a bit of water on the area in which the nori overlaps.
Step-12: Wait around 15 min until the nori sheet softens and then cut your roll according to your preferred size.
Step-13: each cut, use a wet towel to clean your knife to remove the stickiness of the rice and enjoy your sushi!
Other models and offers for Sushi Bazooka Sushezi for sale
buying the sushi bazooka sushezi there is something you should know
Sushezi Sushi Bazooka was developed to provide a cheap and efficient solution to make quality sushi in a simple way. However, sometimes, while adjusting the latches they might fall off. This is not a big problem because they can be placed in again easily.
the spectacular price-efficiency ratio of this tool, the polypropylene used for
the plastic parts might make them see a bit weak. However, that apparent
weakness is actually a positive thing. The flexibility given by this material protects
the tool to be broken from falls.
We thought that it was important to
give you these details before you buy this product. However we will like to
mention again the fantastic performance and great ratings reported from all
users of Sushi Bazooka Sushezi.
Final conclusion: The most efficient
sushi making kit.
really like sushi and you don’t want to pay inflated prices to eat it in
restaurants, Sushi Bazooka Sushezi
is, without a doubt, the perfect sushi making kit for many reasons: its makes
professional quality sushi with minimum effort, it has a very accessible price
and it could be enjoyed by adults and kids.
Sushezi Sushi Bazooka offers the best market solution of
2019 to make sushi recipes easily without long training periods. You will be
preparing sushi for your friends and family in no time.
Most users acquiring
Sushezi Sushi making kit were very
impress with the final results. If you are a real sushi lover, this is your
Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese dish consisting usually on a base of pan-fried batter, cabbage and any other ingredient you like to add. Actually the word okonomiyaki can be translated as “things you like” (okonomi) and “cook or fried” (yaki). Okonomiyaki restaurants use large iron grills called teppan in Japanese to prepare this food.
Osaka style okonomiyaki is maybe the most popular around Japan, this version of the dish uses also thin slices of pork belly and it is topped with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, powdered nori seaweed and bonito flakes.
Types of okonomiyaki
The same nature of okonomiyaki contributes to the existence of many different local variants depending on the ingredients, sauces and toppings used during its preparation.
On this regards, there are two types of okonomiyaki widely famous all over the country which are the local versions from Kansai and Hiroshima. Moreover there is also a popular dish created as a reinvention of okonomiyaki called monjayaki. On this section we will describe each one of them in more detail.
This the Osaka version of okonomiyaki and the most predominant in bars and restaurants across Japan. Apart from the batter and cabbage, this okonomiyaki includes grated nagaimo (long japanese potato) and meat (usually thin sliced pork belly). Shrimp, octopus, vegetables among others may be also added. Finally the dish is topped with aonori (powdered nori seaweed), bonito flakes, okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise.
This is the most traditional version of okonomiyaki and it is so extended that many people from kansai area will not consider any other style of okonomiyaki “real okonomiyaki”. Even though, there are other popular versions of okonomiyaki coming from kansai area like modanyaki and negiyaki.
The name mondayaki comes from the Japanized pronunciation of the word “Modern” and the word “yaki” or cooked. This okonomiyaki follows the same recipe as kansai okonomiyaki but it also includes yakisoba noodles with are a relatively modern food in Japan.
Negi is the Japanese name for scallions or long green onions. Negiyaki is a thinner version of kansai okonomiyaki that includes a large proportion of negi which has a very specific taste that Japanese people really like.
Hiroshima style okonomiyaki is actually based on the same ingredients as kansai style okonomiyaki. The main difference is the way of arranging the ingredients and the amounts used. On hiroshima recipe, ingredients are not mixed but layered. The traditional arrangement starts with batter, continues with cabbage and finish with meat and other ingredients like shrimp, octopus, etc. This pancake is usually topped with yakisoba, fried egg and okonomiyaki sauce. Usually, hiroshimayaki includes 2 or 3 times more cabbage than other okonomiyaki and the ordering of each layer depends on the chef style.
Another version of okonomiyaki with certain importance in Hiroshima area is the version from Shobara city also known as Shobarayaki.
This okonomiyaki comes from Shobara, a small town located in the north of Hiroshima prefecture. This version of the dish includes lots of sweet cabbage and uses rice as main ingredients. This uncommon version of okonomiyaki is commonly flavoured with ponzu sauce which combines perfectly with the taste of its ingredients.
Monjayaki uses the same ingredients as okonomiyaki but batter is diluted with extra dashi and water to create a final texture that reminds to melting cheese. This version of okonomiyaki is already considered a completely different dish in many areas of Japan.
How to make okonomiyaki sauce
Okonomiyaki sauce is a mix of ketchup, worcestershire, honey and soy sauce. Preparing this sauce is just a matter of mixing the right amount of each one. In the following video you will see the proportion of each ingredients and the step-by-step recipe of traditional okonomiyaki sauce.
How to make okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki is a easy recipe that requires a simple batter preparation. Butter is mixed with fresh cutted ingredients and fried using a pan or an iron plate. In the following video you can see step-by-step okonomiyaki recipe following the most traditional style of okonomiyaki from Kansai
How to make vegan okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki can be made with many different types of ingredients, making a vegan okonomiyaki is as easy as knowing how to combine your vegan ingredients in a tasty way. In the following video you ca see an easy step-by-step recipe for vegan okonomiyaki.
How to eat okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki is one of the japanese dishes that is not traditionally eaten with specific side dishes nor requires any specific ritual to be eaten.
A single okonomiyaki is quite big and it might contain a mix of ingredients difficult to cut (like bacon, cabbage, noodles, …). In Japan, the use of knife and fork is not at all common, and the only use of chopsticks to deal with the whole okonomiyaki might be quite challenging, even for Japanese. For that reason, on restaurants, okonomiyaki is usually serve together with a spatula.
In Japan, when you go with friends to a okonomiyaki restaurant, you order some of the okonomiyaki offered by the local and use the spatula to divide in pieces. using the same spatula okonomiyaki is shared among everyone and chopsticks are used to deal with each inividual portion.
What does okonomiyaki taste like?
Okonomiyaki has no ordinary taste. The main appearance of okonomiyaki will make you think that is some kind of dessert. However, people trying okonomiyaki for the first time usually know that it contains vegetables and meat. So, let say that the brain of a newbie its quite confused before the first bite.
The first feeling when eating a piece of okonomiyaki is produced by the sauce. Sauce has a strong taste, and a bit sweet because of ketchup, honey and worcestershire sauce. This might puss your brain towards the dessert hypothesis. However, after you start chewing, you will feel the bacon, the cabbage,… everything fixed with the batter that will punch you back from your sweet world.
Is common that foreigners trying okonomiyaki for the first time, have mixed feeling about it. But after the initial shock, everyone love it. It is never easy to talk about tastes so we encourage you to travel to Japan and try okonomiyaki for yourself.
How many calories in okonomiyaki?
The amount of calories contained in okonomiyaki will change widely depending on the ingredients used. However, we can provide the nutritional values for a standard Kansai okonomiyaki which is the most popular type in Japan.
A okonomiyaki pancake meant for a single person contains around 520 calories (fat: 15 g ; carbohydrates: 30 g ; protein: 17 g)
Is okonomiyaki healthy?
Okonomiyaki, as any other food prepared on teppan (or japanese hot iron place) is made from fresh ingredients. In addition it combines meats, seafood, vegetables and flour on the same dish. An okonomiyaki prepared with the right combination of ingredients will contain a balanced proportion of fat, carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins.
Moreover, the amount of oil used on foods prepared with teppan is quite small and the cooking time is also short. For all these reasons. okonomiyaki is a very healthy alternative for dishes like pizza or lasagna.
They serve small but delicious okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki served in this restaurant has incredibly cheap price compared to the overall quality of the food. In addition they provide a wonderful service and are able to communicate in english.
Many people consider this the best okonomiyaki restaurant in Japan. If you want to take a seat you will probably need to wait for long in a queue. Okonomiyaki are prepared by a personal chef in front of your table. We really recommend their special yamaimo (long japanese potato) okonomiyaki which has been part of the menu since this restaurant first opened.
This restaurant prepares delicious Hiroshima style okonomiyaki . Their prices are moderates but the food has extraordinary quality and they provide many vegetarian option. If you want to try this great okonomiyaki and you don’t care about queueing for a while, you cannot miss this restaurant.
Although it is not clear, some researchers say that the precursor of okonomiyaki was a thin crepe dating from the the 16th century. This baked crepe was called funoyaki which name refers to the wheat gluten.
According records, this recipe was changing together with his name while it was exported to different areas of Japan. In Meiji era it was called mojiyaki and many types already existed depending on the ingredients used.
A simple version of okonomiyaki appeared for the first time after World War II. After the war several black markets popped out in Japan to provide cheap food when the country was short on rice supply. The use of teppan (hot iron plates) got popularized in these markets because they allowed to prepare quicky big rations of food on the street stalls. On this scenario, wheat pancake was inexpensive and nutritious enough to maintain the population.
Nowadays okonomiyaki is extended all over Japan and there are many local versions of this dish.
Why is okonomiyaki popular?
Okonomiyaki is quite popular in Japan, specially in Osaka where is almost considered national dish together with takoyaki. As we have have seen in previous sections, okonomiyaki is a healthy and inexpensive dish that taste great. However the main reason of its popularity are different ones:
Enjoyable during social meetings: Okonomiyaki is a good option for friend and family meetings, it is easy and entertaining to cook both for adults and kids. Using just fresh ingredients from the supermarket and a special gas stove with an iron pan you can be preparing a okonomiyaki at the same one you are eating the previous one.
Add whatever you like: Just prepare a simple base of batter and cabbage and keep a bunch of extra ingredients in the table with you and your friends. Every new okonomiyaki you guys made will change according the ingredients you decide to use.
All you can eat: You can prepare as much butter and cabbage base as you want prior to your meal. While eating, you can keep preparing okonomiyaki until everyone is full.
As you can see, apart from its taste, okonomiyaki is a food with a potential social role that encourages social interaction making your meals with friends unforgettable.
Trivia about okonomiyaki
Wood Egg Okonomiyaki Museum
The city of Hiroshima is so proud about their traditional okonomiyaki that they opened a museum to show visitors all the history behind this delicious dish and spread okonomiyaki all over the world.
In this museum apart of learning everything about okonomiyaki you will be able to cook one by yourself and guided by professional okonomiyaki artisans.
Okonomiyaki is not alive!
Many people, when they try go for the first time to a okonomiyaki restaurant, they will be probably surprised. In the surface of the pancake something is moving! There are some weird kind of pink-brownish slices of something balancing around. Their movement remembers to seaweeds that are under the water pushed back and forth by the internal currents of the sea.
Don’t worry, your okonomiyaki is not alive, what you are seen are bonito flakes or katsuobushi in Japanese. This thin slices of dry bonito or tuna are affected by the heat coming from the okonomiyaki moving like they wanted to escape from your meal. This effect is also common on other warm food using bonitos flakes like takoyaki.
Teppanyaki is a Japanese cooking style based on the use of iron griddles to fry and roasted food. It is a relatively modern method that started after World War II on streets markets in Japan. The word Teppanyaki is compose of two parts: “Teppan” which is the japanese name for the traditional iron griddle associated to this style and “yaki” coming from the verb “yaku” that means “fry” or “cook over a hot plate”.
Under this definition, any food cooked fried or roasted using a teppan could be considered teppanyaki. Some traditional Japanese dishes like Yakisoba or Monjayaki are completely based on this cooking technique
What is the difference between hibachi and teppanyaki?
Actually this question comes from a word misconception that happened when teppanyaki was exported to other countries. The right question will be “what is the difference between hibachi and teppan?”. Let’s define properly this two word and then we will explain the origin of this confusion.
Hibachi or shichirin is the Japanese name for a heating device based on charcoal. Hibachi has a box or cylinder shape opened on the top and is made from heat proof materials. Hot charcoal is introduced inside and by the use of a grill mat in the top, different ingredients can be grilled and smoked.
On the other side teppan is a iron plate that is warmed up and is used to cook different ingredients and traditional japanese dishes. Teppan do not need necessarily to work with charcoal, actually most of them nowadays work with gas. Teppan is used to fry and roast ingredients.
Therefore Hibachi and Teppan are devices to warm up food, while hibachi is meant to prepare ingredient in a barbecue style in which the smoke from the charcoal plays an important role, teppan is meant to fry or roast ingredients.
When teppanyaki (the art of cooking using teppan) was exported to North America, hibachi was used to refer to the iron plate instead of teppan. For those reasons, people going to teppanyaki restaurants started confusing both terms.
Types of teppanyaki
Teppanyaki is more a cooking style than a Japanese dish. For that reason any ingredients cooked over the teppan will be considered teppanyaki. However, there are some traditional dishes from Japanese cuisine that are entirely prepared using teppanyaki style. In this section we will show you on the one hand those ingredients most commonly used for teppanyaki and also some traditional dishes made using this method
Okonomiyaki consist of a stir-fried dish containing mainly batter and cabbage. However, its common to include any ingredients that you like, meat, seafood, cheese, nuts,… there are no rules when it comes to okonomiyaki. Traditional okonomiyaki is topped with a special sauce, mayonnaise and bonito flakes.
Monjayaki is very similar to okonomiyaki, main ingredients are the same and there is also freedom about the extra ingredients you want to include. However, in order to prepare the batter, additional dashi or water in added making its final consistency similar to melted cheese.
Yakisoba is a relatively modern but very traditional dish from Japanese cuisine consisting on stir fried noodles mixed with vegetables, tofu and/or small pieces of meat. In addition, these noodles are flavored with a condiment similar to dense oyster sauce.
Typical ingredients prepared using teppanyaki are vegetables, meat and seafood. Popular meats are beef, pork and chicken. It is also very common to see shrimp teppanyaki.
Both meat and seafood are commonly cooked individually. In this case, teppanyaki works just as a fancy way of cooking making your beef of shrimp ready to eat.
Although vegetables can be fried also individually, usually they are cutted and mixed together before cooking them. It is common to include minced meat and other ingredients on the vegetable teppanyaki.
How to make teppanyaki
As we saw in the previous section, there are many dishes we can prepare by the teppanyaki method. In this section we will focus on a basic steak teppanyaki garnished with vegetables. In the following video you can follow a step-by-step steak teppanyaki recipe.
How many calories in teppanyaki?
Calories in teppanyaki may vary widely depending on the ingredients used. In the following table we provide a table with the nutritional values of a standard meat and vegetable teppanyaki as well as other Japanese dishes fried using teppan (table show nutrition values per ration).
Vegetables and Steak
Is teppanyaki food healthy?
There are many teppanyaki meals and, therefore, some of them are healthier than others.
Meals like yakisoba and okonomiyaki slightly less healthy is we use too much oils during the preparation or if it is not a vegetable oil.
However, ingredients used for teppanyaki are fresh and the iron grill distributes slowly and evenly the heat among them. As long as we choose a balanced combination of ingredients for our teppanyaki dishes, we can enjoy this cooking style within any diet. Traditional meat and vegetables or seafood and vegetables teppanyaki is very healthy and balanced.
Teppanyaki Akasaka is a place with wonderful views and exquisite food, you can get a set menu for a reasonable price. A personal chef will cook your meal in front of you using the teppanyaki iron grill.
Teppanyaki Dante is a bit hidden in Asakasa but they offer a nice wine menu to enjoy together with your teppanyaki food. Garlic rice is also a popular dish on this restaurant. They offer set menus for reasonable prices (1500-2000 yens) . For those with big appetite, a deluxe 6000 yens menu is also available.
This place has excellent service and exquisite food. Menu includes many varieties of food and ingredients are fresh and well prepared. If you want a real teppanyaki experience you should try this restaurant. However, be ready to spend some money.
Very traditional restaurant, if you go for dinner you will probable experience a real Japanese experience with many company men drinking and having fun. If you don’t care about noisy places, we really recommend to try the delicious teppanyaki prepared in Teppanyaki Ten
Barbecues and grilled food has been popular in Japan from long time ago. During the Edo period, the use of hibachi was generalized all over the country to warm up and cook food. Before the appearance of the first gas stoves, it was not possible to heat iron plates efficiently to used them for cooking. Moreover, iron was rare and valuable material
After world war II, the technological advances made iron inexpensive and the first iron grill (teppan) appeared in Japan. They were popularized in the blacks markets that popped up after the war providing cheap and accessible food to a recovering country.
Nowadays the use of iron grills is completely generalized and many people like to take them out for camping and barbecuing. Specialized restaurants used them to prepare delicious food at the same time as they entertain clients with this cooking method so visually attractive.
Why is teppanyaki popular?
Teppanyaki food is based on fresh ingredients that you can prepare and combine to get a healthy, balanced and delicious meal. However, there are two extra reasons why teppanyaki style is so popular in Japan.
Cook with friends! Nowadays teppan (iron grills) are accessible for everyone. Many groups of friends and families like to organize social events and cook together using their own teppan. Everyone can cook their preferred ingredients at the same time while drinking and enjoying time with others.
Espectacular cooking! On specialized restaurants you can see professional chef using skillfully the iron grills, cooking food with big fires and making delicious meals with artistic combination of ingredients.
For all these reasons, teppanyaki is highly appreciated in Japan and it is always a good plan to impress your friends with a espectacular and healthy dinner.
Trivia about teppanyaki
Benihana Teppanyaki Cooking Competition
Benihana is a very popular teppanyaki restaurant, interestingly it was founded in 1964 in America by Hiroaki Aoki, a young Japanese guy that travelled to the U.S. following his dream of opening a restaurant. After saving money by selling ice creams Hiroaki opened a teppanyaki restaurant that won popularity very soon. Nowadays Benihana counts with more than 80 restaurants across the states and four international restaurants on Aruba, San Salvador, Panama and Brazil.
Benihana sells itself not only as a restaurant but also as an experience. They organize all kind of events and espectacles related to teppanyaki cooking to entertain their clients during meals. On 2014, for the 50th anniversary of Benihana restaurant, a big teppanyaki competition was organized. Many teppanyaki professionals with years of experience battled in front their customers for the first price.
Yakisoba is a relatively modern but very traditional dish from Japanese cuisine consisting on stir fried noodles mixed with vegetables, tofu and/or small pieces of meat. In addition, these noodles are flavored with a condiment similar to dense oyster sauce.
The name yakisoba comes from the words “yaki” and “soba”. Although this is commonly translated as “fried soba”, the verb “yaku” in Japanese is not exactly the same as fry. “Yaku” not necessarily requires oil, actually typical yakisoba uses just a bit of oil to fry the vegetables and meat but not extra oil is added to roast the noodles. Yakisoba is considered fast food and it is a very popular street food during events and festivals.
Types of yakisoba
There is no such thing as yakisoba types, however, depending in the ingredients mixed with the fried noodles, the sauces and sometimes the cooking style, we can find many local recipes for yakisoba. In this section we are going to show you the most popular ones.
1. Fujinomiya Yakisoba (Shizuoka)
Probably the most popular recipe of yakisoba. Noodles are fried separately from meat and cabbage. After mixing them, yakisoba sauce is added together with bonito flakes. Finally, pickled ginger is commonly used as topping decoration.
2. Yokote Yakisoba (Akita)
To cook this yakisoba, noodle are fried together with minced pork and cabbage. The mix is flavoured with a slightly sweet sauce and topped with an egg. Final presentation includes pickled vegetables.
3. Jyoshu Ota Yakisoba (Gunma)
This yakisoba main ingredient is a thick black sauce that give it a dark color. The rest of ingredients fried together with the noodle might vary depending on the recipe.
4. Hita Yakisoba (Ooita)
Hita yakisoba recipe mixes noodles, sprouts and pork. The mix is fried at high temperatures on the teppan (big iron plate) to achieve a crispy texture of the ingredients.
5. Namie Yakisoba (Fukushima)
Namie yakisoba also uses sprouts and minced pork as ingredients. However, what makes this recipe different is the thickness of its noodles. Similar to udon noodles, Namie yakisoba noodles are around 3 times thicker than those on traditional yakisoba.
6. Hiruzen Yakisoba (Okayama)
Hiruzen yakisoba is based on cabbage and chicken like many other yakisoba recipes. But what makes this local dish special is a very elaborated sauce made mainly from miso sauce, garlic and onion.
7. Itoigawa Black Yakisoba (Niigata)
Although the ingredients used for the mix of this yakisoba recipe vary depending on the restaurant, what never changes is its traditional and intense black color obtained from squid ink. In the most tradition version pieces of squid are fried together with the noodles during preparation.
8. Okhotsk Kitami Shio Yakisoba (Hokkaido)
This yakisoba uses the popular ingredients from Kitami City. Onion and scallops are fried together with the yakisoba noodles. Sauce is not used in this recipe, instead, the mix is flavoured with salt.
9. Kuroishi Tsuyu Yakisoba (Aomori)
This yakisoba follows a traditional recipe of mixing and frying noodles, cabbage and meat. However, the presentation of the dish includes the addition of ramen broth.
Which noodles are used for yakisoba?
Yakisoba includes the word “soba” which is a traditional type of Japanese noodle made from buckwheat. However, and independently of what many people think, yakisoba can be prepared both from soba noodles (buckwheat) or from other flour wheat noodles like ramen. What gives yakisoba its traditional taste is the cooking method.
How to make yakisoba sauce
Yakisoba sauce includes soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, tomato sauce, hoisin sauce, raw sugar and a bit of ginger. In the video above we let you the preparation of an easy and step-by-step recipe for yakisoba sauce.
How to make yakisoba
Yakisoba is a very easy dish to prepare, it just requires a selection of ingredients to fry and the addition of noodles at the sauce at the end. In the following video we you can see a step-by-step easy to cook Yakisoba noodle recipe using pork mean, onion, carrots, mushrooms and cabbage.
How to eat yakisoba
Typically yakisoba noodles are served on a plate as a main or side dish. When you get them from street markets, convenience stores or supermarket they come in a plastic recipient.
Also, in supermarkets they sell instant yakisoba. To prepare this instant noodles you should pour hot water inside the recipient of the noodles, wait for 3 minutes and throw the water away. Instant noodles come with the instruction for preparation and an easy way to pour and drop the hot water.
Once you have your noodles ready, you can add mayonnaise and used your chopsticks to eat them. Unlike ramen noodles, yakisoba do not includes broth which makes this dish not as hot as ramen and easier to eat.
What is yakisoba bread?
Although in many foreign countries noodle sandwiches are certainly not common, yakisoba is so loved by Japanese that its sandwich version became incredibly popular. It consists on a soft baguette opened in half and filled with yakisoba noodles. In Japan it is known as yakisoba pan because they exported the word pan (bread) from portuguese missionaries during the 16th century. Nowadays yakisoba pan can be acquired on any supermarket and convenience store.
How many calories in yakisoba?
Yakisoba calories will fluctuate a bit depending on the vegetables and meats included in the dish. However most of the calories comes from the carbohydrates in the noodles.
The average ration of yakisoba contains around 800 calories coming from approximately 13.8 g of fat, 98.1 g of carbohydrates and 38.7 from protein.
Are yakisoba noodles healthy?
Although the amount of oil used to cook yakisoba is just a few, all its ingredients (including noodles and sauce) are stir fried. This makes yakisoba not a very healthy option “within Japanese cuisine”.
However, this last appreciation is very important because Japanese diet is really healthy because is very low in fat. Yakisoba is not an exception, even if within Japanese dishes is considered unhealthy, compared with many european or american meals is still a healthier option.
So here we will provide some tricks so you can enjoy yakisoba within a healthier diet:
Use good oils: One option will be not using oil at all, is perfectly possible is you have a good anti adherent pan. If you use oil, try to use vegetable oils like olive oil. Another option is to use the fat from the meat you are cooking as frying oil (in the case you are using pork, per example).
Choose nice ingredients: Balance the nutritional content of your yakisoba by a careful selection of ingredients. Try to include vegetables and meat in appropriate proportions.
Don’t eat yakisoba everyday: Yakisoba is high calories food, therefore if you eat everyday, the carbohydrates that you don’t burn each day, will be accumulated as fat. Try to moderate the consumption of yakisoba and, if you have the option, try to eat those days that you need a big dose of energies.
Where can I buy yakisoba?
If you live in Japan and you wanna enjoy the real Japanese yakisoba experience, my personal recommendation will be to join a matsuri festival and get some yakisoba from a street stand. You won’t just enjoy the delicious taste of yakisoba but also you will enjoy its traditional preparation in big iron plates (teppan).
In supermarkets and convenience stores it easy to find already prepared yakisoba (in convenience stores you can even warn it up!). Also, in this stores you can find yakisoba pan and instant yakisoba. Finally, on every supermarket they sell individual rations of plain yakisoba noodles for around 20 yen (20 cents). If you like to cook, you can just buy your own meat and vegetables and prepare your favourite yakisoba at home.
To enjoy the real Japanese yakisoba it should be obtained from a street stall during matsuri festivals. Because of that there are not many restaurants specialized in yakisoba. However, in this section we will show so you some of them.
Seto No Yakisoba Fukuzo
This restaurant in Nagoya serve all kinds of yakisoba and their specialty is based on seafood. Rations are abundant and prices are quite cheap.
Yakisoba is a relatively new dish in Japanese cuisine. After world war II, some black markets popped up around the country to attend the needs for food. Inspired in the chinese cuisine, the basic ingredients of yakisoba were cheap and easy to obtain. In addition, the use of teppan (big iron plates) allowed cooking big amounts of this food. This 2 factors made yakisoba a perfect business for street stalls.
First historical records of yakisoba appear in the 1930’s with the name of “ sauce yakisoba ” as a snack popular among kids. This popularity rapidly extended to the rest of the population and yakisoba started to be commercialized in supermarkets and convenience store.
Nowadays, although yakisoba is still an icon for street food, you can find many commercialized products based on it like instant yakisoba noodles and yakisoba pan.
Why is yakisoba popular?
As mentioned in the previous section, the initial boom of yakisoba in Japan came after world war II. Yakisoba was a cheap dish that could be prepared in big amounts on street stalls. Its slightly sweet taste (given by the yakisoba sauce) made yakisoba popular among kids.
The popularity of this dish extended all over Japan but it didn’t end there. With the raice of the millionaire company Nissin from the inventor of “cup noodles”, Momofuku Ando, yakisoba was also popularized in many countries.
There are different reasons why Japanese people love yakisoba nowadays:
First, delicious: Not only because of it taste but also its smell. If you live in Japan you will realize soon that just smelling how someone is preparing a instant cup of yakisoba, makes everyone in the mood for this food.
Second, cheap and familiar: It is so traditional during festivals that many families and groups of friends do not understand these events without tasting yakisoba in groups. Its low price make yakisoba available for everyone.
Finally, quick and effective: Yakisoba is meal rich in carbohydrates very easy to cook or buy. Therefore, during busy days or after a long day of work, a dish of yakisoba give you plenty of energies with little effort.
Trivia about yakisoba
Chow mein in the name of the Chinese food from with Japanese people got the idea of yakisoba. Chow mein means stir-fried noodles in chinese, which is very close to the Japanese meaning of yakisoba (fried buckwheat noodles). Actually, chow mein has been exported to chinese restaurants all around the world and it recipe has been slightly adapted to the preferences of each culture.
Top Ramen and Maruchan brands of yakisoba
Nissin is a Japanese company founded by Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant Japanese noodles. This company was created in 1958 with the development of the world’s first instant ramen. Nowadays they are the major providers or cup noodles in Asian countries
On the other side Toyu Suisan is another company founded in 1953 by Kazuo Mori that was at the beginning specialized on frozen fish distribution. With the pass of years this company shifted to the business of instant and frozen noodles. Nowadays Toyu Suisan is the main distributor of instant noodles in America.
American brands of instant noodles distributed by Nissin and Toyu Suisan are Top Ramen and Maruchan respectively. Although Toyu Suisan dominates American market, american fan of each brand defend their choice strongly. Internet discussions are full of feelings and subjective statements regarding which is the best brand. One way or the other, this two brand really reach people’s heart.
Tempura is a popular Japanese cooking
style consisting on battering and deep frying seafood and vegetables. This dish
is widely used on many restaurants across Japan and it can be prepared as a
side dish or main dish in different meals. Moreover, tempura is also found as
topping in noodle dishes or bowls of rice.
The variety of ingredients from which
tempura can be made is quite wide. For that reasons, Japanese restaurant try to
add to their dishes those battered ingredients which taste combines better with
their meals. It is also common to serve a mix tempura vegetables as a side
Types of tempura
As many other Japanese dishes, tempura
represents more a cooking method than a specific dish. For that reason it is
possible to find many different varieties of tempura depending on the base
ingredient. On this section we will show you the different types of ingredients
that are commonly used for tempura.
Also called yasai tempura, are commonly serve in many restaurants as a side dish and they are the base for different vegetarian menus. The mix of flavors between the oily fried butter and the soft cooked vegetables makes this tempura the preferred among people from Japan. There are many types based on different popular vegetables of Japanese cuisine.
Takenoko tempura (bamboo shoots) Bamboo shoots have and interesting flavor and a fine texture. Because of its health benefits and taste, bamboo shoots have many other uses in Japanese cuisine
Kabocha tempura (pumpkin) Kabocha is actually a winter squash that looks like a small pumpkin. It has sweet taste when its cooked.
Ninjin tempura (carrot) Carrots are usually cut up and shaped as fries before applying tempura batter.
Nasu tempura (eggplant) Cooked nasu has a soft texture and exquisite taste that fits perfectly with the tempura fry style.
Kinoko tempura (mushrooms) Kinoko is the name of different varieties of japanese mushroom, they are famous for their rich and pleasant taste called umami in Japanese
Satsumaimu tempura (sweet potato) Satsumaimo has an even sweeter taste than kabocha, they can be prepared in many different ways as a dessert. When it is cooked as tempura, the crunchy outside and soft and sweet inside creates a very interesting taste.
Sisho tempura (perilla) Sisho are leaves from the family of perilla with a soft taste similar to anis or mint.
Ingen tempura (green beans) Ingen tempura are often treated as fries and dipped in delicious tempura sauce.
Kakiage tempura Kakiage is actually a mix of vegetables including carrot, green beans, onion, etc that are cover and fried with tempura batter.
Although most of the tempura you will find
will be made out of vegetables, ebi (shrimp) is maybe the most popular
ingredient when it comes to tempura. But is it not the only seafood prepared
using this technique.
Ebi tempura (shrimp) Ebi is the most popular ingredient for tempura. Traditionally is used as a topping for ramen, udon and other noodle bowls in Japan.
Ika tempura (squid) Ika tempura is usually made from squid cutted in rings. However, in street markets (mainly during festivals) thy sell full tempura squids on a stick that you can enjoy while walking around.
Kani tempura (crab) Kani tempura is less common than the previous ones. However can be found in many restaurant as a side dish or topping.
Sakana tempura (fish) Small fillets of even whole fishes are also prepared as tempura. Among them, the most popular are ayu (sweetfish), whitefish, cod, suzuki (sea bass) and sea perch
Toriten (Chicken Tempura) Chicken tempura should not be confused with Karaage, which refers to fried chicken (without batter). The combination of meat with fried batter makes this tempura very oily. Probably that’s why is not so popular in Japan. Japanese people tend dislike too oily dishes. However it is a typical dish in Oita Prefecture.
How to make tempura batter
Tempura batter is actually very simple to
prepare, it is a mix of wheat flour, salt, baking powder, vegetable oil and
water. The video above shows a simple but effective step-by-step tempura batter
How to make tempura
Preparing tempura requires certain frying
skills, apart from that it’s easy peasy. First you need to prepare the batter,
second cut the ingredients and finally fry them. If you want your tempura
dishes to follow a more traditional japanese presentation (including how to cut
different ingredients), we recommend you the following video with a
step-by-step recipe of tempura.
How to make tempura sauce
Tempura sauce is called Tentsuyu in
Japanese and its recipe has some variations according to the ingredients
prepared as tempura and the season. However, the average tentsuyu includes
dashi, mirin and soy sauce. In the following video you can see a basic recipe
for tempura sauce.
How to eat tempura
The variety on its ingredients make
tempura is a extremely flexible food. It can be used as a delicious complement
of almost any dish in the Japanese cuisine. In this section we are going
to see for different ways of using tempura in our meals
Tempura as side dish
When we think about fried pieces of food,
the first thing coming to our brains are fries or chips which are commonly saw
as side dishes. Even tempura can be eaten in many ways, it is common to see it
as a side dish that garnish meals like tonkatsu . When tempura is used as a
side dish is served together with a dipping sauce.
Nigiri sushi is formed by a base of vinegared rice and some other ingredient in the top. The use of tempura ingredients for this type of sushi is very popular in Japan. Usually, ebi (shrimp) and ika (squid) are the types of tempura most common on sushi. If you want to know more about sushi, you can check our article about sushi.
Tempura as topping
Using tempura as a topping or as an extra
on japanese noodles likes ramen and udon is almost as popular as using tempura
as a side dish. When the batter mixes with the broth of noodle, it loses his
crispiness in exchange of absorbing its delicious and intense taste. Many
times, tempura can be seen also topping bowls of white rice, that food fomat is
Tempura Rice ball
Tenmusu is the name of a traditional
onigiri popular in Nagoya which contains ebi tempura (shrimp). This way of
eaten tempura is maybe not so common in other areas of Japan so if you want to
enjoy it we recommend you to visit Nagoya, the largest city in the Aichi
Prefecture and fourth largest in Japan.
How many calories in tempura?
A constant source of calories of tempura
comes from the batter and the frying oil. Apart from that, the calories depend
on the main ingredient used. Above there are 3 tables with the nutritional
information of different ingredients from vegetable, seafood and meat tempura.
Takenoko ( bamboo shoots )
Kabocha ( Pumpkin )
Nijin ( Carrot )
Nasu ( Eggplan )
Kinoko ( Mushrooms )
Satsumaimu ( Sweet potato )
Ingen (Green beans)
Ebi ( Shrimp )
Ika ( Squid )
Kani ( Crab )
Ayu ( Sweetfish )
Suzuki ( Sea Bass )
Toriten ( Chicken )
Is tempura vegetarian?
Well, if you
have been Reading this post until here, the answer should be clear, isn’t it?
Tempura can be as vegetarian (or vegan) as their ingredients. Like many other
Japanese dishes, tempura is more a way of cooking food than a Japanese specific
Tempura can be made
from many ingredients, some of them will fit a vegetarian diet and some of them
will not. Therefore, if you want to enjoy vegetarian tempura, use vegetable as
main ingredients, choose wheat flour and avoid the recipes that use egg to
prepare the batter. Finally, in order to fry your tempura, use vegetable oils
like olive oil.
ingredients you need to prepare vegetarian tempura are available at any local
grocery store, so just buy them and check our here how to make tempura.
Which is the price of tempura?
Although tempura is considered cheap in
Japan, as it happens with all dishes that can be done from a wide varieties of
ingredients, the final price will depend of the quality and rarity of them. On
undon (japanese noodles) restaurants, they offer tempura pieces as extra
ingredients with a price between 100-200 yens (1-2 dollars).
Shops specialized on Ten-don (tempura
ingredients over a base of white rice), the price of a bowl might oscillate
between 600 yens and 2000 yens, depending on the quality of food and popularity
of the restaurant
Is tempura healthy?
Unfortunately for healthy eaters, the
preparation of tempura implies deep-frying in hot oil. If there is not frying,
by definition, there is no tempura. But don’t panic yet! We know that fried
stuff is not the healthiest. However, it is possible to include fried food in a
The main problem of fried food is that it
absorbs all the fat from the oil. There longer is the frying time, and the
hotter is the oil, there more fat will be absorbed. If you want to reduce the
fat in your tempura you should:
Use healthy vegetable oils rich in beneficial fat like Omega-3 (e.g. olive oil) Use the right temperature for frying (375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius) and keep it constant. Don’t fry for more than 2 or 3 minutes to avoid too much fat to be absorbed.
Apart from that, you can always choose the
best quality and healthiest ingredients for the base of your tempura. Or simply
choose those ingredients that fit better your current diet.
Fat is also important for being healthy,
so if you want to eat your daily proteins from a steak, then you can garnish it
with some tempura veggies. But if you prefer eating salad as main dish, then
prepare a nice tempura salmon and shrimp. They can be part of a healthy diet as
long as you combine them properly.
In this section we are providing you
information about the best restaurants specialized in tempura that you can find
in Japan. If you travel to the land of the rising sun, you should check out
Tempura Kondo restaurant
This restaurant is among the 20 best
restaurants in Chuo city and probably the best tempura restaurant of that area.
Counting with 2 micheling stars, to get a free table on this restaurant you
will need to book a couple of months in advance.
This restaurant has around 130 years of
history. They are experts on creating a traditional atmosphere that transports
you to the old streets of Gion, Kyoto. People eating in this place say that the
tempura served in completely different to any other they tried before. If you
don’t care so much about money and you want the real Japanese experience you
should try this restaurant
Among the best restaurants in Nakagyo
Area, Kyoto, this place offer delicious sets of tempura at very reasonable
prices. If you have a big appetite and you are visition Kyoto, this is certainly
a must-to-go place
On the 16th century there was an important
immigration in Japan consisting on Catholic missionaries and merchants from
Portugal. On Catholicism, the last week of each season was a period of praying
and fasting. Those 4 periods were called in Latin Quartour Tempora (i.e. Four
seasons or four periods). To avoid eating meat and fish and still get energies,
Portuguese people were frying vegetables in batter made from flour, water, eggs
By the beginning of the 17th century,
tempura was adopted and adapted by Japanese people as a new style of food cart.
They popularized the use of new raw ingredients like fish and meat as tempura.
In addition, they started garnishing tempura with daikon (Japanese radish) and
using a dipping sauce.
The abundance of seafood ingredients and
the development of new extraction techniques that made vegetable oils
inexpensive, was hugely involve in the popularization of these food all across
Why is tempura popular in Japan?
This is actually a good question. When you
live in Japan, you realize quite soon that fried food is not the favorite among
Japanese people. They don’t like too much oily dishes. So how Japanese people
adapted tempura to their taste till its popularity nowadays?
First, ingredients are just slightly battered to avoid the absorption of too much oil Second, they only consume tempura in small rations. They enjoy the flavor and taste of each piece of tempura rather than it amount And finally, they use an enormous variety of ingredients for tempura. This is quite typical in Japanese dishes, the variety of ingredients allow you to enjoy many different tastes each time you try the same dish. This is not only good because of the different tastes, but it also let you balance your diet without drastically changing your meals and way of cooking.
Trivia about tempura
Even it is not
so common; there are places in Japan in which you can try dessert cooked as
tempura. In this section we will mention some of them
Creamy in the
inside and crispy in the outside. As you can image, ice cream tempura is a
calorie bomb. However, you should try it at least once in your life, because it
Very cold ice
cream is covered in batter and freeze again until the batter is also frozen.
After that it is introduced in very hot oil for several seconds making the
outside fried and crispy and keeping the inside frozen.
The so called
Momiji tempura is a specialty of Minoo in Osaka Prefecture. This tempura is
made out of the leaf of Japanese maple tree mixed with bit of sugar. The sweet
salty taste of this dessert is loved both for Japanese and foreigners. It is typically prepared during autumn season
by using the red leaves falling from maple trees.
Gyoza is a Japanese dumpling filled with vegetables and meat. They are wrapped in a thin dough made from a mix of cake and bread flour. Although gyoza has its origin on Chinese dumplings, they have been completely reinvented by Japanese chefs.
Nowadays gyoza is considered a dish from Japanese cuisine. It can be enjoyed both in restaurants and at home. They are usually served with white rice and a special gyoza sauce made from rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Are gyoza and dumplings the same?
Many people get confuse with the when using the terms “dumplings”, “gyoza” and “potstickers”. In this section we are planning to solve this doubt by providing the proper definition of each term.
Dumpling is broad food classification that refers to wrapped pieces of dough that may or not contain a filling. Depending on the dought and the filling there are many types of dumplings. Gyoza and potstickers consist on a mix of ingredients wrapped in a dough, therefore both are classified as dumplings. With this concept clarified, lets focus on their differences.
Potstickers are Chinese dumplings consisting on a thick wheat flour wrapper filled with meat and vegetables. They are fried with a little of vegetable oil until the base of the dumpling is roasted (that’s why they are called potstickers).
Gyoza are Japanese dumplings (also with Chinese roots) consisting on a thinner wrapper made from cake and bread flour filled also with a mix of finely chopped meat and vegetables. The official way of cooking them require both frying and boiling. First, the base of the gyoza are fried on the pan in the same way as potstickers. After that, to boil the top, a splash of water is added to the pan and covered with a steaming lid. This make gyozas, dumplings soft at the top and crunchy at the base.
As we can see from the definitions, the main differences between gyoza and potstickers dumplings are: the thickness of the wrapper, the chop of the filling and the cooking method.
Types of gyoza
Original Japanese gyoza are crunchy-fried in the base and steamy-soft in the top. However, because human are free to do whatever they want. Depending on how much we focus of the frying or steaming part, gyoza may be divided in 3 types.
Yaki refers to a japanese cooking method that implies soft frying or roasting (sometime even without using oil). This is the most typical type of gyoza fried on the based and steamed on the top.
Age, in this context, refers to deep-fry. Age gyozas are fully immersed in oil and fried until all the dumpling is crunchy. As Japanese don’t like very much deep-fried food, this are not very common unless you are in a restaurant specialized in gyoza.
Sui in one of the words used in Japan to refers to water. If age gyoza were completely focused on frying. Sui gyoza transform the original “steaming” into boiling. This gyoza are boiled in water an served in a very light broth.
How to make gyoza
If you live in Japan, it will be very easy to buy already wrapped gyozas and just prepare them in the pan. However, the fun part about cooking gyozas is actually the wrapping. Therefore, if you wanna enjoy with you friends, we recommend to make gyoza from scratch. In the following video, you can see gyoza recipe step-by step. From the preparation of the filling, to the method to cooked them passing through the wrapping method.
How to make vegan gyoza
Although gyoza contains meat traditionally, you can find many types of filling for this dumplings. Making vegan or vegetarian gyoza is as simple as choosing the right ingredients during preparation. In the following video you can see a recipe to make delicious vegan gyoza including also the preparation of the dough for the wrappers
How to make gyoza sauce
Gyoza cannot be understood in Japan without its traditional sauce which was so specifically created for gyoza that its official name is “gyoza sauce”. This sauce is created with a combination of rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. You can buy easily this sauce in any supermarket or convenience store in Japan. However, we know that are the kind of person that prefer to avoid additives to preserve a enhance the taste of food. For that reason, we let you here a video with a recipe to prepare you own gyoza sauce so you can enjoy a healthier life style.
How to eat gyoza
Eating gyoza do not involves as much rituals as other Japanese dishes. To do it properly, we can also presents gyozas in the traditional way. Serve them arranged in a circular way in a big plate and prepare a side dish with the gyoza sauce. After that, just pick up a gyoza with your chopsticks, dip it in the sauce and eat it!
Japanese people like to take gyozas together with white rice and salad. This three elements combined are not only delicious but they also provide a nice balance of vitamins and nutrients.
How many calories in gyoza?
The calories contained in gyoza will vary depending on the ingredients used to fill the gyoza and also depending how much vegetable oil is used to cook them. Before cooking, gyoza contains, in average, 50 calories from which 2g come from Fat, 6g from carbohydrates and 3g from proteins. Moreover we are providing above a table with the nutritional values of gyoza filled with different ingredients (values are provided per ounce = 28g).
Which is the price of gyoza?
Gyoza are made from minced meat, vegetables and dough, therefore they are quite affordable in Japan. The price of individual ration of gyoza (6 dumplings) oscillate between 300 yen and 600 yens ( 3 to 6 dollars). In Hamamatsu, a popular city to taste these dumplings, a dish of 20 gyoza can be purchased by 1200 yens (12 dollars) at restaurants.
Another option will be to buy already wrapped gyozas at the supermarket and cooked then at home using a pan. In this case, the typical pack of gyoza contain between 10 and 12 dumplings and cost between 200 and 300 yens.
In Japan, gyoza are especially popular in the cities of Hamamatsu and Utsunomiya. Above we will recommend you some restaurant on this areas where you can enjoy real Japanese gyoza!
This restaurant located near the central station of Hamamatsu has one of the best offers of gyoza in the area. If you want to enjoy with friends a good amount of gyozas at a reasonable price, you should not miss this place.
Ishimatsu Honten is another popular restaurant to eat gyoza near Hamamatsu central station. They are quite famous because of its taste. Because of that if you are planning to use their takeaway service, be ready to do a long queue.
This restaurant near Utsunomiya station serves nothing but gyoza. You can find from deep-fried to boiled gyozas in here. If you are in Utsunomiya and you wanna have the real gyoza experience you should try this restaurant
Gyoza no Ohsho is a very popular chain of gyoza restaurants famous in all Japan which is actually specialized in Chinese food. They have many restaurants across the country. Therefore if you cannot try the traditional gyozas from Hamamatsu or Utsunomiya, you look for a Gyoza no Ohsho on any other mayor city.
Gyoza contains flour, meat and vegetables. If the gyoza is served in a restaurant or you made them from scratch, they will contain just natural healthy products. As we mention in previous sections, gyozas make a very balanced meal combined with white rice and salad.
Although the ingredients are healthy, how to cook gyozas play an important role on how healthy they are. It is widely known that fried stuff it not the healthiest, mainly because fried food absorbs the fat from the oils used for frying.
From this point there are several things we can do to make our gyozas healthier:
Avoid deep-frying: less oil means less fat! Use healthy oils: avoid oils containing saturated fats, use instead those rich in omega-3 fats Don’t use oil: you can still roast the base of your gyoza without oil, just be careful they don’t get sticked on the pan! Just boil them: For sure this is the healthier option. Boiled gyozas are not the full Japanese experience but still are quite tasty.
What is the origin of gyoza?
Gyoza is a Japanese modern version of a Chinese dumpling called Jiaozi which has presence in the history of China for the last 2 milleniums. The origin of the name Jiaozi (餃子) is not clear. It is composed of 2 Chinese characters meaning “dumpling” (餃 jiao) and “kid or small” (子 zi). In Chinese, there is another character that is pronounced as “Jiao” (角) meaning horn. A popular theory said that Jiaozi original meaning was “small horn”.
Some stories say that an old practitioner of Chinese medicine called Zhan Zhongjing was created the first version of Jiaozi to treat frostbitten ears. He was wrapping in a small dough medicine mixed with boiled peppers and lamb meat. The resulting dumpling was used to warm poor people’s ears and as food.
During world war II, Japanese soldier became familiar with Jiaozi and the recipe was exported and adapted to Japanese cuisine. Actually, because they use the same Chinese symbols, the word Gyoza is written also as 餃子(and therefore it has the same meaning) but with the pronunciation adapted to Japanese language.
Why is gyoza popular in Japan?
Gyoza is without a doubt, a popular dish in Japan. It is very common or organize the so call “Gyoza Party” among groups of friend and family. Gyoza are not only delicious and cheap but they are extremely fun to prepare.
Japanese people like to buy wrappers, meat and vegetables and enjoy making gyoza from scratch during social meetings. Preparing the filling and cooking the gyoza is quite simple, however, wrapping the dough properly requires some practice. During gyoza party you can teach your kids how to wrap gyoza or compete with your friends for the best gyoza maker!
In addition, doing your own gyozas allow you to choose the ingredients you prefer. Many people like to experiment with cheese gyoza or honey gyoza during these events.
How to pronounce gyoza vs jiaozi
Both Japanese gyoza and Chinese jiaozi contain “j” and “z” roman characters along with a bunch of vowels. It is normal that there is some confusion about their pronunciation.
Firstly, we have to understand that the use of roman characters to read chinese or japanese symbols is just a way for foreigners to put some kind of sound to the characters there are looking at. However, the pronunciation won’t be so accurate. Even gyoza and jiaozi might look similar, the way of pronouncing in Japan and Chinese are very different.
Above we are providing two videos with the pronunciation of gyoza (by a japanese) and jiaozi (by a chinese) so you can appreciate the difference.
How to pronounce gyoza
How to pronounce jiaozi
Trivia about gyoza
Both the city of Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture and the city of Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture are recognised in Japan as the “Gyoza Towns”. These areas are highly specialized in preparing these delicious dumplings. On then, you can find hundred of restaurants competing on the preparation of the best gyoza.
If you are a gyoza lover and you pass near this areas, you should really try the restaurants in those area (you can find out recommendation on the gyoza restaurant section)
Gyoza Extreme Food
Gyoza Towns are so into gyozas that they are not satisfied just with the dumplings everyone know. They need to make a gyoza out of everything. On this cities you can find common dishes filled or flavored with gyoza. Gyoza burgers, gyoza bread, gyoza snacks and even gyoza sweets are some of the extreme gyoza products that you can find while exploring this cities.
Originally the name of “sashimi” means “pierced boy” and it refers to the slicing technique used to cut raw fish and meat. Therefore, it will be accurate to define sashimi as the Japanese art of serving raw food. Nowadays, sashimi is a traditional Japanese dish consisting on fresh raw fish, meat or seafood. Even though sashimi seafood is commonly served without any kind of cutting, the slicing method plays an important role when it comes to meat and fish.
The most popular type of sashimi is fish. It is usually served on a bed of shredded daikon (white raddish) and decorated with fish head and tail. It is also common to use dishes shaped as a boat to serve this kind of sashimi. Soy sauce and wasabi are side ingredients used for sashimi degustation.
What is the difference between sashimi and sushi?
Well in order to solve this common misunderstanding on sushi vs sashimi, we have to check the main definition of each term.
Basically, sashimi represents any meat, fish or seafood served raw. When you talk about sashimi in Japan, they will image just sliced raw fish or meat. On the other side, sushi is a meal that includes a base of vinegared rice and an extra ingredient as topping. This topping MIGHT be some raw fish, meat or seafood (therefore sashimi) or any other no raw ingredient.
One of the reasons of the popularity of sushi was that, somehow, it was related to raw fish. This is an exotic fact in foreign countries, therefore, sushi was quickly associated with eating raw fish. As a result, when the real raw fish (sashimi) started gaining popularity, people got confused.
In conclusion, sashimi refers to raw fish, meat and seafood while sushi is vinegared rice topped with different ingredients that might or not be sashimi.
Types of sashimi
There are different ways of classifying sashimi. One classification is based on sashimi made with fishes from the tuna family. Tuna is extremely popular for sashimi and it can be categorized depending on the amount of fat that contains. Also, sashimi can be divided into groups depending on the animal it comes from. In this article we will talk about both classifications.
Sashimi according to the amount of fat
Akami ( low fat content ) Akami means “red body” and refers to the lean part of the tuna. It is the most common type of tuna meat and its very low in fat
Chu-Toro ( moderate fat content ) Toro is another name for tuna meat. Chu-toro means “middle toro” which refers to the belly of the tuna. It contains a moderate amount of fat.
O-Toro ( high fat content ) O-toro means “great toro” or “big toro” and refers to the area of the upper belly close to the head of the tuna. O-toro meat has deep white lines of fat.
Sashimi according to animal of origin
Maguro ( Tuna ) Maguro is the most commonly used fish in Japanese cuisine. Moreover is a very popular type of sashimi. As we saw in the previous section, it can be divided into subtypes depending on the fat content.
Sake ( Salmon ) Salmon was one of the last types of fish eaten raw in Japan because of the fear to parasites worms. Nowadays is perfectly safe and for many is considered the tastiest fish to eat raw.
Tai ( Sea Bream ) Tai fish is also popular for its raw taste. Moreover it contains low percentage of fat and is rich on vitamin B1
Saba ( Mackerel ) Saba is commonly served in Okayama prefecture during autumn festivals. It is an oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Katsuo ( Bonito or Skipjack Tuna ) Katsuo is a fish from the tuna family. It is so popular for Japanese cuisine that the first catched fish in the late spring reaches ridiculous price.
Kanpachi ( Greater Yellowtail / Amberjack ) Kampachi is a fish farm-raised in the open ocean. Its flesh is thick and dense like tuna.
Uni ( Sea Urchin ) Uni is the japanese name given to the gonads of sea urchin. Even many people state that is not appealing the eyes, it has a delicious taste.
Aji ( Horse Mackerel ) Aji has a delicate and sweet flavor. It is commonly confused with saba because both belong to the mackerel type fishes.
Sanma ( Pacific saury ) Sanma is considered a quite affordable fish. It is rich in healthy oils and quite popular during autumn in Japan.
Engawa ( Halibut ) Engawa is a white-fleshed fish, actually, the largest of the flatfish family. As saba, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which helps reducing cardiovascular conditions.
Suzuki ( Sea Bass ) There are actually two fishes called suzuki, one from Japan and another from China. However only the Japanese one is used for sashimi because of its clean white flesh.
Ahi ( Yellowfin & Bigeye Tuna ) Ahi is a type of tuna from Hawai. This fish is rich in proteins, and vitamins B6 and B12.
Ikura ( Salmon Roe ) Ikura is the name given to the eggs of salmon in Japan. Is ona of the main ingredients of caviar and delicious as sashimi.
Mollusc and Shells sashimi
Ika ( Squid ) After tuna, ika’s translucent, creamy and soft flesh is one of the most common types of seafood used for sashimi.
Tako ( Octopus ) Tako is used on many Japanese dishes (being the takoyaki the most popular). Although is uncommon to see tako not cook, there are several places in Japan in which they served it raw.
Ebi ( Shrimp ) Ebi refers to different seafood within the family of shrimps. While amaebi (sweet shrimp) and botan ebi (wild shrimps) are cheaper, kuruma ebi (tiger prawn) and aka ebi (red shrimp) are more expensive and therefore considered a delicacy.
Hotate ( Scallop ) Hotate is considered as the stake of seafood. With his sweet taste and a soft texture, people have the describe it as eating meat.
Hokkigai ( Surf Clam ) This clams are extremely low fat and rich in proteins. They are usually consumed during spring and summer months
Akagai ( Ark shell ) Akagai have a mild and subtle taste and they are available during all spring months.
Tsubugai ( Whelk ) Tsubukai has a crunchy texture and sweet refresing taste. Is usually served with ponzu (citrus-based sauce) instead of soy sauce.
Mirugai ( Geoduck Clam ) Mirugai also have a sweet and delicate flavor with hints of seaweed and a crunchy texture. This seasonal clam can be found from October to February
Gyusashi ( Beef ) Gyusashi is a red meat that is usually served with ponzu (citrus-based sauce) instead of say sauce. The thin traces of fat give this meat a delicious taste.
Torisashi ( Chicken ) Torisashi is the most popular raw meat at izakaya restaurants in Japan. Not only because of his cheap price but also because it combines perfectly with many condiments and with beer.
Bashimi ( Horse ) Bashimi meat stands out because of his slightly pink color. It is usually served with sweet soy sauce
Shikasashi ( Deer ) Shikasashi is usually confused with maguro (tuna) sashimi because of its red intense color. However deer meat taste sweet but intense.
Kamesashi ( Turtle ) Kamesashi is quite rare meat. It can be found only on Ogasawara Islands for a few month after april each year. Kamesashi has incredible beefy flavor with an unique texture.
Buta sashimi (Pork) Buta sashimi was served in Japan until 2015 were the Japanese government banned this type to meat to avoid health related issues.
How to cut sashimi
When it comes to prepare the best sashimi, everything counts. Given the fact that sashimi is served completely raw, the way to improve your dish relies on 3 factors. The quality of your fish, the decorations you use and of curse the THE SLICING.
Cutting sashimi, if we get into details, is quite a wide topic. There are many ingredients we can used as sashimi and depending on their properties and their tastes, the way of cutting changes. For that reason, in the current section, we are going to focus on the simplest cutting technique. This is quite used for tuna and salmon, two easy to buy and delicious fishes to eat as sashimi
In the following video you can see how to cut sashimi so you can impress your friends with this exquisite dish.
How to make sashimi
In the previous section we show you how to cut sashimi. However the selection of ingredients to garnish the dish and its preparation is also an important factor. In the following video you can see the sashimi recipe step-by-step!
How to eat sashimi
The protocol to eat sashimi is quite similar to the one followed with sushi (you can check our article how to eat sushi!). In this section we are going to explain the official way of doing it. In addition, we are going to be a bit naughty and we will explain also a way that is quite infamous for sashimi eaters.
Official way of eating sashimi
Apart from the garnishing vegetables like daikon, sashimi comes with three side ingredients. They are soy sauce, wasabi and ginger. Once we have everything ready, let’s start with the proocol!
First, put some soy sauce in a side dish. Second, grab with your chopsticks a bit of wasabi and putted over your targeted sashimi. Third, using the chopstick, take the slice of sashimi and dip the side without wasabi. Fouth, eat it and enjoy its taste! Fifth, if you like to look fancy, eat a piece pickled ginger, and tell your friends that it is to refresh you mouth to properly enjoy the aroma of your following slice of sashimi ;).
Our infamous recommendation to eat sashimi
Many people will tell you that you should never mix your wasabi in the soy sauce. We recommend you just the opposite! Try to do it, after preparing your soy sauce in a side dish, put some wasabi in and mix it good. After dipping your sashimi, the taste of wasabi will be much more distributed. If you are a wasabi lover like us, you will like it!
How many calories in sashimi?
There are so many kinds of sashimi that the range of calories differ widely depending on the type of fish, meat and seafood. In the following table we show the nutrition values ( calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein) of all types of sashimi introduced on this article (values per ounce = 28 gr).
Maguro ( Tuna )
Sake ( Salmon )
Tai ( Sea Bream)
Saba ( Mackarel )
Katsuo ( Bonito )
Kampachi ( Amberjack )
Uni ( Sea Urchin )
Aji ( Sea Mackerel )
Sanma ( Sea Bass )
Engawa ( Halibut )
Suzuki ( Sea Bass )
Ahi ( Yellowfin )
Ikura ( Salmon Roe )
Mollusc or Shell
Ika ( Squid )
Tako ( Octopus )
Ebi ( Shrimp )
Hotate ( Scallop )
Hokkigai ( Surf Clam )
Akagai ( Ark Shell )
Tsubugai ( Whelk )
Mirugai ( Geoduck )
Gyusashi ( Beef )
Torisashi ( Chicken )
Bashimi ( Horse )
Shikasashi ( Deer )
Kamesashi ( Turtle )
Buta Sashimi ( Pork )
Which is the price of sashimi?
Well, this is a quite difficult question. If you want to know the average price of common types of sashimi in Japan, on izakaya restaurants, it is possible to get a ration for 2 people from 800 yen to 1600 yen (~7.5 dollars to 15 dollars).
Nevertheless depending on the type of sashimi, the season and the country the prices will oscillate hugely.
Is it safe to eat sashimi?
As we saw previously in this article, sashimi is raw fish, meat or seafood. When dealing with this raw ingredients freshness is a relevant factor for safety. Being Japan an island, freshness of fish and seafood has never been a big problem. Moreover, nowadays, there are very strict protocols followed to keep raw, fish and meat clean and safe. Therefore, if you came to Japan and you want to enjoy sashimi, any restaurant, supermarket or grocery store will provide you completely safe products.
However, within the Japanese society, they recommend pregnant women to eat sashimi or any other food containing raw fish, meat or seafood. This is because of a bacteria called listeria which is potentially dangerous for the baby during pregnancy. This bacteria is not an issue for humans and if the fish follow all the conservation rules, should also not be dangerous for pregnant women. Anyway, given the fact that during pregnancy the inmune system of the woman gets weaker, it is better to avoid eating sashimi. But do not worry, you can eat sushi (check why in our sushi article!)
Taiko Chaya Sashimi Buffet
If you like sashimi and you don’t get full easily, this is your place. Taiko Chaya offers free buffet of sashimi for just 1200 yens (around 12 dollars). As it is expected with such a cheap price, to come to this restaurant you need to be ready for long queuing.
Zauo is a branch of restaurants scattered through all Japan. Tables in this restaurant are surrounded by canals of water with fish. For just 105 yens you can borrow a fishing rod and fish your own food. After catching your fish, you can decided if you want it as sashimi or fried. They were prepare it for you. All the food fished will be cheaper than the one directly ordered from the menu.
Sushi Zanmai is a popular sushi restaurant chain in Japan based in Tsukiji, the biggest fish market in Tokyo. His owner, Kiyoshi Kimura, has the world record buying the most expensive tuna fish in the history (3.1 million dollars). This branch has many restaurant and they open 24 hours.
The origin of sashimi is rather mysterious and there are many theories about it. First of all, given the fact that sashimi is served raw, there is not a lot of history about his origin as a dish. Some say that it comes from a dish called “namasu” from the Heian era that consisted on raw fish and vegetables. Others affirm that sashimi started at Kamakura era as a fast food for fishermen.
However, the main mystery behind this dish is the origin of its name. The kanjis (chinese characters) used to write sashimi mean pierced (sashi) and body (mi). This name may derived from the practice of sticking the tail of the fish before slicing it. Another theory is that it might comes from the tradition of piercing the brain of the fish right after catching it. This produces instant death on the fish stopping the creation of lactic acid produced by stress.
One way or the other, nowadays is one of the most representatives dishes from Japanese cuisine and fresh raw fish can be enjoyed at home and in restaurants.
Why is sashimi popular?
Japan is an island, for that reason, from ancient times fish has been an important source of food. Eating fresh fish raw was just a convenient and fast way to consume it. However nowadays it is possible to taste also raw meat in Japan, which means that there are other reasons for the popularity of sashimi. In the following lines we will mention the most relevant ones.
It’s delicious The raw texture of sashimi combined with the proper condiments makes it a delicious dish. The taste transports you directly to the land of the rising sun.
It’s nutritious Most of sashimi ingredients contain a low percentage of fat and many nutrients and vitamins. Combined with vegetables makes a great sashimi salad. A diet based on this salad complemented with rice or pasta provides you everything you need for a healthy life.
It has variety If you are a sashimi lover, you can try many different types of sashimi. You will never get tired of its taste because you will be able to choose among a huge variety
It’s beautiful The vivid colors of sashimi in contrast with the beautiful vegetable decorations used traditionally on this dishes is very attractive both for Japanese and foreigners.
Trivia about sashimi
Most expensive bluefin tuna
Toyosu fish market is the most famous fish market in Japan. It is located in the city of Tokyo and it is famous for his fish auctions. During the first week of each month they celebrate auctions in which buyers can complete to get the best tuna.
Every year on january the best tuna captured at the beginning on the year reach incredible prices. The owner of Sushizanmai restaurant (a popular chain across Japan), Kiyoshi Kimura, has been beating records regarding the price paid for this tuna. At the beginning of 2019, this tuna lover paid 3.1 million dollars for a bluefin tuna of 278 kilograms. This beated his own previous record in 2013, when he spent 1.7 millon dollars on a similar fish.
Viral frog sashimi
In Asadachi, Tokyo, there is a restaurant known for serving very unusual dishes. In 2012, a woman recorded herself in this place after ordering a dish containing a frog alive. She ate the amphibian alive and posted the video on the internet. The scene was very splicit and the video became viral.
Fugu is the Japanese name for blowfish. This is a very interesting ingredient for sashimi. Fugu contains a strong neurotoxin capable of killing a human. Chefs in charge of preparing sashimi using this fish require a special licence. Even though, it is perfectly safe to eat it nowadays. Fugu is served with ponzu sauce and tastes wonderful.
Ramen is one of the most popular and
traditional dishes in Japanese cuisine.
The main body of the dish is a combination of wheat noodles and meat or
fish-based broth. Moreover, meat, fish and vegetables are used as toppings to
personalize the dish.
Eating ramen is so common in Japan
than you can find hundreds of regional variations depending where you travel.
In order to achieve such a range of tastes there are two different approaches.
Firstly, the broth might be based on different kinds of meat or fish and
flavored with different sauces like miso or soy sauce. Moreover, variations in
the toppings are huge are usually they reflect the traditional foods of each
Types of ramen
Giving details about all types of
ramen will be impossible given the huge amount of existing variations of this
Japanese dish. Because of that, in this article we will mention 5 different
types of ramen based on their popularity. These are, therefore, the types you
will hear more during daily Japanese conversation.
Firstly, we have to introduce the
concept of tare. Tare is the strong and salty essence placed at the bottom of
each bowl before introducing the rest of ingredients. In Japanese ramen culture
the main tare essences are shoyu, miso and shio, which determine our first 3
types of ramen.
Additionally, we will like to
introduce 2 other types of ramen. These are not based on the tare but they are
equally popular. These are the tonkotsu ramen and instant ramen.
It is the most popular type of
ramen. Shoyu ramen contains broth based on soy sauce.
Also, it is often flavored with the
addition of meat or fish. Because of the wide verity of soy sauces existing in
Japan, the taste of this ramen varies hugely.
This ramen contains broth based on
miso. Miso is basic ingredient for many Japanese dishes consisting on a paste
of fermented bean. Even though just a
few regions are specialized on this ramen, miso commonly mixed with other
broths to obtain this flavor so loved by Japanese.
Shio is just the word used in Japan
for “salt”. Broth used in Shio ramen is flavored with the essence built upon a
reduction made from dried seafood, seaweeds, and other salty ingredients. Ofter
very light colored, shio ramen is saltier than other broth styles.
Independently from the tare used,
tonkotsu ramen gets its typical flavor from the pork bones used to obtain its
broth. It has usually the
darker-coloured broth and contains salt and/or soy sauce.
Commonly known in Japan as cup
ramen, consists on dry ramen with several dry ingredients, sauces and powders.
They are mixed in a cup and hydrated with hot water for around 3 minutes. After
that they will be ready to eat. Unlike the varieties listed above, instant
ramen name is not derived from its taste. Nevertheless, it is such a convenient
and cheap version of ramen that is sold on any supermarket and convenience
store. In addition it comes in many different tastes.
What are ramen noodles made of?
Ramen noodles have their origin on
Chinese-style noodles, they are made from wheat flour, water, and salt. The
mixture is rolled on a flat surface or kneaded with one’s hands until is formed
the desired shape. After that, they are cut and steamed. However, what gives
ramen noodles their real essence is kansui, which is a type of water rich in
alkalines. Mixing the noodles with this water give them their unique springy
How to make ramen
Ramen is actually an easy dish to
prepare. Choosing the right ingredients to prepare ramen soup is probably the
most important factor when it comes to the taste of your ramen. Another
important factor is the presentation. Japanese culture cares a lot about the
arrangement of ingredients and the final appearance of the dish. Being ramen a
dish with many toppings, their placement within the dish plays an important
In the following video you can
follow a step-by-step shoyu ramen recipe. The most traditional ramen in Japan.
How to eat ramen
First of all, if you eat ramen in
Japan, it will be served in a bowl and the only tool at your service will be
the chopsticks. Did you know that many Japanese really feel that food with
chopsticks tastes better? Anyway, if you haven’t mastered yet your chopsticks
skills, do your intensive training and follow the tips below to become a
professional ramen eater!
First approach: ramen is messy!
So, this is it, we are in front of
or bowl of ramen and we only have a set of chopsticks to face it. The first
problem we will find is that all ingredients are mixed together. If we try to
pick too much of them, we will end up with a big mess of noodles meat and
vegetables wrapped together.
Therefore we should grab less ramen
noodles that you think you need. After that, pull them out little by little
until they are completely out of the bowl.
Second phase: ramen is out, now
We finally have nice amount of ramen
out of the dish. Unfortunately, we pulled from them so slowly that almost all
broth and fat felt into the bowl. We need to get them back to out noodles!
Luckily for us, the noodles on our chopsticks are completely untangled. So
quickly! Dip them into the broth and pull them again towards your mouth.
Third stage: careful, ramen is hot!
Oh boy… we were so excited about all
that fat coming that we forgot that ramen broth is crazy hot. Okay, don’t
panic, there are an ancient Japanese technique to deal with this problem. Shape
your lips like you would sip really hot coffee and while you slurp, envision noodles
riding a tunnel of air into your mouth.
Good news here, you might slurp as loudly as so want. In Japanese
culture that’s completely normal when it comes to noodles
Fourth and last: ramen is over
We did it! We finish all noodles and
toppings. Know is time to finish the soup. Leave your chopsticks aside, grab
your bowl, bring it to your mouth and drink that taste broth.
What can I add to ramen?
Bassically any kind of meat, fish or
vegetable might work as ramen toppings. In this section we will summarize the
most common ingredients added to ramen.
Fish and meat as ramen toppings
Chashu: Fatty slices of roasted pork that make the most common topping for ramen
Kakuni: Pork belly based in low fire and cut into cubes
Kamaboko: Slices of steamed fish cake.
Naruto: A traditional type of kamaboko with a sawtooth edge and white color with a pink spiral design
Other meat: Similar to chashu, slices of other meats like beef and duck are also commonly served.
Vegetables as ramen toppings
Menma: Fermented bamboo shoots with a salty flavor
Negi: Chopped green onions and it spicy version (karanegi)
Moyashi: Soy bean sprouts that can be served raw, boiled of roasted
Seaweed: Several types like nori and wakane are usually added to ramen
Kikurage: Wood eat mushrooms
Karashi takana: Spice pickled mustard greens
Kaiware: Radish sprouts
Kizami: Pickled ginger
Other veggies: Corn, onion, cabagge, garlic among other are also used as ramen toppings
Daily products as ramen toppings
Tamago: Literally “egg” in Japanese. It can be served in many different ways: hard boiled, soft boiled, marinated or raw. Japanese people love to add raw egg to their foods
Butter: Used to increase the creaminess and depth of ramen. Commonly used for miso and shio ramen.
How many calories are in one bowl of ramen?
The number of calories of a single bowl of ramen will vary depending on
the size and the ingredients. Given the variety of ingredient that is might
contain, calories are variable. However they are in average 500 kcal per bowl.
Is a delicious food but it not convenient to eat it every day.
Is ramen healthy?
Well, in this section we have to separate between traditional ramen
and instant ramen. The preparation
method and the ingredients contained by each type make them clearly different.
As a result they affect in different ways our health. Let’s analyze the pros
and cons of each one.
Pros A bowl of ramen in a restaurant contains in average 500 kcal. Therefore, it is a good caloric complement for the daily requirement of humans (2500 kcal for men and 2000 kcal for women). Additionally, a good combination of fresh topping ingredients can provide important nutrients and vitamins required for a healthy life.
Cons The broth used in most of ramen is based on miso, soy sauce or salt. The three of them are quite salty ingredients and therefore rich in sodium. A human should not consume more than 2.3 g of sodium per day in order to avoid cardiovascular issues related with the blood pressure. A bowl of ramen might contain between 1.5 and 2.5 gr of sodium. They cover more than half of the sodium required and some of them exceed it. This is the main reason the daily consumption of ramen is not recommended. However, eating traditional ramen from time to time won’t hurt you. Some people even use this moderate consumption within their diets
Pros The average cup of instant ramen contains around 300 kcal, less than a bowl of traditional ramen. They are also rich in vitamin B and manganese. Unfortunately the list of benefits ends here.
Cons Instant ramen don’t use the fresh topping ingredients associated to traditional ramen. As a consequence they lack many important nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Moreover, as their traditional version they contain big doses of sodium within the powder used as essence.
But that is not the worst part. Instant ramen contain two additives
called MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) and TBHQ (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone). This
products help preserving and enhancing the flavor of instant ramen. Although
they are not dangerous in small dosis, the high consumption of these two
additives have been associated to a series of health conditions like headaches,
nausea, high blood pressure, neurological damage, liver enlargement, and
increased risk of lymphoma.
Eating ramen in a moderate way is not dangerous and it can be even
include in a healthy diet. However its daily consumption might results in
serious problems of nutrition.
In addition, the traditional ramen contains more nutrients and vitamins.
Therefore it is recommended to choose it among its instant version.
Ramen houses or bars are called “ramen
ya” in Japanese. “Ya” is a suffix used commonly that means shop or establishment.
Even some ramen restaurant provide a sit-down service, many of them operate in
a short order style. Japanese people like to enjoy ramen during daily life,
which is usually quite busy. Therefore, the food places that avoid delays related
to meal service are considered convenient.
If you travel to Japan we strongly recommend
that you try the ramen served in local shops from small towns and villages.
However, being Tokyo the most populated city in Japan, world most popular ramen
shop established there. Below, some of the most famous ramen restaurants are
Ushio’s specialty is shoyu soba
ramen. Its broth is made out of unpasteurized soy sauce enhanced with fish
essence. Every bowl comes with three slices of smoked duck meat. In addition,
it includes flavored egg, sliced pork and different vegetables as toppings. The
fish flavored broth potentiates the duck and pork aroma in an unique flavor.
Toripaitan’s specializes is a thick
and white broth based on chicken called tori paitan. Even though it is considered
one on the richest ramen broths in the world, it’s also incredible refreshing. The
toppings are half-boiled egg, fried green onions, steamed chicken and red-leaf
lettuce. In addition, noodles chewy texture combines perfectly with the intense
Haru’s most popular dish is “special
soba”. Pork chashu topped noodles are immersed in a think and rich broth based
on soy sauce. Dried seaweed, menma, flavored egg and green onions complement
the thin but al dente noodles used on this tasty dish. Moreover, Haru provides
the option of noodle refill for only 200 extra yen (2 dolars).
Ramen Nagi is a well-known franchise
in Tokyo that serves possibly the best fish broth in Japan. People speak
wonderful things about this store and there are often long lines to enter.
However, it is worth visiting. Even people who don’t like seafood get carried
away by this irresistible soup.
From 1900, restaurants serving
Chinese food were offering simple version of ramen noodles with few ingredients
and a salty broth. Until the 1950s, this dish was called Chinese soba in Japan.
However, after this year, with the
end on the seconds world war, a new
version of this food called “Sapporo ramen” is elaborated in the city
of Hokkaidō. The word ramen appear, probably, from the artisanal way in which
these noodles are made; that is, the union of the Chinese characters
“ra” (stretch) and “men” (noodle). The popularity of
Sapporo ramen contributes to extend the word ramen across all the country.
On August 25 of 1958, Momofuku Andō,
president and founder of Nissin Foods, launched the the first instant noodle
soup, into the Japanese market. And it is on the 80st when ramen becomes normal
mean for both young and old people. Finally, in the early 90’s the ramen
experienced a boom across the country, especially in the huge cities, which
would put their name as a local brand: Hakata (Fukuoka), Kagoshima, Kumamoto,
Onomichi, Wakayama, Kitakata, Sapporo, Hakodate , etc.
The ramen became a real social
phenomenon and even media created programs dedicated exclusively to this dish. Nowadays,
ramen has been fully integrated in Japanese cuisine. It is considered a purely
Japanese product and it is usually consumed from fast food establishments,
street vendors or at home.
Why is ramen popular in Japan?
As we saw in the previous section,
the history of ramen provides several clues to understand its current
popularity in Japan. However, if we focus on ramen as it is nowadays, we can
mention several other reasons.
It’s convenient: Both instant and traditional ramen are cheap compared with other Japanese meals and they are prepared and served quickly.
It recharges you: It contains a good amount of calories so it’s a good option to fill your stomach during a busy day.
It’s delicious: The salty and fatty taste of ramen became addictive easily. Many Japanese people consume it quite often
It’s not always the same: As happens in with many Japanese dishes, the combination of ingredients allows a wide variety of tastes. For this reason, you enjoy ramen differently each time.
Trivia about ramen
Cup noodle museum
Yeah, it isn’t a joke. Such a place
really exists in Japan. Actually, the same company founded two museums in Osaka
and Yokohama respectively. In these museums we can experience importance of the
development of cup noodles and it influence in the history of Japan. Moreover
you can pay 500 yens (5 dolars) and make your own instant ramen by choosing the
ingredients, the type of noodles and even creating your own cup design.
Again cup noodles! Manpuku is the
name of a Japanese Drama that follows the live of Momofuku Ando, the inventor
of instant ramen. Even the show is not a documentary it is based on historical
facts and delivers a message on the importance of inventiveness and discovery.
Ramen Heads is a documentary in
which Osamu Tomita, also known as the king of ramen in Japan, takes us into the
amazing world of ramen makers. During the film, we are guided through all
stages of the ramen recipe. “How to create the perfect soup?”, “Where to find
the finest ingredients?” and “How to prepare unique noodles?” are some of the
question that are tried to be answered by the obsessive approach of Osamu
Tomita towards the creation of the perfect ramen bowl.
The Ramen Girl
The Ramen Girl is a 2008 romantic
comedy-drama film produced un United States and starred by Brittany Murphy. This
film narrates the story of a girl who goes to Japan and decides to learn how to
cook ramen. Reception was average but people considered the film entertaining.
Sushi is a popular Japanese dish composed of two main ingredients. The first one is a mix of vinegared rice with some sugar and salt. This mix is called sushi-meshi which means “sushi food” because it contains most of sushi carbohydrates. Its key ingredient is the sushi rice usually called shari. The second component of sushi is the ingredients we used as topping for the rice, also called neta. Even the most popular is raw fish, you can see sushi with many other topping, from omelet to avocado.
What is the difference between sushi
It a very common mistake to mix this
two concepts. Both sushi and sashimi are Japanese dishes, however they are not
at all the same. Sashimi is a way of preparing fish and meat that involves
served then raw. Per example, if you ask chicken sashimi in a Japanese
restaurant they will bring you raw chicken chopped in small dices with some
sauce. It also apply to fish like salmon and tuna. On the other side, sushi is
a combination between rice and a topping ingredient, which might be a piece of
sashimi. In conclusion, sashimi is
raw fish or meat and sushi is
vinegared rice topped with any ingredient.
The reason of the sushi vs sashimi confusion
comes from popularity acquired by sushi for containing raw fish. Probably,
people exporting sushi were advertising raw fish as a new and exciting way of
eating. Years later, when sashimi started gaining popularity, people were
confused because they realize that it was “also” meaning raw fish!
Types of sushi
Nigiri sushi or Nigirizushi
Nigiri sushi is maybe the most
popular way of preparing sushi. It is famous for each simplicity. Basically,
after preparing the ball of rice that makes the base of your sushi, a secondary
ingredient is placed in the top.
Maki sushi or Makizushi
It is translated as sushi roll and
it implies that the sushi is wrapped using seaweed. This type of sushi have
includes the extra ingredients in the core. They are surrounded by rice and
finally wrapped in seaweed. This type has three possible sub classifications:
Norimaki: This will be the traditional sushi roll. It is wrapped with a thin seaweed called Nori.
Futomaki: Translated as fat maki. It is basically a huge Norimaki that usually includes more than one ingredient inside
Temaki: Translated as “wrapped by hand”. It’s a typical way of eating sushi when it is cooked at home. Nori is rolled in a cone shape and its filled with rice and other ingredients
Oshi sushi or Oshizushi
This is basically the same as Maki
sushi, a base of rice topped with different ingredients. However its main
difference if the shape, oshi sushi is shaped as a square.
Inari sushi or inarizushi
This is maybe the only type of sushi
that has not variety in the ingredients. It consists of a core of rice wrapped
in a skin of sweet fried tofu called aburaage. Although Inari sushi is quite
popular in Japan, usually foreigners find weird the combination of rice and
Chirashi sushi or Chirashizushi
Chirashi sushi is probably the less known type outside Japan. This is because, even though it is basically the same, it does not look like the other types of sushi. A ration of shirazushi is presented as a bowl of rice topped with different ingredients.
Is all sushi made with raw fish?
Well if you reach this point you should already know,
don’t you? The answer is: no necessarily. The main and always required ingredient
of sushi is vinegared rice. Among the possible ingredients used as topping raw
fish is just one of them. It is true that using raw fish on the top is quite
popular. According to many is also the most delicious way of eating sushi.
However on any Japanese sushi restaurant you will find a wide variety of sushi
not including raw fish.
How to make sushi
Many people want to learn how to
make sushi. It might look complicated at first but it is actually quite simple
once you learn some tricks. One thing about Japanese people is that they are
very serious about following the recipe step by step. Therefore if you follow
the instructions and you have the sushi maker kit, you will be making sushi in
There are many different types of
sushi, so for the moment let’s focus on the popular sushi roll also known as makizushi.
It includes nori seaweed which taste sends you directly to the land of the
rising sun. In the following video you can see the step-by-step sushi recipe to
prepare delicious makizushi.
How to eat sushi
Japanese people have a quite
traditional spirit, therefore they still keep some rituals when it comes to eat
traditional dishes. However this does not mean that all Japanese people follow these
rituals always. Certainly, eating sushi is no an exception.
In this section I am going to give
you some general tips about sushi eating. However you have to find you own way.
First of all, when it comes to sushi we need to have in mind 3 other side ingredients:
wasabi, soy sauce and picked ginger.
It is a very typical Japanese spice. It is quite hot however not the kind hot you are expecting. In other words, it has nothing to do with chili. I will describe the feeling as when you take a deep breath after finishing a mint candy. When you taste wasabi, at the beginning, it climbs from your tongue to your nose and then it reaches the eyes. Therefore, if you eat too much, a couple of tears will come out and after several seconds you will be okay. Try very little amounting the first time and increasing it according to your needs.
Its salty sauce that comes in many varieties. On sushi restaurants in Japan you can easily have 4 or 5 different soy sauces to try. Moreover, in many places they also offer sweet soy sauce for those that don’t like salt so much.
It has strong ginger taste so is never mixed with sushi because you will miss the original taste. However when you are eating sushi with different topping ingredients, eating a small piece of ginger refresh your mouth. As a result, you can better appreciate the following sushi.
Typical eating protocol
Step-1: Prepare in a side dish a bit of the soy sauce you like the best.
Step-2: Using the chopsticks grab the amount of wasabi you like and put it in the top of your sushi.
Step-3: Grab the sushi with your chopsticks and dip it superficially into the soy sauce.
Step-4: After dipping the sushi, without releasing it, eat it!
Our personal recommendation
Here is a trick which I learn from some Japanese friends. In the dish you use for the soy sauce you can actually mix several types of soy sauce. I usually like to put normal soy sauce mixed with sweet soy sauce. After that I include some wasabi and mix it good. Finally you only need to dip and eat! Using this strategy you will enjoy more the wasabi taste because it will be more distributed.
Why do we eat wasabi with sushi?
Well there are three main reasons.
The first one has some historical background. In the past there were fewer
controls on raw fish and meat. Wasabi is quite effective suppressing the
bacteria and microbes that produce food poisoning. Therefore, when there was a
doubt about the quality of the ingredients, wasabi was used as a way to feel
The second reason is slightly
connected to the first one. In this case, wasabi works very well covering the
smell of fish which many people dislike to feel while eating
And the third and most important,
wasabi has the property of drawing out more of ingredients flavor. Therefore no
matter which kind of sushi you are eating, mixing it with wasabi is always a
What is the name of sushi rice?
This is another common question than requires some explanations.
Sushi rice or, in Japanese, sushi-meshi of shari, is the name of the boiled
rice mixed with rice vinegar. Therefore it does not involve any specific type
of rice seed. However, when it comes to choose a good rice to make sushi, it is
important to choose a rice rich in starch. This way it will be easier to the
sticky texture required to keep the grains together. Good standard brands that
are widely available in the U.S. are Kokuho Rose and Nishiki.
Health benefits of sushi
Sushi is an extremely balanced food.
Mainly, it provides you energies from the carbohydrates of the rice without any
kind of processed or saturated fat. Energies coming from carbohydrates are the
one that body prefers for daily activities; therefore they will not be storage as
fat if you have an active life. Secondly,
the fresh vegetable, fish and meat coming with sushi provide many beneficial
nutrients and vitamins required on daily basis. In the following sections we
will enumerate several of the benefits of sushi nutrients.
Both fish and soy sauce are rich in iron
which boosts the production of red blood cells. Therefore sushi is a good iron
source that improve blood circulation which can affect positively you
metabolism, hair growth and skin condition.
When it comes to kill bacteria and
microbe, wasabi and ginger are very effective ingredients. For this reason, consuming
then ginger and wasabi with sushi help your immune system to keep those
Another good property about ginger
and wasabi is that they are rich in antioxidants. This antioxidants are very
good removing free radicals in out cells which is one of the main reason of the
appearance of carcinogenic cells.
Sushi is a low fat food. Most of the
energy it provides to the body comes from carbohydrates which the body loves to
use daily. This stops the accumulation of fat and allows your body to perform
cleaner metabolic processes.
Sushi rolls are wrapped in sheets of
Japanese seaweed or nori. This ingredient is rich in several minerals. One of
them is iodine which plays an important role for the correct function of the
thyroid glands. Therefore, the moderate consumption of nori helps balancing
hormones and other metabolic processes.
End but not least, sushi is a
natural source of omega-3 fatty acids. This beneficial source of cholesterol helps
cleaning your arteries preventing from clogging. As a results the blood
pressure improves and the risk of cardiovascular diseases is reduced.
What kind of sushi can you eat while pregnant?
This is another question that requires just a bit of
background. First, let’s clarify where this concern comes from. Women immune
system gets weakened during pregnancy therefore they should avoid food that
might contain any bacteria or microbe potentially dangerous for the baby.
Although there are several bacteria that can be
dangerous for them associated with raw fish and meat, this is only true if the
fish or meat didn’t pass the minimum health controls. However nowadays, at
least in Japan, no matter where get them, raw fish and meat are completely safe.
The cases of Japanese people getting sick because of food poisoning related to
raw ingredients are almost none.
Nevertheless, there is a bacteria call listeria which
is potentially dangerous for the baby during pregnancy and sometimes exist in
raw fish in bad conditions. This should not be a big problem nowadays but,
given the weakened immune systems, even in Japan, they recommend pregnant women
not to consume raw fish or meat.
So, does that mean that you cannot eat sushi at all?
Of course not! If you have been following this entry, you should know already
that sushi does not mean raw fish. On the contrary, there are many sushi
varieties that contain no fish at all and are still delicious. Just ask for
sushi without fish. If you are in a restaurant in Japan you can use the sentence
“sakana taberarenai” which means “I cannot eat fish”. That should be enough to
enjoy your sushi even during pregnancy
Why is sushi so popular around the world?
After reading this article you might guess why sushi
is so popular, but let’s summarize the main points that make this food so
Taste and Variety
Sushi is very tasty, mixing it with soy sauce and
wasabi makes it even better. But if it was always the same taste, will be
boring at some point isn’t it? However here is where variety takes control.
There are so many different types of sushi that is impossible to get tired of
them. Depending on your mood you can choose each day the one that appeals more.
It’s quite cool and exotic
Of course this is an important fact. People are attracted
to uncommon and fancy things. Certainly that’s one of sushi secret weapon to be
so popular. Eating sushi outside Japan might be a bit expensive, but that’s also
plays an important role on its popularity because is considered a symbol of
Healthy and convenient
Sushi not only has the taste and variety, but is also
low in fat. All ingredients are natural and highly contribute to a balance
diet. This way of eating is what makes Japanese diet so healthy and put them as
the country with highest life expectancy. Moreover, as they are small portions
with lots of energy, eating sushi is quite convenient even during busy live. In
conclusion, it give you energy easily, it taste good and it’s actually healthy!
Well, we know that if you don’t live in Japan, probably
eating sushi is not the cheapest thing. However, if you come to the land of the
rising sun, you can find many sushi train restaurants (called “kaiten sushi”,
meaning rotating sushi). Each sushi dish contains 2 pieces of sushi and costs
around 80 cents! With around 8 dollars you can eat enough sushi for the whole
day! So if you really like sushi, we strongly recommend you to come Japan at
least once in your life.
Given the popularity of sushi, we
can find sushi bars all around the globe. However, in this section we will
mention the types of sushi restaurants that we can commonly find in Japan.
Traditional sushi restaurant
These places are quite fancy and
therefore more expensive. They focus a lot on providing a good service to the
customer. They serve only high quality fish and the portions are small. They
main purpose of eating in these restaurants is to appreciate all the nuances of
Kaiten sushi or sushi train
These are without a doubt the favorites
of the current folk. These restaurants are almost fully automatized. Firstly, when
you get in, you choose in a machine the number of people and the sitting
preferences. Soon they will assign you a table.
After that, you will see that each
table provides access to a tablet from which you can make your orders. When
your order is ready, the system will inform you in different ways. In some
places, your order arrives through train of dishes, but in other there is an
actual train that travels through a secondary track that moves to your table
with your orders! Isn’t that amazing?
The average price for 2 pieces of
sushi is 108 yens (around 80 cents). Moreover each table is provided with free
green tea, water, soy sauce, wasabi and ginger. If you come to Japan you should
certainly try a kaiten sushi restaurant.
Trivia about sushi
Sushi is so damn popular that we can
find all kind of crazy stuff around related to sushi. Here some examples:
The basic way of making sushi implies the
placement of a layer of ingredients over a base of rice. Wait! Does this don’t remind
you to cake making? Exactly! Using rice as biscuits and different ingredients
as cream, we can make a sushi cake. They are of course salty and they became
quite popular in Japan.
Also known as nyotaimori is maybe
the most expensive way of eating sushi. Basically it consist in eating sushi
from a naked person, usually a woman. It is possible to find some restaurants
offering this service round Japan, mostly in Tokyo. As is it expected from this
culture, the rules are quite strict for costumers to avoid any inappropriate behavior
towards the man or woman lying in the table. Do you think it is crazy? Well
then you still have many thing to learn about this culture!
It is fast-playing card game in
which players compete to grab the best combination of sushi dishes in the shortest
period of time. This game was created by Phil Walker-Harding and released by
and Italian-German editorial. In the last years it gain a lot of popularity in
the geek community. You should try to play with your friends.
From card to video game! Sushi time is a videogame released for Nintendo switch on March 2019. In this game you are challenged to create the best sushi bar in the town. Through more than 60 levels you will try to serve your orders without mixing the ingredients. You can enjoy this sushi game both with friends and kids.