Sushi Bazooka Sushezi The best sushi maker kit solution in 2019

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.

Sushi making kit Sushi Bazooka Sushezi

Product Specifications:

  • Size:  6 x 29.5 cm cylinder (2.6 x 12 inches)
  • Material: Polypropilene (PP) plastic
  • Color: White
  • 3 Pieces: Bazooka Cylinder, Plunger and End Cap
  • Latches: Plastic latches to secure ingredients inside the cylinder
  • Dishwasher safe

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Advantages over other sushi making kits

The most 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

Sushezi 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 by 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

Before 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.

To maintain 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.

If you 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 best option.

Get it now from this amazon offer!

Okonomiyaki

okonomiyaki restauran
Are you ready to learn everything about okonomiyaki?

Index

  1. What is okonomiyaki?
  2. Types of okonomiyaki
  3. How to make okonomiyaki sauce
  4. How to make okonomiyaki
  5. How to make vegan okonomiyaki
  6. How to eat okonomiyaki
  7. What does okonomiyaki taste like?
  8. How many calories in okonomiyaki?
  9. Is okonomiyaki healthy?
  10. Okonomiyaki restaurants
  11. What is the origin of okonomiyaki?
  12. Why is okonomiyaki popular?
  13. Trivia about okonomiyaki

What is okonomiyaki?

what is okonomiyaki

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.

Kansai okonomiyaki

kansai okonomiyaki

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.

Mondayaki

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.

Negiyaki

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 okonomiyaki

hiroshima okonomiyaki

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.

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

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

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?

taste of okonomiyaki

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?

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?

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.

Okonomiyaki restaurants

okonomiyaki restaurant

Okonomiyaki Katsu

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.

Address: 1-4 Ryoanji Saigucho, Ukyo, Kyoto 616-8011, Kyoto Prefecture
Website:https://okonomiyakikatsu.wixsite.com/katsu

Okonomiyaki Mizuno

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.

Address: 1-4-15 Dotonbori, Chuo, Osaka, 542-0071
Website: www.mizuno-osaka.com

Okonomiyaki Nagata-ya

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.

Address:1-7-19 Otemachi, Naka-ku | 1f, Naka, Hiroshima 730-0051, Hiroshima Prefecture
Website:http://nagataya-okonomi.com

What is the origin of okonomiyaki?

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.

teppanyaki 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

teppanyaki
Are you ready to learn everything about teppanyaki?

Index

  1. What is teppanyaki?
  2. What is the difference between hibachi and teppanyaki?
  3. Types of teppanyaki
  4. How to make teppanyaki
  5. How many calories in teppanyaki?
  6. Is teppanyaki healthy?
  7. Teppanyaki restaurants
  8. What is the origin of teppanyaki?
  9. Why is teppanyaki popular?
  10. Trivia about teppanyaki

What is teppanyaki?

what is teppanyaki

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?

hibachi vs teppan

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

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

Teppanyaki dishes

Okonomiyaki

okonomiyaki restauran

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

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

yakisoba noodles dish

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.

(If you want more details check out post to know everything about yakisoba)

Teppanyaki Ingredients

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

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).

Calories Fat (g) Carb (g) Prot (g)
Vegetables and Steak 470 15 30 35
Okonomiyaki 520 23 40 17
Monjayaki 510 21 57 18
Yakisoba 800 13.8 98.1 38.7

Is teppanyaki food healthy?

is teppanyaki 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 restaurants

teppanyaki restaurants

Teppanyaki Akasaka

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.

Address: 107-0052, Tokyo, Minato, Akasaka, 1-12-33, ANA InterContinental Tokyo 37F
Website: https://anaintercontinental-tokyo.jp/dine/teppanyaki-akasaka/

Teppanyaki Dante

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.

Address: 107-0052, Tokyo, Minato,  Akasaka 2-14-9, Shizurin Lions Bldg. B1F
Website: https://www.dante-akasaka.net/

Teppanyaki Takumi

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.

Address:  105-0022, Tokyo, Minato, Kaigan 1-16-2, 1F Hotel Intercontinental Tokyo Bay
Website: https://www.interconti-tokyo.com/restaurant/takumi

Teppanyaki Ten

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

Address: 150-0043, Tokyo, Shibuya City, Dōgenzaka, 2-23-12  
Website: http://www.teppanyaki-ten.com/

What is the origin of teppanyaki?

origin of teppanyaki

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.

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

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

yakisoba noodles dish
Are you ready to learn everything about yakisoba?

Index

  1. What is yakisoba?
  2. Types of yakisoba
  3. Which noodles are used for yakisoba?
  4. How to make yakisoba
  5. How to make yakisoba sauce
  6. How to eat yakisoba
  7. What is yakisoba bread?
  8. How many calories in yakisoba?
  9. Are yakisoba noodles healthy?
  10. Where can I buy yakisoba?
  11. Yakisoba restaurants
  12. What is the origin of yakisoba?
  13. Why is yakisoba popular?
  14. Trivia about yakisoba

What is yakisoba?

what is yakisoba

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)

fujinomiya yakisoba

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)

yokote yakisoba

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)

jyoshu ota yakisoba

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

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

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)

hiruzan yakisoba

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)

itogawa black yakisoba

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)

okhotsk kitami shio yakisoba

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)

koroishi tsuyu yakisoba

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?

noodles 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

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?

yakisoba pan

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?

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?

is yakisoba 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?

where to 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.

Yakisoba restaurants

yakisoba restaurant

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.

Address: 450-0002, Aichi, Nagoya, Nakamura Ward, Meieki 3-14-15

Yakisoba Center Iwakura

In this restaurant you can see how they prepare yakisoba over the teppan (big iron plate). You can choose the taste of your yakisoba sauce among several.

Address: 482-0022, Aichi Prefecture, Iwakura, Sakaemachi, 23-70, Shimizu Jutaku Bldg. 102
Website: https://www.marche.co.jp/brand/yakisoba_center.html

Fujinomiya Yakisoba Maruki

This small local place makes basic but traditional yakisoba. The owners put many efforts on keeping the original taste of yakisoba.

Address: 491-0862, Aichi Prefecture, Ichinomiya, Midori, 2-1-1

What is the origin of yakisoba?

origin of yakisoba

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

trivia about yakisoba

Chow mein

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

tempura
Are you ready to learn everything about tempura?

Index

  1. What is tempura?
  2. Types of tempura
  3. How to make tempura batter
  4. How to make tempura
  5. How to make tempura sauce
  6. How to eat tempura
  7. How many calories in tempura?
  8. Is tempura vegetarian?
  9. Which is the price of tempura?
  10. Is tempura healthy?
  11. Tempura restaurants
  12. What is the origin of tempura?
  13. Why is tempura popular in Japan?
  14. Trivia about tempura

What is tempura?

what is tempura

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 dish.

Types of tempura

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.

Vegetable 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.

Seafood tempura

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

Meat tempura

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 recipe.

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

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.

Tempura Sushi

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 called ten-don.

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?

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.

Vegetable tempura

Calories Fat (g) Carb (g) Prot (g)
Takenoko ( bamboo shoots ) 10 2 3 1
Kabocha ( Pumpkin ) 20 2 5 1
Nijin ( Carrot ) 16 2 4 1
Nasu ( Eggplan ) 13 2 3 1
Kinoko ( Mushrooms ) 9 3 2 1
Satsumaimu ( Sweet potato ) 29 2 7 1
Sisho (Perilla) 15 2 3 1
Ingen (Green beans) 15 2 3 1
Kakiage 29 7 2 1

Seafood tempura

Calories Fat (g) Carb (g) Prot (g)
Ebi ( Shrimp ) 55.1 2.9 3.3 3.5
Ika ( Squid ) 51 2.3 3.5 5
Kani ( Crab ) 73 5 2 5
Ayu ( Sweetfish ) 45 2 2 5.1
Salmon 50 2.3 2 6
Whitefish 38 2.1 2 3
Cod 52 2 3 3
Suzuki ( Sea Bass ) 35 2 2 5
Sea perch 60 3 6 6

Meat tempura

Calories Fat (g) Carb (g) Prot (g)
Toriten ( Chicken ) 57 2.5 3.5 4.3

Is tempura vegetarian?

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 dish.

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.

All the 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?

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?

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 healthy diet.

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.

Tempura restaurants

tempura restaurants

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 these places.

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.

Address: 104-0061, Tokyo, Chuo City, Ginza, 5 −5−13 Sakaguchi Building 9F
Website: https://restaurant.ikyu.com/107810/?ikgo=1

Kyoto Gion Tempura Endo Yasaka Honten

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

Address: 605-0811, Kyoto, Higashiyama, Komatsucho, Yasaka Dori, 5-6-6
Website: http://www.gion-endo.com

Kyoto Nishiki Tempura Sakaba Taneshichi

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

Address: 604-8123, Kyoto, Nakagyo, Yaoyacho, 538-1 1F
Website: https://taneshichi-nishiki.owst.jp/

What is the origin of tempura?

origin of tempura

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 and salt.

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 Japan.

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

trivia about tempura

Tempura desserts

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

Ice cream tempura

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 is delicious.

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.

Maple Tempura

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

fried gyozas
Are you ready to learn everything about gyoza?

Index

  1. What is gyoza?
  2. Are gyoza and dumplings the same?
  3. Types of gyoza
  4. How to make gyoza
  5. How to make vegan gyoza
  6. How to make gyoza sauce
  7. How to eat gyoza
  8. How many calories in gyoza?
  9. Which is the price of gyoza?
  10. Gyoza restaurants
  11. Is gyoza healthy?
  12. What is the origin of gyoza?
  13. Why is gyoza popular in Japan?
  14. How to pronounce gyoza vs jiaozi
  15. Trivia about gyoza

What is gyoza?

what is gyoza

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?

difference between gyoza and dumpling

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

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 Gyoza

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 Gyoza

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 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

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?

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).

Cal Fat (g) Carb (g) Prot (g)
Pork Gyoza 59 2.6 5.9 2.3
Chicken Gyoza 43 0.6 5 4.8
Vegan Gyoza 55 1.9 7 2.5
Gyoza Sauce 30 1 6 1
Gyoza Wrapper 19 0 4 0.3

Which is the price of gyoza?

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.

Gyoza restaurants

gyoza restaurants

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!

Gyoza Mutsugiku

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.

Address: 430-0926, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Naka Ward, Sunayamacho, 356-5
Website: mutsugiku.jp

Ishimatsu Honten

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.

Address: 430-0926, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Naka Ward, Sunayamacho, 6-1
Website: www.ishimatsu-gyoza.co.jp/

Masashi Miyajimacho Honten

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

Address: 320-0026, Tochigi, Utsunomiya, Babadōri, 4-3-1
Website: www.ucatv.ne.jp

Utsunomiya Minmin

This place is probably the gyoza restaurant with the best quality-price ratio in the Utsunomiya station area. If you have a big appetite, this is your place.

Address: 321-0965, Tochigi, Utsunomiya, 1-23
Website: www.minmin.co.jp/  

Gyoza no Ohsho

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.

Address: 150-0002, Tokyo, Shibuya City, Shibuya, 1-27-2
Website: www.ohsho.co.jp/english/

Is gyoza healthy?

is gyoza healthy

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?

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

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

Gyoza Towns

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.

Sashimi

sashimi
Are you ready to learn everything about sashimi?

Index

  1. What is sashimi?
  2. What is the difference between sashimi and sushi?
  3. Types of sashimi
  4. How to cut sashimi
  5. How to make sashimi
  6. How to eat sashimi
  7. How many calories in sashimi?
  8. Which is the price of sashimi?
  9. Is it safe to eat sashimi?
  10. Sashimi restaurants
  11. What is the origin of sashimi?
  12. Why is sashimi popular?
  13. Trivia about sashimi

What is sashimi?

what is sashimi

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?

sushi vs sashimi

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

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

Fish sashimi

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

Meat sashimi

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

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

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

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?

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).

Fish Cal Fat (g) Carb (g) Prot (g)
Maguro ( Tuna ) 40 1.4 0 6.6
Sake ( Salmon ) 40 1.8 0 5.6
Tai ( Sea Bream) 22 0.4 0 5.8
Saba ( Mackarel ) 58 3.9 0 5.3
Katsuo ( Bonito ) 66 3 0 7
Kampachi ( Amberjack ) 41 1.5 0 6.5
Uni ( Sea Urchin ) 34 1.1 0 3.2
Aji ( Sea Mackerel ) 29 1 0 4
Sanma ( Sea Bass ) 86 6.8 0 5.8
Engawa ( Halibut ) 38 1.7 0 5.4
Suzuki ( Sea Bass ) 22 0.6 0 5.2
Ahi ( Yellowfin ) 37 0 0 8.2
Ikura ( Salmon Roe ) 19 0.9 0.2 3.1
Mollusc or Shell Cal Fat Carb (g) Prot (g)
Ika ( Squid ) 26 0.4 0.9 4.4
Tako ( Octopus ) 46 0.6 1.3 8.5
Ebi ( Shrimp ) 30 0.5 0.2 5.8
Hotate ( Scallop ) 26 0.2 0.7 5
Hokkigai ( Surf Clam ) 42 0.6 1.5 7.2
Akagai ( Ark Shell ) 14 0 0 0
Tsubugai ( Whelk ) 38 0.1 0.2 6.7
Mirugai ( Geoduck ) 8 0 0 0
Meat Cal Fat (g) Carb (g) Prot (g)
Gyusashi ( Beef ) 64 3 0 7
Torisashi ( Chicken ) 41 0 0 8
Bashimi ( Horse ) 49 1 0 6
Shikasashi ( Deer ) 34 0 0 6
Kamesashi ( Turtle ) 25 0 0 5
Buta Sashimi ( Pork ) 62 4 0 4

Which is the price of sashimi?

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?

is 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!)

Sashimi restaurants

sashimi restaurants

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.

Address: 103-0002, Tokyo, Chuo, Nihonbashi Bakurocho 2-3-2 Centpia Building B1
Webpage: https://www.taikochaya.jp/

Zauo Shinjuku

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.

Address: 160-0023 Tokyo, Shinjuku, Nishishinjuku, 3 Chome−2−9 Washinton Hotel F1
Webpage: http://www.zauo.com/

Sushi Zanmai

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.

Address: 160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku , Shinjuku, 3-chome−18−4 Seno Building 3F
Webpage: http://www.kiyomura.co.jp/

What is the origin of sashimi?

origin of sashimi

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

expensive sashimi

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

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 sashimi

fugu sashimi

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

ramen noodle bowl
Are you ready to learn everything about ramen?

Index

  1. What is ramen?
  2. Types of ramen
  3. How to make ramen
  4. How to eat ramen
  5. What can I add to ramen?
  6. How many calories are in one bowl of ramen?
  7. Is ramen healthy?
  8. Ramen restaurants
  9. What is the origin of ramen?
  10. Why is ramen popular in Japan?
  11. Trivia about ramen

What is ramen?

bowl of ramen

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 area.

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.

Shoyu Ramen

shoyu 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.

Miso Ramen

miso ramen

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 Ramen

shio ramen

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.

Tonkotsu ramen

tonkotsu-ramen

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.

Instant ramen

cup noodles

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?

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 texture.

How to make ramen

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 role.

In the following video you can follow a step-by-step shoyu ramen recipe. The most traditional ramen in Japan.

How to eat ramen

old man eating 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 what?

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?

ramen toppings

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?

healthy 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.

Traditional ramen

traditional ramen

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

Instant ramen

cup noodle

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.

Summarizing

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 restaurants

ramen house

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 described.

Ushio

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.

Address: 2 Chome-4-4 Kandaawaji Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0063, Japan

Toripaitan Kageyama

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 broth.

Address: 1 Chome-4-18 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 169-0075, Japan

Haru

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).

Address: 1 Chome-11-7, Shitaya, Taito City, Tokyo, 110-0004, Japan

Ramen nagi

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.

Address: 1 Chome-1-10 Kabuki, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan

What is the origin of ramen?

ramen origins

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.

ramen popularity

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.

Check on their webpage!

Manpuku

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

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

sushi
Are you ready to learn everything about sushi?

Index

  1. What is sushi?
  2. What is the difference between sushi and sashimi?
  3. Types of sushi
  4. Is all sushi made with raw fish?
  5. How to make sushi
  6. How to eat sushi
  7. Why do we eat wasabi with sushi?
  8. What is the name of sushi rice?              
  9. Health benefits of sushi
  10. What kind of sushi can you eat while pregnant?
  11. Why is sushi so popular around the world?
  12. Sushi restaurants
  13. Trivia about sushi

What is sushi?

nigiri sushi what is sushi

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 and sashimi?

sushi and sashimi

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

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

maki sushi

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

oshi suzhi type

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

inari sushi type

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 sweet tofu.

Chirashi sushi or Chirashizushi

chirashi sushi type

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?

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

person making 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 no time!

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

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.

Side ingredients

Wasabi

wasabi

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.

Soy sauce

soy sauce

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.

Picked ginger

pickled ginger

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?

sushi and wasabi

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 safer.

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 good idea.

What is the name of sushi rice?

rice for sushi

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 and health

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.

Blood circulation

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.

Immune System

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 microbes controlled.

Cancer prevention

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.

Improve Metabolism

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.

Hormone Regulation

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.

Cardiovascular Health

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?

sushi and pregnancy

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

sushi sign

After reading this article you might guess why sushi is so popular, but let’s summarize the main points that make this food so special.

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 status.

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!

¿Price?

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.

Sushi restaurants

japanese restaurant

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 sushi taste.

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:

Sushi Cake

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.

Body sushi

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!

Sushi Go!

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.

Sushi Time

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.