An Introduction to Japanese Food

japan-foodJapanese cuisine is more commonly known as “sushi” or “sukiyaki” and it has developed more familiarity in the Western world in recent times. Even if you have not visited Japan you might have already sampled the batter fried shrimp or the raw fish commonly known as “sushi”. However, when you visit Japan you realize that there is a lot more variety to local Japanese food than what is commonly known and prepared in other countries. Eating Japanese cuisine is a pleasurable experience in Japan and is to be fondly remembered by tourists who have visited the country.

The Japanese Dining Table

The word for "gohan" in Japanese is equivalent to meal in English. Though this word actually refers to steamed rice, as rice is an important food to the Japanese gohan has come to represent all sorts of meals - even if one is opting for a Western meal like spaghetti.

The most traditional Japanese meal consists of servings of plain, white rice which comes along with a main dish (fish or meat) along with some kind of side dish which is often cooked vegetables, soup which can be miso soup or clear broth along with pickled vegetables.

Meal eating ritual

Japanese people say "itadakimasu," before eating which is a polite phrase and means "I receive this food." One expresses thanks to whoever has prepared or worked for the food top be provided.

Many people start by taking a bite of the main or side dish and then eat a little rice as well as taking a sip of the soup straight from the bowl. A little rice may be saved until the end of the meal which is eaten with the pickled vegetables.

After eating, people often express their gratitude for the meal by saying "gochiso sama deshita," which literally translates as "it was quite a feast."
When eating a Japanese meal you need to know the right way of holding the chopsticks and the bowls.