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The Best of Local Japanese Food Offered by Tokyo

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Japan is a beautiful country but what makes it extraordinary is its capital Tokyo. It belongs to the category of the exciting dining destinations of the world. Tokyo cuisine is considered to be a fancy one for it has amazing high end restaurants but also inexpensive yet filling local food. You name a famous Japanese dish and Tokyo has definitely got it for you. Never miss their awesomeness in food when in Tokyo.

1. Tempura

Tempura is a local Japanese dish made up of fish and other seafood, vegetables and other ingredients dipped in light batter and deep fried. Tempura originally consisted of vegetables but later on due to some kind of developments it underwent major changes and sea food came into the picture. The ingredients like squids, shrimps, crabs and other veggies are all battered in eggs and flour and then fried in vegetable oil in order to give a crispy texture. There are special tempura food joints that offer this dish with multiple variations.

Tempura

2. Soba Noodles

Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat. It means noodles made from buckwheat which are thin and also include wheat flour in it. People of Tokyo believe in eating chilled version of the Soba noodles. It is usually eaten with soy sauce which is either placed on the side or on boiled hot cup of noodles. Being extremely popular and a highly consumed dish, it is also highly nutritious.

Soba Noodles

3. Sukiyaki

The name that typically reminds us of Japanese cuisine is Sukiyaki. It is a very different dish which is cooked in a sweet salty soy sauced broth and is full of bold flavours straight from the pot. The main ingredient is beef and is a real treat for passionate beef lovers and other ingredients like leafy vegetables, tofu, negi, sugar and mirin are added. The ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw beaten eggs and cooked in pot and then served hot. Sukiyaki is considered to be a winter dish, and most perfect for warming up eaters on the inside. 

Sukiyaki

4. Sushi

Sushi, perhaps, is the most iconic and popular dish belonging to the Japanese cuisine. It is not always about raw fish but the other ingredients that play their role in making this dish super tasty and so awesome. It is made with medium grain white rice and seafood like squid, eel, salmon, crab and meat, which act as filling to this dish. The sushi are prepared by rolling up the sushi in a round roll and dipped in soy sauce. There are so many sushis in Tokyo, that you’ll go crazy while trying and tasting them.

Sushi

5. Okonomiyaki

When we talk about pancakes in Tokyo, we aren’t talking about the usual sweet ones. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients. It is a pancake consisting of all sorts of filling like pork, shrimp, or cabbage and topped with mayonnaise sauce and dried seaweed. Toppings and various seasonings used in this dish depend on which part of Tokyo you are in. In fact, some street vendors even ask the customers to cook this dish by themselves.

Okonomiyaki

6. Monjayaki

It can be called a weird cousin of Okonomiyaki and also one of the famous dishes that Tokyo offers to you. A gooier and softer texture of this savory dish will just make your mouth water. It is made out of a batter cooked on a griddle but has more liquid consistency than Okonomiyaki. Although it has all ingredients like cabbage cooked with seafood that Okonomiyaki has, what makes it different is raw Manja that makes the dish crispier and also caramelized. Monjayaki is considered to be tasty only when it’s piping hot and served directly from the teppan plate cooked on a hot grill.

Monjayaki

7. Unagi

It is a Japanese dish that is made of broiled freshwater eel and is served over rice in a fancy lacquer box. This dish is made of eels that are put on the base of cooked or steamed rice where the eels are split and skewered and broiled over a charcoal grill and then basted with a sweet soy sauce. In Japan, people have eels as an important part of the cuisine served with tare sauce. One needs to try this dish for it is sometimes eaten as a luxury item. Izanagi is considered to be a dish that helps in boosting stamina. 

Unagi

8. Ramen

Haven’t we all heard about ramen noodles? So where do they come from? They are a Japanese adaptation of the Chinese noodles. Served in a chicken broth, these are thin and curly noodles flavoured with soy. The toppings are usually sliced pork, egg, spinach and nori. Every part of Tokyo serves different types of ramen that include tonkotsu or kyushu. Ramen is a very popular fast food that makes an affordable meal in the whole of South East Asia.

Ramen

9. Chankonabe

A Japanese stew which was originally cooked for sumo wrestlers to accommodate their weight gain diet. The reason why this dish has become popular is because people are becoming more health conscious and this is a dish that does the work. It is a hot pot dish made from chicken-based broth, vegetables, tofu, and/or fish. There are no fixed ingredients for this dish as it all depends on the vegetables available. It is a healthy dish where the power of proteins plays an integral role. It is very easily available with the street vendors and is super quick to make. 

Chankonabe

10. Tsukudani

Japanese always prefer to have something along with their rice that is more in a liquid or saucy form. Tsukudani is a small seafood dish, as one would say, that is simmered in soy sauce and mirin, to accompany with the bowl of rice. Small pieces of seafood like shellfish, small fish and seaweed are cooked with a bit of sugar and soy sauce. Considered to be a dish that can also be preserved, it goes great with liquor.

Tsukudani

11. Ningyo Yaki

When it comes to sweets, Japanese people in the region of Tokyo offer such variety of sweets that you’ll definitely want to try all. One of them is the Ningyo yaki, a baked snack cake that is traditionally cooked in the iron mold and has the shape of a Japanese doll. Ningyo yaki is made of flour, eggs, butter, sugar and read bean paste called ‘anko’ which is sweet and delicious. The cake is also very fluffy and not dry at all, and just melts in your mouth. Many bakery shops and cafes offer this dish and it can also be purchased as a gift for a loved one, for they don’t lose their shape easily.

Ningyo Yaki

12. Anmitsu

An icy cold, classic Japanese dessert that is supposed to be enjoyed in the warmer months of spring and summer, it is very popular in Tokyo.  It is a delightful combination of different ingredients that give an edgy texture to this sweet dish like firm kanten agar jelly, fruits, ice creams, and kuromitsu (caramelized sugar syrup), a scoop of anko along with mochi balls. The presentation of this dish will make you think of at least trying it once.

Anmitsu

13. Taiyaki

A Japanese fish-shaped cake which is made by using the regular waffle or pancake batter. It is a common street vendor food in Tokyo and also in various regions of Japan, South Korea and other South East Asian countries. It is a traditional batter that is poured into a fish mould that imitates the shape of Tai fish of Japan. The fillings of this dish include red azuki beans paste, custard, chocolate, cheese, sausage or gyoza fillings. Some street sellers add ice-creams, fruits and a variety of other ingredients, specially when it is the festive season. 

Taiyaki

14. Amazake

A traditional sweet, low-alcohol Japanese beverage that was first made during the Kofun period. It is a drink that is made of fermented rice, which is either with no alcohol content or low alcohol content so that even children can drink it. It is made using koji mold, miso, soy sauce and sake. Amazake is often consumed to relieve the summer fatigue due to its nutritional content and also boosts the stamina. Amazake can be used in many forms like baby food, salad dressing, or smoothies. 

Amazake

15. Mugicha

Considered to be a drink of the summer time, it is Barley tea. Mugicha is traditionally made by simmering roasted barley grains. The drink has a toasty, smooth, nutty flavour without any bitterness and is caffeine free. The best part is that whenever you visit Tokyo, you’ll find this drink for it can be consumed in hotter as well as colder months. Mugicha comes with several health benefits like weight loss, immunity boosting, improved blood flow and circulation and so much more. Ask yourself, why won’t you try such a drink? 

Mugicha


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Written by Yukti Jain

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