The Most Popular Fish In Japanese Cuisine

japaense-food-fishWe know that the Japanese love fish and that a lot of their dishes and diet consist of the creatures from the sea or fresh water. You may have also read in our last article that Japan is the #1 fish importer in the world! That being said what types of fish are actually the most popular in Japanese cuisine.  Many think tuna takes the top spot but you may actually be surprised! Check out our list of Japan’s top fish.

Top 5 Fish Consumed in Japanese Culture

  • Chum Salmon-  We told you that tuna wasn’t number one, which in a sense is hard chum-salmonto believe.  Especially when you think of sushi and how many different rolls in can be incorporated in. Chum Salmon is widely popular for its use in bento boxes and other Japanese inspired dishes.  Salmon also happens to be the favorite fish among women in the Japanese culture, which is another fun fact.
  • Bluefin Tuna- Tuna may have not made the number one spot but it did come close and takes spot number two.  Just as women in Japan favor salmon the men in Japan favor bluefin tuna. This is also the tuna that is usually found in all those delicious sushi rolls that you love that incorporate tuna in them
  • Mackerel- Not just any type of mackerel, horse mackerel to be specific.  This fish is usually deep fried before using in dishes. However, they do appreciate macakerel of all types as well.
  • eel-japanese-cuisineEel- We know that eel sauce is common in Japanese dishes but the thought of eating eel isn’t so appealing to some.  However in japanese cuisine eel is very tasty and adds heartiness to dishes because of its meaty and filling textures. Eel is often eaten in the winter months in Japan but when enjoyed in summer many people believe it helps to lessen the heat and humidity that can creep into Japan’s temperatures.
  • Sea Bream-  This fish is enjoyed both raw and fried and can be added to a number of japanese dishes.  It is highly thought of as a fish to be served at celebrations and special occasions. It is also thought to bring good luck to the consumer.

One thing is certain the Japanese certainly do have a lot of different and authentic preparation styles for fish.  While some dishes may seem a bit intimidating to try at first you may just be surprised how delicious they really are.  If you are just beginning your exploration into Japanese cuisine and aren’t quite sure about eating sashimi or raw fish, stick with the cooked or fried fish dishes and ease your way into them.  With such a high consumption of fish the Japanese not only appreciate great quality and grade of fish, freshness is also highly looked for. The fresher the fish the better the dish.

Getting To Know Japanese Culture

As with all cultures, Japanese cuisine is heavily influenced by its culture, traditionsjapanese-culture and ingredients that are indigenous to the land. In previous articles we have talked about the different ingredients that are staples to the Japanese diet, how to make sushi at home and also some of their quirky fun, like their first ever hot tub amusement park. Before we dive more into Japanese cuisine we thought we would share a little bit more on the Japanese culture.

Getting To Know The Japanese Culture

  • The country of Japan is made up of 6,900 islands
  • 73% of the country is actually made up of mountains, although the majority of people reside along the coastlines
  • It is deemed one of the most densely populated countries in its region
  • The Japanese language is comprised of 3 different alphabets: Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana
  • japan-religion-buddhismThe earlier culture of Japan was heavily influenced by China, however over the years Western culture has began to influence lifestyle, food and art
  • There are 2 main religions in Japan that are followed: Buddhism and Shinto
  • The biggest holiday celebrated is New Years, although during summer & spring months celebrations of the god Matsuri take place
  • Sports are huge in Japan and mainly center around Sumo, Judo and Karate, although baseball, rugby and soccer have shown influence over the years as well
  • Japanese are primarily fish eaters although they do enjoy other meats as well
  • Japan is the #1 fish importer in the world!
  • Japanese don’t believe tipping is customary when dining out, riding in cabs etc.
  • Japanese believe in taking their shoes off before they their home or others homes.  If there is a tatami mat or other type of mat near the door that generally means that shoes should be removed before entering.
  • Slurping your noodles is considered part of the Japanese custom andchopsticks-etiquette shows that you are enjoying your food
  • It’s important that you use chopsticks the RIGHT way and with proper etiquette

Often times we are so used to the culture we ourselves live in that we don’t necessarily recognize the importance different things or ways play in another culture.  Taking time to understand a culture that is different than are own can not only be fascinating and exciting it can also teach us a lot about different parts of the world.  Just like we enjoy the cuisine of other cultures we should open our minds and hearts to enjoying the vulture as a whole.

1st Ever Japanese Hot Tub Amuesment Park!!!

Although our blog mainly focuses on Japanese cuisine and the art of cooking, using Japanese traditional ingredients, I wanted to share this story about the first ever Japanese Hot Tub amusement park that opened in Bappu city on the island of Kyushu in Japan. I thought not only was it a fun and interesting story but also that it shed a little light on how amazing the Japanese culture is and how stepping outside the box can be quite an experience!  While swapping a few new Japanese cooking recipes to try out with my friend Linda, she began telling me about this hot tub amusement park. I didn’t quite believe her at first, however her husband who owns a hot tub business came into the room and indeed told me it was true! In fact to all you readers you may want to check out this video of the actual park to fully believe me as well!

The amusement park is located in the city of Beppu which is known for being home to Japan’s largest active volcano Mount Aso at 5,200ft!  Because of this active volcano the city is forever engulfed in steam thanks to the 3,000 some steam vents that can be found throughout the land.  How did such an idea for such a unique amusement park come about?? Yasuhiro Nagano, the mayor of Beppu, released a video with the idea of the amusement park sometime last year.  He pledged that if they received over a million views of the video they would indeed build the amusement park. And that it did! The video quickly gained views and popularity even having over 75,000,000 yen’s donated as contribution to the building of the park!  

What Can You Expect At This Hot Tub Amusement Park???

Many do not know what is in store for them should they visit this incredible park.  The video sheds a bit of what to expect but for those of you still wondering think, a roller coaster ride with carriages filled with hot soapy water, workers dressed as zombies who wander around the park, and a merry-go-round.  In a sense I guess you could say that this is a Japanese version of a water park here in United States. Afterall, bathing is taken seriously in Japan and there are actually bath houses and outdoor tubs that one can visit. They even have standards and rules when using a public bath house.

While my love for Japanese cuisine is quite real, I also am intrigued and interested in the entire Japanese culture all together.  Just like each culture has different food ingredients that are significant to them, their ways of life and practices are unique as well.  Exploring another country and culture is so amazing and there is so much knowledge to be gained! Enjoy the video and stay tuned for some of the great Japanese recipes I swapped with Linda!

 

 

Japanese Cuisine Basics

recipes-of-JapanGetting ready to prepare and enjoy your first Japanese meal can be exciting and a bit intimidating, especially if you aren’t completely familiar with the ingredients that go into making it.  While a lot of people associate raw fish and sushi with Japanese cuisine, and both are definitely staples of Japan, there is also many many other incredible dishes to enjoy. To get things started and all of our readers a bit more familiar with Japanese cuisine we thought we would go over the different Japanese ingredients to become acquainted with.

Japanese Cuisine Ingredients

  • Medium Grain Rice (a.k.a. Sushi rice)
  • White Miso (Shiro Miso)japanese-cuisine-staple
  • Konbu/Nori Seaweed
  • Sake (drinking & cooking!)
  • Mirin (sweet liquor made from rice)
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Sesame Seeds & Oil
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Bonito Flakes (Katsu Bushi)
  • Japanese Soy Sauce
  • Wasabi

While there are definitely more ingredients that are used in Japanese cooking these are the basic and most often used.  The great thing about Japanese cuisine is that it can be altered a bit to compliment pretty much all eating preferences.  For example, Japanese use tofu in many of their dishes. This is perfect for those that are vegan or vegetarian. If a recipe should call for chicken, beef or fish tofu can be substituted and the dish will still be delicious.

Another factor I like about Japanese cuisine is that is relatively healthy fair.  There are not a lot of oils or additives when it comes to Japanese recipes, which is great for our health.

A few other important components of Japanese recipes include:

 

  • Dashi- japanese soup stock used in MANY japanese recipes
  • Miso Soup- Great beginning to a meal & also Japan’s traditional soup
  • japanese-cookingTeriyaki Sauce- you can even make your own! Great for a fish/meat/tofu marinade

Simply exploring Japanese cooking and different recipes is always great for those first trying Japanese cuisine, so that you may ease your way into the different flavors that are brought forth in japanese dishes.  You never know you just might find your new favorite meal and become one heck of a Japanese Chef!

 

Welcome Food Lovers!

Japanese-cuisineHello and welcome to our blog focused on Japanese cuisine.  We wanted to bring this blog to life to share all of the cooking techniques, cuisine, and main ingredients of Japenese recipes.  We hope to ignite your love for Japanese cooking while exploring Japans delicious food staples that go far beyond the boundries of just sushi! Tell your friends, co-workers, neighbors etc. about our blog and help us spread our love and passion for Japanese cuisine!