Japanese Food



On our trip to Tokyo, we ensured that we never touched the Big Mac and concentrate only on the great food that the country Japan had to offer. And since we had named our child Oishi, which in Japanese language means ‘very very good/tasty/delicious’ we felt it was our responsibility to use the word whenever we wanted to.
We did hop around the many food courts around the hi-tec city to sample all its regional delicacies and in some corner of my mind I thanked myself for being a carnivore (read non-vegetarian). Along with food courts there were the pub-styles, called the Izakaya. A slow moving belt usually ran beside the tables, lined with variety of sushis and sashimis in glass cases from where we could pick our choice, if desired.
We normally preferred the Tempura and the Sushi, but these weren’t just the food that the country had to offer. We ventured out to taste Yakitoris, Sashimis, Sobas, Udons, Ramens and most importantly Kome dishes (rice).
The tempuras were usual, fluffy and hot; portions of prawns and vegetables dipped in ice cold batter of flour and egg, rolled in a special kind of Japanese bread crumb, deep fried and served with a small bowl of ten-tsuyu, a light brown sauce and a dollop of daikon (grated and pickled radish) to be mixed into the sauce. Yakitori Chicken was an item of skewered grilled chicken and we also loved the soft bone (cartilage) version of this called the nankotsu. 



The choice of sushi and sashimi was obviously quite elaborate as it included all the well known versions of sushi, namely, nigiri, maki, inaki and gunkan. Nigiri sushi is the most common variety where the meat, fish or vegetable was served on a small bed of rice. For the other variety, maki sushi, which was a dollop of rice with a small filling of meat, fish or vegetable at the center, served in a seaweed roll. We chose from
chicken, cuttlefish, crab stick, eel, prawn, whelk shell and cucumber. The lightly vinegary rice with a zing of the wasabi and hot green horse radish was a great hit!

Soba and Udon are the two varieties of Japanese noodles where the former one is a thin, brown, buck wheat noodle and the latter is a thick, white wheat noodle. Our Udon was served in a light broth with sliced teriyaki chicken and decorative Narutos (fish cakes) was very pleasantly flavoured. 





The concept of Ramen, another variety of noodles, is considered to have travelled to Japan from China and is now a hot favourite fast food. Big bowls of these noodles is available in both warm and cold options.  Rice is the most respected food item in Japan, the variety of rice dishes was also ample. Donbori is one such item that tasted fantastic. The traditional Donbori rice item was oyakodon in which simmered stripes of chicken, egg and fried onions are served on a bowl of rice.