Some Western culinary influences in Japan, including Portugal (tempura) and the Americas (teppanyaki), have been so integrated into Japanese cooking, it is difficult to differentiate them from more traditional Japanese cuisine like sushi and kaiseki. Standard Japanese meals usually include rice, soup, pickles and an entree, like fish or vegetables.
Sashimi: raw fish finely sliced and served with a small bowl for dipping into soy sauce and wasabi (see sushi below)
Sushi: raw fish served a top firmly molded vinegared rice. Watch out for the green wasabi, a horseradish paste which should be mixed with soy sauce and packs a powerful, peppery punch. Pickled ginger acts as a palate cleanser.
Tonkatsu: breaded and deep fried pork served with a soy-based sauce on top of or with rice. Served as a part of dinner or for lunch.
Yakitori: skewered and grilled chicken, vegetables or other foods. Often served as snacks.
Togarashi: "Seven pepper spice, "a table condiment with pepper and chiles (also shichimi-togarashi)
Shiso: an herb resembling a cross between mint and basil; frequently used as garnish
Misoshiru: Miso (a type of soy bean paste) soup with tofu. Served at most meals.
O-cha: green tea, served at the end of the meal.
Udon: soft, fat noodles
Somen: thin vermicelli-style noodles, used mainly for soups
Soba: buckwheat noodles
Sukiyaki: thin beef slices cooked with vegetables, noodles and tofu in sauce
Tempura: seafoods and vegetables battered and deep fried to form a light airy crust; served with a dipping sauce
Cha: tea (green tea)
from Kate's Global Kitchen:
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This page modified January 2007
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