Japanese gastronomy is one more reflection of the culture of this country. You cannot understand one without the other. For those who enjoy food, this country will delight in a true paradise of unusual and very varied combinations of flavors in the same dish and even different dishes in the same menu. There are certain rules that govern the cooking and presentation of food that are more or less strict depending on the occasion and the formality of the meal, beyond the rules that may govern behavior at the table, a separate issue that would give to spread much more.
In general, what is always sought when cooking a dish is the harmony of all the ingredients and their presentation. On more informal occasions, the usual thing would be to eat soup and rice along with some fish, seafood and / or meat. When preparing take-out meals, it is common to include small portions of different types of food separated into different compartments. Aesthetics always play an important role as it is part of this harmony. Food begins to be enjoyed with the sense of sight. When it comes to more formal occasions, the "rules" that govern the presentation of the dishes, the choice of food and the cooking of the same become much stricter. One of the most well-known and curious rules that is applied on this type of occasion is to use 5 colors -green, yellow, red, white and black-, 5 flavors -sweet, salty, sour, acid and spicy- and 5 cooking. - raw, cooked, steamed, grilled / ironed and fried. What is common in any case is that behind each dish there is a lot of dedication, everything is prepared in due time.
Cooking in Japan, as well as eating, is practically an art in which the inhabitants have been carefully trained. The ingredients used are in all cases of the highest quality and the result is an exquisite combination of colors, textures and sophisticated flavors. The main ingredient in Japanese food is rice, any other side dish will be the side dish. In fact, a typical breakfast in Japan includes a miso soup, rice, and a pickled vegetable. Spices and accompaniments also play a fundamental role in the gastronomy of Japan. It is not possible to cook a Japanese dish without soy sauce (shō-yu), miso (soy paste), and dashi. Many dishes also feature onion, garlic, and leek, ingredients that, despite being frowned upon by Buddhism, are popular in modern Japan. Other typical ingredients of Japanese gastronomy are sesame seeds, walnuts and peanuts as dressings, also wasabi, mustard, and ginger, they are characteristic of the gastronomy of Japan. Among the country's beverages, the most appreciated is green tea, also known as ocha. Green tea is served hot after meals and at any gathering. Other popular drinks in the country are black tea (kocha), rice wines (sake) and liqueurs made from rice malt and other cereals or fruits such as plums.
Among the most popular dishes in Japan we find:
Sushi - 寿司 -: It is the best known Japanese food outside of Japan. It consists of a base of rice with raw or semi-cooked fish or seafood and other ingredients such as vegetables and eggs. There are different types of sushi, the so-called makisushi are wrapped in nori seaweed. The sushi is accompanied by soy sauce, wasabi and marinated ginger Onigiri (お に ぎ り). Rice triangles wrapped in nori seaweed and filled with different things.
Tofu 豆腐 -: Tofu is a food prepared from soy milk, with texture and characteristics similar to fresh cheese. There are several ways to cook and serve tofu, both in hot and cold dishes. Some of the most famous dishes are agedofu and mabudofu, although the latter is originally from China, it has become very popular in Japan.
Nabe - 鍋 -: Nabe means pot in Japanese and refers to the type of food cooked in this container. It is a kind of stew to which ingredients are added to taste. There are different types depending on the ingredients and the sauces used for the broth.
Miso soup - 味噌 汁 -: Present in almost all meals in Japan, as its name suggests, it consists of a miso soup or pasta prepared from soy dissolved in dashi or fish broth. Other common ingredients are tofu and wakame seaweed.
Takoyaki - た こ 焼 -: Food consisting of fried flour balls filled with a piece of octopus. Along with okonomiyaki, it is one of the typical foods of Kansai.