Popular Japanese food. Really is it Japanese? Pizza? Is it Italian? Is Dominoes Italian cuisine? Hamburgers, Ray Krock the CEO of McDonald's said "As long as you're green, you're growing. As soon as you're ripe you start to rot." Hmm... the delicacy that built the golden arches of McDonald's is rumored to have been "invented" in Hamburg Germany. Tim Cook (not Krock) is the current CEO as of 2019.
Those of you intending on teaching English out here in Japan might be wondering a bit about starving to death because you won't like the food. (We got an e-mail about this one.)
It inspired us. So here we go. Drunken Billy, seeing how he spends most of his time in bars, cranked this article out on the back of a bar napkin.) I cleaned up the copy and did the editing.
Although many teachers lose weight after a few months of grinding it out in the ESL classrooms across Japan, it isn't because of the food. It's because of the "havin' no car thing." or the "I be riddin' my bike everywhere thing." Or "I got myself a pair of legs so I reckon I'll use them to walk to my school thing." So to lay this to rest, we gave a staff member a camera with orders not to return without some good pics. So here they are.
So let's start with a food that is most commonly associated with Japan. Sushi. We think of it as being interchangeable with raw fish.
Sushi is a vinegar based dish. Rice topped with other ingredients. Like tuna or octopus, egg etc. Sashimi, which is slices of raw fish alone, is technically not "sushi" because it isn't accompanied with rice. The word “sushi” means “sour,” which reflects back to sushi's origins of being preserved in salt. Here is the kanji for it in case you are interested 漢字.
A total favorite of Japanese. The most common translation of it is "Japanese pizza". You will also hear "Japanese crepe".
It is not even remotely close to this. It is flour based and grilled as is a pancake. But no maple syrup. No strawberries or bananas. Here is the kanji for it お好み焼き . It's fairly hearty, the ingredients change depending on the region you're in. Expect some nori (or sea weed), mayonnaise, meat and a salty soy based sauce on top. Roughly 300 yen or 3 USD.
What you see is what you get. A staple of the hungry office workers looking to fill their stomach after a long day of work. Literally it means "beef bowl". Why is that? It's white rice, onions and beef served in a bowl. A bit salty but is rich in soy flavor. Cheap. Roughly 3 USD.
Just like the picture looks. It's grilled chicken on a stick. Slightly sweet , soy based sauce on top. Dirt cheap. Again a favorite for late night snacks. Conceptually like a McDonald's burger in terms of availability. Generally you won't find them in common or open places - not street vendors. They are usually served in standing bars or bars without chairs where you can fill your belly without being taken to the bank. 1 USD a stick will get it done. Of course they have vegetables like green pepper in between the chicken and sets of them if you're really hungry.
When it comes to getting your belly full, Japanese can not resist the noodle. Ramen noodles.
Literally means a pulled noodle. It is wheat based so gluten free folks might want to think again. This dish is not served on street corners like a hot-dog stand. Mostly in restaurants and street side eating places called "tachi-nomi" or commonly translated as "standing bar". Tons of varieties available. If you're running low on cash and just got to get something in you, ramen will fit the bill. 3 bills - maybe less.
Ahh Yes. Soba. Served both hot and cold is a staple in the Japanese diet akin to Wonder Bread or what it was back in the hey-day of the Hostess company. A buck wheat noodle that ranges between 40 to 100% buck wheat flour. Low calories. Eaten for centuries by the Japanese. Low fat. Carbohydrate loaded and pretty darn tasty.
One quick look at this pic and you'll know you are in for a grease eggstravaganza.
Low calories? Nope. In fact there are 1,927 calories in a single cup of corn oil. Its deep fried vegetables, seafood etc. Goes mighty nice with a cold beer though. It is basically an appetizer before the main meal is served. Kind of something that is nibbled on before they roll out the main dish.
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