A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Friday, February 4, 2011

Freaky Food Friday - JAPANESE CUISINE

Hello my fellow foodies!

This week I’m doing something a little different with my FFF post.  This week, instead of talking about eating on a budget I’m going to talk about food in a different country.  Most specifically, Japan.

Japanese food is something I’ve always enjoyed – from sushi and sashimi to miso soup and tempura.  And many, many, MANY things in between.  My two favorite restaurants in Boise are Fujiyama’s and the Kyoto Steakhouse.  Both are indulgences I don’t permit myself except on special occasions.  Fujiyama’s is a typical Japanese restaurant.  Kyoto Steakhouse is a teppanyaki restaurant – one of those where the chefs come and cook and you’re eating around the grill.  It’s a lot of fun and the chefs really get into it.

One of my favorite recipe books is at the Japanese table by Lesley Downer.  In her introduction, she comments on the fact that she had her first taste of Japanese food in 1978.  She was scared to try the sashimi but when her hosts insisted she tried it.  And she discovered it wasn’t as slimy as she’d thought and was actually very good.

There are several varieties of of Japanese cuisine.  There is the Kaiseki, the specialty restaurants like sushi bars and tempura restaurants, “Red Lanterns” and street food, and temple cooking.  But the heart and soul of Japanese cooking is the home.

Up until recently, meat like chicken, pork, and beef were almost unused in Japan.  They relied on fish, soybeans, rice, and seaweed among other things.  They harvest wild mushrooms and other wild vegetables.  They learned to live within their environment first.  When the Western world began to infringe on their lives, they began to eat more beef and such.  This has led to higher health problems in the younger generations.  It’s also led to them being taller than their parents and grandparents.

Rice is a staple, as is miso soup.  Japanese people have tiny kitchens.  They tend to buy just what they need for the day and prepare it when they get home.  Rice is one of the few things, or so I've seen and read, that they always keep on hand.

Traditional Japanese food is a healthy alternative to our Western cuisine.  I love Japanese food and thought I’d share a few pictures of some of my favorite Japanese foods.  Japanese food is a feast for all the senses.  You start with sight and smell.  Then you move on to taste and texture.


Chicken and Mushroom Yakitori


Miso soup


Sashimi (YUUUUM)

Bento box (I love Wall E)

There are recipes online and instructions on how to do all of these things.  Take a minute, do some research, and try something new from Japan today.

Many thanks to Lesley Downer for her lovely book at the Japanese table, without which this post would not have been created.  It was reading it that inspired me to do this...not to mention a lot of my facts come from that book.


  1. I love Japanese food too! I'm too chicken to make most of it, and too lazy to make the rest, but I'm lucky to live in a city where there is, literally, a Japanese restaurant every two blocks or so in the shopping districts. (The blocks that don't have a coffee shop, in other words, lol.)

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