Posted by: Santa Barbara Dreaming | September 27, 2008

100 Japanese foods

This list was so much fun for me to do! Though it has nothing to do with health and fitness, it is about Japanese food, another topic I spend wayyyyy too much time talking about, to people who don’t even have a clue as to what all the things I’m talking about are. I just HAD to do the list when I saw it, at Just Hungry, a blog/website about Japanese food.

It’s a list of 100 quintessentially Japanese foods, and you go through and see how many you’ve tried. I was actually surprised to see how many I had tried! Well, actually…. considering how I lived and grew up in Japan for 17 years, perhaps that is to be expected.

So without further ado, I present to you the list. The ones I have tried are colored. ๐Ÿ™‚ My comments are in brackets

  1. Properly washed and cooked, top quality new harvest white rice (shinmai ๆ–ฐ็ฑณ)
  2. Freshly made tofu, as hiyayakko or yudofu (Tofu you can find in America don’t even COMPARE to the fresh tofu you can find in Japan. Fresh tofu is silky smooth and goes perfect chilled with a bit of soysauce and katsuo-bushi aka dried fish flakes on a hot summer evening)
  3. Properly made misoshiru and osumashi
  4. Properly made homemade nukazuke
  5. Very fresh sanma (saury), sizzling hot from the grill, eaten with a drizzle of soy sauce and a mound of grated daikon radish
  6. Homemade umeboshi (my grandma makes great umeboshi)
  7. Freshly made, piping hot crispy tempura. I prefer vegetable tempura like shiso leaves, eggplant and sweet potato.
  8. A whole grilled wild Japanese matsutake
  9. Freshly made sobagaki with sobayu
  10. Mentaiko from Fukuoka, or tarako
  11. Onigiri with the three classic fillings: umeboshi, okaka, shiozake (my favorite is the okaka)
  12. Assorted fresh-as-possible sashimi (I can’t even eat sashimi in America – the quality is so sub-par here. Fresh, high quality sashimi is sweet, melts in your mouth, and just as good as beef)
  13. Saba oshizushi
  14. Mugicha (a summer time staple!)
  15. Kakifurai
  16. Morinaga High-Chew candy, grape flavor
  17. Karasumi
  18. A pot of oden, preferably with homemade components especially ganmodoki, boiled eggs and daikon radish ใŠใงใ‚“
  19. Ika no shiokara
  20. Calpis (it’s called Calpico in America – how funny!)
  21. Ankou nabe
  22. Unadon
  23. Komochi kombu or kazunoko
  24. Yamakake, grated yamaimo with maguro (red tuna) cubes (or just tororo with a raw egg)
  25. Properly made gyokuro shincha
  26. Milky Candy
  27. Wanko soba
  28. Omuraisu with demi-glace sauce (I prefer it with ketchup, haha)
  29. Handmade katayaki senbei
  30. Yohkan (yokan) from Toraya
  31. Ishi yakiimo (I LOVE it when you can hear the little cart go buy on a cold winter day. Great with a bit of butter)
  32. Natto (I absolutely DETEST it though. Fermented beans? YUCK!)
  33. Fresh seaweed sunomono (can also have some tako in it)
  34. Ikura or sujiko (I used to be obsessed with Ikura when I was little… the little red jewels would POP in my mouth and ooze a pink gooey yumminess…. perfection)
  35. Tonkatsu (so bad for you, yet so comforting)
  36. Goma dofu
  37. Chawan mushi or tamago dofu – the same dish either piping hot or ice cold (I have so many memories of begging my mom to make this. It’s a labor intensive dish…. I love it when there’s spinach in it)
  38. Freshly made mochi, with kinako and sugar, grated daikon and soy sauce or natto (my elementary/middle school had yearly mochi-tsuki days and we were able to eat as much mochi as we could stuff our faces with. Clearly, some mochi eating contests were involved.)
  39. Gindara no kasuzuke
  40. Hoshigaki
  41. Inarizushi
  42. Chikuzen-ni ?
  43. Surume
  44. Yakinasu with grated ginger
  45. Tamago kake gohan. (Raw egg on rice? Hell NO!)
  46. Kabuki-age
  47. Nikujaga
  48. Spinach gomaae (one of my favorite side dishes)
  49. Fuki no tou
  50. Okonomiyaki (So much fun to make your own)
  51. Yakitori
  52. Ohagi
  53. Japanese style curry, with rakkyo and fukujinzuke as condiments
  54. Kenchinjiru
  55. Yakult (I have this horrible memory of spilling one all over this lady one time when I was little)
  56. Kakipea ? A snack made up of spicy little rice crackers called ๆŸฟใฎ็จฎใ€€ใ‹ใใฎใŸใญ kaki no tane (literally: persimmon seeds) and roasted peanuts. (A family Favorite)
  57. Takoyaki
  58. Sakura mochi
  59. Buta no kakuni
  60. Daigaku imo
  61. Kappa Ebisen (Shrimp crackers! I never realized how gross this might sound until I had to explain it to Americans ๐Ÿ™‚ )
  62. Tori no tsukune
  63. Hakusaizuke
  64. Hayashi raisu
  65. Goya champuruu
  66. Dorayaki (this always reminds me of Dorae-mon. I also tried one that had a bit of butter in the anko – a pleasant surprise!)
  67. Ochazuke
  68. Sakuma Drops
  69. Stewed kiriboshi daikon ? ๅˆ‡ใ‚Šๅนฒใ—ๅคงๆ นใ€€ใใ‚Šใผใ—ใ ใ„ใ“ใ‚“
  70. Takenoko gohan (or in fall, kuri gohan)
  71. Cream or potato korokke
  72. Fresh yuba (not something I enjoy)
  73. Real ramen (my mother is the self proclaimed Ramen Queen)
  74. Monaka
  75. Ekiben of all kinds
  76. Edamame
  77. Chicken karaage
  78. Kuzumochi
  79. Mitarashi dango
  80. Konnyaku no dengaku
  81. Yukimi Daifuku
  82. Sukiyaki
  83. Nama yatsuhashi ? ็”Ÿๅ…ซใคๆฉ‹ใ€€ใชใพใ‚„ใคใฏใ— (I found chocolate yatsuhashi once – being the chocoholic that I am, I liked those the most)
  84. Panfried hanpen
  85. Nozawanazuke or Takanazuke
  86. Kiritanpo
  87. Amanattoh
  88. Narazuke
  89. Aji no himono
  90. Baby Ramen
  91. Kobucha
  92. Kasutera (i’ve grown to really like these!)
  93. Tazukuri
  94. Karintou (My grandpa was notorious for eating pounds of these in one sitting! LOL)
  95. Sauce Yakisoba
  96. Kamaboko
  97. Oyako donburi (I always have fun explaining what this name means)
  98. Atsuyaki tamago (I think these are pretty nasty. They are like, super THICK omlettes)
  99. Kuri kinton
  100. Japanese potato salad (ten times better than its American counterpart)
And here is another one of my favorite Japanese snacks ; little fishies!
A whole pack of sweetly glazed dried fish

A whole pack of sweetly glazed dried fish

a close up view of the fish;

Hi Fishie, nice to meet you. Now Im going to eat you

Hi Fishie, nice to meet you. Now I'm going to eat you

Three of a kind;

Yummy fish snack. Yes, you eat the entire fish, eyeballs and all

Yummy fish snack. Yes, you eat the entire fish, eyeballs and all

Another Japanese food I like is Kewpie Mayonnaise. It’s much more tangy than the American type, and goes well with veggie sticks.

For you Santa Barbabarians brave enough to venture into authentic Japanese foods, the NIKKA Japanese Market in the Calle Real Shopping Center (A few stores to the left of Trader Joe’s) carries many Japanese products. From snacks to condiments to produce, this market is nice when I start to feel a little homesick. I suggest you check it out!

If you have a favorite Japanese food, let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚

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