When I travel other countries, I was asked many times what kind of dishes Japanese people enjoy in their houses. As you can imagine we don’t eat Sushi everyday at home… There are a variety of Japanese home cooking dishes and they are really tasty. Let me tell you my favorite typical home cooking meals which I believe almost all Japanese enjoy at home.
Japanese Curry and Rice
Photo Credit: akihito nakanishi
As you know, curry is originated in India and you might have tried curries in Indian restaurants in your country. Japanese curry is very different from those Indian curries. The Japanese curry sauce is much thicker and it is not so spicy as Indian curries. When we make curry at home, usually we don’t mix spices. We just get a box of favorite curry sauce cubes from grocery stores or super markets.
Photo Credit: gaku.@flickr
Nikujaga is traditional Japanese ”Mom’s Dishes”. Niku means meat and Jaga (shortened word of Jagaimo) means potato. The mixed flavor of soy sauce, Mirin (sweet cooking rice wine) and Sake makes the meat and potato taste so good. The salty and somehow sweet taste of Nikujaga is perfectly matching with white steamed rice. Also it is nice to have Nikujaga with ice cold beer. Yummy!
Gyoza is originally a Chinese food but it is a very popular home cooking dish in Japan. There are three major types of Gyoza. Pan-fried Gyoza, boiled Gyoza and deep fried Gyoza. The most popular one is pan-fried Gyoza. The Gyoza skin is chewy but crispy at the bottom and the veggie & meat mix inside of the skin has rich flavor and so juicy. The sauce is very important to enjoy Japanese Gyoza. Normally, we mix soy sauce, rice vinegar and Ra-Yu which is red hot sesame oil for Gyoza sauce. Pour the sauce on a small plate and put Gyoza on it at every bite. Now you can’t stop eating Gyoza!
Photo Credit: Charles Haynes@flickr.com
Shogayaki is another popular menu for the house dinner dishes in Japan. “Shoga” is a ginger, “Yaki” means stir-fry. It is so simple to make Shogayaki. Just heat a frying pan, add some oil then add sliced pork meat. When the meat turns brown, add grated ginger with soy sauce, Mirin and sake. So easy to cook but you will be amazed how delicious it is, especially with steamed rice. Usually served with shredded cabbage. Put some mayo on it if you like.
Photo Credit: Glen MacLarty@flickr.com
Karaage is Japanese style fried chicken and Japanese kids love it! Chicken meat is cut and put in a bowl with soy sauce, grated ginger and garlic, then left for 1.5 to 2 hours before it is coated with flour and deep fried. This process makes the Karaage taste different from common fried chickens. It is popular as home-made dishes and also snacks. Many convenience stores now sell fresh cooked Karaage so you can try anytime. It perfectly matches with steamed rice and of course with ice cold beer…Kanpai!!