Here we list some example of Japanese street food.
Japanese Cuisine is not only about perfectionism. Here we list some example of food that you can easily find in Japanese streets. Usually these are cheap. Just give it a try!
Okonomiyaki is a popular pan-fried dish that consists of batter and cabbage. Selected toppings and ingredients are added which can vary greatly (usually meat and seafood). This variability is reflected in the dish’s name; “okonomi” literally means “to one’s liking”. The dish is available all over Japan, but is particularly popular in the cities of Hiroshima and Osaka.
Another speciality of Osaka: Yakisoba, “fried noodle”, is a Japanese noodle stir-fry dish. Usually soba means buckwheat, but Soba in Yakisoba means Chinese noodles (Chuuka soba) made from wheat flour, and are typically flavored with a condiment similar to Worcestershire sauce. The dish first appeared in food stalls in Japan during the early 20th century. There are plenty of Okonomiyaki restaurants in Osaka, especially around Namba.
When you come to Osaka, please try some Takoyaki. Takoyaki refers to the savory dish of grilled balls of batter made with flour and eggs filled with octopus chunks and other ingredients like pickled ginger (beni shoga) and leftover fried tempura batter (tenkasu). Each takoyaki ball is approximately the size of a golf ball. Typically made fresh in-store, the exterior of a takoyaki ball is a nice golden brown while the interior can be a touch molten. A single order of takoyaki typically contains about eight balls that are topped with shaved bonito flakes (katsuobushi), aonori seaweed flakes and drizzled with mayonnaise and takoyaki sauce. Be careful usually it’s very hot! I recommend you to open the Takoyaki and wait a bit before eating it.
Ramen is a noodle soup dish that was originally imported from China and has become one of the most popular dishes in Japan in recent decades. Ramen are inexpensive and widely available, two factors that also make them an ideal option for budget travelers. Japanese people will enjoy a hot Ramen all year long, though I’d rather avoid Ramen in Summer (it’s just to hot outside). Ramen restaurants, or ramen-ya, can be found in virtually every corner of the country and produce countless regional variations of this common noodle dish.
Roasted sweet potato is a popular winter street food. Yakiimo are traditionally sold out of special trucks that drive around small towns looking for customers wanting to try these delicious sweet potato snacks. However you will find a Yakiimo stall in any Japanese city.
Oden is a type of nabemono (Japanese one-pot dishes), consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fish cakes stewed in a light, soy-flavored dashi broth. In central Japan it’s especially popular from November to March. Of course restaurants or Ryokans (Japanese Inns) will serve a unique Oden; but convenience stores like 7-Eleven are very popular among Japanese for Oden:
Ikayaki is a popular street food in Japan. In much of Japan, the term refers to simple grilled squid topped with soy sauce; the portion of squid served may be the whole body, rings cut from the body, or one or more tentacles, depending on the size.
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Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training and teaching Aikido.
Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.
Izumi has spent most of her life in the Kansai region, except for the 10 years that she enjoyed in the UK. Living abroad has made her appreciate her own culture and local beauty even more. She currently lives in Osaka with her family, including two cats and two dogs.
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