A town’s tradition can be easily discovered through its food offerings. Japan’s culinary scene highlights the use of ingredients indigenous to the locale along with the art of preparing this delectable dishes. For those who would are exploring Tokyo for the first time, here is the what to eat in Tokyo guide.
RAMEN, SOBA, and UDON. This noodle dishes with steaming hot broth is readily available in food places and street corners of Tokyo. How to know if the noodle dish is a ramen, soba or udon? Basically, it’s in the noodle. A ramen noodle is usually made up of wheat, long and firm to chew. Meanwhile, a soba is traditionally produced from buckwheat (soba) and has a brownish color with dense texture. Due to its low wheat content, it is considered a healthier option especially for those with celiac disease. Lastly, an udon is thick and can be served hot or cold depending on the season. Aside from the noodles, another highlight of this dish is its broth. Several (and more popular types of broth) include shoyu (soy sauce), shio (salt), miso, and tonkatsu (pork). Noodle dishes are so prevalent in Japan that Tokyo even has a Ramen Museum.
SUSHI and SASHIMI. A bite-size packet of rice and raw fish. Traditionally, sushi is a technique to preserve food in salt. There are several types of sushi such as nigiri, or vinegared rice topped with either raw fish, egg, or a vegetable. There are also maki rolls are a roll of rice filled with vegetables or fish wrapped around nori (seaweed) sheets. Meanwhile, sashimi is a Japanese delicacy consisted of meat or fish sliced raw and paper thin and dipped in soy sauce and wasabi.
YAKITORI. These are skewered chicken, meat or vegetables cooked over charcoal to make it crispy outside yet juicy and tender inside. It is marinated either in salt or savory infusion of soy sauce, dashi broth, and vinegar. Typically, yakitori is served in izakayas and best paired with beer.
TONKATSU and TEMPURA. These are staple dishes in Japan. Tonkatsu is breaded fried pork cutlet commonly served with rice and shredded cabbage. Meanwhile, tempura is a seafood or vegetable dish battered and deep fried.
GYOZA. A steamed dumpling dish filled with either pork, beef, chicken, and vegetables, this bite-size packet is commonly offered as a street food.
MATCHA. Matcha is a finely ground green tea leaves that is an essential ingredient in Japanese desserts and drinks. It can be an acquired taste for tourists, but this Japanese staple can help one detoxify, improve mental sharpness and stronger immune system.
To better experience these gastronomic tastes of Japan, one can join food tours to get a taste of the flavors of Japan by joining food tours. These food tours will also give you a glimpse of the food history and the culture of the area. Tokyo by Food offers several food tours to suit your palate and schedule. You can check our website to see these food tours.
Aleli is a wanderlust whose main itinerary is to culture soak in the places that she sets foot on, sinking her teeth in the gustatory offerings that the place has to offer and knowing the story behind it. Food for her is a marriage of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the rich history of every city she explores and uses the pen as her tool to share to the world each unique experience she unravels.