Japanese Food You Must Eat
Noodles and Soups
A few weeks ago I posted about Japanese Food You Must Eat (Part 1) – Rice and Toppings. If you haven’t read it try too after this post.
Japanese cuisine is one of my favorites, not only is it a delight in the mouth and the stomach but a great experience especially if you’re dining in Japan. Some restaurants lets you see how the food is prepared making your mouths water as you wait and in awe with their culinary abilities.
Ladies and gents, prepare a tissue paper in case you drool and some food in case you get hungry!
Udon are thick wheat noodles that are mostly prepared with hot soup. A lot of variants or flavors maybe chosen and there can be a different variety of toppings.
I’m used to eating noodles, but Udon is really thick; a little bit smaller than a pencil but longer than that. It was fun eating it but sadly I can’t finish a bowl.
Soba are made from buckwheat flour and are normal sized (compared to Udon). They can be served in hot soup, chilled with a dipping sauce or fried (yakisoba). While Udon are usually white, Soba’s color is light to dark brown or grayish.
Is soba are buckwheat, yakisoba is made from plain wheat. They are stir fried, some stalls can prepare a yakisoba for you in just a few minutes and you get to see the how it’s made!Yakisoba also includes bite-sized meat, vegetables flavored with yakisoba sauce.
Ramen are the most popular Japanese noodles though it was influenced by China. Thin wheat noodles are served in a variety of broths and can contain a variety of ingredients. These are always served hot and available almost everywhere in Japan.
Tsukemen is dipping ramen in English. Instead of putting ramen noodles in a soup; they are separated by two bowls; the noodles (which are cold) and the broth (which is hot). I tried them twice and it was quite an adjustment; getting noodles from another bowl and dipping it to the sauce.Somehow I prefer tsukemen to other noodles because this gives me a good chance not to burn my tongue plus it’s super tasty!
Somen are very thin noodle usually served cold with a light dipping sauce or tsuyu. Though they’re both eaten by dipping, the difference is that the thickness of their noodles; somen is very thin, tsukemen (like ramen noodles) are of normal size. On summers, they can chilled with ice while on winters; in soup (nyumen). There are restaurants where somen noodles are placed in a long flume of bamboo with water, the noodles flow while people pluck them with their chopsticks. I saw this on a Japanese festival in the Philippines but was too intimidated to join (my chopstick skills aren’t good, the noodles go down fast but pressure makes me nervous T_T)
Japanese clear soup – Suimono actually translates simply as “something to drink”. It is supposed to be refreshing and help prepare the palate for what’s to come. It is served in small covered lacquered bowls.
There are a lot of soups in Japan, but the one you must try is the traditional miso soup. The main ingredient is stock (dashi) and softened miso paste, other ingredients like tofu and seasonal recipes depends on a shop or a place.
Now go ahead to the nearest Japanese restaurant and try at least one of these?