What do the Japanese eat?

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Japanese cuisine influences the best chefs in the world. For cause, japanese gastronomy and its authentic flavors have it all!

However, true Japanese cuisine is a bit different from what we know in France. Yes, it is not limited to sushi and tempuras that can be found in all Japanese restaurants.

Then what do the japanese eat ? Discover the main ingredients of this diet recognized as one of the healthiest in the world!

? The basics of the Japanese diet.

japanese diet

For cooking, the Japanese use fresh and high quality products. It is not in vain that its food is known to be good for health. Among the essential foods in Japanese cuisine is rice, which is the basis of the diet, seasonal vegetables, raw fish, shellfish and soups.

? Rice and its derivatives

Your name ” gohan means “food”. In fact, this cereal rich in minerals and trace elements is the basis of traditional Japanese cuisine. Rice used in the archipelago is the variety ” japanese rosebush » recognizable by its round grain and sticky texture. Before cooking it, it is rinsed with cold water and then cooked with a rice cooker so that it has perfect cooking. Considered a sacred food, rice has many powers in japanese mythology and is the subject of many traditions.

? Ramen and other Japanese noodles


An alternative to rice: the ramen, Soba et udon. These are very popular pasta varieties in Japan. Ramen is always served in broth; udon are large white noodles eaten hot or cold, and soba are buckwheat noodles served with sauce. Note that each region has its specialties.

? Vegetables from the archipelago

The Japanese especially appreciate tubers and pumpkins like white radishes” daikon “japanese onions” negi “carrots” ninja “, sweet potatoes ” satsuma in my opinion “or pumpkins” kabocha “. Green leafy vegetables are also widely used in traditional cooking. Thus there are many varieties of cabbage: hakusai (Chinese cabbage), kyabetsu (cabbage)…spinach” horense », or salad mizuma that looks like our arugula. Lastly, the mushrooms. shit accompany many Japanese dishes.

In Japan, vegetables are often steamed, stir fry in wok, slow cooked or even fermented to preserve vitamins and nutritional qualities. They are served as an accompaniment to the main dish, in soups, in salads and are even found in sweet preparations such as red beans. adzuki. On the other hand, fruits are not consumed much in Japan, because most of them are imported… and therefore very expensive. However, some fruits produced in the archipelago will have more reasonable prices such as persimmons, pears Nashithe Apple fujithe Yuzu (kind of lemon), peaches, cherries and tangerines.

? Fish in the archipelago

Raw Fish

It is well known, the Japanese eat a lot Pisces and more rarely, meat (chicken, pork and beef…). Most often eaten raw, grilled or fried, fish and shellfish are key foods in Japanese cuisine. Favorite species include salmon, tuna, sanma (knife-shaped fish), sea bream and eels. Also, the Japanese like seafood : shrimps, sea urchins, octopuses are part of many Japanese culinary specialties.

? japanese condiments

The traditional japanese cuisine is recognized for its seasonings and herbs that give it unique iodized flavors called ” umami ».

The broths and herbs of Japan

the Dashi It is a widely used ingredient in traditional Japanese cuisine. It is a broth made with dried tuna, Konbu or mushrooms found in particular in miso soup and in many japanese dishes. Finally, seaweed, spring onion, shiso, ginger, wasabi and others aromatic plants season the dishes.


Soy is available in all its forms, soy sauce in ramen, fermented soybean paste in miso soup, tofu, beans, seeds, bean sprouts…

Rice spirits and vinegars


the reason and the mirin They are frequently used to flavor dishes. Similarly, rice vinegar seasons salads or sauces.

?What do the Japanese eat daily?

Japanese eating habits are very different from ours. In fact, there is no notion of starter, main course or dessert, since all the dishes are served at the same time. In general, the Japanese diet rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins and low in fat and fast sugars is much more balanced than the Western diet. Plus, nutritionists recommend it!

? What do the Japanese eat for breakfast?

japanese breakfast

While in France we have adopted a sweet breakfast based on bread, cereals, fruit or even pastries, in the archipelago we eat savory dishes in the morning. Thus, we start the day with a plate of white rice served alone, with seaweed, an egg or even natto (fermented soy) for the bravest. Similarly, miso soup packed with good nutrients is a must. The first meal of the day is always accompanied by protein in the form of a Japanese omelette (tamagoyaki), grilled salmon or tofu. pickled vegetables called tsukemono They are also part of the most important meal of the day as they provide fiber, minerals and vitamins. These are cucumbers, white radishes or fermented plums preserved in sauce. Finally masha you, rich in antioxidants, is the drink that is traditionally served for breakfast. However, the Japanese are big coffee drinkers.

Young Japanese, meanwhile, prefer the Western fashion with toast with butter, jam and fruit juice to which they add an omelette.

? What do the Japanese eat for lunch?

japanese lunch

the lunch it is often taken on the go during the lunch break. Workers, schoolchildren and students usually bring a box with precooked meals. is the famous bento box traditionally prepared (with love) by the mother or wife. Again, the bowl is made up of rice, vegetables, and pieces of fish (or meat). Ramen is sometimes eaten by busy salarymen, but the star of the Japanese lunch is undoubtedly on the wall, a triangle of rice stuffed with fish and surrounded by a sheet of nori seaweed. in drink? Tea of ​​course!

? What Japanese people eat for afternoon tea

dorayaki japanese appetizer

Dorayaki, Japanese pancakes

Like Westerners, Japanese youth, like adults, often snack on a snack in the afternoon. Can be sweet dishes (cakes, seasonal pastries, etc.) or salty (skewers) accompanied by a hot or cold drink.

? What do Japanese people eat at night?

japanese dinner

Dinner is the most traditional meal of the day.. In the evening, the Japanese eat mainly rice served with miso soup and three side dishes. Fish, vegetables, meat… Make way for delicious Japanese dishes (donburi, gyoza, nabe, tempura, etc.)! In addition, more and more families are betting on street food to taste noodles, brochettes and other local specialties. Finally, in the Land of the Rising Sun, it is not uncommon to go out to eat in them izakaya (small Japanese restaurants). Tea and cakes can also be served if you feel peckish before bed. Note that cakes are very sugar free in Japan.

It is not for nothing that the inhabitants of the archipelago have such a long life expectancy. When we take a closer look at what the Japanese eat, we realize that their diet is quite well balanced ! And you, when did you switch to Japanese cuisine?

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