Experiences - Asia

5 Interesting Japanese Foods

Japanese have a penchant for making creative dishes, be it rolling the sushi with colourful veggies and meat or decorating a salad with the right blend of nutrients or even garnishing a simple soup. They seem to be obsessed with perfection and creativity in abundance. Among the dishes that they make, some of them are bizarre and absurd which are known for their unusual flavours and combinations. We bring to you 5 interesting Japanese foods that have been encountered and savoured by people around the world.

Intense in taste, these delicacies are different from the usual and veer off the rather bland taste that Japanese cuisine is known for.



Interesting Japanese Foods - Shirako

Image Courtesy: Kirk K used under the Creative Commons Licence

How do you like to eat fish sperm? Sounds weird right? This is one of the famous delicacies in Japan and is often served in its natural state with sushi, which melts in your mouth in seconds. Shirako is the name for male fish sperm and it literally means ‘white child’. It is known to taste a bit salty with a soft and creamy texture. The fish milt is also known to be rich in omega-3 and omega-6 ratio that it is used to make supplements as well.



Interesting Japanese Foods - Uni

Image Courtesy: One More Bite Blog used under the Creative Commons Licence

So you might wonder why the Japanese prefer eating a delicacy made from the gonads of sea urchin? Uni, is the fish roe from sea urchins which are covered in spikes. It is quite common in sushi and is known for its low calorie which helps you lose weight easily. It is delicious with a rather strong smell of the ocean but packed with vitamins and minerals which are essential to keep the immune system strong. It is also known to be rich in dietary fibers and is said to be used as an aphrodisiac in many cultures including Japan and those around Mediterranean.



Interesting Japanese Foods - Natto

Image Courtesy: Robyn Lee used under the Creative Commons Licence

As weird as it may sound, Natto are sticky, stringy and gooey soya beans fermented with bacteria/ yeast. This process is done to covert the carbohydrates into alcohol or acid. It is quite common in east Japan and is a staple for breakfast along with soups and rice. Although it does not have a pleasant smell it tastes good and is packed with vitamin B and E along with fiber and iron.



Interesting Japanese Foods - Nankotsu

Image Courtesy: T.Tseng used under the Creative Commons Licence

The literal meaning of Nankotsu means cartilage or cartilageous parts of the chicken. These are fried dumplings or patties made with chicken cartilage. The texture is more like bones and taste different. It is available in most of the yakotori restaurants and are known to be very nutritious. The preparation is the same way as karaage- Japanese fried chicken. It is known to be high in protein and low in fat and calories.



Interesting Japanese Foods - Shiokara

Image Courtesy: Kirk K used under the Creative Commons Licence

You wouldn’t have imagined eating squid that’s fermented in its own viscera? Would you? That’s Shiokara for you. It has a pungent smell that even most Japanese consider it hardcore. It is commonly served at Izakaya and bars and is usually washed down with sake or shochu.


Some of the other Japanese weird snacks include Kit Kat made with soya beans and green-tea powder, eel soda and kanniko- candied baby crabs.

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