Famous Japanese Rice Dishes

Mochi

Mochi cookies ©emleung/Flickr

Japanese cuisine or Nihon ryori is one of the world’s most unique cuisines. It includes the most important traditional Japanese dishes. The staple foods of the Japanese cuisine are rice and noodles. Though rice is more widely used than noodles, both are vital parts of Japanese cuisine.

In the history of Japan, rice had always been important. Once it was also a primary currency in the country. Dozens of delicious dishes have rice as their most important ingredient. The most popular Japanese rice dish is sushi. Sake, a typical Japanese alcoholic beverage is also made from rice. This article presents some popular and delicious Japanese rice dishes.

Sushi

Sushi

Sushi plate ©coolmikeol/Flickr

Sushi is definitely the most popular representative of Japanese foods. It consists of shari (or cooked vinegared rice) and neta (other additional ingredients). Sushi is usually complete with seafood, but raw fish is the most used additional ingredient. There are dozens of sushi types; vinegared rice is the only ingredient they all have in common.

The most popular sushi types are: Chirashizushi, Inarizushi, Makizushi, Narezushi, Oshizushi, Nigirizushi. For the first sight, sushi may seem a little bizarre, but I think everyone should taste is at least once. It will be an unforgettable memory.

 

Ochazuke

Ochazuke

Ochazuke soup ©avlxyz/Flickr

Chazuke or ochazuke is a very simple and delicious Japanese dish. The main ingredient of it is rice. It is made by pouring green tea (or hot water) over cooked rice. Different toppings may be added, like tsukemono, umeboshi, nori, tarako, furikake or mentaiko.

It is very simple to prepare and it is a good way to use leftover rice. This quick snack is also known as cha-cha gohan or in Kyoto it is called bubuzuke.

 

Onigiri

Onigiri

Onigiri (rice balls) ©WordRidden/Flickr

Onigiri or o-musubi is the Japanese name of rice balls. This food is made from white rice which is shaped into oval or triangular forms. Sometimes it is also wrapped in seaweed (nori). Onigiri is filled with salmon, tarako, ume, katsuobushi or other salty ingredients.

Onigiri is very popular in Japan, but it is also known in China, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Wrongly, onigiri is sometimes thought to be a type of sushi. While onigiri is made from plain rice, sushi is made from vinegared rice. It is also a delicious food and I recommend it to everyone who loves rice.

 

Mochi

Mochi

Mochi cookies ©emleung/Flickr

In Japan rice is also used as an ingredient of sweets. Mochi is one of the most popular desserts made from rice. It is a rice cake made of glutinous rice and it is molded into whatever shape. The preparation of mochi is called mochitsuki and it is considered to be a ceremony.

Mochi is a traditional food served on New Year’s Holiday. Mochi is also used to make ice cream, cookies, soups (like Oshiruko, Chikara udon, Zion) and New Year specialities.

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