Try these Foods Before You Leave Tokyo

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Many visitors love Tokyo’s efficient trains and Shinjuku’s bright lights. But the best thing about Tokyo is its delicious food.

Japan is known for its delicious food. This reputation can be attributed to the Japanese art Shokunin. Japanese chefs often train for many years before taking over the kitchen. This attention to detail is evident in the food, especially in Tokyo, where centuries-old culinary traditions are still being passed down.

You’ve probably heard of Sushi, vinegared rice paired with seafood, vegetables and seaweed. But there are many other options in Tokyo. These are some other foods that you should try before you go.

Omurice

Although there are many ways to make this Japanese omelet, you can use the same ingredients. Fried rice in a delicate wrapper with a perfectly prepared egg. This dish, yoshoku, is a Japanese version of western cuisine. It is often served with ketchup and, as you can imagine, is a favorite among Japanese children. You can find omurice at any of the many Akihabara maid cafes.

Karaage

Karaage is a type of deep-frying, not a specific dish. However, it most often refers to Japanese fried chicken. Karaage is typically made from the boneless thigh. It’s marinated in soy sauce, sake and garlic. Then, it’s dredged with fine-milled flour and dropped into a hot deep frying pan. It’s usually served with Japanese mayonnaise and lemon, but you might also find tartar sauce or vinegar. Karaage can be found at many Izakayas (Japanese bars) in Tokyo.

Wagashi

Wagashi is not a term that refers to a particular dish. It is a name for dozens of Japanese sweets often served with green tea. The most popular, Namagashi, is made of rice flour. It is filled with Anko (a sweet paste made from azuki beans) and then transformed into various shapes and colors according to season. You’ll also find classic Japanese varieties at Japanese bakeries and street stalls in Tokyo: Manju, a small steamed bun filled with filling, Dango, skewered rice dumplings and Dorayaki, a mini pancake sandwich with sweet red bean paste.

Takoyaki

Takoyaki is a portion of popular Japanese street food. It’s most commonly found in Osaka, but you can also find it throughout Tokyo. These are savory fried balls made of batter and small pieces of octopus. They’re topped with mayonnaise and dried bonito flakes.

It’s part of the fun to watch your takoyakichef prepare your meal. Watch them quickly pour the batter into each hemispherical hole and then turn them with a bamboo stick until they look like a golf ball. You should visit the Odaiba Takoyaki Museum if you are a fan. It has several stalls that serve fresh takoyaki and shops where you can buy souvenirs or supplies to make it.

Sashimi

Sashimi is a simple way to prepare raw seafood and, less frequently, other meats such as beef or venison. It can be ordered at most sushi restaurants. You may already be familiar with the most common varieties, such as maguro (bluefin tuna) and Hamachi (yellowtail), but you should still try some Japanese delicacies. Ikura and Tai (salmon roe and sea bream) are not to be missed.

Donburi

This simple dish is popular in Tokyo and can be described as a bowl of steamed rice with other prepared foods. The most popular type is gyudon (marinated beef with scallions), available at chain restaurants and convenience stores.

Another Tokyo favorite is unadon. It’s topped with unagi (freshwater eel) and cooked in a thick, sweet soy-based sauce. You can also find kaisendon, which is a type of donburi that’s served with a variety of raw seafood. Crab, tuna and octopus can be added to Kaisendon. If you’re lucky, you might also get some Ebi (shrimp) and hotate (scallop).

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