Oodles of Fun Facts About Japanese Noodles

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Tickle Your Friends and Sound Smart with These

Did you know that some people would eat instant ramen noodles raw? Yes, they wouldn’t wait 5 minutes to cook them. Over the hard and crunchy noodles, just a sprinkling of the seasonings, and that’s it.

A vacuum sealed package version of ramen skyrocketed into space in the Discovery space shuttle when Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi brought some along. It’s the very first of its kind.The noodle were smaller and the brought thicker, so it’s easier to eat in zero gravity.

A History of Frying in Japan

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When the Japanese Started to Fry Food

Fried food in Japan is common, an easy way to serve vegetables and meats, especially to express the seasons. Fried chicken and tempura is popular during summer and autumn festivals. Kentucky Fried Chicken is everywhere during Christmas. It seems hot and delicious finger-foods are famous in a country that doesn’t rely much on ovens. What influences shaped some of Japan’s most popular fried foods?

Japanese Food Facts To Blow Your Mind

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Interesting Bits of Knowledge

Tokyo is the International Capital of the Top Restaurants. It beats even Paris. The undoubted world capital of fine dining is Tokyo, with a remarkable 302 Michelin stars in total in 2017. The breakdown as follows: 12 are 3 stars, 53 are 2 stars, and 160, 1 star. Two other Japanese cities make up the top 5 of this list – Kyoto and Osaka.

Amazing Benefits of the Nutritious Nori

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A Strip of Nori for Health

Nori is that blackish green, thin strip of edible seaweed you see wrapped around sushi, or just placed on top of your soup as garnish. It is widely used in Asian cuisine, particularly that of the Japanese and Korean. Nori is the Japanese word for do and it refers to dried seaweed sheets made from the edible red algae species.

Nori is generally regarded as safe to eat in moderate amounts and provides an abundance of healthful properties.

Seaweeds: Flavors and Colors from The Deep

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From The Deep to Your Dinner Plate

Seaweeds (kaiso) have been an important part of the Japanese diet for many centuries. Today, various types of seaweed are used extensively as soup stock, seasonings and other forms in daily Japanese cooking. There’s even seaweed salad. Over the past decades, foreigners have become more familiar with their flavors though seaweed and the full extent of its culinary applications remain a bit mysterious to many. Let’s have a look at these delicacies of the deep.

Rice: Integral Part of Japanese Culture

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Japanese Rice Varieties

Did you know that rice accounts for around a quarter of the daily caloric intake of Japan. On a daily basis, whichever time of day, the traditional Japanese meal is rice, one soup and three side dishes. Cooked rice is central to Japanese tradition and for over 2,000 years it was cultivated all across the country. It is barely absent on the dinner table and has come to symbolize the Japanese way of life.

There are several main varieties of rice in Japan. There’s the most common white rice, called ‘hakumai’. It is short grained and sticky when cooked. Most of Japanese rice is polished rice where the outer skin or bran is removed and served as white rice, served with most Japanese meals.

Eel: The Nutritious Unagi

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Rejuvenation, Vitality, and More

Unagi is the Japanese word for freshwater eel. The freshwater eels and other marine eels are commonly used in Japanese cuisine. Anago is another eel variety and this one is the saltwater type. Unagi in particular is prized for its soft, fatty meat and bold, rich taste. Unagi is cultivated mainly during May to October, and is generally regarded amongst Japanese as being a summer food, as its high content of vitamins and minerals is believed to provide the energy necessary to “beat summer fatigue.”

Quick and Easy Meals with Bonito Flakes

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Just a Pinch Goes a Long Way in Flavor

Bonito flakes (or katsuobushi) are a delicious and a very quick way to make a pot of economical fish stock. The resulting broth, called dashi, is a fish stock traditional to Japan. It is traditionally mixed with fermented miso paste to make miso soup.

The flakes are made from dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna. Japanese women used to keep blocks of the dried bonito and flake off as much as they needed. Nowadays the flakes are sold in bags. Homemade dashi made from dried kelp and bonito flakes is rare today, even in Japan. Most people use granulated or liquid instant stock, which is typically MSG-flavored instead of the natural bonito flakes.

Katsu: Not Just Any Fried, Breaded Cutlet

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Westernized and Truly Japanese

Katsu, or “cutlet” in Japanese, refers to meat that’s been pounded thin before being cooked. Chicken katsu is a popular dish of fried chicken wherein the meat is seasoned, then dredged in flour, egg, and finally panko breadcrumbs – a flaky type of breadcrumb made with white bread. Katsu can also be of seafood. Similar in form to a German schnitzel, katsu is one of many Western foods that has been adapted to suit local tastes, and become a key part of Japanese cuisine.

There is no real fundamental difference between katsu and other styles of breaded and fried cutlets. Only two things distinguish it. First, katsu must be made with panko crumbs (as opposed to European-style breaded cutlets, where panko may occasionally be called for but is not a requirement). And second, it must be served with katsu sauce. Katsu is not katsu without the thick, savory-sweet, Worcestershire sauce.

The Tasty Evolution of Ramen

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Knowing the Real Ramen

Ramen is a hot culinary trend that has swept the world. It is everywhere. You find it served in small, unpretentious sidewalk stalls to glitzy high-end restaurants. You can even cook your own, cheap packets of dried noodles procured from the grocer’s near you. However, the microwaveable type is not exactly real ramen. The best ramen noodles today are much more similar to the ramen served 100 years ago.

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