Japanese Cuisine

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Japanese cuisine 1. Introduction apanese cuisine is as refined as any of the world¶s great cuisines. Due to its near-universal appeal, Japanese restaurants have sprouted in many countries, especially in the West. The traditional Japanese diet is one of the healthiest in the world due to the presence of tofu, miso, sushi, green tea, and soba. These products are characterized as nutritious, rich in fiber, low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. Another factor is that Japanese are among the world¶s
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     Japanese cuisine 1. Introduction    apanese cuisine is as refined as any of the world¶s great cuisines. Due to its near-universalappeal, Japanese restaurants have sprouted in many countries, especially in the West. Thetraditional Japanese diet is one of the healthiest in the world due to the presence of tofu,miso, sushi, green tea, and soba. These products are characterized as nutritious, rich in fiber,low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. Another factor is that Japanese are among the world¶slargest consumers of tea. Result is that the Japanese people are generally known to have thelongest life span in the world. Recent figures have placed the average lifespan of women at 81and men at 74.The modern term Japanese cuisine ( nihon ryri ,  or  was hoku ,  ) meanstraditional-style Japanese food, similar to what already existed before the end of nationalseclusion in 1868. In a broader sense of the word, it could also include foods whose ingredientsor cooking methods were subsequently introduced from abroad, but which have been developed by Japanese who made them their own. Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis onseasonality of food (  ,  s hun ) , quality of ingredients and presentation.Japanese cuisine is based on combining staple foods (  s hu  s hoku ,   ) , typically rice or noodles, with a soup, and ok  az u (  ) - dishes made from fish, meat, vegetable, tofu and thelike, designed to add flavor to the staple food. These are typically flavored with dashi, miso, andsoy sauce and are usually low in fat and high in salt.A standard Japanese meal generally consists of several different ok  az u accompanying a bowl of cooked white Japanese rice (  goh a n ,  ) , a bowl of soup and some tsukemono(pickles ) . The most standard meal comprises three ok  az u and is termed ichij-  sa n  sa i (  ;   one soup, three sides ) . Different cooking techniques are applied to each of the three ok  az u ;  they may be raw (sashimi ) , grilled, simmered (sometimes called boiled ) , steamed, deep-fried,vinegared, or dressed. This Japanese view of a meal is reflected in the organization of Japanesecookbooks, organized into chapters according to cooking techniques as opposed to particular ingredients (e.g. me at  ,  s e af   ood  ) . There may also be chapters devoted to soups, sushi, rice,noodles, and sweets. Noodles are an essential part of Japanese cuisine usually as an alternative to a rice-basedmeal. Sob a (thin, grayish-brown noodles containing buckwheat flour  ) and udon (thick wheatnoodles ) are the main traditional noodles and are served hot or cold with soy-dashi flavorings.Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat stock broth known as ramen have becomeextremely popular over the last century. There are many foods in japan that are healthy such asseaweed. J   2. Common staple foods found on a national level (Shushoku)  There are many staple foods that are considered part of Japan's national cuisine today. Below arelisted some of the most common.    Rice (  gohan ,  )   The rice most often served in Japan is of the short-grain Japonica variety. In a traditional Japanesesetting (e.g., served in a conic bowl ) it is known as  goh a n (  ) or  me  s hi (  , generally onlyreferred to as such by males ) .In western-influenced dishes, where rice is often served on a plate(such as curries ) ,it is called r  a i  s u (  , after the English word rice ) . Other rice dishes include ok  a  yu , donburi (  , bowl ) and  s u  s hi .    Noodl es ( me n-rui  ,  )    Noodles often take the place of rice in a meal. They are featured in many soup dishes, or served chilled with a sauce for dipping .    Br ea d (  p an ,  )   Bread (the word pan is derived from the Portuguese    pã o ) is not native to Japan and is notconsidered traditional Japanese food, but since its introduction in the 19th century it has becomecommon. Tamago kake gohan (left ) , tsukemono and miso-shiru (miso soup ) .   3. Common foods and dishes found on a national level  There are many dishes that are considered part of Japan's national cuisine today. Below are listedsome of the most common.Common Japanese savory main and side dishes ( ok  az u ,  ) found on a national level : Grilled and pan-fried dishes (yakimono (     )), stewed/simmered dishes (nimono(     )), stir-fried dishes (itamemono (     )), steamed dishes (mushimono (     )),deep-fried dishes (agemono (     )), sashimi, soups (suimono (     ) and shirumono (      )), pickled, salted, and dressed foods (tsukemono (     ), aemono (      ), sunomono (     )), chinmi  4. Common Japanese Sweets and snacks (okashi (    ), oyatsu (   )) found on a national level . Japanese-style sweets ( wa  g  as hi ,   ) , old-fashioned Japanese-style sweets ( d  a  g  as hi ,  ,western-style sweets (  yg  as hi ,   ) , sweets bread ( k  as hi  p a n ,   )   5 . List of ingredients found in  Japanese cuisine:     Rice    Beans    Eggs    F lour     F ruits    F u (wheat gluten )      M eats    M ushrooms     Noodles    S oy products 6 . Types of Seafood are part of  Japanese cuisine  Includes freshwater varieties:    S eafood    F inned fish    S ea mammals    S hellfish    Crab (  K  a ni )      Roe    Processed seafood    S eaweed    V egetables  7  . Famous Japanese Cuisine  7  .1 Sushi  In Japanese cuisine, sushi (  ,  ,  ) isvinegar rice, usually topped with other ingredients, such as fish. In spelling sushi itsfirst letter   s is replaced with  z when a prefixis attached, as in n igi r izushi, due toconsonant mutation called rendaku inJapanese. S liced raw fish alone is called  sas himi , asdistinct from  s u  s hi . Combined with hand-formed clumps of rice, it is called nigiri  z u  s hi  (  ) . S ushi served rolled inside or around nori (dried and pressed layer sheetsof seaweed or algae ) is m a ki  z u  s hi (  ) .Toppings stuffed into a small pouch of friedtofu is in a ri  z u  s hi . Toppings served scatteredover a bowl of sushi rice is called chir  as hi-  z u  s hi (   ) . O  rigin of sushi  The traditional form of sushi is fermentedfish and rice, preserved with salt in a processthat has been traced to S outheast Asia,where it remains popular today. The term  s u  s hi comes from an archaic grammaticalform no longer used in other contexts ;  literally, sushi means it's sour ,areflection of its historic fermented roots.The science behind the fermentation of fish packed in rice is that the vinegar producedfrom fermenting rice breaks the fish downinto amino acids. This results in one of thefive basic tastes, called um a mi in Japanese.The oldest form of sushi in Japan,  N  a re  z u  s hi  still very closely resembles this process. InJapan, Narezushi evolved into Oshizushi andultimately Edomae nigirizushi, which iswhat the world today knows as sushi. Beginning in the M uromachi period (AD1336±1573 ) of Japan, vinegar was added tothe mixture for better taste and preservation.The vinegar accentuated the rice's sourness,and was known to increase its life span,allowing the fermentation process to beshortened and eventually abandoned. In thefollowing centuries, sushi in Osaka evolvedinto o  s hi-  z u  s hi . The seafood and rice were pressed using wooden (usually bamboo )  molds. By the mid 18th century, this form of sushi had reached Edo (contemporaryTokyo ) .   The contemporary version, internationallyknown as sushi, was invented by HanayaYohei (  ; 1799±1858 ) at the endof Edo period in Edo. The sushi invented byHanaya was an early form of fast food thatwas not fermented (therefore preparedquickly ) and could be eaten with one's handsroadside or in a theatre. Originally, thissushi was known as  E  dom a e  z u  s hi , becauseit used freshly caught fish in the  E  do-m a e  (Edo Bay or Tokyo Bay ) . Though the fishused in modern sushi no longer usuallycomes from Tokyo Bay, it is still formallyknown as  E  dom a e nigiri  z u  s hi .
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