Japan is said to be a country of exotic beauty and art. That can also be said with their cuisine. Fish and shellfish make up a very large and important part of Japan’s national diet and hardly a meal is served that doesn’t include some type of seafood.
Meat plays a very different role in the cuisine of Japan than the other parts of Asia and even more in the western world. Where western recipes usually call for whole cuts of meat or poultry with large individual serving portions, Japanese cooks make it a habit to make little meat go a long way.
Rice, noodles and vegetables are used in mostly in a dish, with just a few ounces of finely diced or slivered meat or poultry added for flavor.
The flavor of Japanese food Is most often subtle and delicate. Spices, sauces and flavoring aids like dashi (a light fish stock indispensable in Japanese cookery), shoyu (soy sauce), miso, aji-no-moto, sanshio, sake, etc. One Japanese dish worth trying is the Stuffed Beef Teriyaki. Of course there are the sushi, sashimi, tempura and sukiyaki stable favorites.
Japanese food is dominantly sweet in taste and largely enhanced by soy sauce. Shoyu is the “queen” of Japanese seasoning. It is loved by the Japanese for its piquant flavor and its use is so extensive that almost no dish is conceivable without it.
Preparation of Japanese food is very simple. However, presentation is very artistic, great emphasis is placed on beauty and symmetry. Foods are carefully arranged for serving in small, exquisite dishes, chosen for their complementary shape and color. No minute detail of color arrangement is overlooked.
For the Japanese, every meal is an aesthetic experience. They are meticulous when it comes to the appearance of their food-the texture, the taste and quality-because for them, you not only feed your body but your senses as well. Definitely Japanese Cuisine is an art in cooking. Servings may be small, but they are filling.