Day 1: Exploring the daily delights of Japanese cuisine
Morning, my dear! I have just woken up from a tired flight to Japan, now let’s explore Japanese daily cuisine with my host Eri and me through an adventure from breakfast to dinner, and prepare to be tantalized by the flavors, textures, and cultural significance of each dish.
I would start my day with a traditional Japanese breakfast, which often consists of a bowl of steamed rice, miso soup, grilled fish, pickled vegetables, and a side of nori (seaweed). This hearty and nutritious meal sets a great foundation for the day ahead.
For mid-morning snack
Time for senbei! Crispy, savory senbei is Japanese rice crackers which are available in different shapes, sizes, and flavors. They can be seasoned with soy sauce, seaweed, shrimp, or even have a sweet glaze. Senbei is a popular snack enjoyed with green tea or on its own.
There are several ramen classes, including shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), miso (fermented bean paste), and tonkotsu (pork). For lunch, I decided to try Tonkotsu ramen at a very famous restaurant - IPPUDO thanks to my host’s recommendation. Slurping up a steaming bowl of ramen with rich broth, springy noodles, and toppings like sliced pork, I would indulge in the diverse flavors of Japanese noodle dishes.
For afternoon snack
In the afternoon, warabi mochi is the dessert that gives a real refreshing taste. This is a traditional Japanese dessert made from Warabi starch with a jelly-like texture and is often served chilled. Coated with kinako (roasted soybean flour), it offers a delicate sweetness and nutty flavor. Enjoying this dessert while sipping matcha, why not?
As the day winds down, it's time for a comforting and satisfying dinner. Crispy breaded pork cutlets go with a rich and flavorful curry sauce. Everything goes so well that makes me feel Japanese cuisine is truly a healing therapy after a hard-working day at work.
For evening snack
To wrap up the day, I indulge myself with milk kanten jelly, a creamy and refreshing Japanese dessert made from kanten (seaweed-derived gelatin) and milk. It has a smooth and silky texture, with a subtle sweetness. Served chilled, it is enjoyed on its own or with toppings such as fresh fruits or sauces. Milk kanten jelly is a light and delightful treat as a light dessert option.
Japanese meals offer a captivating blend of tradition and modernity, meticulous preparation, and diverse flavors that cater to every palate. From the nutritionally balanced breakfast to the communal dinner, every meal tells a story and reflects the deep-rooted culinary heritage of Japan. So, whether you're exploring the bustling streets of Tokyo or enjoying a home-cooked meal, immerse yourself in the authentic flavors and embrace the true essence of Japanese daily dining.