The cuisines of Korea and Japan are somewhat similar in style, beginning with the Chinese introduction of rice thousands of years ago. They are also completely different, starting with delicate flavors of Japanese cuisine. Japanese use small amounts of cooking oil and sesame oil and the Bonio fish broth called dashi to cook with. Very little milk, butter, cream or cheese is consumed in Japan.
White rice, specifically the small grained variety, is the dominant staple and usually eaten at least twice a day. Rice is often combined with vinegar and shaped into ovals to serve as the base for fresh raw fish called sushi. Wine and wine vinegar is also made from rice. Wheat is also an important staple in Japan where it is used to make noodles like raman, udon, and soba (buckwheat).
Soybeans are used to make the soy sauce that flavors most dishes and marinades and nori (seaweed) and mung beans are also used in abundance. Boiled and fresh greens are used to make side dishes and salads. Big Daikon radishes and other root vegetables are used to make the pickled vegetables that accent every meal. Japan is an island nation and its cuisine is dominated by fish and seafood with beef, chicken, and seafood playing a less prominent role.
Japanese cuisine’s principal flavors are light soy sauce, rice wine (sake), and sugar. Mirin, a sweet rice wine vinegar, often replaces sugar or rice wine. Dashi, a broth made from kelp and bonito (fish), is frequently used as a stock. Japanese cuisine tends to be more delicate and subtler than its Chinese and Korean counterparts. All three cuisines are complemented by the constant presence of piquant condiments made from pickled vegetables.
Notable Dishes –Gyoza (pork and cabbage dumplings), Dashimaki Tamago (rolled omelet), Sushi (thin-sliced raw fish on rice), (thin-sliced raw fish, no rice), Miso Soup ( Dashi broth with miso), Chinton Shoyu Ramen (noodles in broth), Tempura (light batter fried shrimp and vegetables), Soba (cold buckwheat noodles), Gyudon (beef rice bowls), Tonkatsu (pork cutlet), Teriyaki (sweet glazing sauce), Yakitori (grilled chicken kabobs), Okonomiyaki (savory stuffed pancakes), Tsukemono (vegetable and fruit pickles), Sukiyaki (one-pot dish of beef, vegetables, and tofu in sweet soy broth), Chawanmushi (egg custard).