JAPANESE COOKING By Tamara Pottrick and Tia Kooner

By Tamara Pottrick
and Tia Kooner
The Ancient History of Cooking
In 400 BC, Korea introduced the first main food to Japan, which was ご
はん and in 300 BC the second staple food for Japan was introduced
by China, which was なっと, the soy bean
 By the 6th century, Buddhism became part of the Japanese culture,
bringing the law of not eating さかな and any type of にく, which
lasted for 1200 years, any person who broke this rule was sentenced to
death, though the emperor who brought these rules did not ban deer or
wild boar for food
 When the Europeans came in the 16th century, they brought western
fried foods, sugar, and corn
History of Japanese Cooking
The 8th century saw more change as the killing of animals and ban of
fishing occurred
At this time, chopsticks and dining tables were introduced from China
to Japan
After the めいじ Restoration in 1867 (9th century), meat and fish were
reintroduced to Japanese culinary and banquets were held frequently
with all kinds of foods
During the かまむら period, japanese cuisine took on more of a
flavourful change, with the ほんぜん りより ( banquet held for
warriors, with jellyfish, pickled ume and many other foods) banquet
becoming more popularized
The vegetarian philosophy grew stronger during this time, those who
killed animals were discriminated against by Buddhists and Shintos
Modern Day Cooking
Modern day cooking is still influenced by geography and seasons with
seafood and veggies the most common foods
 Dishes are based on the staple foods of Tofu, fish, meat and veggies
 Freshness, presentation, and balance of flavours are very important in
Japanese culinary
 Meals always include ごはん and certain soups (mostly みそ, though),
but with few dairy products
 すし and すしみ (raw fish) are often ate at the beginning of a meal
 Dessert is rarely served with the exception of fresh くだもの on
Modern Day Cooking Continued
• Strictly Vegetarian foods are rare in Japan since even vegetable
dishes have shipjack tuna flakes on them
• Though there is an exception on しょうじん りようり a
vegetarian dish created by Japanese monks
• Noodles are a very important part of japanese cuisine as an
alternative to rice
• そば and うどん are the main traditional noodles that can be
served either hot or cold, also Chinese-style noodles called ら
めん , served in meat stock, have become very popular over
the past century
Japanese Restaurants
There are about 15 different types of restaurants that specialize
in different types of Japanese foods –e.g. すしーや
specializes in sushi; かいてんーずし specializes in sushi
on a conveyor belt; and そばーや specializes in そば and
うどん noodles
 You must take off your shoes before entering, and sit at low
tables, on cushions
おはし are set in a box in the middle of the table
 They display plastic or wax replicas of each dish sold in the
Japanese Restaurants
• It is not expected to tip waiters, and they may chase you to give
you back the change you left behind
• At some restaurants, you are required to buy meal tickets before
hand, which you hand to the staff and they serve you, what you
had previously bought.
• As soon as you are seated at your table, you are handed a glass
of tea, a hot towel and a bowl of みそ soup as an appetizer, as
well as to drink throughout the meal
• The Bill is brought to you either while you are eating, or as soon
as you finish
Common Foods
やきもの (yakimono): Grilled and pan fried
にもの (nimono): stewed or simmered dish
いためもの (itamemono): stir-fried dishes
むしもの (mushimono): steamed dishes
Traditional and common Japanese Sweets
わがし (wagashi): Japanese-styles sweets
だがし (dagashi): Old fashioned Japanese
かし ぱん (kashi pan): A sweet type of bread
Cooking Tools
• はんぎり (hangiri): A rice barrel that is used in the final step to
prepare rice for すし used to dress and cool the rice
• おはし (ohashi): One of the main cooking tools, used to stir, eat
and many other uses
• どねべ (donebe): A ceramic pot that Is used on top of an open
• あげもの なべ (agemono nabe): A [pot used for deep fryng
• まきやきなべ (makiyakinabe): A small, rectangular, metal pan
used to make Japanese omelettes
Cooking Tools Continued
• ざる (Zaru): A bamboo draining basket
• いき じめ (Iki Jime): A spike used on a fish’s brain
• There are around 10 different types of knives used for cooking, a few of
them are:
• さんとく (santoku): a general-purpose flat knife with a sheepsfoot blade,
used to cut meat, vegetables and fish
• うどんきり (udonkiri): A specialized knife used to make うどん and そ
• でばぼちょ (deba bocho): A kitchen knife, used to carve fish, chicken
and other meats, which first appeared during the Edo period (1603) in さ
かい, おうさか
Dining Etiquette
• At the beginning of a meal, you are given a hot towel to wash you
hands. It is only to be used at the beginning and is considered rude to
use it on any other body part.
• It is customary to say いただきます at the beginning of each
• Bowls are often picked up with your left hand, and your chopsticks
with the right, to avoid any elbow bumping.
• Only bowls of soup are lifted to the mouth, not white rice.
• Chopsticks are never to be left sticking up vertically from the rice
bowl, because it resembles the placing of incense sticks in the sand
during offerings to the dead.
Dining Etiquette Continued
• Soy sauce is never poured on rice or soup and all noodles are
• When taking from a communal dish at the table, switch your
chopsticks around to be sanitary
• Being a fussy eater is frowned upon in Japan, especially during a
business meeting, it is being ungrateful towards your host.
• All times when drinking, it is started with a toast, and is
considered polite to hold your glass with both hands when your
drink is being poured, and not to pour your drink yourself
あさごはん includes the essentials of みそ soup, さかな, ごはん,
japanesepickles, のり (dried seaweed) and raw egg to mix with the ごは
ひるごはん are usually in the form of an Obentoo, which is a boxed
lunch with various different foods, like rice or onigiri, meat, egg, vegetables,
and sometimes sushi
ばんごはん traditionally consists of miso soup, rice, Natto (soy beans),
and baked fish
These are only a few of the combinations that
you would typically eat in a Japanese
restaurant or household 