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Japanese food in anime & manga

The universe of Japanese manga and anime is dotted with perfect representations of traditional Japanese dishes. How many of us, from an early age, have approached the culture of the Rising Sun just wishing to eat those delicacies?

Many of our favorite characters are literally obsessed with food, driven by a constant insatiable greed. The Japanese, as we know, are very careful to make everything particularly faithful to reality and for this reason food is no exception.



Baozi / Nikuman

Nikuman (肉 ま ん) is the Japanese equivalent of the Chinese steamed bun baozi (包子).

It is a snack, almost always salty, sold in Japan at street food stalls and konbini.


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Bentō


Bentō is a box containing food. It is the most common way in Japan to organize a packed lunch at home but it is also on sale, ready-made, in practically all supermarkets and konbini.

There are really many shapes and compositions but the types are essentially: Kyaraben (very elaborate bentō, the rice must have the shape of a character taken from anime, manga, etc ...), Ekiben (bentō sold at the stations and that it is eaten during train journeys), Hinomaru bentō (this bentō includes white rice with umeboshi, Japanese plum in the center, so as to visually recall the flag of Japan), Kouraku bentō (to be eaten shared in the open air ) and Makunouchi bentō (often made with precious tin boxes, it is a bento to be consumed seated at the table, often in conjunction with a special occasion such as a ceremony or funeral).


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Crepes

Japanese crepes are very popular among young people and in Tokyo it is possible to find in large quantities precisely in Takeshita Dori, in the Harajuku area.


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Cup noodles


These are the ubiquitous instant noodles in Japan. To prepare them it takes just a few minutes: pour the lyophilized sachets directly into the container and add hot water. They cost very little and are generally considered a quick, if unhealthy, meal.


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Dango


Dango (団 子) is a typical Japanese dessert made with rice flour and glutinous rice in the shape of balls held together by a skewer.

There are some regional varieties and are commonly consumed together with green tea.


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Dorayaki


Dorayaki (ど ら 焼 き) is a typical Japanese dessert made up of two slices of small pancakes stuffed with sweet red bean jam (anko). The dough of the sponge cake is of the kasutera type.


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Fraisier cake

Fraisier cake in Japan is better known as Xmas Cake, which is the typical Christmas cake. It is a cake made with whipped cream and strawberries.


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Gohan


By gohan (ご飯) we mean the classic Japanese steamed white rice, omnipresent on the tables of every home and fundamental basis for any type of accompaniment. It is typically cooked in the steamer or rice cooker.


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Karee raisu

Karee raisu (カ レ ー ラ イ ス) is one of the most consumed dishes by the Japanese, who often also make it at home using roux (nuts containing seasoning and thickener) on sale almost everywhere, especially in konbini.


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Miso soup


Miso soup (味噌 汁) is a Japanese soup that is practically ubiquitous on all tables, made essentially with dashi broth and miso paste. The "solid products" to be added are often chosen from those that the current season offers.


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Nabemono


Nabemono (な べ 物) is a single dish of Japanese cuisine that is prepared by cooking various ingredients, such as thin slices of meat, mushrooms, vegetables and tofu, in a single pot in the center of the table.

There are different types, depending on the ingredients used.


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Nabeyaki udon

Nabeyaki udon (鍋 焼 き う ど ん) is a traditional Japanese dish served directly on the table with the clay pot (nabe).

It is a soup comprising various ingredients including udon, a tempura shrimp, egg and different qualities of vegetables.


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Okayu


Okayu (お 粥) is Japanese rice porridge made simply with rice and water that is usually made when you are not feeling very well.


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Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki (お 好 み 焼 き) is one of the best known dishes of Osaka or Kansai (so much so that it is called "Osaka pizza" in jargon). It is a kind of savory pancake made from a batter, Chinese cabbage or savoy cabbage and garnished with sour-spicy okonomiyaki sauce, katsuobushi, aonori seaweed and Japanese mayonnaise. It is made on a hot plate with the help of two metal spatulas.

Curiosity: Hiroshima and Osaka contain the authorship of this dish. The preparations of okonomiyaki differ in some ingredients in the two cities.


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Omuraisu

Omuraisu (オ ム ラ イ ス) is the typical Japanese dish prepared for children.

It is made with sautéed rice and chicken, all topped with an omelette and garnished with ketchup.


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Onigiri

With onigiri (御握り, also called omusubi) we mean the typical Japanese rice balls made with various fillings. They are eaten as a snack or snack and it is not uncommon to see them eaten during the lunch break.


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Pancake

Fluffy pancakes (ス フ レ パ ン ケ ー キ) are the Japanese version of American sweet pancakes. The slow preparation allows to obtain a very soft product with an almost evanescent consistency.


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Purin

Purin is the Japanese version of creme caramel and belongs to the yogashi category, or Japanese sweets of Western inspiration.

Very popular in Japan, it can also be easily found at konbini.


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Ramen

Perhaps Japan's most iconic dish with or after sushi, ramen (ラーメン) is steaming noodle soup with various toppings. It is a recipe of Chinese origin and there are many variations that are determined at regional level. Here, it is enough to know that the most important and well-known are tonkotsu ramen (based on pork bones, typical of Kyushu) and miso ramen (typical of Hokkaido), followed by shio ramen ("salt") and shoyu ramen ("soy sauce").


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Sandwich


There is a huge variety of sandwiches in Japan. They can be found in every konbini and in many fillings: savory with pork cutlet (katsu sando) or with egg filling (tamago sando), or even with fruit.


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Siberia


Siberia cake (シ ベ リ ア) is sold in slices and consists of two layers of sponge cake with a red bean cream in the middle.

This dessert appeared in Japan during the Meiji era and remained in vogue until the Taisho era.

The most popular places for the preparation of this dessert are San Roza in the Yagisawa district in Tokyo and Coty Bakery in Yokohama.


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Sukiyaki


Sukiyaki (す き 焼 き) is a dish that is part of the nabemono, or unique dishes cooked directly in the pot.

It is composed of very thin slices of beef, tofu, ito konnyaku, enoki mushrooms, spring onion, tofu and egg.


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Sushi


Sushi (す し) is certainly the best known Japanese food preparation in the world, perhaps the culinary symbol of the nation.

There is a range of types of sushi, but sushi usually refers to "sour" rice (as seasoned with vinegar) and raw fish.


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Takoyaki


Takoyaki (たこ焼き) are one of the typical and characteristic dishes of Osaka. They are meatballs made from a special batter filled with pieces of octopus and finally garnished with takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, aonori seaweed and katsuobushi.


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Tempura

Tempura (て ん ぷ ら) means the typical Japanese frying which can be of vegetables and / or fish (served alone or, for example, with rice - tendon).

It is a preparation that dates back to the sixteenth century, at the time of the arrival of the Portuguese missionaries in Japan.

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Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu (と ん か つ or ト ン カ ツ) is the pork cutlet made with panko (Japanese breadcrumbs).

This dish dates back to the arrival of the Portuguese in Japan.


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Wafu steak

This is the Japanese-style beef steak. It is a dish of yoshoku cuisine, that is, western style.

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