Japanese Cooking Can Be Easy and Satisfying

Sushi is not the only thing Japanese

When many people hear the words "Japanese Cooking" they think about exotic ingredients and raw fish.  Here is a short list of Japanese food that you can make at home with many of the things you already have.

#1.  Rice Bowls "Donburi"

Japanese people eat lots of bowls of rice with a variety of proteins on top.  For example a bowl of rice with sauteed beef and white onions in soy sauce is called "Gyu-Don".  Gyu meaning "Beef" and Don meaning "Bowl of Rice".  You can prepare a Donburi almost anyway you like.  Usually sauté in Japan use Soy Sauce, Mirin, and a splash of fish broth or (chicken stock would work as well if you do not like the fish taste). You can do this with sautéed fish or pork if you prefer.


#2.  Japanese Fried Chicken "Karage"

Chicken is very popular in Japan and there are many ways that it is prepared.  One of the most popular is fried.  This is called "Karage" and it is very similar to the fried chicken in the United States, with a twist.  In Japan, to the batter of the fried chicken is added grated garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sake - all to taste.  Every cook has their own proportions and it is fun to experiment and see what flavors you like to be stronger.  After frying the chicken is usually eaten with some fresh cabbage and mayonnaise.


#3.  Bun-less Hamburger  "Hambagu"   

This may seem to be very similar to the American Hamburger, but once you take a bite you can taste the difference right away.  Japanese prepare their "Hambagu" with 70% ground beef and 30% ground pork with milk, and chopped onions.  The most distinctive addition is "Panko" or very small bread crumbs.  Once this is all mixed together the "Hanbagu" is fried in a skillet and then served without bread.


#4.  Egg Omelete  "Omurisu"

Another very popular food item in Japan is the egg.  "Omurisu" is the Japanese way of describing and Omelete with Rice.  From the outside it looks very similar to a common omelet found anywhere in the world, but inside it has rice fried with chicken and ketchup.  It is traditionally served with ketchup criss-crossing the top and is a large plate of food.


#5.  Fried Pork Cutlet "Katsudon"

A twist on the first listing of "Donburi" a Katsudon is a breaded and then deep-fried pork cutlet.  It is served ontop of a bowl of rice (that is why "don" is in the name) and topped with a stewed egg.  The sauce that the egg is stewed in fish sauce, soy sauce, Mirin (sweet cooking wine) and sugar.  When heating up the liquids you add a generous amount of sliced white onion and then add the egg.  All of this is poured over the cutlet and rice.


Yumm, Enjoy!