What to Order at a Japanese Restaurant: 10 Dishes

Do you know what to order at a Japanese restaurant? Here are 10 dishes. Some of the exotic dishes may only be found in the Little Tokyos of big cities, but things like sushi and tempura can be found almost anywhere these days.

  1. A  popular dish is sushi, so include this in the 10 dishes you might want to order at a Japanese restaurant. Sushi is composed of  bite-sized pieces of raw fish set on top of rice flavored vinegar. Two favorites are a California Roll that contains crab and avocado, and Spicy Tuna Roll that has fresh tuna and hot sauce. Take care with the green wasabi. It's super hot because it contains horseradish.
  2. Tempura is also a popular dish to order at a Japanese restaurant.  Tempura is most often made with shrimp. The light  tempura batter contains eggs, flour, and water. Vegetable tempura is also popular, and almost any vegetable, such as sweet potatoes, green beans,  green peppers, onions, and mushrooms, can be dipped in the batter and cooked.
  3. Do you like bean curd, also known as tofu?  To get rid of its natural blandness, the Japanese cook it in a hot oil. This makes the bean curd brown and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Textures are important in Japanese restaurants. It's served with a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, wine vinegar, sugar, green onion and garlic, it's a delicious addition to what you can order at a Japanese restaurant
  4. Another dish you might order at a Japanese restaurant is yaki-nasu, also known as broiled eggplant. Believe it or not, it's a favorite breakfast for the Japanese. What's in it? There's soy-sauce, rice vinegar, and bonito shavings which are dried fish flakes, something often found in Japanese cooking.
  5. Nikujaga. is something  you might pick at a Japanese restaurant is  Nikujaga is a stewed dish containing soy-sauce, potatoes, and meat cooked in a boiling pot. This is a fun dish to warm your innards on a cold, winter day.
  6. Lots of cultures have dumplings, and the Japanese are no exception. Japanese dumplings are called gyoza  Gyoza  can be boiled, steamed, pan-fried. or deep fried.  There are lots of different fillings for gyoza like ground pork, cabbage, and chives.
  7. If you like a variety of tastes, you might want to consider a boat dinner when ordering at a Japanese restaurant. The boat usually contains a little of this and a little of that. You are treated to seafood, beef or chicken, tempura and sushi. Japanese cooks pride themselves on artfully arranging the food in the lacquered boat so it's pleasing to the eyes as well as the palate.
  8. How about some Japanese pancakes as a dish you might order at a Japanese restaurant? Called Okonomiyaki, these yummy pancakes are made with  cut up seafood, meat and vegetables. "Okonomiyaki" means "cook what you like," and customers get to choose their favorite items and then cook  their pancakes right at the table. There's lots of room for creativity here.
  9. Yakatori is a skewered dish which you can order at a Japanese restaurant. Pieces of chicken are skewered by themselves or alternated with pieces of onions or other vegetables. The meat is coated with the familiar soy sauce, sugar and vinegar.
  10. What do you order to drink at a Japanese restaurant? Many places only serve beer and wine, but you won't mind at all. Japanese beers like Kirin and Sapporo are some of the best in the world. The Japanese have been brewing beer for over a century, and you can often order it in a 21 ounce bottle. The most popular Japanese wine is sake. Sake is a rice wine which is served in a special bottle and poured into a small glass. Watch out. Sake is strong. It is often served warmed. If you don't drink, you can order hot tea or iced tea.

These suggestions should help you order like a pro when you visit a Japanese restaurant. Don't be afraid to order new things. That's part of the fun! The sushi chef or your server will be more than happy to make suggestions, so don't be afraid to ask.

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