Traditional Japanese Dishes
Often upon ordering fine Jizake at a Japanese restaurant, Chinmi will accompany the drink. Similar to pairing appetizers to elevate the enjoyment of fine wine, Jizake also has its own version of delicacy accompaniments.
Chinmi are usually made of unusual ingredients, most often of seafood and vegetables. Servings are always small, placed in beautiful Kobachi bowls. They’re not meant to satisfy a hungry appetite, but rather, are meant to maximize the savoring qualities along with the Jizake drinking experience.
Domburi is actually a large bowl. And often, a large bowl would be used with an oversized serving of steamed rice topped with a variety of ingredients and sauces to create a meal, usually for lunch.
Gyu-Don (Beef Bowl), Katsu-Don (Pork Cutlet & Egg Bowl), Ten-Don (Shrimp Tempura Bowl), Oyako-Don (Chicken & Egg Bowl), Negitoro-Don (Tuna Tartare And Green Onion Bowl)
In old Japan, each home had a Robata hearth, where most dining, drinking and social gatherings congregated. It’s usually a wood-burning open pit, where simple foods would be heated and grilled.
In business, this Robata style of cooking predominantly marks areas famous for fresh seafood, and it’s where there’s a good amount of Sake drinking going on. Fresh seafood and vegetables are simply grilled and served hot with Sake.
SOBA (BUCKWHEAT NOODLES)
Soba developed early in the Edo period as outdoor dining grew popular. Soba is a simple food, but packed with nutrients. Soba covers a wide range of serving styles, from a snack-food to elaborate Kaiseki course meals.
Sukiyaki climbed to popularity during the 19th century Meiji Period when society came to incorporate beef into their diets. Around this time, the Japanese government started to promote meat consumption to strengthen the general diet, parting from the traditional religious norm of vegetables and fish.
Sashimi is an arrangement of raw fish, artistically served on fine serving ware. The fillets of fish, sculpted and decorated with season appropriate accents are works of skillful chefs. Sashimi is usually the first dish of a formal Kaiseki course meal, and one of the best to be enjoyed with fine Jizake.
The forerunner to the present day Sushi dates back to the Heian Period (794 – 1185 AD), when fish was salted and allowed to ferment as a means of preservation.
Adding rice to the fish accelerated the fermentation process and vinegar was later added to enhance flavor. Nigiri Zushi appeared during the Edo Period (1600 – 1867 AD), thus the name Edo-Mae Sushi, in the Tokyo region as finger food served at stalls lining the streets.
Tempura has a foreign beginning as the Portuguese missionaries introduced it to Japan during the 16th century. Popularity rose during the Edo period, similar to Sushi, as it was served at Yatai stalls lining the streets of Edo.
“Teriyaki” literally means “glaze broiled”. Traditionally in Japan , Teriyaki is a flame-broiled fish, flavored in a marinade of soy sauce and Mirin. The soy-Mirin mixture gives a light sheen, which leaves the surface with a nice browning finish.
In the US , Teriyaki was first introduced by the Benihana Hibachi Steak House, which adapted the traditional Teriyaki recipe to a thicker and sweeter mixture and served on meats for the american consumer. For their famous Hibachi-Teppan style of cooking, American Teriyaki sauce evolved from a marinade to a sauce.
Unagi has been part of the Japanese diet since earliest recorded history. Freshwater eel is a delicacy and is a good source of highly concentrated nutrients. Unagi is traditionally consumed in the summer months to fortify the body against fatigue during the hot weather, usually served in a box over a bed of steamed rice.
YAKITORI (BBQ CHICKEN ON SKEWERS)
In Nagasaki during the early 17th century, The Dutch East India Company tradesmen brought barbecued chicken served on skewers, which later became Japanese Yakitori.