Planning a Three Course Japanese Meal

Are you hoping to create the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese restaurant in the comfort of your home? In Japan, all of the dishes in a meal are served together but feature several essential courses: a starch, a soup, and side dishes.

The Starch

For the starch portion of your Japanese meal, steamed white rice is the standard choice. While white rice may sound simple, it is a central focus of many Japanese meals that people often take for granted. Rice is a staple food in Japan and is frequently the primary source of calories for a Japanese home meal. Typically, the rice, soup, and side dishes are all served in separate plates and bowls, from which everyone serves themselves.

The Soup

In Japan, the most commonly served soup is miso soup, which is often made from broth or fish stock, miso paste, seaweed, and tofu. While eating, Japanese people typically add portions from the side dishes to their bowl of rice, eat a bit, and then pause to sip their soup and eat some of its contents.

The Sides

Referred to as okazu in Japanese, side dishes are meant to support the rice by adding flavor. Most Japanese meals will include at least two okazu . The primary side dish is often a form of protein. Examples include grilled fish, fried meat, or steamed tofu. The protein is usually seasoned with high-sodium and low-fat condiments such as soy sauce, dashi, or miso. Secondary okazu are often a type of vegetable or bean dish. In some cases, a third kind of side dish may be included, called hashi yasume , which means “chopstick rest.” These okazu are intended to provide a strong contrast in flavor and texture to the other dishes and are often a type of pickled vegetable.

If you’re looking for unique and tasty Japanese food, call House of Genji today at (408) 453-8120. At our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose, you can enjoy teppanyaki, a hibachi grill, sushi, and other Japanese dining favorites.

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