Japanese Food You Get to Eat in Winter
Just like there are dishes that usually are eaten in summer, there is also food that is consumed more in winter. Here is a short list of the comfort foods you should try in the cold season.
Oden is one of the hot-pot dishes popular in Japan during the cold season. It may consist of different ingredients. The most popular are boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and fishcakes stewed in a light soy dashi broth. The flavor of this dish may vary between different regions. You can find in oden anywhere from a convenience store to this 100-years old establishment in Azabujuban.
The most basic nikuman is a steamed bun with a meat filling. Nikuman is a popular snack throughout the year, but it becomes especially precious, convenient, and quick bite in winter.
Shiruko is a sweet red bean soup or porridge eaten with mochi or with glutinous rice flour dumplings. Just like oden, in different regions, you will find a slightly different version of the dish. For example, in Okinawa, they even put shiruko over the shaved ice.
Mochi is a rice cake made of rice that was pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. It can be eaten all year-round but it is also considered to be a traditional food for the Japanese New Year. You can use and eat mochi in many ways. As a daifuku, on oshiruko, or as a savory dish putting it into your udon.
Sukiyaki is another popular hot-pot dish eaten in winter. Similar to the more known shabu-shabu, it is also made of thinly sliced beef, tofu, and vegetables. But unlike the shabu-shabu sauce is a bit sweeter, as it is prepared with soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. We recommend going to Washoku SATO restaurant for a sukiyaki all-you-can-eat plan.
Yakiimo, or in English roasted sweet potato, is popular in Asia street food, especially in winter. The potato is roasted in heat stones and depending on the potato kind, it can be a savory snack or a dessert if it is beniharuka kind.
Mikan and Strawberries
When it comes to fruits, mikan and strawberry are definitely the most popular during the cold months. They are finally mellow and the price is the most affordable. You can the fruits, or you can go picking the fruits by yourself at the farms. It is actually quite a popular activity in Japan. Or check any dessert buffets and afternoon tea sets, you will see that the menu is all about strawberries. One of the most popular strawberry buffets is held at Westin Tokyo.
Hope you will enjoy your wintery foodie experiences. Here are some other posts about Japanese food: