Traditional Japanese Lunch

A traditional lunch in Japan

Authentic Japanese cuisine is still unknown to many in the West and is often confused with other Asian cuisines. We know their most popular dishes well, but do we know what the daily life of Japanese gastronomy is like?

In the book, Tokyo. The cult recipes, edited by Lunwerg, its author, Maori Murota, enters the Japanese capital, discovering the essence of the most authentic Tokyo. A book of recipes, but also a great illustrated work with which to discover the secrets of the day-to-day Japanese gastronomy, from breakfast to dinner.


The Asa Teishoku, a traditional Japanese breakfast, consists of rice, miso soup, tsukemono (Japanese vegetable curd), fish and eggs. This food is fundamental, as it contains the indispensable preparations of your kitchen, such as rice, the fundamental food of Japanese cuisine, and dashi, a basic broth made with katsuobushi (dried bonito in flakes) and kombu, a dried seaweed.

Every day there is not always time to prepare this traditional breakfast, which is replaced by coffee, toast and pancakes, Western style, but it is still much appreciated.


For lunch, Ohiru, the Japanese prefer dishes that are easy to make and quick to eat. Noodles, rice, fish and meat are the main ingredients of the dishes that make up the bento (takeaway) or are served in restaurants. They are usually donburi, different ingredients on a bed of rice, or soba, buckwheat noodles sautéed or cooked in a broth whose color varies from north to south Japan; in the south it is usually very clear, but in Tokyo the noodles disappear into a black broth.

Lunch favorites include the famous ramen, yakisoba, tempura, nigiri zushi (a variety of sushis), oyako don (a bowl of rice with chicken and tortilla) or inari zushi, fried tofu stuffed with rice, as well as other more contemporary dishes that are a little removed from traditional Japanese cuisine, such as teriyaki chicken burger, katsu sando sandwich, pork escalope sandwich, or Neapolitan spaghetti.


Bento, or takeaway, is made up of protein, fresh or marinated vegetables, and rice, sometimes in the form of a ball (onigiri). It is a meal for workers, schoolchildren and travellers. Each large train station has created its own eki bento or ekiben. They also vary with the rhythm of nature, with the kouraku bento, the 'bentos de paseo'. A hanami bento is tasted while contemplating the beauty of cherry blossoms. Kabuki, a traditional Japanese theater, also has its bento, the makuno uchi bento, which is savored during the intermissions. In addition, the boxes are very cute.

Bentos are not only taste, but also come in through the eyes. A few examples: fish bento, consisting of pumpkin salad, spinach, turnip salad, lotus root, mackerel, peas and rice, vegetable bento, with rice, salted plum, confectioner's pumpkin, beet leaves, grated carrot and eggplant, or the onigiri, a rice ball that can be prepared with different fillings, such as chopped pork and ginger, with eggs and yukari - a Japanese condiment based on violet shiso -, with peas or salmon, among others.
The snack

For the snack, Oyatsu, in Japan prefer to taste sweets. Traditional bakeries rival Western-inspired cakes called yougashi. There are dorayaki (stuffed tortillas popularized by Doraemon), mitsumame (fruits, agar-agar and beans in syrup), daifuku-mochi (stuffed rice cakes), short-cake (Japanese strawberry cake), rollcake (gypsy arm), or the chiffon cake, a light cake. Paradoxically, Japanese cakes are very sweet and compact, while Western confectionery is often required to be very light.


The izakaya are bars where you can eat. The Japanese come to them at night, after long hours of work. Everyone finds something to their liking in the variety of dishes offered, salted or fried, which are served in small quantities, such as tapas, to accompany beer, sake (rice alcohol), shochuk (Japanese distilled liquor) and wine: edamame (green soy beans accompanied only by salt), spring rolls, fried chicken, tuna tartar, Japanese stew -including radish, hard-boiled egg, konnyaku, potatoes, fried tofu and fish paté-, salads such as tofu, butashabu -with fillet pork- or seaweed...
Uchishoku: Family Cuisine

For the Japanese, it's important to eat well, and as a family. Every day, families eat salads, stewed or empanadas meats, marinated or cooked fish, and gather around dishes to share meals such as a nave (fondue), the famous sushis, but family style, llas típicas gyoza -a kind of grilled Chinese empanadilla that can be filled with different ingredients, usually meat-, toridango nabe -fondue de albó, a kind of Chinese empanadilla that can be filled with different ingredients, usually meat-, and toridango nabe -fondue de albó.

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