Updated： November 07, 2018
What is Japanese Fast Food?
When you think of Japanese fast food, what comes to mind? Here are some of the typically eaten fast foods in Japan. Cheap, quick and tasty, no wonder they're so popular!
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Ramen is probably THE go-to junk food in Japan. However, in recent years it has been elevated to a delicacy with the rise in ramen restaurants being recognized by the Michelin Guide and its Bib Gourmand. Nevertheless, ramen is typically a cheap and filling dish and is probably the Japanese equivalent of the hamburger. There are so many types of ramen dishes in Japan, and each region boasting its local specialty. If you're a ramen lover, you could probably live in Japan your whole life and still discover something new every day. For now, here are the best ramen restos in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Gyozas, or pan-fried dumplings, can be a dish on their own or are often served as a side-dish to ramen or in Chinese restaurants. They are usually made with pork, chives, cabbage, garlic and ginger. When the gyozas are perfectly cooked, they are just well cooked on the outside, yet still juicy on the inside. It's deliciously addictive and is the perfect accompaniment to an ice cold beer.
Beef Bowl (Gyudon) 牛丼
Beef bowls, or "gyudon", are thinly sliced pieces of beef and onions which have been stewed for a long time and are then served over a bowl of rice with either some marinated ginger or an egg on top. Regardless of socio-economical background and gender, many people eat this at any hour of the day. It's incredibly cheap and it's filling, and gyudon joints are generally open all-night.
Japanese curry, simply put, is a mild take on Indian curry. It's rather on the sweet side and is most typically made with beef, carrots, potatoes and onions, and is served with Japanese rice on the side. It is usually eaten in cafeterias, at home on lazy nights or at fast food chains.
Like all the other dishes mentioned in this article, there are of course high-end and carefully prepared dishes, but here we're sticking to the fast food version. Udon and soba also can be purchased for pretty cheap at some restos. They are rather basic in some cases, for example, in a dashi stock, they throw in some udon noodles, some chives, some fish paste and an egg.
Granted, pizza isn't a Japanese dish, but it sure was adapted to local taste and it's delicious! Have you ever had teriyaki pizza or sukiyaki pizza? It's surprisingly amazing. Mayonnaise pizza is also very popular here, but we'll leave you be the judge of that. To be fair though, it's much better than it sounds!
Same is for true for hamburgers, it isn't a Japanese dish, but it's very popular here and was adapted to the Japanese palate. For example, you can find teriyaki chicken burgers, "tsukimi" burgers that are made with eggs to reference the autumn tradition of moon viewing (the egg represents the moon), burgers which the buns have been replaced with rice cakes, etc.
- Lili Wanderlust
- I love travelling and discovering new cuisines. Japan has a panoply of local dishes to try. I also love yoga, coffee, reading, and cycling.
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