Updated: November 07, 2018
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What is Modern Japanese Cuisine?

Traditional Japanese cuisine has become so popular outside of Japan, it is almost commonplace. However, when it comes to modern Japanese cuisine, what is it exactly?

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What is Modern Japanese Cuisine?

Modern Japanese cuisine is a rather broad genre. However, considering the growing influence of foreign cultures on Japan's cuisine, fusion or modified Western dishes are a good way to start. Here, I'll present the different categories of Japanese-style international dishes.

Italian Fusion Cuisine

Pasta 和風パスタ

"Wafu pasta" means Japanese-style pasta and is pasta adapted to the Japanese palate and is prepared with local ingredients. There is a surprising number of wafu pasta dishes to try and they're really amazing.

For example, there is a highly popular, yet surprisingly simple dish, the mentaiko pasta which is made with spicy cod roe and butter. Another go-to dish is uni (sea urchin) pasta, if you like the oily sea taste of the raw sea urchins. This dish is smooth like butter and is delicious with a rose tomato sauce. Have it with a glass of wine to have a taste of heaven.

Pizza 和風ピザ

A lot of restos now serve pizza with a Japanese twist. That is to say, they use traditional Japanese ingredients to make pizza.
When they do in fact, make traditional Italian pizza, the head of the Vera Pizza Napoletana association jokingly asked the Japanese to stop being so good at making Italian pizza by fear of outdoing the true Italian pizza. It's just that good here!

Adapted Western Cuisine

Omurice オムライス

Omurice is an acronym for "omelette and rice" in Japanese. It is basically an omelette placed on top of fried rice with chicken and ketchup with more ketchup on top. A variation of this dish is to serve with a demi-glace sauce. It is a variation of a French classic dish.

Japanese Curry カレーライス

Japanese curry is one of the most popular comfort foods in Japan. It is often eaten at home or in school cafeterias, and because of its mild taste, it is often the go-to dish for many children. It is different from Indian curry, as it isn't as spicy; and it also different from Thai curry. It is usually eaten with potatoes, carrots, and meat (pork, beef or chicken).

Croquette コロッケ

"Korokke" (コロッケ), also known as croquettes, is a popular home-cooked Japanese meal. Similar to the classic French dish, it is deep-fried breaded mashed potatoes mixed in with minced meat. This dish is often eaten at home or at old-fashioned Japanese "teishoku" restaurants (restaurants which serve sets with rice, miso soup, etc.). It can also be bought at convenience stores as an accompaniment for beer or as a snack.


Mille-Crepe ミルクレープ

Mille-crepe is a French dessert, which translates to a thousand crepes, as it consists of many layers of superposed crepes. It is layered with whipped cream, however, it is surprisingly light and not too sweet. This dessert is very popular in Japan and is available at almost any traditional Japanese cafe. It has many variations, such as matcha flavour, or it is layered with seasonal fruits.

Honey Toast ハーニートースト

If you haven't heard of it, this is what it is: bread from which the inside is cut into little cubes, caramelized, then packed back inside and topped usually with ice cream, fruits, and of course honey. Needless to say, it ain't diet-friendly!
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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