10 Ultimate Foodie Highlights From My Trip To Japan

22nd July 2016

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We’ve come to the end of our SORTED Eats Japan series! Though it’s been a little while now since I came back from my travels around Japan, what better time to run through the foodie highlights I experienced? Obviously, everything we created for SORTED Eats Japan was a firm favourite but here are some others that we couldn’t bring back to the UK.

1. Sea Urchin at the Ohmi-cho Food Market in Kanazawa

We walked past some sea urchins prepped and ready to eat sashimi style (raw). The people I travelled with challenged me to buy and eat one. I was little sceptical but will give anything a go once! It was delicious. Soft, sweet, salty and reminded me of an incredible mussel, but better. So I’m glad I tried it!

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2. The Sushi Train

Eat and eat and eat… everything was to die for and you pay per plate. The fatty Tuna was unreal!

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3. Takoyaki Street Food

Fried balls of battered octopus, I had mine topped with bonito flakes, seaweed and mayo. I also loved the Pork Ramen I had here. A humble little place that served me my 3rd bowl of ramen since landing in Japan. This one stood out to me because the broth was delicious, the noodles fab, the eggs soft and with a gooey centre… but best of all? The chunk of pork in it was sublime! It had been roasted, cut thick, but melted in the mouth. I’ve eaten many a bowl of ramen in my life and will probably struggle to beat this one.

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4. Okonomiyaki

It’s just so social and pretty much like theatre to watch the husband and wife team cook up 16 of these all at the same team with effortless ease. That is why I chose to recreate it, just as I had enjoyed it: the Hiroshima style of layering the cabbage and veg, noodles and bacon up in between the savoury pancake with egg. As I’ve learnt now from the comments on the video we published, it differs from other regions of Japan where the ingredients are mixed into the egg batter. It was the meal we had before sampling full on karaoke and it was the meal that everybody was talking about for days.

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5. Buying Engraved Japanese Knife

A fantastic thing to take away. If you look after it, it’ll last a lifetime.

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6. TheTsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo

Sounds cliché and touristy but the walk around this fish market was incredible. We didn’t get there earlier enough for the world famous tuna auctions but we did get there in time to watch those who had bid and won, fillet their tuna. Wow! The care, precision and skill involved given that they were using a 10 ft knifes (!) was incredible.

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7. Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

This is the way of preparing and presenting tea… many rules to remember, but incredibly relaxing as you listen intently to the sounds of making green matcha tea.

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8. Gold Leaf Wrapped Ice Cream

In Kanazawa where they apparently mine 90% of the country’s gold you can buy a an ice cream wrapped in gold! True story!

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9. Soy marinated baby octopus with its head stuffed with a quails egg!

I couldn’t believe this when I saw it. Was a little unsure about tasting it… but loved it.

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10. A Local Izakaya bar

A small local bar where skewered food is grilled to order in front of you… this one was mostly beef and the menu was just a diagram! The ‘english’ translation menu had the 4 stomachs of a cow each priced up differently! I knew a cow had 4 stomachs… but I never thought I’d see it on a menu!

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And it wouldn’t be a complete article if I didn’t divulge a few lows too. There wasn’t much i didn’t enjoy… but one dish was just a little too much for me. Oden. It’s basically a broth (which was seriously yummy) served with an array of things poached and boiled in the broth, then seasoned with a yellow mustard. The problem for me was that the things served in it was all a bit rubbery and chewy and glutinous.

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So don’t forget to check out the SORTED Eats Japan Series. We have an amazing collection of recipes from our own Okonomiyaki to Japanese Cheesecake! Happy eating. Sayonara!

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