Staple food in Japan is definetely rice. Here, you eat it all of the time. You ceat rice so often that you might think that after a while you can’t enjoy rice anymore. My Swiss friends often ask me if it isn’t boring to eat rice all day. But I don’t think so because there are many ways to eat rice. Recently I often cooked for myself and realised that there are many great ways to eat rice And now I am going to introduce you ten ways to eat rice.
When you hear Japanese food, you probably think of sushi. It’s not only famous in Japan but also all over the world. In Japan you can get Sushi at restaurants, at supermarkets, at convenience stores, literally everywhere. But the most exciting way of eating sushi is definitely the conveyor-belt sushi restaurant.
Various kinds of sushi go around the tables and you can take as much as you want. The first time I went to a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant, I ate about 20 plates. At the end the store clerk will count how many plates you ate. Depending on how much sushi you had, it can get quite expensive.
But there are also extremely cheap restaurants where one plate only costs 100 Yen.
So the conveyor belt is one exciting way to eat rice.
2．Onigiri / Rice Ball
Maybe the most convenient way to eat rice is the rice ball. In Japanese it’s called onigiri. You can buy it at one of the countless convenience stores (why are there are so many convenience stores in Japan?) or at normal supermarkets. I often buy one for lunch when I didn’t have time to create my own bento box (read why bento is so special).
An onigiri is a rice ball rice rapped in seeweed, often containing fish, meat or umeboshi (pickled plum). There are so many kinds of onigiri you can‘t even count them. My favourite onigiri is the one with salmon from 7-11.
This might be the best way to eat rice. Or if it’s not the best way, it’s at least the most beatiful one. I’m talking about the decorated sushi roll. I recently made decorated sushi rolls myself at an event for foreigners. Where a Japanese women showed us how to make itIt was fun but not that easy.
Using colored rice you can create whatever you can imagine. The rice is colored with salmon or other things like yukari. I‘ll come to yukari again later. You often put the decorated sushi roll in a character themed bento (read more). You don‘t normally eat that everyday, but I bet there are people making one everyday. I on the other hand am not one of those people. I already struggled rolling the one underneath the minion. But I want to make such a cute sushi roll at least once.
Not everybody has the time and patience to make a cute sushi roll. But don‘t worry there‘s also the normal sushi roll.
It seems that the sushi roll is more famous in the west than it is in Japan. I think that‘s because people in Europe aren‘t used to eating raw fish. It also took me a while. So if the fish is hidden in the rice it‘s easier to eat.
One of my favourite ways to eat rice is 親子丼 (Oyakodon). Oyakodon is basically rice topped with chicken with egg. I myself often cook it by myself. It‘s fairly easy to make and has a lot of protein!
But what‘s much funnier is the name! 親 (Oya) means parent(s) and 子 (Ko) means child and 丼 (Don) stands for topped on rice. So if you think again about the ingrediants you might find a connection.
6．Natto With Egg And Sesame On Rice
I love Tamago-Kake-Gohan. And you can make it even better by adding some Natto. It‘s not only delicious but also healthy!
Most people wouldn‘t call natto delicious, neither Japanese nor foreigners (what is it like living in Japan as a foreigner?). I and a few other people eat natto because they like it. But there also people eating it only for its health benefits.
But trust me this is one of the best ways to eat rice and also one of the best ways to eat natto (read about other ways to enjoy natto).
Beside the oyakodon there‘s another great type if donburi. It‘s called kaisendon and one of my favourites.
There are various ways of preparing kaisendon. My favourite one is raw tuna with raw salmon. You put soy sauce together with sesame oil, gochujang and white sesame seeds in a bowl. You then mix it and add the raw fish. Then you mix it again. Lastly you only have to put it on rice and you have created your own kaisendon.
8．Rice Porridge With Chicken And Egg
A very healthy way to eat rice is porridge. Japanese people often eat rice porridge when they‘re ill (read what they also do when they‘re ill). That‘s because it‘s easy to eat and easily digestible. Now I‘m going to introduce my favourite rice porridge.
This rice porridge might have been invented by mistake. I told you before about the oyakodon which is chicken an egg on top of rice. This porridge is basically the same. The only difference between the porridge and the oyakodon is that you add the rice while cooking. And that you add much more water.
It has a lot of protein so it‘s a very healthy way to eat rice!
You can‘t always make a huge meal when you eat rice. But that doesn‘t mean that you have to eat plain white rice. Because there is furikake. Furikake is dried food, that you put onto rice. My friends often put it on the rice in there bento (what is Japanese bento?). There are countless different furikake at every supermarket. My favourite one is called yukari.
You can also make furikake by yourself. All you need is sesame seeds and dried wakame (dried seaweed). Put it both onto rice, mix it and your done!
You can‘t always make something special out of rice. That‘s why the last and maybe my favourite way of eating rice is simple, plain white rice. Most Japanese people eat white rice at least twice a day. Sometimes even three times a day. And it‘s definitely one of the best ways to eat rice.
Do you like rice? Whats your favourite way to eat rice? Leave a comment!
Thanks for reading this article. I‘ve originally written this article in Japanese. In case you speak Japanese you can read it here.
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