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Let's Do Japanese Tonight!
The wonderful thing about going out for Japanese food is not only will you likely get a delicious and healthy meal, but you will also get to experience the ambiance of a different culture. In general, most Japanese restaurants are representative of classic Japanese values and style: simple, clean, well- presented and tasty food. Here are 3 Japanese dishes that are always popular:
The Bento Box
If variety is what you like, then this is the meal to order. The Bento Box is usually on every Japanese menu and gives you a taste of all your favorites. While you'll often be given a choice for the "main" dish such as teriyaki beef, chicken, or salmon, the rest of the offerings in your nicely divided "box" will typically be a few pot stickers, a few pieces of sushi (often from a California roll), rice, and maybe even some vegetable tempura. This is pretty much "the whole deal" when you order a bento box, not to mention that true to Japanese dining, you'll be given a hot bowl of miso soup or a small fresh salad with which to begin your meal. If you're really hungry, the Bento Box is a great choice, but even if you're not super hungry, you can always take the left-overs home!
This Japanese dish is defined as a pork cutlet that is coated with Panko crumbs and is then deep fried. Served next to a bed of rice, the pork cutlet is presented in diagonally cut strips (for easy eating with chop sticks) and comes with a dipping "Tonkatsu sauce" that is both sweet and tangy. If you order this dish as a meal, you will be served a steaming bowl of miso soup, or a small green salad, and sometimes, if you're lucky, the meal will be finished with a lovely little complimentary treat of fried banana slices topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Remember, to the Japanese, service and presentation are EVERYTHING!
Though ordering Sushi seems like a given, when you go to a Japanese restaurant, it is a fact that not everyone likes seafood. However, for anyone who loves fish, or who loves how the Japanese serve fish so beautifully "designed" in sushi rolls and wraps you are in for a lot of fun and a meal that is sure to please and satisfy. If you are new to sushi a good place to start is with a Salmon Maki roll, or a California Roll and if you are looking for a little bit of spice, then try the Spicy Tuna Roll. For the full effect, make use of the small dish that you will have at your table which is meant for your own mixture of soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger, which serves as a wonderful dipping sauce that brings the experience of eating sushi from divine to sublime. And remember, it's actually customary to put the whole piece of sushi in your mouth at one time! Don't be embarrassed! Just go for it, and savor the flavors!