For those who are used to dishes like spaghetti, pizza, and cheeseburgers, trying authentic Japanese food can be an adventure. You don’t have to dive in headfirst and order salmon roe (fish eggs), inago (candied grasshoppers), or takoyaki (fried octopus), though. There are dozens of less exotic dishes that even those with the pickiest palate can enjoy. Below, the talented culinary team at Hatsuhana Hawaii shares just a few of them.
3 Japanese Food Dishes for Beginners
What Americans often call dumplings, gyoza is the perfect way to start your meal. This tasty appetizer is typically filled with pork and cabbage, but some restaurants offer vegetarian and kosher options as well. Since sauces and condiments are as essential to a Japanese meal as the food itself, gyoza is served with a soy dipping sauce. The saltiness of the soy perfectly complements the garlic and hints of ginger in the dumpling.
Edamame is another simple appetizer that those new to Japanese food will likely enjoy. These young soybeans look like snap peas, which puts kids and people who do not have an adventurous palate at ease. Edamame is often boiled or steamed and then salted. High in protein, vitamins, and minerals, young soybeans are typically eaten by squeezing the pod into your mouth and catching the individual beans with your tongue. As a result, they’re the perfect dish for any fussy child who hates vegetables but loves playing with his or her food.
Udon refers to wheat flour noodles that look like spaghetti but are much thicker. The simplest dish containing udon is a hot noodle soup with a mild broth. Those who want to try something a bit more adventurous can opt for tempura udon, which contains crisp tempura shrimp and veggies, or beef udon, which is a warm savory soup topped with tender, sliced beef.
If you want to introduce someone to authentic Japanese food, make a trip to Hatsuhana Hawaii. Conveniently located in Hilton Hawaiian Village, they are proud to serve up mouthwatering Japanese cuisine to locals and tourists alike. To get some dinner ideas, view their full menu online, or call (808) 946-8287 to make a reservation for a large party.