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Top 10 weird Japanese food

21 August 2018 by Jojo

While Japanese food is certainly delicious and popular all around the world, there are also some questionable dishes that aren't too popular with people from other countries. We usually bring you news about delicious Japanese snacks, Japanese candy and theme cafes like the Pokemon Cafe or the Vampire Cafe but today we're back with something completely different! In this blog post you can read about the top 10 of weirdest Japanese food!

1. Natto

Natto is an infamous Japanese dish made of fermented soy beans. Natto is extremely healthy and many Japanese people like to eat it for any meal usually in combination with rice but it is also commonly used in sushi or even ramen! The texture of this dish is called ねばねば (nebaneba) in Japanese which means sticky. While this is a common texture in Japanese food most people from western countries have probably never tried something even remotely similar! Therefore it's well-known that most non-Japanese people absolutely hate it for its sticky texture, awful smell and bitter taste.

Natto sushi

Natto ramen


2. Basashi (horse meat)

Basashi is thinly sliced horse meat, a specialty from Kumamoto prefecture and available in several restaurants and sushi places all over Japan! In many European countries people see horses as companions and wouldn't even think of eating them! Japanese people however love horse meat especially together with soy sauce and garlic.

3. Shirako

Shirako is considered a delicacy in Japan and sold at restaurants and also at more expensive supermarkets. The dish already doesn't look tasty itself but it is only when you discover what it is that makes you lose your appetite. Shirako is a sperm sack of a fish! The texture is soft and creamy like pudding and it doesn't have that much of a flavor.

4. Goya

Goya is officially a bitter melon but many people consider it a vegetable because of the bitter taste. You would mostly find Goya in Okinawa, an island south of Japan rather than in the North. The vegetable is extremely healthy but not appreciated by everyone because of the bitter taste.

5. Raw chicken sashimi

Where eating raw chicken is considered an absolute no go in Europe and America, in Japan raw chicken is served at restaurants and Japanese izakaya bars. This so called chicken sashimi is thinly sliced from the inner breast of the chicken which carries a lower risk of salmonella contamination. It is often served with lemon and the texture is similar to fish sashimi.

6. Mentaiko

Mentaiko is known in English as pollock roe. It has a very distinctive taste that is salty and sometimes spicy. It is often eaten as a side dish but it's also used in onigiri, pasta or as sauce.

7. motsunabe

Motsunabe is comparable to a stew. In a pot a soup base made of soy sauce and miso is added, cabbage, garlic chives, tofu and the main ingredient: beef innards! The Beef innards are very soft but also extremely chewy, you either love it or hate it!

8. Whale meat (kujira)

Whale meat is another Japanese delicacy that is even believed to help fight dementia! Whaling is however not supported by many people from other countries to say the least. Whale meat is no longer a staple of the diet of Japanese people but still available in restaurants. Apparently the taste of whale meat is similar to land animals rather than fish.

9. Horumon or Horumonyaki

And back with more innards! horumonyaki is basically a innards barbecue. In most western countries we'd prefer to give these to the dog but Japanese people are not about wasting food and throw anything on the BBQ! Several small and big intestines and stomach of several animals can be eaten.

10. Nankotsu (chicken cartilage)

Many people wouldn't consider eating cartilage but in Japan people love it! It is crunchy and it feels as if you're eating a bone. Since it doesn't have a lot of taste it is probably the texture that people enjoy.

Have you ever tried any of these dishes and did you like them? Is there a dish you wouldn't eat for a million bucks? Let us know in the comments!

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