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Goin’ Japanesque!

Selected 5+3: Additions That Make Japanese Want to Eat Rice

When Japanese people don’t have much time in the morning, we’ll take side dishes as a light meal. Rice is our staple diet so we have many sides that go with rice, and they’re very popular. A foreign equivalent would be putting on bread things like jam or pizza toppings.

Today I’m going to tell you about the standard 5 companions to rice that Japanese naturally want to eat, with an extra 3. They include characteristically Japanese food… lol There may be some food that won’t suit a non-Japanese person but please at least give them a try! We Japanese feel like all of these are delicious.

 

A Japanese supermarket

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Sides for rice lined up like this in a Japanese supermarket.

 

1. Tamagokake-gohan

Special Soy Sauce

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Adding

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A morning standard is “tamagokake-gohan,” which is rice mixed with egg and soy sauce. Japanese eat raw eggs with our rice. When we do, we add a little soy sauce for flavor but now there’s special soy sauce exclusively for this being sold that you should definitely try. They make rice taste amazing!

Of course, there’s also many people who add to this. In the photo there’s green onion, dried bonito and sesame seeds. Add some special soy sauce and it tastes out of this world!

 

2. Cod eggs

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Around the world there’s caviar, but Japanese also often eat fish eggs that are special to Japan, like salted salmon roe and herring roe. We also love cod eggs. They’re excellent when paired with a steaming bowl of rice!

 

3. Natto

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Okame-natto

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Here it is: natto! There’s a lot of non-Japanese who can’t eat this. They sell them like this for 100 yen for 3-4 of them. This item is very economical. “Okame” is the famous symbol of natto. You can see her painted white face on each one.

 

4. Nori (seaweed)

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Gohan desu yo

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Nori (seaweed) paste is popular as an ingredient in onigiri. It’s sold at supermarkets in a bottle titled “Gohan desu yo” (it’s rice!) so keep it in mind if you’d like to try it.

 

5. Tororo

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Tororo soba

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“Tororo” is grated Japanese yam. NOT “Totoro” lol Here’s a hint on how to eat it from a Japanese person: add it to wasabi and put it on mugi-gohan (boiled barley and rice). They also sell tororo soba in convenience stores during the summer and it’s very good so definitely try it!

 

6. Extras

The three I’ll be showing you now are a little different and not sold in a regular supermarket. They’re luxury goods—some people give them as gifts or send away for them. Today I’ll be telling you about 3 ones popular in Japan and on TV![margin_30b]

Raw toro salmon flakes

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These are Hokkaido salmon flakes, frozen using their original formula. Once you add them, the flakes start to dissolve immediately like fat by just the heat of the rice. It tastes like sushi. You can store them for a long time and easily enjoy the taste of sushi when you want! They’re also great when you add green tea and have ochazuke!

Young sardines in Kyoto

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Young sardines are known as “chirimenjako.” This is only available in Kyoto. They might be a little hard to look at but they taste great!

Golden shining eggs

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These are the eggs of the yamame, a friend of the salmon. You must try these golden, shining eggs! They’re perfection!

I look forward to knowing how many of these 8 suit your tastes! If you try any, let me know what you thought!

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