Japan is a country known for its delicious food. While sushi and ramen are popular throughout North America, Japanese street food isn’t as familiar (but is equally tasty).It’s quick, surprising, and satisfying. From noodles to octopus, there are options for different diets and preferences. Read on to discover the best snacks to try in 2022!
Must-Try Japanese Street Foods
We had to start with our specialty—Japanese fried chicken. What makes karaage so juicy is the chicken marinate which includes soy sauce, sake, grated ginger, and garlic. To achieve the perfect crunch, we coat the chicken in wheat flour or potato starch mix and deep fry it.
Popular variations include Tebasaki, made from chicken wings and sprinkled with sesame seeds, and Zangi, made from bigger chunks of chicken and marinated in a spicy batter before frying. Karaage is one of those wholesome dishes that unite everyone.
Takoyaki is from the city of Osaka and is made with wheat flour batter. It’s often filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura, green onion, and pickled ginger. The batter is poured into a special pan– a griddle with hemispherical molds– and cooked until golden brown.
This Japanese street food is typically served with a special takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and dried seaweed. Yaki is the Japanese word for grilling, so you’ll find it in the names of various other snack foods.
Yakisoba is made from wheat flour noodles, pork, and vegetables. The noodles are stir-fried in a special yakisoba sauce (Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, and sugar or honey). Once cooked, they are typically served with shredded cabbage, pickled ginger, and dried seaweed.
In Okinawa, pork, chicken, and fried spam are popular additions to yakisoba, as well as familiar local vegetables and thick wheat noodles.
4. Curry Rice
Curry roux– widely available in blocks that can be added to boiling water– is key to preparing the classic Japanese curry or karē. Because oil and flour are in the roux, the curry turns out thicker than Indian curry. There are many different variations of karē, including:
- Atsu karē: curry rice with breaded pork cutlet on top
- Dorai karē: curry-flavored fried rice with mince meat curry sauce
The dish is typically served with a side of pickled vegetables, called tsukemono.
The shaved ice treat known as kakigori is flavored with syrup and sweetened with condensed milk. Sweet beans and fruits are common toppings. During the nineteenth century, when ice became readily available throughout the summer, the dessert spread across Japan.
Be sure to try out a couple of regional takes on the refreshing dish:
- Ujikintoki: Made from shaved ice, flavored green tea syrup, sweet bean paste, and green tea ice cream
- Yakigori: Brandy is poured over the shaved ice and lit on fire
Start With Karaage
Japanese street food is a delicious way to explore the country’s cuisine. From yakisoba to korokke, there are endless options for tasty treats to enjoy. Be sure to seek this out in your city (we’re saving you some karaage!) or even put on your chef’s hat and try making them at home.
Torisho is a famous Japanese chicken restaurant headquartered in Japan. The name Torisho literally means laughing with chicken, which is what we want you to do at our new location in the Beaches neighborhood of Toronto. We specialize in karaage and katsu, and also offer bento boxes and family meals.
Come experience the joy of fried chicken, and tag us in your meals @torisho.ca