Japan is one of the top destinations in Asia that travelers and tourists from around the world love to visit. With its colorful festivals, traditions, historical places, beautiful scenery, and delicious food, who wouldn’t want to visit Japan?
And speaking of food, well, Japan is one of the countries in the world that is very passionate and creative in making or cooking food. In fact, “washoku” or Japanese cuisine was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list in December 2013.
When we think of Japanese food, sushi, sashimi, rice, and ramen would first come to mind. However, with the increasing foreign influence and globalization of Japan’s economy, “yoshoku” or Western food is now a great part of their cuisine. One of the influence of Western culture on Japanese food is the introduction of bread in the country.
Bread is said to have arrived in Japan in the 16th century when the Portuguese came to the country. But when the Isolation Edict took effect, bread was out of the picture until the Edo period wherein it was mass produced to feed the soldiers during the Opium Wars. And facing food shortage after World War II, bread also became one of the staple food in Japan.
With the creativity of Japanese people in making food, bread in Japan is now a mixture of Western and Japanese food culture – a combination that makes their bread really tasty and worth a try. Here are 10 delicious Japanese bread and sandwiches that you should not miss!
Curry (kare) is one of the most popular and well-loved dishes in Japan. It is commonly served with rice known as Curry Rice (カレーライス) but with its popularity, bakeries began selling bread with curry filling inside. Curry bread is normally deep fried but there are some bakeries that sell baked versions, so be sure to try both and see which you like better.
Yakisoba is Japanese stir-fried noodles with pork, vegetables, and yakisoba sauce. It is usually served as a main dish or a side dish, but another popular way of serving it is by making a sandwich using a hot dog bun or loaf bread.
Croquette (korokke) is a Japanese dish with French origin. It is a deep-fried mixture of ground meat, seafood or vegetable with mashed potato or white sauce, rolled in breadcrumbs. Croquette bread is made by sandwiching croquette between a bun.
Teriyaki is another popular dish in Japan. It can be made with seafood or meat as the primary ingredient, mixed with teriyaki sauce. Chicken teriyaki sandwiches are most commonly sold in convenience stores and supermarkets. You can also find teriyaki burgers at convenience stores and even at the popular fast food chain, McDonald’s.
Mentaiko is cod roe seasoned with salt and is widely popular in Japan. It is typically a Japanese side dish which can be eaten plain or with onigiri or rice. Mentaiko bread is made by using mentaiko as a spread on a baguette or toast.
When you go to convenience stores, supermarkets, or bakeries in Japan, you will always find sausage rolls on their shelves. Although adopted from Western countries, Japan’s sausage is made with ingredients that suit their taste giving it a unique Japanese twist.
Anpan is a soft bread roll filled with sweet red bean paste or “anko” in Japanese. Anko is used for making several desserts and snacks across Japan and is one of their traditional food.
Shu cream is yet another Western food adaptation in Japan and is a delicious snack or dessert. Shu cream or cream puff was adapted from French choux pastry. This dessert is popular and widely available in Japan.
Another well-loved pastry in Japan is melon bread. This bun is not really melon-flavored but it is called as such for its appearance that resembles a rockmelon or cantaloupe.
Fruit sandwich, or “fruit sando” as it is called in Japan, is made with shokupan (Japanese square loaf bread), fresh fruits, and whipped cream. The fruits typically used to make this are strawberry and kiwi, but it can also be an assortment of other fruits such as banana, peach, berries, etc.
If you are one of those travelers who like exploring gastronomically, try these Japanese adaptations of different kinds of bread. What else can make travel more enjoyable than good food, right?