Kyoto is a historical city with a rich history, surrounded by vast gardens and nature. It is one of the most well-preserved cities in Japan, and it is also known for its abundance of delicious Japanese cuisine. As a city away from the sea, Kyoto contains a variety of culinary delights peculiar to the place. Listed here are three of these dishes.
Kamonasu Dengaku is a baked eggplant with miso and is regarded as a special dish in Japan, commonly served during the summer days. The eggplants used are harvested in the Kamigamo and Nishigama area. The dish is made by splitting the eggplant in two halves, with the center being scooped out and filled with a delicious filling. The eggplant is deep-fried in oil for a short period of time. Two types of miso are used in this dish: sweet (white, light) and salty (red, dark). The difference is that the white miso is richly flavored with sesame while the red miso is garnished with poppy seeds, which gives this dish a bit of a contemporary touch. You can also add vegetables and shrimps as a garnish. You can use the following fruits and vegetables: carrot, squash, kabocha squash, satoimo (taro root), or the Japanese sweet potato and okra.
One indispensable Japanese side dish are Tsukemono from Kyoto. These are said to have appeared around 729-749 A.D., and are well-known for their mild taste. Commonly, these pickles are based on vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and seaweeds. There are two classifications: shorter-termed pickles and short-to-long termed pickles. The number one ingredient used in Tsukemono is salt. It is the salt that preserves the vegetables, making them softer. Lactic acid bacterium ferments give it a unique taste, while high osmotic pressure prohibits decay.
Chirimen sansho is used as a condiment in Japan, and it is made by stewing dried young sardines and Japanese pepper in soy sauce. This is usually eaten with rice. Many Japanese households make their own version of chirimen sansho, while some people simply purchase it in the supermarket. When you eat this in restaurants, it is often served as a gift for customers to take home.
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