Want to go to a Japanese izakaya – a casual after-work bar – but don’t know what to order? Here are some of the popular items on the menu served in a typical izakaya all over Japan. Remember, though, that only small portions are served at these casual bars so it is a must to try a good variety of dishes.
Most of the time, people immediately order these Japanese soybeans, known as edamame beans, as soon as they are seated. It is popular to couple these with beer. It is prepared in many different ways, but at a typical izakaya, salt and garlic are the typical condiments with these beans. It is always in demand that most people order more than their fair share of edamame.
Karaage is another popular Japanese technique of deep frying food in oil. Most often, deep fried chicken is commonly ordered in izakaya although karaage can also include other types of meat and fish. It also involves marinating the meat in a sauce before being fried. It can be coated with potato flour or wheat starch or left in its original coating. You can also add little bits of spice according to your preference, and it is usually served with some lemon for a refreshing flavor.
Another popular food is the yakitori. These are grilled chicken skewers made with various chicken parts such as innards, skin, liver, thighs and so on. It is an inexpensive and informal dish which can be enjoyed with a pint of beer. Most of the time, it is made to order so it can be served fresh. It comes in different flavors too.
The simplest one on the menu is the cabbage mixed with salt and sesame oil. Some people claim that it can be very addictive and can also be eaten as a perfect salad to go with your beer. It is very easy to make. You can even do it at home by chopping at least five cabbage leaves, preparing one teaspoon of sesame oil and some salt and pepper. Just mix all the ingredients and you’re good to go.
It is definitely a lot of fun scavenging around different izakayas in Japan. There are so many of these places everywhere so you’ll have no trouble in finding the right place and ordering these four popular izakaya dishes.