is a hot pot dish originating in western Japan, but now popular all over the country. The clear broth gets its flavor from dried seaweed, or “konbu,” and it is in this broth that you cook your chicken (or sometimes other meats) and vegetables table-side. The soup gives a delicious, subtle, but still complex flavor profile. Once cooked, you take the items out of the pot, traditionally dipping them in a ponzu soy sauce before eating. The meal is generally ended with rice or noodles being added to the remaining soup, making for a satisfying finish to a hearty dinner.
is a popular pan fried food that consists of batter and cabbage. Selected toppings and ingredients are added which can vary greatly (anything from meat and seafood to wasabi and cheese). This variability is reflected in the dish’s name; "okonomi" literally means "to one’s liking". The dish is available all over Japan, but is most popular in the west, particularly the cities of Osaka and Hiroshima.
is wheat noodles (usually thin, but sometimes thick) which instead of being served in a soup, are pan fried with meat and vegetables. The noodles will be firm, and have just a bit of a crisp to their surface. Sliced pork, onions, carrots, and bean sprouts are commonly mixed in, with a slightly sweet, soy and Worcester based sauce melding everything together. It may not be one of the healthiest foods in Japan, but its popularity shows that it is one of the tastiest! Lots of varieties exist, with some skipping sauce in favor of a lightly salty seasoning mix, or using different cuts of meat or vegetable alternates. Various toppings like dried bonito flakes or even dried seaweed flakes can be added.
is grilled, skewered chicken, sometimes combined with pieces of Japanese green onion. Of course there is your standard chicken breast and thigh meat, but don’t be afraid to get adventurous! Liver, heart, cartilage, skin, and just about every other part of the chicken is also available skewered up and grilled to perfection. Yakitori comes off the grill with a light, soy-based sauce already applied, or simply salted. Every Japanese businessman will tell you that nothing goes better with yakitori than a glass of beer!