Fun Facts about Japanese Restaurants and Cuisine


Japanese restaurants are always en vogue thanks to the sakes, the sushi and the service. It seems that it’s nearly impossible to find bad service when you choose Japanese over other cuisines, and that might be just one of the many reasons that foodies adore this cuisine. There is definitely a reason why the Japanese are so much healthier, thinner and fitter than the rest of the world, and it has everything to do with their eating habits. That’s not to say all Japanese food is healthy, there are certainly some items that are along the lines of not-so-good-for-you, but most everything in Japanese cuisine is made with exquisite attention to detail and good health. You heard me; most.

Did you know, for instance, that 70% of the people who live in Japan consume rice at least one time each day? It’s one of the most common dishes in this country, and that’s why it’s offered in just about every dish in your favorite restaurants. It just goes to show that there is a lot you don’t know about Japanese cuisine and culture, and we can change that for you. We thought it would be fun before you head out to enjoy a night of Japanese at your favorite restaurant, if you knew a little bit about Japanese cuisine. Sure, you eat there a few times and think you know all there is to know about this type of food, but you might actually be surprised just how much there is to learn about the Japanese food you consume regular.

Pouring Sauce on Your Rice is a Faux Pas

Every time you pour soy sauce or any other sauce on that rice of yours, you make real Japanese chefs cringe just a little. Sure, we are all entitled to our weird preferences, but the Japanese believe that rice should be eaten plain; and it should be eaten white. That means you’re doing it all wrong. This is the equivalent of someone putting ketchup on their ham at the Thanksgiving table; it’s weird and strange and it makes the chef wonder what it is that makes you think your food needs an enhancement. The next time you dine on rice, try it by itself and see if it’s all that bad. And while you’re at it, eat it with those chopsticks. It’s a long and tedious process, but it’s one that will help your waistline if you’re going to eat that much rice on a regular basis. Those carbs will destroy that diet.

Mayo as a Pizza Topping

This one just seemed to be appropriate following after the fact that it’s considered bad form to eat rice any way but white. Have you ever had mayonnaise on your pizza? We didn’t think so (and ew). According to food experts, however, this is one of the most popular pizza toppings in Japan. When pizza is made at home or ordered out, people want it with mayo slathered all over it. It’s not a traditional pizza topping, and we don’t really know of anyone who does this, personally, but to each his own. Right?

I don’t know about you, but it just seems wrong on so many counts that anyone would ever put mayo on anything hot. Doesn’t it just seem like it would curdle to you? We will pass, thank you very much.

Sushi Isn’t Sushi

Now that we’ve captured your attention we will elaborate on that small and kind of confusing fact. Sushi is sushi, but sushi isn’t what you think that sushi is (we can’t repeat that). Let’s start with the fact that most people think that sushi is raw fish wrapped in rice and paper and consumed either with love or fear. That’s not entirely true. Yes, some sushi does contain raw fish. Other sushi contains cooked fish. Other sushi does not include any fish. Sushi is actually just vinegared rice, and it doesn’t have to have any fish inside of it. That’s good news for all those expectant mothers looking for a sushi fix and feeling like they can’t sit down at their favorite Japanese restaurant since they haven’t the willpower to stop themselves.

Slurping is Considered Okay

The next time you begin telling your children not to slurp their noodles when you are in public, consider that it’s actually a sign of a good meal and a great job by the chef in Japan. The next time you dine on Japanese with your family, let the kids slurp away. We bet the chef or someone in the restaurant will understand the significance of what they’re doing and actually show their thanks for the (sincerely gross) compliment.

Even Sake is Rice

We told you that the Japanese love their rice. They eat it all the time and it’s not uncommon for it to serve as a portion of their breakfast as well as lunch, dinner and snack food. They even drink it. While it’s not their favorite alcoholic beverage, Sake is actually made from fermented rice and served in a liquid form. Perhaps that’s why it’s so interesting to drink. It’s a fan favorite in many Japanese restaurants, but most people have no idea where Sake comes from. Well, now you know. It’s a carb that’s just adding to that number on the scale that just won’t change.

On the Job Training

If you someone told you that you have to spend 10 years training for a job, what do you think you would become when your training was complete? A doctor, obviously. There is no other job description that we know of that requires this amount of time to train, but it turns out we are wrong. In the not so distant past, anyone who wanted to become a sushi chef (not to be confused with a sous chef) had to undergo 10 years of training prior to being allowed to cook. It seems like a lot of training for a paycheck that’s not all that substantial, don’t you think?

 Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


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