10 Delicious Japanese Seafood Dishes That Aren’t Sushi Slideshow

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Forget spicy tuna rolls and try grilled shake, kaki fry, and nabemono, instead
Japanese Seafood

Photo Modified: Flickr / Jun SeitaCC BY 4.0

10 Delicious Japanese Seafood Dishes That Aren’t Sushi

Japanese Seafood

Photo Modified: Flickr / Jun SeitaCC BY 4.0

Sushi is synonymous with Japan’s seafood scene in the minds of many, but the country has a lot more to offer when it comes to recipes featuring the ocean. Tokyo’s over 226 Michelin-starred restaurants aren’t only sushi destinations. The island nation is rich in seafood — the world’s largest and busiest fish market is located right in Tokyo. Tsukiji Market sells sushi among many types of fish, and if the core part of the market is too crowded for visitors, they can opt for the outer market — a web of streets filled with vendors offering fresh seafood and specialty items. People in Japan have been eating fish for thousands of years, and today, the average Japanese consumer eats about 120 pounds of seafood every year (for reference, the average American ate 14.4 pounds of seafood in 2012).

Read on to learn about tempting dishes that play a part in the average Japanese person’s seafood intake, and consider trying some of them out for yourself. Eating baked or broiled fish once a week may be correlated to increased brain function, and who are we to say no to that? Check out these 10 Japanese seafood dishes that aren’t sushi.

Grilled Shake

Grilled Shake

Photo Modified: Flickr / John / CC BY-SA 4.0

Grilled shake, or salmon, might be simple, but it’s also a delicious go-to in Japan. The fish is lightly seasoned with sea salt, grilled, and served with soy sauce. Side dishes for a full dinner can include miso soup, pickles, and rice.

Kaki Fry

Kaki Fry

Photo Modified: Flickr / takaokun / CC BY 4.0

Breaded and deep-fried oysters? Count us in. Kaki fry, which is typically served with tartar sauce and lemon juice, is often enjoyed in winter, when oysters are in season in Japan.

Kazunoko

Kazunoko

Photo Modified: Flickr / Bert Kimura / CC BY 4.0

This dish is usually included in the traditional Japanese New Year feast, called Osechi Ryori. Kazunoko, which is a lump of herring roe, is considered a delicacy, and each bite is crunchy with a salty flavor. The food is said to symbolize having a prosperous family.

Nabemono

Nabemono

Photo Modified: Flickr / t-mizo / CC BY 4.0

Nabemono, or nabe, is a Japanese meal at which the company one enjoys it with is just as important as the food. Morsels of vegetables and the fish of one’s choice are dipped into ponzu sauce, which is made with ingredients like rice vinegar and soy sauce. Some recommend incorporating fugu, or blowfish, into this dish

Salmon and Egg Donburi

Salmon and Egg Donburi

Photo Modified: Flickr / Wei-Te Wong / CC BY-SA 4.0

Donburi is a favorite Japanese dish and consists of rice with any sort of toppings. In this recipe, the toppings are salmon and egg, which are also combined with green onion and soy sauce.

Sashimi

Sashimi

Photo Modified: Flickr / Yumi Kimura / CC BY-SA 4.0

Sashimi is usually thinly sliced raw fish, although it can also be made with other types of meat. The pieces are usually dipped into soy sauce, and for an extra kick, ground ginger or wasabi can be served alongside them.

Takoyaki

Takoyaki

Photo Modified: Flickr / George Alexander Ishida N / CC BY 4.0

Takoyaki is a casual fast food in Japan often purchased from street vendors, but it’s also sometimes made at home as a filling dinner. The dish consists of balls of flour with baked octopus inside, and other ingredients include pickled red ginger, onion, and dried seaweed.

Tazukuri

Tazukuri

Photo Modified: Wikimedia Commons / Sakurai Midori / CC BY-SA 2.1 JP

Tazukuri, or sardines, are said to symbolize a bountiful harvest — their name in Japanese translates to “making rice fields.” The fish are dry-roasted in a skillet; the recipe includes toasted sesame seeds and mirin, a Japanese rice wine similar to sake.

Tempura

Tempura

Photo Modified: Flickr / Ruth Hartnup / CC BY 4.0

Seafood and vegetable tempura is deep-fried in sesame oil and this recipe is for tempura prawns. Tempura is usually served with a bowl of salt or broth flavored with soy sauce along with grated radish.

Unagi

Unagi

Photo Modified: Flickr / Jun SeitaCC BY 4.0

Unagi is river eel grilled over charcoal, which is then topped with sweet barbeque sauce. Fresh unagi is in season from May to October.

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