Explore Japanese Food with these 8 Japanese Delicacies

By Lihui Zhang

As an exchange student from Japan, I was incredibly surprised that there were so many Japanese restaurants in Mannheim. Japanese food appears to be widely loved and many enjoy Japanese food such as sushi and tempura. Today, I will introduce eight unique Japanese dishes that may be new to readers.

1. Uni

Uni is one of the top three delicacies in Japan. People eat it raw and it is famously used in sushi. As of yet,  I’ve never seen it in Mannheim. It is a sea urchin related to a sea cucumber which is found on the ocean floor all over the world. It has black thrones like a chestnut and it has a creamy taste with an oceanic scent.

2. Shirasu

Shirasu, baby sardine, is a clear and white fish. They are usually sold after being boiled with salt and then dried in the sun. You can put them on rice or eat them as a snack. In some fishing places, you can eat shirasu raw soon after being caught.

3 Mentaiko

Mentaiko is a spicy pollock roe, known as spicy caviar. It is one of the most popular toppings for rice balls and it can be eaten in many ways such as in a salad, on toast, and even in pasta.

4 Ume crystal

Ume crystal is crunchy shark cartilage served with Japanese apricot paste and seasonings. It is said that the shark cartilage looks like a crystal, hence the name “Ume crystal”. It is a finger food that pairs well with sake.

5 Sakiika

Sakiika, a dried squid, is also one of the most famous finger foods which goes well with beer. It has a chewy texture and an overpowering squid smell that may annoy  your fellow diners.

6 Beef Tongue

Beef tongue is a more upscale cuisine. It is[U2] usually sliced into thin pieces, grilled and served at BBQ restaurants. You can simply eat it with salt to bring out the innate flavor.

7 Horumon

Horumon is a name for the offal or entrails of an animal which has a crispy texture. It is also one of the most popular BBQ menus and it can usually be found[MM3]  for a reasonable price.

8 Yamaimo

As you know, potatoes are the national food of Germany and I have enjoyed amazing fries during my time here in Mannheim. Now, I will introduce an interesting potato dish hailing from Japan. Yamaimo is a mountain potato that has a crunchy texture and is usually grated into a sticky paste. You can put this paste on rice or soba noodle and enjoy.

I hope you learned from this journey into Japan’s lesser-known culinary delights and continue to explore  Japanese food.

Pictures from: Unsplash

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