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Old 10-15-2005, 11:16 AM   #1
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Japanese Reccomendations

Well tonight i'm going out to a japanese restaurant with my parents, and aside from a little bit of sushi, it's our first real experience of Japanese food. Are there any things that i should specifically look out for as a newcomer to Japanese food, that would be good to start on, any things that really have to be tried. I expect we'll go for a set menu, but any ideas would be grateful.

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Old 10-15-2005, 11:20 AM   #2
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I don't know if it's actually Japenese, but, what I got at the only place I ever went to was fried Kalamary {sp}
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Old 10-15-2005, 11:44 AM   #3
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I've have friend squid in Italy..Greece.. and America. I don't know if it's Japanese.

Have a great dinner!


Fried squid... I mean I've had FRIED squid.
Time to go back to bed. UGH!
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Old 10-15-2005, 11:48 AM   #4
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I don't eat Japanese a lot, but if you want some Japanese food that is non-sushi to try. Give their ramen noodles or noodles in a broth a try. That's a good place to start. Of course there is always your typical rice dishes (think bento box, rice, veggie & protein of some sort).


Hope that helps.
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:02 PM   #5
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Well i want to try more sushi, i've enjoy what i'd tried so far.
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:14 PM   #6
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if you are feeling adventurous, my favorite item at a sushi restaurant is ikura (salmon roe) with a raw quail egg on top. yum! i am also particularly fond of hotate nigiri (raw scallop sushi) and monkfish liver, which is cooked. also, if the restaurant that you go to offers pickles, order them! japanese pickles are IMO absolutely divine.

i always order some little salads with my sushi if they are available... a lot of japanese places have seaweed salad, and one dish that i love is ohitashi, which is vinegared spinach. i also like tonkatsu, which is breaded deep fried pork... this is making me hungry. japanese is one of my favorite cuisines.
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:54 PM   #7
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basics

If you want an "authentic" Japanese experience, it's a good idea to start with a small bowl of miso soup. It's traditional and a great start to a sushi meal.

If raw seafood makes you feel squeamish, then consider starting with rolls and pieces that are cooked: ebi is a piece of cold cooked shrimp served on a small piece of pressed rice. There's normally no wasabi with it. It's good for beginners, as is a california roll which has cooked or imitation crab meat. The freshwater eel is normally lightly broiled and it's another must-try.

Fish roe (I like tobiko, flying fish roe) and squid will give you unique texture experiences. The fish roe bits pop and explode in your mouth as you chew.

If you want the full-on experience, consider sitting at the sushi bar. There, you can sip some infused sake (if you're a drinker) and watch the masterful chefs at work creating your little pieces of art.

And a quick etiquette note: contrary to many folks' beliefs, rubbing your chopsticks together before your meal is a no-no and an insult to the restaurant. Some say it's a practical act to get wood splinters off the ends of the sticks, but really it's suggesting to the restaurant that you think they were too cheap to buy quality utentsils.
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Old 10-15-2005, 01:02 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot, keep it coming, i'm going to note some of these down so i know what to go for.
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Old 10-15-2005, 01:25 PM   #9
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I love Japaneese food. I started out with tuna. It seems to be my favorite. Even though it's not traditional one of the restaurant's in Oklahoma offered a seared tuna sushi roll which was perfect for my first sushi experience because it was cooked, but not all the way. Now I eat the regular tuna rolls and love them.

For something a little different than the tuna sushi rolls, the Japaneese place right down the block offers tuna tare tare which is placed on top of a wasabi sauce, a lemon wedge in between, friend crisp pieces on top with a dallop of fish roe. I usually try to order that whenever I get a chance.

If I'm not in the mood for raw fish I usually go for tempra. This is a light batter that is put on vegetables and shrimp then fried and served with a tempera sauce. I usually eat this with a chicken or beef teriyaki, miso soup, and a green salad.
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Old 10-15-2005, 01:37 PM   #10
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Without knowing what's on their menu, get one of their teishoku dinners. It's a complete meal with several dishes included and you should be able to choose from different types of entrees.
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Old 10-15-2005, 01:52 PM   #11
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Ask the server. They are probably prepared to deal with customers who are not familiar with Japanese foods.
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Old 10-15-2005, 03:41 PM   #12
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Again Im highly recomend the miso soup.
Throw in a side of seaweed salad too... it's always tasty.

If they have a grill you want some teriyake and if they have a friolator you certanly want some tempura (lightly battered veggies and seafood).
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Old 10-15-2005, 04:42 PM   #13
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It's been a long time since I've been to a Japanese restaurant. I second Lugaru on the soup, tempura, and teriyaki.
Be sure and try the saki! It gives you such a nice warm feeling, all the way down to your toes.
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Old 10-15-2005, 04:44 PM   #14
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Besides the miso soup and vegetables and shrimp tempura have the gyoza. They are little dumplings filled with pork and vegetables and served with a dipping sauce. I hope that you have fun and enjoy the experience.
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Old 10-16-2005, 12:28 PM   #15
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It was awesome, i really enjoyed it. We went for a large set menu, first was miso soup, which was excellent, this was served with a bowl of soy beans, which are so incredibly moreish.

Then the next course was sushi + sashimi. The sushi was just 3 rolls, cucumber. The sashimi was salmon, tuna, prawn(cooked) and a white fish, not sure what that was, all served on rice. This was eaten with soy sauce, it was delicious. Raw fish isn't something i've tried before, but it was excellent.

Then it was tempura prawns, these were amazing. Not chewy at all, just beautiful and meaty prawns, in a great batter.

Then were 3 rounds of spears, chicken, beef, duck. Lamb and onion, courgette, mushroom and finally prawn and scallops, all in a beautiful sauce. This was also served with a small amount of a strange pink sugar like thing, with threads of pink in. If anyone can shed light on it.

And that was it, followed by drinks and an ice cream, it was an excellent evening.

Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 10-16-2005, 12:48 PM   #16
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Sounds like a pretty perfect meal. I'm glad you enjoyed it.!
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Old 10-16-2005, 01:36 PM   #17
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Hmmm...pink sugar things? Could it be the pickled ginger slices?

Your descriptions are making me hungry for Japanese now. I usually cook edamame (soybeans) from frozen at home. I boil for a few minutes, dunk into cold water to shock, then sprinkle with sea salt. They're comfort food to me.
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Old 10-16-2005, 02:22 PM   #18
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If you are faint at heart (don't be ashamed) you cannot go wrong by ordering tempura. Depending on how "authentic" the restaurant is, remember that rumaki and yakitori usually have chicken livers -- something I love, but most of my Midwestern buddies would be apalled to learn, since they eat both made here with chicken breast. If your table is doing sushi, look at the menu, if you don't do raw fish, there are plenty of sushis that have cooked fish or none at at all (a perfectly authentic sushi has a bit of omlette on top, shrimp sushi in places I've been to is cooked, as is crab). Sukiyaki is a great beef dish to order.

A friend of mine went to a Japanese restaurant for the first time and thought the green goo on the sashimi/sushi platter was guacamole. Oh, my dear me. My sinuses clear even thinking of it.

We once took friends who'd never had anything but that Japanese steak house stuff (nothing wrong with that, delicious!) to a sushi bar. They really surprised us by falling in love with the total experience, and being much more adventurous than I am with it. So go with an open mind. You'll love it.
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Old 10-16-2005, 04:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire
A friend of mine went to a Japanese restaurant for the first time and thought the green goo on the sashimi/sushi platter was guacamole. Oh, my dear me. My sinuses clear even thinking of it.
When I was a cook at the Marche I saw some one eat a cup of wasabi with a spoon on a dare. The entire restaurant stopped working for the duration of the bet... every one was just there watching. I remember a cute brazilian girl in my section saying "Imagine that on the way out!".

cc2003btw: Im so jealous... that's a great selection of food.
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Old 11-04-2005, 08:43 AM   #20
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It was awesome, decent restaurant. Not as authentic as some as far as i've gathered, but the sushimi was good. They said they're branching out the menu soon enough, so maybe some of the more unusual stuff will be around then.

Lawchick: We did have those anyway, they were thin strips with the sushi. Me and my dad think it was some odd sugar, pink food colouring and MSG mixture. But if anyonesgot any other ideas. Odd stuff, i'll get a picture next time.
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