If you are looking for a food adventure in Japan, you are in for the treat. (Image via TripAdvisor)
5 Japanese exotic food that you need to try except ramen and sushiWhen you are traveling to Japan, there are two things you are in for the treat: culture and food. You may have tasted sushi, ramen, or any Japanese food in your local restaurants. However, Japanese food that comes straight out of the Japanese kitchen itself is an extraordinary experience.
Nonetheless, some tourists grow bored with tasting either sushi, ramen, or udon. Japanese cuisine actually has exotic things in it. If you are curious enough, here are exotic foods for you, from the least exotic to “is this even food?” level.
It is a Japanese delicacy. You need to know that the Japanese people just love red bean paste (Anko), made from the mixture of red bean (Azuki) and sugar. You can find it filling your buns. Yokan is not a bun. It is an algae jelly block (Kanten) with red bean paste.
The taste is what you can expect from red bean paste. Yokan has a sticky texture. In Japan, you can find the best yokan at Toraya, the best sweet (wagashi) store since 1635.
It is not that character from Ghibli animation. Tororo is a slurry mountain yam (yamaimo). It is often served with rice or noodles, best with green onions and soy sauce. Eating tororo, you can’t help but slurp. The Japanese people back then added the raw egg with tororo, referring to it as “sky with a full moon”. Since ancient times, Japanese people believe that tororo has an aphrodisiac effect.
You can find frozen tororo in supermarket or a ready-to-eat in restaurants. You can find the best tororo in Chojiya, Shizuoka Prefecture.
Well, this one is available in other countries not limited to Japan. Inago is… (ready?) grasshoppers (inago) fried in soy sauce and sugar. It has a crunchy texture like a senbei cracker. Inago is famous in Nagano or Gifu Prefecture, where access to seafood is limited. You can prank your friends with this, but I bet they will not notice or they will love it before throwing it out.
Since WWII, the Japanese people find animal innards as a tasty delicacy. Especially, the Japanese people just have to finish it all ‘til the last drop. If you love a sinful treat, motsu is right for you! Motsunabe is a type of hotpot (nabe) dish with offal as its main ingredient.
Eating motsu can be a little tricky. Springy innards that you might not be able to swallow easily, but the broth is something you can enjoy. However, if you love it grilled, then you can try horumonyaki, same as motsu but it is grilled. You can go to Osaka, a place referred to as the birthplace of offal dishes.
We have covered the least exotic, now let’s move to “is this even food?” level. Shirako is fish sperm (roughly translated as “white children”). The texture is slimy. However, you might find the aftertaste annoying. Some referred to the texture like soft tofu. Even most Japanese people don’t like shirako.