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Most common every day Japanese meals?

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Dec 12, 2013
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What do Japanese people usually have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? What are some of the most commonly used and sought out ingredients one should aim for when living in Japan? I'm talking things one should always have at home to use for those three main meals of the day. Any advice?
 
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What do you mean about sought after? Eat whatever you personally like! I don't understand why you think you should have food in your home that caters to another culture. That's what it sounds like, anyway.
 
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Amongst ingredients, the Triumvirate of Japanese cuisine is: mirin, (cooking) sake, and soy sauce.
As with many other cuisines, salt, pepper and sugar are frequently used, as well. But, you will be hard pressed to find a 'Japanese' recipe without one or more of the Triumvirate appearing.

As for meals, the main dish (yes, you heard me right- Main Dish) to most every "traditional" Japanese meal is rice. This is typically accompanied by miso soup, and one or more other side dishes.

For breakfast, these side dishes are often:
tamagoyaki
sausages
fish (quite typically salmon)
raw egg (usually poured upon the rice)
salad (often lettuce-based, but also frequently daikon-based)

Lunch and dinner can be quite similar. Frequent side dishes include:
fried chicken, fish, or shrimp
baked fish
nikujaga
pot stickers and dumplings
salad (see above)
various forms of tofu (straight tofu, koya tofu, ganmo, etc.)

Then, there are those common dishes which incorporate or supplant rice as the main dish:
fried noodles
Japanese curry with rice
hayashi rice

Obviously not a comprehensive list, but hopefully this can get you started. I am actually keen on cooking, and love cooking Japanese food, so if you have any other, more specific, questions, feel free to ask! :D
 
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Obviously not a comprehensive list, but hopefully this can get you started. I am actually keen on cooking, and love cooking Japanese food, so if you have any other, more specific, questions, feel free to ask! :D
Thanks a bunch for all the information, Furyo :) Really appreciated!
 
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What about quick, small meals throughout the day? I love making sandwiches and enjoy those in-between meals, but what do Japanese people (or you guys that live in Japan) usually have? Do they just keep snacks/candy around for a quick bite?
 
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Fo snacks, I just take a short walk outside of the office and head to the nearby Natural Lawson. I usually get a veggies drink or latte with a melon pan or freshly baked baumkuchen.

I know, too much carbs...

On most days I make my own meals and cut down on all the crazy simple carbs by replacing themb with hachi-wari or juu-wari soba instead of white rice. Gusto and Ootoya have healthier forms of rice though of you don't want to cook.

I don't really know what you're asking so I'll just keep it short (and hopefully relevant).
 
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Snacks are senbei (rice crackers, a multitude of types), potato chips, tiny bags of mixed nuts, or some kind of pastry or cake. You don't want to know how many types of snacks we get every time the in-laws visit (or we visit them).
 
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I try to eat low carb, so the snacks I buy at the convenience store are generally salads, eggs (boiled), and meat and cheese packs. I don't like the various dried fishes or squid, so I don't eat them. I see lots of people buying bags of chips, onigiri, candy, etc. I don't have genes which allow me to eat stuff like that if I want to maintain some semblance of a human belly.
 
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I guess that's one answer for the OP: people in Japan head to the (ubiquitous) convenience stores for snacks. Ultra-tempting now that they have donuts in the glass case next to the cash register.
 
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I'm neither typical nor knowledgable... I'm sure most Japanese, and random non-Japanese in Japan, eat quite differently (more imaginatively and traditionally) than I do and see.

I'm just a hungry person with 5 extra minutes between appointments.
 
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I would add that Japan has taken to bread with a passion. The local bread shops, and even convenience stores, carry a wide array of bread products, including, but not limited to:

curry-filled bread
cheese bread
bread with spicy fish eggs on top
bread covered in tuna and onions
bread-wrapped sausage
sweet bean-filled bread
chocolate-covered bread
melon bread (which, oddly enough, contains no melon)
sunny-side-up-egg on bread
fried noodle-filled bread

and the list goes on...
 
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