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The 4 principal
of Japanese cuisine
More so than any other cuisine, Japanese cuisine is best understood in perspective by knowing its four principal cooking methods:
These are fried foods. Famous dishes include Tempura, Kagiage (a batter-dipped, deep-fried patty of vegetables and shrimp), and Tonkatsu (a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet).
Steamed foods: The celebrated dish is Chawan Mushi, an egg custard containing chicken and vegetables.
These foods are boiled. The best-known subcategory is Nabemono, one-pot tabletop cookery in which the ingredients are simmered in a lightly seasoned broth, then usually dipped into a flavorful sauce. Nabemono's best-known dishes are:
Sukiyaki Shabu Shabu
Beef, vegetables, and bean curd
Somewhat like Shabu Shabu, but with chicken instead of beef
Fish, shellfish, and vegetables
Uncomplicated bean curd preparation
Foods that are broiled. Some of the best-known dishes are Yakitori (marinated skewer-broiled chicken), Teriyaki (broiled meat or fish first marinated in a sweetened sake and soy-sauce mixture), Shioyaki (fish salted for an hour or two, then skewer-broiled), and Teppan Yaki (food cooked on a small tabletop grill).
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