Seasonal cuisine: Essence of Japanese Food
Thailand is a tropical country famous for its good fruit. During summer time, durian and mango are abundant. This is noticeable when mango sticky rice and durian sticky rice including ice cream and other desserts are widely sold as popular desserts. Restaurants also change their menus according to the season. The Thai word for “seasonal fruits” is used to imply how various fruits are most delicious during a specific season.
And also in Japan, Japanese cooking is a methodical process and follows the principle that food should offer both visual and palatable pleasure. Presentation should be aesthetically appealing, appropriate, and appetizing. When eaten, it should be full of nutritional value and taste good to bring pleasure. Japanese cuisine, also known for its methodical and meticulous qualities, offers a selection of seasonal dishes for optimal pleasure.
Japan’s climate is comprised of 4 seasons i.e. Spring (March – May), Summer (June – August), Autumn (September – November), and Winter (December – February). The different climate conditions mean different types of vegetables, meat, and sea food are available during each season.
The warm temperature following a long winter offers an abundance of plants and vegetables, while sea bass (Tai) and perch are also plentiful. Japanese restaurants use sea bass (Tai) to make sushi and sashimi.
Also, Shellfish and Asari clams are especially popular in this season. They’re popularly grilled or boiled into soups, especially Miso soup; the sweetness from shellfish enhances the soup with a savory and delicious taste.
A large number of Japanese people also love to eat spring Katsuo. It has less fat in spring than autumn but is still fresh and tasty though.
The Japanese enjoy Unagi freshwater eel prepared with Kabayaki sauce and served on rice. Ayu fish and mackerel are popularly grilled and served on rice. Kuruma-ebi (Japanese imperial prawn) is best eaten as raw sashimi or grilled.
The landscape all over Japan appears painted with different colors as trees shed their leaves and a variety of tasty foods are available according to the Japanese saying “the appetite grows during autumn”. Katsuo have high fat content and are best grilled Tataki-style. Other available delicacies include Aji mackerel, Anago sea eel (prepared in sushi or tempura-style), halibut, and Kanpachi yellow-tail etc.
During the icy cold weather, the Japanese prefer to eat suki-yaki style for warmth, and popular items include Hamachi (Japanese amberjack), Anko (anglerfish), Tako (giant squid), Maguro (Tuna), halibut, oyster, Tsubagai shellfish (whelk) etc. Japanese crab is also especially delicious during winter.
If you happen to travel to Japan or even go to Japanese restaurant in Thailand, try the dish with those seasonal ingredients.