Rice as Main Ingredient

The people of East and Southeast Asia look on a typical meal as one with rice as the main actor, and side dishes playing a secondary role. The typical Japanese meal is no exception. Rice is boiled and steamed, and goes straight from the pot into waiting bowls, with no flavor added. Fish and vegetable side dishes come with a variety of flavorings, but somehow their role seems to be to whet the appetite for more rice.

Recipe: Robatayaki

Robatayaki is not quite a type of food, but more of a type of restaurant. At the restaurant, fish and vegetables are cooked over the fireplace and handed to customers with a large wooden spoon, known as a horikaeshibera. The ingredients are cooked directly on the charcoal…