Summer in Japan isn’t only made up of long, crystal clear beaches, fun-filled festivals and exciting fireworks. In fact, there are also many delicious Japanese foods and drinks for you to try out! Let’s take a look at what Japanese foods and drinks are the most popular during summer.
1. Kakigori (Shaved Ice/Slushies)
You’ve probably noticed pictures of white and blue curtains/flags with the prominent red kanji “氷” displayed in manga, anime, or somewhere across photographs of Japan. These are often displayed in front of stores selling Kakigori (shaved ice/slushies), a very popular food in Japan every summer.
Depending on the recipe of the Kakigori store, shaved ice “towers” are topped with many kinds of toppings such as fruit, red beans, jelly, ice cream, etc. What could be better than chilling with a bowl of shaved ice like this in the middle of a hot summer in Tokyo? You can also make it at home easily with the ingredients and mini shaved ice machines available at Don Quijote.
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2. Nagashi Somen (Flowing Noodles)
Nagashi Somen (Flowing Noodles) are loved by both adults and children in Japan. It is a very popular dish in summer, and is even considered to be the most attractive outdoor culinary activity of that season. With most types of noodles, you just need to order and wait patiently for the waiter to bring the food to your table. Nagashi Somen, however requires a lot of “exercise”.
You will be standing or sitting on both sides of a long bamboo trough. In the bamboo trough, there is a cold stream of water through which the Somen Noodles (noodles of about 1.3mm in diameter, and made of wheat flour and salt water) flow down.
In order to eat this noodle dish, you need to use chopsticks to quickly pick up the noodles, dip them in the dipping sauce and enjoy.
3. Ramune Soda
Ramune Soda (ラムネ) is one of the most popular drinks in Japan, probably due to its unique bottle shape and frequent appearances across various manga and anime. The name “Ramune” is a literal translation of the English term “Lemonade”, which was invented in 1872 and is one of the oldest lemonades in Japan.
Despite its popularity, you can’t easily find Ramune in vending machines or convenience stores in Japan. Instead, you will have to look for it in supermarkets or drink stores. It comes in a glass bottle with a plastic cap. Use the cap to push the marble down into the neck of the bottle, and enjoy!
4. Hiyayakko (Cold Tofu with Green Onion & Soy Sauce)
Hiyayakko (冷奴) is the name of a very popular cold tofu dish in Japan. Even in luxurious Japanese restaurants, Hiyayakko is always on the menu and is the choice of many people, especially on hot summer days. The most basic and traditional dish always consists of green onions, dried bonito flakes and soy sauce on top of cold tofu.
5.Hiyashi Chyuka (Cold Chinese Noodles)
If a hot bowl of Ramen or Soba warms your belly in the cold winter, a cold bowl of Hiyashi Chyuka (Cold Chinese Noodles) will surely satisfy your cravings on a hot summer day. This dish is not only tasty but also beautiful with its colorful arrangement, which will undoubtedly catch the attention of customers.
First, the noodles are boiled and blanched, before being rinsed in cold water, placed on a plate, and filled with ice to cool down. Vegetables and meat are added to make the dish more appealing and nutritious. Meats used are usually chosen from sausages, pork chops, or chicken. For vegetables, summer vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, seaweed, etc are common choices.
There are also thinly sliced fried or boiled eggs on top of the dish. The sauce used for Hiyashi Chyuka is called “Men-Tsuyu”, and is a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.
These are 5 of the most popular foods and drinks that are enjoyed by Japanese people in summer. You can find the ingredients for these drinks and dishes across the many Don Quijote stores, and can enjoy a Japanese summer right in the comfort of your own home. We hope that every summer will be an unforgettable time for all of you!
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