The Picky Eater’s Guide To Japanese Cuisine

Are you wary of trying new foods because you’re sensitive to certain smells, spices, tastes, or textures? If so, it’s probably difficult to hang with friends who always want to try strange fusion cuisine or even ethnic foods that you’re not comfortable eating. If your friends’ next get-together is at a Japanese restaurant like Koto Japanese Steak House, you should do a little research beforehand to see what you’d be okay with eating. While you may not be to keen on raw fish or natto (smelly, fermented soy beans), there are definitely options out there. Here are a few dishes you may want to consider:

Soups

Ramen

A noodle soup is a safe bet for the picky eater (after all, most people have it when they’re sick). While you may have had basic instant ramen, restaurants serve this wheat-noodle dish with all sorts of flavors, like miso–a traditional flavor from soybeans. If you don’t want to try misoyou could opt for a beef-, fish-, or vegetable-based broth. And if you aren’t too picky with veggies or meat, some good options are chicken, beef, and green onions. 

Udon

While ramen is typically served with various meats and veggies, udon is even simpler: just noodles and broth. This is a great option for picky eaters because the flavor is pretty mild, and if you want more taste, you can add mirin–a condiment that’s sweet like sugar. And like the ramen, you can add some veggies if you’re up to it. Scallions go really well with udon.  

Main Courses

Yakitori

Yakitori can refer to just about any food that is skewered and grilled. However, yakitori is usually in reference to grilled chicken. While this could be a main course, you may also want to add an appetizer. Gyoza are dumplings that are quite delectable; and they make a great appetizer.

Tempura

If you’re not opposed to fish–except raw fish–tempura is a great option. Tempura is the catch-all term for any veggies or seafood that are battered in flour, then deep fried. (And what doesn’t taste good deep-fried?) 

Tonkatsu

If you aren’t a fan of either deep-fried veggies or seafood, how about pork? Tonkatsu is pork that is first covered in bread-crumbs, then deep-fried. It’s also a very versatile main course because it can be served with rice, curry, veggies, and so on.

Sushi

You can’t go out for Japanese food and not try a bite of sushi. A very “safe” sushi to try is a California roll. Sometimes sushi can turn people off because of the nori wrapping (seaweed) and because it’s stacked with fish and condiments. A California roll isn’t stacked with raw fish and you only see rice on the outside. Best of all, it uses crab or imitation crab instead of raw fish! 

If nothing sounds appetizing on this list, don’t get hung-up over your eating habits. Fill up beforehand and just go to the restaurant to enjoy the company!

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