4 Traditional Japanese Summer Foods to Try
With summer here, now in Niigata, Japan, the temperature has reached over 30 degrees Celsius, so I have a craving for something chilled to drink.
When it comes to summer beverages that represent Japan, the classic Japanese soda pop with its roots in lemonade, “Ramune (ラムネ)” is especially famous. As a matter of fact, the Ramune drink is sometimes said to be a Japanese summer tradition because of its history and the refreshing appearance and taste.
4 Traditional Japanese Foods that are Perfect for Summer
Then, when you think of refreshing Japan-originated food for the hot and humid months, what comes to mind? For those who are not familiar with such Japanese foods, today let me introduce 4 traditional Japanese foods that are perfect for the summer.
1. Nagashi Somen (流しそうめん)
Source: Youtube “竹を使って、流しそうめんを楽しむ方法！”
“Nagashi Somen (流しそうめん)”, literally flowing Somen noodles, has long been loved by Japanese people as a summer tradition. The traditional way to eat Somen is enjoyed in both households and restaurants during the summertime. Not only can you get a pleasant cooling sensation from Nagashi Somen, but eating the noodles and other foods in such an enjoyable manner is just fun.
2. Kuzukiri (葛きり)
“Kuzukiri (葛きり)” is a traditional Japanese noodle-like jelly made from just the 2 simple ingredients, kudzu arrowroot starch and water. The gelatinous kudzu noodle is almost tasteless on its own, so it can be used in various ways. While during the winter it is typically used as an ingredient in “Nabemono (鍋物)” hot-pot dishes, in the summer Kuzukiri noodles are often served with “Kuromitsu (黒蜜)” brown sugar syrup as a dessert.
3. Kuzu Manju (葛饅頭)
“Kuzu Manju (葛饅頭)” is a traditional Japanese sweet, a semicircular-shaped Kuzumochi filled with sweet red been paste, like the above. “Kuzumochi (葛餅)” is a type of Wagashi, a translucent chewy jelly made with Kudzu arrowroot starch, sugar, and water. With the beautiful, fresh-looking Kuzu Manju cake, you will be impressed and could forget the hot weather of summer.
4. Tokoroten (ところてん)
“Tokoroten (ところてん)“, together with Kuzukiri, is one of traditional Japanese jelly noodles. Unlike Kuzukiri noodles, Tokoroten is made using a species of seaweed, Gelidium. The smooth, slippery jelly noodle is almost tasteless on its own like Kuzukiri, so we usually eat Tokoroten noodles with “Sanbaizu (三杯酢)“. Sanbaizu is a traditional Japanese combined seasoning made from vinegar, Mirin, and soy sauce. The set of Tokoroten noodles and Sanbaizu sauce is available at almost any supermarket in Japan during the hot summer season.