Are Japanese seafood really safe?

Tips for travelers to Japan who do not eat fish

The variety of Japanese cuisine knows no bounds. Rich in tradition and yet always good for a surprise, the Japanese have conquered the world with their culinary expertise and absolute uniqueness. Due to the optimal geographical location, fish dishes and the imaginative preparation of all kinds of seafood are a classic highlight, which does not mean that there is only seafood in Japan. We have listed the most popular dishes and snacks that are not fished out of the water. For all Japan travelers who don't like seafood, can't tolerate it or just need a change.

1. Edamame

The young soybean is the Japanese answer to peanuts at the bar: it is boiled in its pod and served with salt. Then you just have to free it from its shell with your teeth and nothing stands in the way of enjoyment. Perfect with ice-cold beer and other alcoholic beverages as a small, healthy appetizer before a meal. But be careful: Absolutely addictive!

3. Rāmen, Udon, Soba

The variety of noodles in Japan is no longer a secret. Whether in the Rāmen soup with different meat and vegetables, as particularly thick (and also served cold) udon noodles or as traditional (and by the way gluten-free) soba noodles: There is something for every noodle lover in Japanese cuisine. The trend has spread more and more in the West in recent years, so that Rāmen in particular is served in authentic restaurants in Germany.

5. Tonkatsu

The breaded pork strips are reminiscent of schnitzel and are usually served as a topping on a bowl of rice, often with grated cabbage, the thick brown tonkatsu sauce (reminiscent of a Worcester sauce) or Japanese curry sauce. Those who like pork can't go wrong with Tonkatsu.

7. Yakiniku

If you like Korean BBQ, you will feel at home with the Japanese yakiniku. Here you can get various marinated beef or pork and grill it comfortably at your own table. There are also a variety of delicious side dishes. Ideal for social gatherings with meat connoisseurs.

8. Curry

Japanese curry doesn't have much in common with its Indian or Thai roots. The brown, sweet curry sauce has been adapted to the Japanese palate over the centuries and is now a popular classic of national cuisine. Traditionally, curry is served with meat, potatoes, carrots and rice. Simple and yet a revelation. For everyone who likes it spicier. A must for Japan travelers!

9. Shabu Shabu

Here, too, you have the pleasure of preparing your own food comfortably at the table: wafer-thin strips of meat (mostly beef) and vegetables are cooked in a hot broth made from cabbage, nori (edible seaweed that you can omit) and shiitake mushrooms. A simple stew that brings friends and families together for a convivial meal. There is also rice and miso soup.

10. Karaage

It couldn't be simpler: fried chicken in a thin batter made of soy sauce, garlic, ginger and flour. Karaage are usually served with spices or a coordinated dressing (made from spring onions), tartar sauce, sweet toppings or a hellishly hot sauce. The choice is huge. A classic in Japanese cuisine. Just give it a try!

12. Yakitori

Here, too, the name says it all: fried chicken. More precisely: spiced chicken canapes on a skewer. Many Yakitori restaurants offer their guests a glimpse into an open kitchen, where the food is prepared right in front of their eyes. Tip: If you like, you should drizzle a few drops of lemon over the skewers. Taste explosion guaranteed!

13. Omuraisu

The name actually reveals what Omuraisu is about: a mixture of omelette and rice. Strictly speaking, the rice, often with meat and vegetables, is fried and stuffed into an omelette. There is also ketchup. It sounds like it takes getting used to, but it is particularly popular with children and in maid cafés, as you can let off steam with creative ketchup designs.

14. Donburi

Those who associate rice primarily with Japanese cuisine will not be disappointed at Donburi. Here, steamed rice is placed in a bowl and topped with seasoned beef (Gyūdon) or pork (Katsudon). If you like, you can also add red pepper or pickled ginger for a little more pep! Simple and tasty. And absolutely affordable.

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As you can see, the diversity of Japanese cuisine leaves no room for disappointment. You don't have to like fish to be full and above all happy here. Japan has so much more to offer than sushi and the like. Just wander through the streets and maybe just follow your nose. You never know where you will end up.