HANDLING OUT OF TENT-YATI: JAPANESE STREET FOOD
Although in Japan you can find tents with street food, the culture of such cuisine is not as common here as in Southeast Asia, where locals and tourists flock to night or weekend markets to buy a couple of harmful, but unimaginably tasty delicacies. And although it seems unaccustomed to find it very difficult to find the food we are used to in Japan, in reality there are many delicious dishes.
Dotonbori Street in Osaka is a great place to experience Japanese delicacies. And in regions such as Hokkaido and Hiroshima, entire streets are devoted to local food, especially when it comes to miso ramen and okonomiyaki. But how reasonable is it to buy food on the streets and fairs? Certainly, the best opportunity to try it out is the Ayatay tents that grow on festivals like mushrooms. Because of them, it can be said that the atmosphere at the Japanese festival is comparable to the atmosphere of the food market.
The word “yatai”, which translates as “tent”, is not used exclusively to designate kiosks at festivals. For example, in Fukuoka, the main city of street food, Yatai tents are open day and night. In addition, some ramennaya, as well as shops of sweet potatoes are also yatai. This word does not always refer to food outlets, as kiosks appear at many festivals where visitors can play a game and win a prize. In this article, however, we will focus on the phenomenon of festival street food.
When the festival is held in Japan, you can even argue: you will definitely see tents, Yatai. The more festivals you visit, the fuller will be your idea of street food. A dish of yatai usually costs no more than 1,000 yen, with an average price of around 500 yen. Whether temple or school festivals, some dishes in Japan are directly related to the Ayatai culture.
As the season of summer festivals is in full swing now, we will tell you about the main delicacies of this season.
No festival is complete without good old-timers. This easy-to-cook dish consists of fried noodles, strips of pork and cabbage. Then it is sprinkled with bonito, pickled ginger or dried seaweed, and some cooks also add mayonnaise to it.
Kusiyaki is a generic term for grilled skewers on a skewer, the most popular type of which is yakitori. Yakitori can be considered as another subcategory, as there are different types of this dish: for example, momo (thigh), tsukune (meatballs) and kava (leather). In addition to yakitori, you also often have to see beef, pork and fish (usually called sioyaki) at festivals. Finally, the Japanese love to grill and sell other types of seafood, such as squids and scallops.
In short, okonomiyaki is a salty pancake. The recipe necessarily uses zucchini, okonomiyaki sauce and, of course, dough, and everything else can be changed, removed or added. Most often, this dish uses seafood or pork. But in the end, okonomiyaki from Japanese translates as “everything that you like.”
Tacoyaki are balls of octopus meat, in the preparation of which the same dough is used, which is used to create okonomiyaki. Even the sauce is very similar. Interestingly, okonomiyaki, yakisoba and takoyaki share some basic ingredients. Therefore, if you still have some extra products while cooking, you can safely switch to another dish.
Oden is a dish consisting of various ingredients (mainly from different types of tofu and fish), immersed in dashi broth and soy sauce. It is especially popular in winter, but even in the warmer months you can find kiosks selling oden. However, the taste of oden may seem unpleasant to you – mainly due to the unappetizing appearance of this dish.
“Dzaga” is translated as “potatoes”, and “baata” is the same as “butter”. In a word, the name of this dish fully corresponds to the recipe of cooking: it is just potatoes baked in oil.
Kebabs brought to Japan by Turkish migrants are one of the most popular foreign dishes in the country of the Rising Sun. In many urban areas (for example, in Tokyo) you will surely come across at least one counter or cart selling kebabs. Of course, kebabs are sold at festivals too!
Yakimo is a baked sweet potato. This recipe originates on the streets of Tokyo. To pamper yourself, you need to find a sweet potato seller who pushes a cart in front of you or rides in a truck equipped with a stone oven. If you try to find a yakimo at the festival, please note that this is rather an autumn or winter dish, which is rarely found on summer holidays. But in the event that you come to Japan in the summer, try walking through the streets in the evening, and you will surely find it.