Saturday, April 13, 2024

10 Strange Japanese Foods Guaranteed to Surprise You

If you are feeling strangely adventurous and would like to try something really off, then you might want to visit Japan and try some of these strange Japanese foods.

Japanese food is creative and daring. Sushi and ramen are popular globally, but Japan has many bizarre foods that can seem weird or unappealing to non-native citizens. From combining odd flavors to using unique ingredients, here are 10 really weird Japanese foods.


10 Strange Japanese Foods That Surprise You


1. Wasabi Beer


This green colored beer tastes just like a wasabi! It has a smooth spicy and herbal flavor that will surely refresh your senses. Created by a brewery in Japan, wasabi beer gives a powerful horseradish flavor that clears your nose and leaves a long tingling feeling.

Acquired taste for sure – the wasabi burns your mouth and nose. But some bold beer drinkers like the surprise pairing.


2. Octopus Ice Cream


Octopus ice cream is a special taste made by a Japanese seafood company. Chopped up boiled octopus parts get swirled into creamy sweet vanilla ice cream.

The little chewy chunks give a gummy blobby texture. While slimy octopus ice cream may not appeal to most, it offers a unique salty-sweet experience for foodies who are more daring.


3. Okonomiyaki


Okonomiyaki translates to “grilled how you like.” These Japanese pancakes are made with a batter of flour, eggs, cabbage and protein. Ingredients like squid, shrimp, pork or fish flakes get mixed into or layered on top.

Okonomiyaki has regional varieties – Hiroshima style has noodles in the batter while Osaka style uses more cabbage. This adaptable street food is fried on a hot grill into perfect golden brown pancakes.


4. Canned Breads


Bread in a can seems odd, but it’s a handy staple in Japanese kitchens. The bread comes pre-sliced and sterile, with flavors like Yakisoba Pan (fried noodle bread) and Curry Pan (curried chicken bread).

Canned bread keeps much longer than fresh loaves. Just open the can, take out the moist sliced loaf, and heat before eating. It’s a fast, convenient breakfast or snack.


5. Placenta Drink


This beverage is made with extract from sheep placentas. The Platypus Placenta 10000 jelly drink has a goopy, thick texture with a sweet fruit flavor.

Sheep placentas contain nutrients like amino acids, vitamins and minerals. So the makers promote placenta drinks as an energizing health product. Though the jelly blobs floating in the jar may gross some people out, fans of the drink believe it boosts their health and vitality.


6. Tamagoyaki


Tamagoyaki are rolled omelets made from egg and dashi broth. What makes them unique is they can contain chopped dried baby sardines. The little fish bits give a salty, fishy taste and chewy texture with each bite.

Dried sardines are rich in calcium. So tamagoyaki with sardines makes for a nutritious snack. Those unfazed by the crunch of tiny bones will find a tasty source of protein.


7. Basil Seed Drink


A popular Asian drink is made using basil seeds. When soaked in water, the seeds form a jelly-like coating and develop a tapioca-like texture.

The drink has a mild sweetness from the basil and a fun bubbly appearance from the jelly dots. Some may be put off by the small black basil seeds suspended in the drink. But they offer a unique experience – the jiggly basil jelly slides through the straw in an interesting way.


8. Wasp Crackers

strange Japanese foods

In the mountains of Japan live giant wasps called heboi. Some traditional crackers are made using the larva from these large wasps. The baked larva have a crispy cracker-like texture and a slightly nutty, bitter taste.

While insect consumption is taboo in some cultures, the high protein content offers nutritional value. Brave snackers willing to crunch down on baked wasp larvae get an authentic local treat.


9. Insect Sushi


Insect sushi, created in Japan, uses ants, beetles, and larvae in place of fish or other traditional proteins. Items like larvae tempura rolls, cricket norimaki, and rice topped with ants offer an unorthodox sushi experience.

While initially hesitant, some open-minded sushi fans enjoy the unusual crunch and flavors insects provide. It’s an exotic eats challenge for thrill-seeking foodies.


10. Beer Jello


Japanese beer jello features blobs of jiggly jelly made with beer as the jelly base. Often served with fruits, nuts, or tapioca pearls mixed in, it provides an odd medley of flavors and textures in one dessert.

The alcohol cooks off, so it’s enjoyed for the sweetness not the booze. While it may remind some of old jelly-and-fruit salad combinations better left in the past, fans of beer jello find it whimsically tasty.

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