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  • Bianca Creiteanu

Japanese Summer Food: Top Dishes to Keep You Cool and Refreshed

Japanese summer food! Summer in Japan is a season of vibrant festivals, fireworks, and refreshing seasonal foods that are perfect for beating the heat. From cold hot pot (yes) to fancy shaved ice, Japan offers a variety of delicious summer dishes.

Japanese Summer Food - 5 Tasty Examples

Rei-Shabu: A Cool Twist on a Winter Favorite

Have you ever tried shabu-shabu in the winter? Rei-shabu involves taking thin slices of pork, quickly cooking them in a hot pot, and then dipping them into cold water. The result is a refreshing dish served atop a salad of cold vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers. Drizzle it with a savory sesame sauce, and you've got a Japanese summer salad.

Japanese Summer Food - Rei-Shabu

Mizu Yokan: A Refreshing Summer Dessert

If you have a sweet tooth, mizu yokan is a must-try. This jelly-like dessert made from red bean paste, sugar, and agar is a summer favorite. Unlike its firmer winter counterpart, mizu yokan has a higher water content, giving it a softer texture that's incredibly refreshing. Often served with green tea, it can even come in matcha flavor for a delicious twist.


Hiyayakko: The Ultimate Chilled Tofu Dish

Hiyayakko is simplicity at its finest and a beloved summer dish in Japan. It's just a block of chilled tofu topped with your choice of garnishes. Popular toppings include ginger, wasabi, soy sauce, shiso (perilla leaf), pickled plum (umeboshi), and yuzu. This dish is not only easy to make but also incredibly healthy. Have you ever thought tofu could be so exciting?

Refreshing, Colf Tofu

Nagashi Somen: Flowing Noodles

For a truly unique and fun dining experience, you must try nagashi somen. This dish involves catching thin somen noodles as they flow down a bamboo slide in cold water. Dip your catch in a soy-based sauce called tsuyu and enjoy. It's like playing with your food, but in a perfectly acceptable way! If you’re not confident with your chopstick skills, you can always enjoy chilled somen served traditionally with dipping sauce and fresh vegetables. How fun does that sound?

Nagashi Somen

Kakigori: Shaved Ice Treat

No summer in Japan is complete without kakigori. This sweet, frozen dessert is the perfect way to beat the heat. Kakigori, meaning "shaved ice," is served with a variety of syrups and toppings, sometimes even condensed milk. Look for the kanji character for ice (氷) on shop signs, and you'll find this beloved treat. Popular flavors include strawberry, melon, and lemon, but the possibilities are endless.


There you have it - 5 delicious examples of Japanese summer food!


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