Traditionally, Japanese food is based on rice with miso soup and three accompanying side dishes, emphasizing on seasonal ingredients. Fish, pickled vegetables, and vegetables cooked in broth are common side dishes.
As Japan is an island country surrounded by an ocean, its people have always taken advantage of the ample seafood reserve. In the traditional Japanese cuisine fish is usually grilled however, it can also be served raw as sashimi and in some types of sushi. The term ‘tempura’ is used when fish and vegetables are deep-fried in a light batter.
Apart from rice, other Japanese cuisine staples contain noodles, such as soba and udon. Soba is a thin grey noodle made from buckwheat flour. Udon is a thicker white noodle made from wheat flour. Both can be served in a broth as a soup, or on their own to be dipped into a sauce before eating.
Japan has many simmered dishes such as fish products in broth called oden, or beef in sukiyaki and nikujaga. Chinese food also had an influence on the Japanese cuisine over the years, in the form of noodles in soup called ramen and fried dumplings, gyoza.