Yen is a freelance writer and UI/UX design enthusiast. From tropical lands of Malaysia, she currently resides in the land of the rising sun.
Growing up in an asian culture, food has always played a huge part in my upbringing. As I moved between countries from my young adulthood into adulthood, I felt a part of me got tangled up into this mix of culture and confusion.
It brought back memories of my first alcoholic beverage which was the Japanese rice wine: Sake. I remembered the smooth texture of the warm beverage soothing through my throat into my belly, keeping me warm through the discussions that I did not understand nor wanted to.
So, did Japanese food.
Even as I am not of Japanese descent, Japanese food always brought a sense of home and belonging to me. A simple Onigiri (Rice Ball) wrapped around by seaweed with its center filled with one the simplest ingredients of either plum or tuna flakes- felt like a warm bowl of home cooked food. It's triangular design made the grip onto it feel and brings back memories of as a little child holding onto a precious bread bigger than the size of his or her palms, nibbling and savouring it bit by bit. A simple tempura (a dish whereby seafood or vegetables have been battered up and deep fried) brought back memories of youth where fried food was only eaten as a reward, and its crispy crunchiness filled the room of silence on nights a family member could not make it home in time for dinner due to work.
A drink at the end of a long day at work at the local Izakayas (Japanese pubs) or Nomikai dinner parties, felt like an escape from reality wherever I may be. The thought of sharing a meal or a drink with friends, family and coworkers brought an about an opportunity and closure to the environment I lived in.
Japanese food is a flavour of reminiscence to me.
Always reminding me of the warmth home is wherever I went or moved to, bringing me closer to a culture I have always been fascinated by.
Questions & Answers
Question: So which flavor do you like the most? Any recommendations for people who were being traumatized after eating the bombastic sweet potato fillings.
Answer: As funny as this may seem, Japanese is also my favorite flavour other than a flavour of reminiscence. I could eat sushi, ramen, beef rice bowl (gyuudon) and curry rice everyday - which I did while living in Japan. Sorry, I am not quite sure with the second question but I do agree that Japanese food can be very sweet especially desserts and pastries like taiyaki. If you are a fan of raw fish, sashimi pairs well nicely with sake or whisky, fried chicken in bite sizes (karaage) or pork cutlets in fried batter is a well-loved delicacy among the locals in Japan (great with beer!), Omurice (Omelette and rice) with gravy is also a well-loved dish among travelers around the world, and of course ramen or yakisoba is a quick option for a nice and warm bowl of noodles in Japan.