The beauty of Japanese cuisine is in its wide variety of ingredients and cooking methods. The various ways of preparing the many different categories of ingredients combine to create healthy, nutritionally well-balanced meals. Here is an introduction to some of the principal categories of Japanese cuisine. Once the characteristics of each category are understood, Japanese cooking can be more fun and healthier.
Iconic Japanese noodles served either hot or cold
"Udon" is a type of noodle made mainly with flour. It is an old, familiar staple along with rice in Japan.
Udon are made by kneading wheat flour, salt and water and then shaping the dough into long, thin noodles. The most common way of serving udon is in hot soup. Udon can be also rinsed under running water and served cold with a dipping sauce, or simmered in an individual hot pot with garnishes (nabeyaki-udon).
Quite a few regions are famous for their udon. Kishimen in Nagoya (Aichi Prefecture), Inaniwa-udon (Akita Prefecture) and Sanuki-udon (Kagawa Prefecture) are considered to be the top three udon in Japan and, of course, very popular.