The World’s Crazy About It! Japanese "Yoshoku”
↑The innovative "Dressed Omelet" has become a hot topic on SNS for its beautiful draped omelet. Curry-rice, Omurice, or Korokke, which do you like best? Greetings from Japan Culinary Institute (JCI), and welcome to JCI's blog for those looking for opportunities to learn about Japanese cuisine and culture in Japan! Have you ever had Japanese-style curry rice, omurice(Omelet with rice), or korokke? Maybe some of you have even made them! In contrast to "Washoku," which refers to traditional Japanese food, these dishes are called "Yoshoku(Yo means Western)" because they were introduced to Japan from overseas and have taken root in Japan. JCI is currently receiving inquiries from worldwide, as it is a perfect choice to learn typical Yoshoku. This article will introduce how curry rice, omurice, and korokke, which have become the national dishes of the Japanese people, were born! Table of Contents 1. "Yoshoku"; The hybrid of Japanese and Western cuisine 2. Curry rice; Thickened curry that goes well with Japanese rice! 3. Omurice; The marriage of omelet and rice! 4. Korokke; with Crunchy Panko breadcrumbs! 5. Summary
1. "Yoshoku"; The hybrid of Japanese and Western cuisine
↑ Food samples from the Nagoya branch of the long-established Western-style restaurant "Nihonbashi Sandaime Taimeiken." They all look delicious!
For the Japanese, "Yoshoku" is already the national cuisine. In addition to Yoshoku restaurants, many specialty restaurants serve curry rice, omurice, tonkatsu(Japanese pork cutlets), hanbargu(Japanese-style hamburger steak or Salisbury steak）, etc. Although we call it "Yoshoku," in contrast to "Washoku," which is traditional Japanese food, it is a favorite cuisine of Japanese people both at home and in restaurants. Reasonable pricing is another reason for their popularity.
The term "Yoshoku" originally refers to a fusion of Japanese and Western cuisine that was arranged to go well with the staple food, rice. At the same time, substituting ingredients that were readily available in Japan during the Meiji era (1868-1912), when the Edo period (the samurai era) ended, modernization progressed, and meat-eating became more common.
The main point is that it goes well with rice, the staple food of the Japanese. For this reason, curry, which initially originated in India, is now called "curry rice" served with rice. And omelets, which are supposed to be served with bread, are now called "omurice" with rice seasoned with ketchup (a composite Japanese name of omelet and rice). Tonkatsu (originally pork cutlet), Ebi-fry(deep-fried shrimp), and korokke are also served with rice and miso soup.
From the late Meiji era (1868-1912) to the Taisho era (1912-1926), Japanese chefs developed a succession of "Japanese-style Western cuisine," with their unique twist on Western dishes to suit the Japanese palate. "Yoshoku restaurants" that served these dishes were born one after another. Nowadays, "Yoshoku" does not mean "Western cuisine" but is recognized as a category of Japanese cuisine. While Western cuisine is called "French cuisine" or "Italian cuisine" after the name of each country. There are many varieties of Yoshoku, but in this article, we will introduce the origins and latest trends of curry rice, omurice, and korokke, which Japanese people especially love. Yoshoku is becoming more and more popular worldwide, and not only will you want to eat it, but you'll also want to make it yourself!
2. Curry rice; Thickened curry that goes well with rice!
“Curry rice" = photo above = which is already highly recognized overseas, is often called "curry" in Japan by omitting "rice''. It is the "national dish of the Japanese people" and ramen in Japan. It is also called rice curry, which is swapped back and forth, so you can see that it is an inseparable dish from rice. While India is widely known as the birthplace of curry, the Japanese recipe for a thick curry sauce made by mixing sauteed flour with curry powder was introduced to Japan from England in the mid-19th century. In the early 20th century, inexpensive Japanese curry powder was released, curry udon noodles were also introduced, and curry quickly became common as a home dish.
↑ Curry udon with soy sauce flavored bonito broth has a Japanese flavor that goes beyond the boundaries of Yoshoku