In a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) back in December 2013, six countries rated Japanese as their most preferred foreign cuisine. Japanese food garnered a popularity rating of 34 percent, followed by Italian (15.6 percent) and Chinese (14.0 percent). “Healthiness” was cited as the main reason for Japanese cuisine’s popularity in these countries.
The survey can be taken as a follow-up to another JETRO survey conducted in 2012, in which participants from the U.S. ranked Japanese as the third most popular foreign cuisine in the country. However, it’s not just the supposed health benefits that make Japanese cuisine so well loved but the fact that maki, negiri, tempura, and other foods simply taste so good. Much like how it is with Chinese and Italian restaurants in the U.S., great-tasting food is the biggest reason why Japanese restaurants in Elk Grove, CA like Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar have such a loyal following.
Sushi, in particular, is known for its taste, simplicity, and beauty. The dish is essentially a combination of shari, or cooked rice laced with vinegar, and neta, like raw meat, seafood, and vegetables. Over the years, Japanese chefs have come up with numerous combinations of these simple ingredients to produce dozens of sushi varieties.
Ikura gukan is a type of sushi that uses salmon roe as its main ingredient, while tako nigiri consists of thin slices of octopus meat. Ebi nigiri, on the other hand, is quite unique because it is made with cooked shrimp. California rolls, which consist of avocado, cucumber, and crab meat, are a type of sushi that the Japanese adopted from the U.S. Aside from the mouthwatering flavor combinations, most sushi varieties are packed with nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids that promote good health.
Although sushi is a trademark of Japanese cuisine, there are other great-tasting and healthy items diners should explore when dining at Japanese-themed Elk Grove, CA restaurants. Some establishments like Mikuni Sushi, for instance, serve tempura varieties made with vegetables, chicken, mushrooms, and asparagus instead of the usual shrimp or seafood. In fact, a travel industry study in 2012 identified tempura as the second-most popular food in Japanese cuisine, recommended by about 57 percent of the world’s tourists and most popular hotels.
In essence, one can never go wrong with Japanese food to satiate a hungry stomach. Those unconvinced about the results of the JETRO surveys need only visit a Japanese restaurant like Mikuni Sushi to see why sushi, tempura, and other Japanese dishes never fail to tickle the palates of people all over the world.
(Source: Japanese dishes rank top as most popular foreign cuisine in six-city survey of emerging markets, Japan Products, May 29, 2014)