Distinctive Features of Japanese Cooking
With it's rustic flavors and unpretentious style, Japanese cuisine has a reputation for being healthy. And it's wholesome and elegant approach is winning many fans for Japanese cooking in the West.
A focus on bringing out the natural flavors and beauty of food is one of the hallmarks of Japanese cuisine. Zen principles are readily evident in much of Japanese cooking, which seeks to enhance the natural flavors in foods and combine them harmoniously. Raw and lightly cooked foods, like sushi, embody the dedication to minimal embellishment to fresh, simple ingredients.
Famous Chef: Masaharu Morimoto
Though his early chef training was in traditional Kaiseki cuisine and sushi, Masaharu Morimoto's signature style is a fusion between conventional Japanese cooking and Western cooking. At 25, he opened his first restaurant in his hometown, Hiroshima. Five years later, he sold his restaurant and moved to New York, where his reputation grew as he took on executive chef positions at the Sony Club, and later, at Nobu.
A one-time aspiring professional baseball player, Morimoto's competitive edge made him the perfect choice to be a regular contender on the TV show "Iron Chef" and its American spin-off, "Iron Chef America."
Morimoto currently owns restaurants in both Philadelphia and New York.
Locally grown rice, soybeans and a variety of seafood are the staples of a Japanese diet. Several species of mushrooms, citrus fruits as well as a wide array of vegetables, including cucumber, eggplant, spinach and bamboo shoots, are also common. Noodles also figure prominently in Japanese cooking. Overall, Japanese food places a strong emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients.