It’s that time of the year again. Between family gatherings, office parties, and Christmas and Hanuka celebrations, there’s a lot of food on the table. Our plates are overfilled with turkey, sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, hams, and the list goes on! The number of carbs and calories can induce a heart attack! Holidays are a time of overindulgence. Sharing food is symbolic of sharing love, so it can be impolite to refuse. Instead, you can fill your table with healthier choices — like Japanese Holiday Food.
Japanese Holiday Food to the Rescue
Japanese food is healthy and has been enjoyed for centuries. It uses a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits, so you get a handful of nutrients with every meal. And, because the ingredients are fresh, they retain more flavor and make the meal a lot more enjoyable.
Japanese cuisine is usually cooked using low heat to preserve the natural flavors.
5 Japanese Holiday Food to Try this December
For pork lovers out there, Tonkatsu is a much healthier pork dish. The deep-fried breaded pork cutlet has less fat than hamburgers or fried chicken.
Tonkatsu is often fried with less oil and served with lettuce and Japanese rice, which are fewer carbs and calories. Use low-fat pork ribs if available.
Brown rice is another alternative. It contains lots of dietary fibers and B vitamins. Use buttered veggies as a side dish.
Yakitori is Japanese-styled grilled chicken roasted alongside vegetables.
Yakitori is colorful and versatile. It can be prepared in various ways, with different meats, vegetables, and spices. Yakitori taste best when grilled in the open flame. But it can be made pan-fried.
This simple dish of grilled chicken skewers is perfect for family gatherings, and it’s easy to make at home too. All you need is some chicken breast fillets, some bamboo skewers, and your favorite marinade. We like to use a teriyaki sauce or a soy-based glaze, but you can experiment with different flavors if you want.
Gyudon is one of the many delicious dishes that come from Japan. It combines juicy beef with rice, onions, and a raw egg. On top of this yummy dish, they often put some green onion or sweetened soy sauce for added flavor!
Gyudon is served as rice or noodles topping.
Ramen is the most popular food in Japan. It’s made of wheat flour noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso.
Ramen is featured in Japanese pop culture and has gained recognition worldwide.
Sushi is Japanese cuisine consisting of sushi rice with raw fish, vegetables, and sushi vinegar.
Sushi is often served creatively in rolls or as individual pieces — playing with various textures and flavors, which adds fascination to the dish.
Sushi is an excellent source of protein and omega-fatty acids, beneficial for your heart health. It’s also low in calories and easy to digest.
Moreover, sushi can be made with many different types of seafood, including tuna, salmon, shrimp, crabmeat, and eel. It can also include vegetables like cucumber or avocado. And while sushi rice is the traditional base, some people prefer to use brown rice instead.
Matcha is a newer Japanese drink and a cafe and smoothie bar favorite. Matcha contains antioxidants and moderate levels of caffeine boost.
Matcha can be served hot or cold, and it’s a comforting drink to share with family on a cold Christmas night. Banana Matcha smoothie is a popular meal replacement drink.
For centuries, the Japanese have kept mochi to themselves. But now, everyone in the world is enjoying it.
Mochi is made of glutinous rice cake and is often filled with flavors. It comes in fluffy circles of various rainbow pastel colors — appealing to the eye and tempting to bite. It can be wrapped around ice cream to make mochi-cones.
This delicious dessert was originally made by pounding cooked rice into a paste until it became elastic enough to form balls. Nowadays, mochi is typically formed from the uncooked dough of wheat flour mixed with water.