Rice is the staple food of the Japanese diet. The rice burger, with two rice cakes instead of bread, is the latest street food innovation. At the Pavilion of Japan there are three types of rice burger to try: sliced beef with teriyaki sauce, chicken and prawn tempura.
In Japan, rice dishes are created to suit specific occasions: for example, the onigiri is a rice patty which is ideal for a picnic lunch. An innovative and fun street food is the rice burger, in which disks of puffed rice are used instead of bread. At the Pavilion of Japan there are three types of rice burger on offer: sliced beef with teriyaki sauce, chicken or prawn tempura. The compact structure of cooked rice makes it the perfect solution for a quick, healthy meal but which instantly makes you feel full. Its neutral taste enhances and helps one appreciate the different sauces and fillings more intensely. Another specialty in which rice is the basic ingredient is curry, which is widely used in Japanese cooking as well as Indian. In Japan, the curry sauce is not mixed with the rice, but served neatly on one side of the plate, creating two separate halves. One of the tastiest dishes is tonkatsu, a deep-fried pork chop served with rice and a vegetable curry.
The sweetness of rice
Rice is also used as an ingredient in various types of desserts and cakes. One of the most famous is mochi, a traditional delicacy made from a glutinous strain of rice which is then pounded into a white paste. These cakes are usually filled with a paste made from azuki beans, (sometimes incorrectly called “red soya beans”) or jam. They are perfect with a cup of green tea. Rice is used not only as a cooking ingredient for many dishes, but it is also a vital raw material for products such as sake, rice vinegar, mirin (a sweet sake used in cooking), oil and kōji (rice inoculated with aspergillus oryzae).