Arseniy Chebynkin

Guest Writer: (Anna)#2065

Japanese cuisine is famous for various dishes such as sushi, sashimi, and ramen, among others. These are the most common among foreigners, but what if I told you that’s only scratching the surface? Today we are going to delve into the weird and interesting side of Japanese cuisine. Brace yourselves because this is one wild ride.


horse sashimi
Image Source | Further reading

We are going to start with something common, and not too exotic–sashimi. However, this not just any type of sashimi. This is Basashi, which is sashimi made from horse meat. It’s a specialty from Kumamoto, a city on the island of Kyushu. Many Japanese people eat this sashimi with some garlic and soy sauce. It is commonly called Sakura Niku (cherry blossom meat) because of the vibrant color of the meat when it’s freshly cut and the time of year when it’s in season and tastes best.



Image source | Further reading

Next we have a very interesting dish called Shirako. No, it’s not brains. It’s actually a fish sperm sack. It is considered a delicacy in Japan and is found at supermarkets for a price of 10-20 USD, although in some places it can rise to almost 100! It has a soft texture that kind of resembles pudding but it has almost no flavor. It can be served raw, steamed or even fried.


More sashimi!

chicken sashimi
Image source | Further reading

Another dish that is slightly more adventurous is raw chicken sashimi. And yes, people do eat this. This sashimi is fairly common in Japanese restaurants and in Japanese izakaya–a type of informal Japanese pub; casual places for after-work drinking. I know what you might be thinking: “Why eat raw chicken? Wouldn’t I get sick?” Well, to reduce the risk, the chicken sashimi served throughout Japan is thinly sliced from the inner breast of the chicken (which carries a lower risk of salmonella contamination.) But even then, there is still a small chance of salmonella contamination so eat this at your own risk!



Image source | Further reading

Let’s take a break from all these savory dishes and let’s have a nice drink. Sake is a quintessential Japanese alcohol, but this isn’t your regular sake found in liquor stores around the world. I am talking about drinking Habushu. Sorry to all my younger readers, because this one is not for you.Habushu is sake that has venom from a viper snake, an alcoholic drink originating from Okinawa. They even put the snake inside the bottle! But don’t worry about the poison–the alcohol makes it impotent.



Image source | Further reading

And last but not least we have sweet, delicious mochi, but naturally it wouldn’t have made it onto my list if it wasn’t strange, right? I am talking about these strange, Japanese ice-cream trends. These ice-cream flavors range from Squid ink (Ikasumi), seaweed, and even miso soup to soy sauce! If trying any of these ice-creams would be considered an adventure. imagine trying mochi made of them. The mix between soft sticky mochi and these exotic ice-creams surely could be one of the weirdest things you will ever have.



Well this is all folks, I hope you enjoy my article about the top 5 weirdest foods from Japan! Of course there’s many more but I narrowed them down to the most exotic and the weirdest out there. Not only do they look exotic, but they’re also different from what we usually think of when we talk about Japanese gastronomy. It’s interesting to have knowledge of these weird foods, and maybe one day you’ll try them!

Sources & Further Reading

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