Desserts of Japan

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Anmitsu is made of small cubes of agar agar (Japanese gelatin) in a brown sugar syrup. It’s garnished with sweet red bean paste, mochi, ice cream, fruit — basically whatever you can think of.

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Japanese ice cream flavors are always amazing, from red bean, to matcha to black sesame, they tend to be one of the less-sweet options.

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Mochi, the beloved glutinous rice cake can be stuffed with just about any dessert ingredient you can think of, but often it’s sweet red bean paste.

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Dorayaki are soft, fluffy pancakes, usually stuffed with red bean paste, nutella or matcha cream.

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The Japanese have a special way with cheesecake. Part light-as-air sponge cake, part cheesecake, the finished product gets sprinkled with matcha powder and topped with fresh fruit.

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Sakura (cherry blossoms) are pickled, then set in a beautiful jelly, which rests on top of cherry and white chocolate mousse. We are absolutely obsessed with this dessert.

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Another variation on stuffed mochi, these are filled with red bean paste and a whole strawberry. Best cross-section ever, right?

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Taiyaki are little fish-shaped waffles stuffed with chocolate, custard or red bean paste. You can pick up a taiyaki pan onAmazon.

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Kanten is a Japanese gelatin dessert made from agar agar. These delicate treats are almost always served with tea.

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Sky Thai

Nabe party!

Nabe party? what’s that? Sounds.. kinky?

Nabe is a hot pot style dish popular in Japan and commonly eaten with friends or family members. Often friends will have a ‘nabe party’ in which everyone brings an ingredient or several. Upon arrival, all ingredients are dumped in the pot, where a broth or stock is waiting (most nabe parties use the same broth, though there are variations such as using kimchi in nabe). The food is left to cook, other ingredients are added later (depending on needed cook time), and large amounts of alcohol are consumed. When the time comes to eat, everyone digs in.

Nabe itself can be absolutely delicious or totally disgusting, depending on what goes into the pot, but the food isn’t really the point. Nabe is a bonding moment, a way of socially integrating with others, spending time with friends, and getting a cheap if tasteless meal at the same time.

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Chopsticks!

Another incredibly serious lesson in Japanese culture, this parody video focuses on chopsticks. This one hasn’t been translated from Japanese, but even without the translation, you can get the gist of it. If you’ve taken a few years of Japanese, see how much you can glean from it without looking for a translated one. It’s actually really hilarious.

Sushi Bar!

This is an old video I’d seen years ago, but was reintroduced to by Michael Morrissey the other day. It’s a hilarious take on the somewhat absurdly ritualized processes in Japan. In this case, the people in the video are parodying an instructional video on how to eat sushi at a sushi bar.

It should be noted that most of the situations presented in this video are jokes, and probably ought not to be used in a real-life situation.