It is well known that Japanese people live long lives. In fact, according to a 2013 survey by the World Health Organization, the average life expectancy is 84, the highest in the world.
But this is a recent development. During the war and in the years that followed, Japan suffered food shortages, and it was a struggle to survive.
When I was a child, all my mother had to give me as a snack was a meager piece of dried steamed pumpkin or some potato dumplings.
Life improved greatly as the years passed, and we started to have access to a much wider variety of foods.
The long lives we live today are thanks to this abundance of food, and to the fact that most families now have access to a balanced diet.
Do we eat sushi everyday?
Everyone knows that Japanese food is good for you, but do you know what most Japanese families actually eat from day to day?
When you think of Japanese food, you probably picture well-known dishes like sushi and ramen, but those foods aren’t actually part of our everyday diet.
Japanese home cooking is said to be very well balanced nutritionally. Let’s take a look at what a Japanese family typically eats for dinner...
1. A main dish: Usually includes fish, meat, egg, or a soy products like tofu. Recently we have been including more international cuisine in our home cooking, so the fish or meat might be cooked in French, Thai or Chinese style.
2. Vegetables: A salad, or stewed/marinated/sauteed vegetables.
3. Rice: Often white rice, or takikomi gohan (rice cooked together with other ingredients, such as vegetables or mushrooms).
4: Soup: Typically miso soup or clear soup. The soup can contain a variety of ingredients, including vegetables, seaweed, shellfish, fish or tofu.
5. Pickles: For example, pickled radish. We eat pickles in very small quantities.
The only problem with Japanese food is that it tends to contain a lot of salt, which can lead to high blood pressure. That is why the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare runs campaigns encouraging people to use less salt in their cooking.
But rest assured that all the recipes on this site are low in salt and great for your body!