Gurunavi Navigates You Through Japanese Culinary Culture

Japan’s largest restaurant search engine, Gurunavi, expands its contribution beyond its useful online search tool. In order to help the Japanese culinary culture to flourish, they now educate consumers about food, history and etiquette to develop the future of Japanese gourmet culture.

Master those sticks!
The multifunctional cutlery: chopsticks

One common feature of Asian cuisine – whether it’s Chinese, Vietnamese or Japanese – is its cutlery: chopsticks. These two little sticks are truly versatile as cutlery, which is evident in their wide usage
whether as a fork to pick up food or as a knife to cut food into bite-sized pieces. Although the basics of their use are similar across countries, there is a different chopstick etiquette in each country, including Japan. Take a look at the list below, and get to grips with good mannerisms and taboos regarding chopsticks in Japan to enjoy Japanese cuisine to the fullest! Keep in mind, however, that you can ask for forks or spoons if you feel uncomfortable using chopsticks. Learn how to request for cutlery in the “Useful Phrases” section below too!

Etiquette & Taboos:

Dos:

• Have the tips close together at all times.
• If you want to put down your chopsticks,
   -Put it on chopstick rest (hashi-oki)
   -If there is no hashioki, put the tips on a small dish
   -Make sure that the tips are not facing your company, especially a senior.
   -Make sure that the chopsticks are aligned with each other.
   -Put them down when you need to take something or at the end of the meal.

Don’ts:

• Sticking them in a bowl of rice (this means a meal for the dead)
• Piercing food to eat (always grab the food by pinching it between the sticks)
• Swinging them around
• Licking them excessively
• Using them to move dishes

~はありますか( ~wa arimasuka.)。
Do you have ~?

Example:
フォークはありますか(Fohku wa arimasuka)?Is there a fork?

鯛はありますか(Tai wa arimasuka)?Do you have snapper?

おすすめはありますか(Osusume wa arimasuka)?Do you have recommendations?

*Let’s put the names of seasonal food in “~” to order them!

March

たい (tai): Snapper
This delicate white meat fish is served grilled, steamed, simmered with vegetables or as sashimi. The fish is regarded as a symbol of luck due to the pun on its name, “tai”, and “mede-tai (lucky)”.

 

 

April

山菜 (sansai): Various wild mountain vegetables
Wild mountain vegetables, including fuki (giant butterbur) and tsukushi (horse tail), bring spring to the table. The refreshing bitterness of these vegetables taste best when
cooked as tempura, in soup or as pickles.

 

May 

たけのこ (takenoko): Bamboo shoots
A true seasonal delight, enjoy the fragrance and distinct texture of fresh bamboo shoots prepared as takenoko gohan (bamboo shoots in rice), nimono (cooked in stock) or salad. Taste the difference while it is in season!

 

Check out more information on Gurunavi’s English website: http://www.gnavi.co.jp/en/


April / 2013