If you want to see something weird we all know Japan is the place to go. And I don’t know about you, but I thought that means weird adverts, TV shows and peculiar fashion. But I didn’t know the food in Japan is that weird. Perhaps I was never interested enough to explore Japanese cuisine past sushi but oh my god it’s weird. The things they eat and the way they look, as a European it’s honestly a bit concerning. I know it’s probably a delicacy, but if you saw these things outside of a restaurant there’s little chance you’d look at them and go “yeah, looks delicious, let me eat it”. Nonetheless here are some super weird Japanese foods. Enjoy!
1. Shirako Ponzu
It might look like brains but it’s worse than that. Shirako is a special Japanese dish, it’s basically a required taste, but it’s the sperm sacks of male codfish. They can be served raw or cooked.
2. Handmade Jumbo Grilled Shumai
These are some very weird looking dumplings and it’s hard to say what kind of meat in on the inside but you’ve got to admit it’s not a regular dumpling.
3. Congar Sushi
There’s probably a reason we mostly see sushi with salmon, shrimp. But this is sushi made with Congar eel. Would you call this appetizing? Or does this look more like something you’d eat only on a dare?
4. Negitan Bowl
These little meat parcels tied like little presents with a bow are actually made of beef. What a strange and unusual concept. But then again, it’s Japan, everything here would be unusual for most people.
5. Grilled Oyster
There’s a lot of talk about oysters being an aphrodisiac, but there’s a part of me that thinks it’s a clever ploy, a marketing ploy thought up decades if not hundreds of years ago as a way to sell these weird slimy things to people and make them eat it.
This is a dish made of oysters with ginger and vinegar. Quite a weird sight, don’t you think? And what’s that yellow dish on the right? Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. I’d like to assume it’s a fruit dessert, but it probably isn’t.
7. Chicken Liver
This is quite a straightforward dish. They didn’t play around with presentation or trying to make it look like something it isn’t. Just a big chicken liver on a plate. I guess that’s a dinner option in Japan.
8. Ginger Oyster
More oysters, of course. This one, however, seems to be cooked differently and the texture seems different too. Doesn’t really change the fact that it looks super weird.
9. Sour Balls
I’d like to think this is eggs. Just some soft boiled eggs. Yet the only translation of the Japanese name we can get from googling it is sour balls. What’s in these eggs? Is there something they cook it in that makes them sour? Are these even eggs? So many questions.
10. Nigiri Oysters
I’d describe that as bizarre oyster sushi, wouldn’t you agree? But why would one even want to make oyster sushi? Seems like a very strange combination, but here we are. You wanted weird Japanese food, you got it.