Fried rice is Japanese people's favorite dish. It goes beyond Chinese cuisine and becomes one of the most popular dishes at home as well as in restaurants in Japan. Other Chinese rice dishes are also familiar to Japanese people.
History of fried rice and rice dishes in Japan
There are various theories about the date when fried rice was first introduced to Japan. But it is said that Japanese missions to Tang Dynasty China who went to China to learn about Tang Dynasty's constitutions and cultures, brought its recipe to Japan between 7th and 9th centuries. Widely penetrated Chinese restaurants run by Chinese immigrants were considered to play an important role, too. The recipe utilizing left over rice has been very well accepted by Japanese people since rice is staple food for people in Japan who have kept growing rice for over 3000 years.
Types of fried rice and rice dishes
There is a wide variety of fried rice recipes using different ingredients and cooking method. For example, Ankake Chahan is fried rice topped with thick starch sauce and Kanitama Chahan is fried rice cooked with crab meat and eggs. Chukadon is a bowl of plain steamed rice with stir-fried vegetables on top. Tenshinhan is also a bowl of plain steamed rice with crab omelet and thick starch sauce on top. It is said that Chukadon and Tenshinhan are Chinese recipes developed in Japan.
Places to eat fried rice and rice dishes in Japan
Most Chinese restaurants in Japan serve a wide variety of fried rice and rice dishes. Many chain family restaurants and izakaya bars serving various kinds of cuisine also list fried rice in their menu. There are many ramen noodle restaurants in Japan and they also serve fried rice. Ramen noodle and fried rice set meal is a standard menu.
Fried rice and rice dishes at home
Fried rice is one of the most popular Japanese home-cooking recipes. We can use remaining ingredients in fridge to cook it and it is very much appreciated. You can find ready-made Chukadon and Tenshinhan packages in supermarkets. You just reheat it and pour it over a bowl of rice. Then it's ready to eat. Fried rice and Chukadon bento boxes are standard items in convenience stores and super markets.