They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Of course, who doesn’t want a delicious, home-cooked meal made by the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with? This might have been what The Navi Women had in mind when they surveyed 114 Japanese men between the ages of 22 and 39 for what dish made by their girlfriends made them the happiest. While a hearty, home-cooked meal made by a beautiful, wonderful woman is something to be thankful for in itself; apparently the Japanese man has as distinct tastes in food as he does in everything else.
10. Stew (14.9%)
Everywhere else in the world, “stew” refers to about any hearty soup. In Japan, “stew” mostly refers to a creamy and saucy white broth with potatoes, carrots, string beans, other vegetables, and chicken.
9/8. – tie – Gratin (15.8%)
A French-inspired dish popular in Japan made of pasta, cream sauce, cheese, any meat. The most common Gratin is made with baked macaroni, chicken, and assorted vegetables in a white sauce with cheese. But with so many variations of gratin, just as with any other dish, sometimes you will find gratin recipes with a little more Japanese flair by adding ingredients like tofu.
9/8. – tie – Nimono (15.8%)
By the base of it all, nimono is a general term for simmered or stewed dishes in Japanese cuisine — be it seafood, tofu, vegetable, and/or meat. Yes, you read that correctly, it’s and/or. You can use just about any ingredient or a combination of ingredients, and simmer it or them in a shiru stock (dashi stock flavored with sake, soy sauce, and sweetening).
*You can also add more flavor to your stock by adding mirin, salt, miso, vinegar, or other condiments.
7. Ginger Pork (19.3%)
While Japanese cuisine typically isn’t as heavy on the ginger flavor compared to other Asian cuisines, this dish is the exception to the rule. The Ginger pork of Shogayaki is a popular home-cooked dish made of thinly sliced pork, cooked in soy sauce, sake, scallions, mirin, and of course, ginger.
6. Karaage (21.2%)
When people talk about Karaage, they’re typically talking about Japanese fried chicken. But instead of the traditional southern recipe with buttermilk, paprika, and bay leaves; the Japanese Karaage is seasoned with delicious oriental flavors of garlic, soy sauce, and/or ginger, and is then lightly coated with a batter similar to a tempura batter. Although the most popular Karaage is chicken, take note that it actually refers to the way it’s cooked — seasoned, dipped in batter, and deep fried.
*Other types of karaage are squid tentacles, octopus, and perch.
5. Miso Soup (25%)
A traditional Japanese soup made of dashi stock mixed with miso paste (commonly made of niboshi, kombu, katsuobushi, or hoshi-shiitake), with added meat, tofu, and/or vegetable fillings depending on locality, season, or personal preference. The Western version of the miso soup is typically made with vegetable stock.
4. Rice Omelet (28%)
A Japanese-Western fusion dish, basically consisting of Japanese rice, pan-fried with chicken and ketchup, then wrapped in a thin omelette. Simple, but delicious and filling.
3. Nikujaga (29.8%)
While the Japanese have several versions of stew, this combination is so iconic and special that it got its own name. The Nikujaga is a distinct combination of potatoes, meat, and onion, simmered in sweetened soy sauce (or sometimes even with ito konnyaku or konjac and vegetables).
2. Hamburger Steak (32.5%)
Unlike the typical hamburgers we eat, this one has no bun. Yes, the hamburger steak in Japan is the type that you get to enjoy in all its meaty glory. Take note though, it’s typically a mix of beef and pork.
1. Curry – Rice (41.2%)
The thing about curry and rice is that it’s different depending on region, family tastes, and personal preference. Each different recipe has its own unique ingredients. What’s more is that curry is one of those dishes that tend to taste better after it’s done cooking.
Maybe next time, Navi Women will do a version for where Japanese men cook for women. What do you guys think?