During Halloween season, many of you often try creating creepy culinary delights, such as fruit apple teeth, chocolate eyeballs, monster-themed cupcakes and cookies, etc. Why not try dishing out something that appears a bit scarier to many but also tastes quite delicious as well? The strange appearance of many traditional Japanese dishes might cause the uninitiated to avert their eyes, but if you want to challenge yourself and some guests this Halloween, think about giving some of these dishes a try!
While they might not suit everyone’s palette, Halloween is at least the perfect time to try something that may look and sound frightening. Or perhaps even reading about some of the following bizarre and creepy dishes is already scary enough!
You Won’t Normally Find This Yakitori on the Menu
Chicken Yakitori is a common menu item at many Japanese restaurants. In Japan, there are many other kinds of yakitori featuring ingredients that may shock and surprise you—at least until you’ve tasted them and realized just how good they can be.
Some of the different types of yakitori include:
- Shiro—made with pork’s small intestine
- Nankotsu—made with chicken cartilage
- Sunagimo—made with chicken gizzard
- Gyutan—made with beef tongue
Monjayaki—Is it Supposed to Look Like That?
A soft, savory Japanese pancake often made with vegetables and seasoning mixed into the batter and then cooked. This popular dish can resemble something that you’ve already eaten, and a plate of vomit certainly isn’t very appetizing to look at. However, it’s a fulfilling meal at an inexpensive price.
Many countries have their raw meat dish. Steak Tartare is raw beef served often at gourmet restaurants in France and America. Germany has a raw pork dish called Mett. And Japan, of course, serves raw fish in sushi rolls or as sashimi. But that isn’t the only thing they serve raw. Horse meat is also on the menu, served sashimi-style with soy sauce and Japanese vegetables.
Ikura—Are These Things Looking at Me?
Ever been to a sushi restaurant and wondered what those little glistening red-orange balls were? Don’t worry, they aren’t tiny eyeballs. Ikura is salmon roe, prepared with saké and soy sauce, served on its own or atop sushi rolls. It is particularly enjoyable on crackers.
Raw Egg—Aren’t You Supposed to Cook This?
Okay, raw egg definitely doesn’t seem as scary or unappetizing as the other items in this list, but there are no doubt some of you whose stomach turns at the thought of it. Yet the Japanese think nothing of using raw egg to garnish rice, or as a dipping sauce for grilled meats. And it can also be a power drink with a few drops of soy sauce!
Natto—Smells Funny, Looks Worse
Especially healthy but not very nice to look at or smell, natto is fermented soybeans. Often consumed at breakfast along with some rice, natto can be an acquired taste for many. And here comes that raw egg again—mixing it with natto produces an especially slimy dish!
Inago—Um, That’s a No For Me
If you’re really adventurous, you might be inclined to try Inago. What is it, you ask? Why, its small brown crickets fried in soy sauce and sugar and served atop steamed rice. In recent days, many Japanese find Inago gross as well. Thus, it’s not a popular menu even for Japanese people.
The above is just a small sampling of the many foods in Japan that Americans might find strange, bizarre and downright scary. But remember, many other cultures often find American foods equally bizarre, including Jell-O, corn dogs, biscuits and gravy, sloppy joes and even peanut butter!