Japanese food is healthy, tasty – and often fermented. Find out what’s behind the tangy taste in your soy sauce or tart Japanese pickles.
If you enjoy pickles, soy sauce, miso soup, beer or wine, then you know you like fermented foods. But did you know that many Japanese foods are fermented? This is the secret behind the tangy, fresh [flavor] of Japanese pickles, soy sauce and so much more.
Fermentation is a culinary tradition in Japan dating back thousands of years. Fermentation occurs when microorganisms, like yeast and bacteria, break down glucose and sugars from food and turn them into acids or alcohol. This process gives food a pleasantly sour taste, preserves it from spoilage and provides a plethora of health benefits.
Why is Fermentation So Common in Japan?
Because of the climate. Japan is warm and humid, which is ideal for growing a specific kind of mold and bacteria. Koji is one essential type of mold that is native to Japan. Koji is the basis for soy sauce, and when mixed with soybean paste, creates miso—the popular Japanese soup.
While eating sushi without soy sauce is still delicious, there’s nothing like adding that extra zing of fermented soy sauce.
The Role of Fermentation In Japanese Cuisine
Japanese cuisine has the reputation of being one of the world’s healthiest. This is due to the abundance of fresh vegetables, heart-healthy fish and fermented foods found in its cuisine.
Fermented foods are not just a health trend. The fermentation process involves bacteria that can aid digestion and contribute to gut health. Studies even show a link between probiotics – fermented food with live cultures – and a strong immune system.
Hungry for Fermented Food? You’ll Find It at Sushi Mamilla
Sushi Mamilla offers a selection of authentic fermented Japanese foods, including:
- Soy Sauce – served as a side with all sushi rolls, poke bowls and a key ingredient in many wok entrees
- Miso Soup – miso is made from fermented rice koji and soybean paste
- Japanese Pickles (Tsukemono) – These pickles are an assortment of vegetables fermented to bring out their natural [flavors] with a special tang.
Are you craving fermented food with classic Japanese [flavors]? See what we have to offer at Sushi Mamilla in Jerusalem. We serve fermented soy sauce with every order, and you can also choose traditional Japanese pickles or miso soup. We are conveniently located just 7 minutes’ walk from the David Citadel Hotel. Enjoy our selection of sushi rolls, salads, soups, wok entrees and party platters for your next occasion.