There is a huge list of countries that have been colonized by Japan like Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar and many more So it would be only fair for me to list down countries that Japan failed to colonize like Thailand, China, Turkey, Nepal and also Bhutan. During the time of war, locals who were being colonized were having a really hard time getting proper sources of food. It’s not that they don’t have the revenue for food but there is an unexpected increase in the overall population in a specific district or place which has severely affected the food supply.
The food provided to them is often in a very small potion that it barely satisfies their hunger. Since they are treated like a slave by the colonizer in doing all sort of works, the food was never enough and one of the most common disease during the time of Japanese war is malnutrition, people never seem to got proper food that adequate their needs. Things get particularly hard when the government prioritizes resources like tools and fertilizers that contribute to the war.
The Staples in Japanese Food During Wartime
Japanese food is known for very simple and comforting meals. They don’t have a huge array of ingredients that is needed in the prep of their food and it still tastes good. The main reason to why it has been put simple all these years would probably go back in time during war. During the time of war, countries colonized by Japan would provide food that is based on their culture. It has been maintained simple to ease the process of preparing and also distributing it to people. Some of the staples that you can find in the meal during wartime would be just steamed rice with pickled vegetables.
People literally survived by just consuming foods like this. The pickled vegetable is added to compensate for the lack of protein in the food and to make the food edible. During world war II, people were introduced to ration food. Which means people including soldiers were allowed only a fixed amount of food. This was done due to the shortage of supply. For soldiers, the food would be individually packed and sealed to ensure the freshness whereas for locals, the food will be distributed in the plates that they need to bring on their own. Sometimes the soldiers do get a small portion of protein and it would usually be fish.
Adaptation Of Food Culture From Japanese War
As time passed, the Japanese started to adopt the same culture in their eating habits. It is the same old simple meals that are prepared. Their meals will always have rice, asians in general can’t live without rice. Pickled vegetables also accompany rice together with other proteins. Their food has very simple seasonings and is less spicy. They like to spice their food with miso, bean paste and seaweed. Japanese also love their soups. Their food would always be accompanied by soups that are filled with lots of fibrous vegetables making it a healthy meal. They love adding in eggs and dairy to complete their meals. It is basically made with very low oil or other fattening items.
Modern Japanese Meals
As much as Japanese love their rice, they have also created a preference towards noodles in recent times. There are various types of noodles that are widely used by Japanese people and also that are available in the market these days. Some of them are ramen noodles, udon, soba, yakisoba, harusame and shirataki. All of these different types of noodles often play with the sizes and texture. Soba noodles appear to be white and are very thin in size whereas soba noodles are very thick in size making them different from one another. They also give a distinct taste when you chew on it.
Other than that they have a few food items on their modern made meals. For instance, tamagoyaki has become a hit in the palette of japanese meals. The ingredients are pretty much the same like how you would fry a normal buy but the technique used in making it is what makes it different. A thin layer of beaten egg is added to the pan and once it is cooked, it will be rolled into a log and the process will be repeated until you get your desired thickness. It is basically a rolled egg.
Karaage is another modern Japanese dish that is basically deep frying your choice of meat or vegetable that is coated in potato starch until it is crispy and golden brown. In this list of modern Japanese meals, omurice also has its part. The word omu means omelet. It is an omelet that is stuffed with fried rice. The techniques used in the making of this dish is specifically interesting as the cook has to lay the fried rice right and carefully fry an egg making sure it doesn’t cook all the way through. It is then twisted using chopsticks making it into a log and carefully placed on rice. A sharp knife would be needed to run through the omelet so that it beautifully covers the surface area of the rice.
One tradition that is followed by people when it comes to having meals is that they tend to slurp their food whilst eating. Let’s say they are having a bowl of noodles for example, they would slurp their food loudly. This might sound weird and even intimidating for some but according to them it is one of the ways to show that the food is really good and that you are enjoying the meal.