Japan has a variety of unique vegetables. In this episode, we take a look at some delicious and healthy Japanese vegetables.
Japanese cuisine places a strong emphasis on quality and seasonality of ingredients. This is especially true for vegetables, which are a fundamental element of Japanese cooking.
Apart from a few native types of vegetables, many vegetables used in Japanese cooking today were originally introduced from the Asian mainland. Later waves of new vegetables reached Japan through the first contacts with Europeans in the 16th century and in more recent decades through a certain Westernization of Japanese eating habits.
Another frequently consumed type of vegetable is the kind that comes from the sea. Various types of seaweed have long been prized in Japanese cuisine as a rich source of nutrients such as vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber.
Unfortunately, vegetable consumption has dwindled in recent years while processed foods have become more prominent in Japanese households due to the rising costs of general foodstuffs.