Japanese people eat many kinds of food, but popular choices are white rice, miso soup and pickled vegetables alongside fish or meat. Ramen noodles in a bento is characteristic of lunch. Some dishes in Japanese cuisine include sushi, rice balls, oden and tempura.
White rice is a staple of Japanese cuisine, served as a base for other food such as soup, fish or meat. Breakfast can be served with rice, miso soup and side dishes that include pickles, salad, fish and even omelettes. Miso soup is made from miso paste and fish stock called dashi. Tofu and seaweed are added to the liquid to make the soup. Pickles in Japanese cuisine are not just cucumbers pickled in brine or vinegar, but are eggplants, ginger and plums.
Variations of sushi often contain rice that is sticky and easily conforms into shapes that surround or form a bed underneath raw fish. Nigirizushi, a type of sushi dish, is a ball of rice with a long piece of fish or shellfish on top, such as shrimp or tuna. Temaki is a type of sushi wrapped in a cone of nori seaweed, filled with vegetables, seafood and sushi rice. Another common type of sushi, Norimaki, consists of rice and seafood rolled in dried sheets of seaweed.
Oden, a hot nabe dish, contains fish cakes and boiled eggs in a soup with a soy sauce base. Tempura is battered and fried seafood, vegetables and mushrooms that may be seasoned with a mild sauce or salt.