Whale-Based Dishes are Expected to Increase in Japanese Restaurants

The Land of the Rising Sun is known worldwide as home to some of the world’s most delicious, healthy and iconic cuisines. Hundreds of thousands of travel and food enthusiasts across the globe are interested to visit Japan in order to personally experience the country’s one of a kind gastronomic selection. Among the most popular traditional Japanese dishes are sushi, sashimi, tempura and yakitori.


Photo credit to: https://www.reuters.com

A lot of Japanese people are health-conscious and are thus very particular about eating a healthy and well-balanced diet. Most of them prefer to eat seafood recipes with fish as the main ingredient such as but not limited to oden recipes, salmon maki recipes, tempura recipe, among others. Another important source of protein for the Japanese is the whale meat.


Since 1986, the Japanese government stopped commercial whaling in view of the standards set forth by the International Whaling Commission. However, this 2019, the country has withdrawn from the said commission which banned whaling. This coming July, the Fisheries Ministry of Japan intends to resume its plan to reissue permits for whale hunting.


With this recent change, various restaurants and food establishments in Japan came up with both traditional and innovative whale-based dishes to try out. Some of the Japanese whale meals and recipes that they showcase in their menu include cutlets, sliced raw whale, deep fried nuggets, bacon and whale jerky.


On the other hand, traditional whale specialties include those that are dipped in vinegar and miso soup, whale stake as well as a hotpot containing slices of whale meat combined with some vegetables and soy sauce. A number of restaurants also offer a modern twist on the traditional whale-based dish. They now sell whaleburgers in which the patty is made up of whale meat between the typical buns or pressed rice.


Since the resumption of commercial whaling in Japan, numerous locals and foreign tourists are looking forward to try and experience Japan’s well loved and unique whale-based cuisines. Yoko Ichihara, an owner of a Japanese specialty restaurant that serves a wide selection of whale dishes said that “A lot of people came in after hearing that the research whaling had ended.”



Raw, fried or on a bun: the many ways Japanese eat whale

Japan whaling: Why commercial hunts have resumed despite outcry


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