Japanese Winter Foods
Nabe or “hot pot dishes” are popular in Japan during the winter, because they help people stay warm. Nabe can come in the form of soups or stews and can feature a variety of proteins and a mix of seasonal vegetables.
A wide array of Japanese seafood is in season during the winter, including yellowtail (hamachi), sweet shrimp (amaebi), tuna (tsuna), and oysters (kaki). In winter, hardy vegetables like radishes (daikon), cabbage (kyabetsu), and lotus root (renkon) are in season, while fruits like apples (ringo) and strawberries (ichigo) are ripe for the picking this time of year.
Strawberries are an essential shun ingredient for Japanese Christmas Cake (kurisumasu keki), which is essentially a strawberry shortcake/angel food cake hybrid and a holiday must-have.
Seasonality is important to Japanese culture and cuisine. Each of Japan’s seasons presents its own shun ingredients that are used in both traditional and original culinary creations. Thanks to the country’s attention to harvest times, Japanese food is fresh, flavorful, and delicious throughout the year.