Top 5 must-try cherry blossom dishes you cannot miss in your lifetime
Food items made from cherry blossom petals, which have the fresh scent of its leaves and flowers with good effects on health and skin, will make you hard to skip.
Cherry blossom is one of the beautiful features of Japan. The soft pink colour of petals and the fresh green leaves not only create a breath-taking beautiful spring landscape, but they are also the source of endless inspiration for Japanese great cuisine.
So what are you waiting for? Let's explore with me now!
1. Sakura mochi
Sakura mochi is one of the Japanese’s favourite dishes during springtime. You can easily buy it at traditional markets, convenience stores or tea houses.
Every pretty pink sakura mochi brings you to the perfect blending taste. The mochi rice cake made from glutinous rice flour and filled with red bean paste inside is gently wrapped with the salted sakura leaf.
There is nothing better than enjoy sakura mochi with a cup of fragrant tea on the spring morning!
While the salted sakura leaf creates a strong and impressive scent, the mochi brings you a very gentle sweet taste. I felt worried a bit at first because I didn't know salted sakura leaf was hard to eat or not, but that thought disappeared right after my first bite.
A hint of the salty and sour flavour of the leaf blending with the sticky mochi and the sweet red bean paste kept melting in my mouth. If you don't have much of a sweet tooth, you'll definitely love this special combination.
2. Sakura sushi
Sakura sushi is a very unique and nutritious dish. Also, you don't need to order it from the restaurant since you can make it at home easily. I learned how to make sakura sushi from my Japanese best friend.
The difference between sakura sushi and traditional Japanese sushi is the rice is not only mixed with vinegar but also with salted sakura powder.
Sushi with a gentle sakura taste is so appealing for a reason, right?
3. Sakura Soba
Sakura cold soba is one of the most popular dishes in Japan, especially on sweltering summer days.
Noodles are made from buckwheat, parilla powder and sakura powder which creates eye-catching pink for the soba. It is hard-boiled, then washed thoroughly with cold water, finally arranged into a bowl or a bamboo tray.
You can't eat cold soba without tsuyu - a special dipping sauce made from dashi (Japanese soup stock from meat, fish, mushroom simmered to take sweet taste), shoyu (Japanese soy sauce), mirin (Japanese cooking wine) and sugar.
To enjoy soba, you just have to dip noodles into tsuyu dipping sauce mixed with sliced scallion and wasabi. The chewy, sakura-flavored and cool noodles perfectly combine with the rich taste of tsuyu sauce will refresh your soul and blow away the summer heat.
4. Sakura nama chocolate
Nama chocolate is fresh chocolate that originated in Japan. If you are too familiar with crunchy chocolate bars and want to explore softer ones, don't hesitate to give nama chocolate a try!
Cocoa-flavoured and matcha-flavoured nama chocolate are too popular while sakura-flavoured nama chocolate has a very distinctive taste. I had a chance to try thanks to a gift from a friend of mine. It was a box of 20 pieces of lovely pinky sakura chocolate which were packed neatly and nicely.
After opening the box, the sweet and gentle scent was fully spread in the air. The light taste of sakura blended with the mix of the slightly sour strawberry and creamy fresh chocolate softly melted in my mouth. Such an indescribably fresh feeling!
5. Sakura macaron
On the occasion of visiting a little coffee shop in Tokyo, I stumbled upon the menu with sakura macarons, so I ordered one set to try. This set includes 2 macarons with the price of about 300¥ (~3USD)
Sakura macaron remains the typical sweetness of normal macarons. It is a perfect choice for sweet lovers for sure.
The smoothly crispy crust was decorated with gently salted sakura while the filling was much flavoured with a cooling sakura taste.
Because the macaron itself was pretty sweet, I took small bites one by one then let the crust slowly melted with the fillings.
The dishes made from sakura are all simple, easy-to-make with eye-catching colour and distinctive taste. It promisingly becomes a new feature of Japanese culinary culture and "magnetizes" every diner.
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