Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers

Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers

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by Atsuko Ikeda

Otsumami is the Japanese term given to snacks and simple dishes, designed to be eaten alongside a drink. (“Tsumamu” means to grab something with your fingers or chopsticks so any foods that can be eaten easily in this way came to be known as “otsumami.”) They are common at izakaya bars, pubs, and at house parties in Japan―even if you are at home having a snack with your evening drink, you are still enjoying otsumami! There are countless delicious flavor pairings to be enjoyed and included here are small bites and dishes to tempt everyone, from existing devotees of Japanese food to newcomers keen to discover more. Popular ingredients such as dashi, ponzu, miso, soy, teriyaki, and more, all make an appearance in a myriad of mouth-watering morsels including dips, pickles, salads, gyoza and tempura, sushi and sashimi, plus beautifully presented meat, fish, vegetarian, and vegan plates. Also included is a basic guide to Japanese beverages, and deliciously inventive cocktail recipes.


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