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If you’re feeling under the weather and you’re ready to pick up a cake, you might want to reconsider your options. Japanese food is the best comfort food you can find, whether that means tucking into a huge sushi roll covered in Japanese mayo or a steaming bowl of ramen. You’re in good hands with Japanese cuisine.

Content as you may be with your ramen and sushi, you may be missing out on some other incredible offerings from the archipelago – Japan is made up of nearly 7,000 islands which means there’s a lot of room for variations on dishes. Think fiery rice dishes, fried chicken and creamy desserts. Got your mouth watering? Take a look.

Udon

 

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Udon noodles are a much chunkier alternative to your average ramen noodles, making them the perfect comfort food for when you fancy a bit of a feast. They work really well in ramen and dishes such as Yakiudon, a delicious stir fry dish with vegetables and meat. In Japan, Udon is served both hot and cold, with hot udon being served more in mountainous regions. Often hot broth is poured over udon noodles and a raw egg is cracked on top, allowing it to poach in the dish. If you’re too fed up to cook, you could check out some Japanese takeaways. If you’re feeling adventurous, let udon inspire your standard Japanese recipes in the kitchen.

Okayu

 

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Okayu has been served for centuries as a remedy for coughs and colds and as a warming dish for the elderly or babies. Many Japanese people have memories of mothers or grandmothers cooking okayu for them when they were ill. This creamy rice pudding dish is served simply with very few ingredients. The rice is cooked with stock – or dashi – green onion, sesame seeds and umeboshi (dried apricots or plums), although you could experiment with different ingredients. For sweet okayu, try using umeboshi and honey, a great dish if you’re feeling under the weather or need something a little cosy.

Souffle Cheesecake

 

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Souffle cheesecake is often called ‘jiggly cheesecake’ or ‘Japanese chesecake’ outside of Japan and recently the dessert has had viral success due to its ‘wobble’, created by carefully mixing egg whites with the rest of the ingredients and baking for just the right amount of time. The cheesecake is light and fluffy and served with just a little fresh fruit on the side. If you fancy trying the recipe at home, remember to bake in a bain marie by filling a tray with water and placing the cheesecake dish inside. This way, you can cook the cheesecake delicately and evenly, ensuring you get just the right amount of wobble. When you’re having a bad day, nothing compares to a bit of melt in the mouth sweetness.

Don’t let a bad day at work get you down: cheer yourself up with some comfort food favourites. If you’re a katsu fiend, experiment by replacing your rice with udon and finish off with a souffle cheesecake. Food is widely considered to be good for the soul and you can’t go wrong with Japanese food.