Japan Today

10 dishes Japanese men want their girlfriends to cook for them

By Casey Baseel

Men are, in many ways, simple creatures. Our two greatest desires in life are, without question, women and food.

While a tasty meal or a good-looking lass with a nice personality are both things to be thankful for on their own, it’s hard to top the bliss that comes from eating a home-cooked meal made by the girl you like. Still, just as guys have preferences in women, they’ve also got preferences in food, as revealed in a poll that asked Japanese men what dish prepared by their girlfriend makes them the happiest.

Internet portal My Navi Women surveyed 114 men, all out of college and between the ages of 22 and 39. Let’s take a look at the top 10.

10. Stew – 14.9%

While in English “stew” can refer to just about any hearty soup, in Japan it almost always indicates a creamy white sauce broth with carrots, potatoes, chicken, and other assorted vegetables.

8 (tie). Nimono – 15.8%

Coming from the Japanese verb niru, meaning to stew, nimono is a catch-all term for any dish of stewed vegetables, meat, or fish. Daikon radish is a popular nimono standby, but the linguistic loophole means that just about any ingredient can be used.

8 (tie). Gratin – 15.8%

One of Japan’s favorite Western-inspired dishes, gratin is made by baking a pan of pasta, white sauce, cheese, and just about anything else you care to add.

7. Ginger pork – 19.3%

Japanese cooking usually doesn’t go as heavy in the ginger as man other Asian cuisines do. Ginger pork is an exception, though, and the thin strips of meat are often cooked along with sliced onion for extra flavor.

6. Karaage – 21.1%

Also known as Japanese-style fried chicken, karaage can be seasoned with garlic, salt, soy sauce, and/or ginger.

5. Miso soup – 25.4%

Right on the heels of the decadently high-calorie karaage come this low-key, health-conscious choice. While it’s an ubiquitous part of a traditional Japanese meal, every household makes their miso soup a little differently, and this atmosphere of at-home intimacy is probably why it ranks so high on the list. Plus, there’s the fact that the line “I want to have your miso soup” is a very old-school, very-indirect way of proposing marriage.

4. Rice omelet – 28.9%

Another mix of Japanese and Western culinary sensibilities, the rice inside is usually seasoned with ketchup, and mixed with pieces of chicken and mushroom. Extra credit if you draw a heart in ketchup on top, and even more points if you write your and your boyfriend’s name beside it.

3. Nikujaga – 29.8%

Technically, nikujaga, being a bowl of stewed pork, potatoes, carrots, and onions, falls under the nimono category we talked about above. This is such an iconic combination, though, that it gets its own special name, not to mention a special place in the heart of many a simple, old-fashioned guy. What else would you expect from a dish with a name that literally means “meat and potatoes?”

2. Hamburger steak – 32.5% It’s basically a hamburger, but without a bun getting in the way of its meaty purity. Most ground beef sold in Japanese grocery stores is a mix of beef and pork, so this even has the added appeal of letting your carnivorous guy devour two animals at once.

1. Curry – 41.2%

With tasty curry restaurants dotting the Japanese restaurant landscape, it might seem a little surprising to see curry and rice not only top the list, but do it in such an overwhelming fashion. Don’t underestimate the power of home-cooked curry though. Like miso soup, different chefs tend to add their own unique ingredients, be it seafood, two different brands of roux, or even a whole bar of chocolate.

Having your girlfriend make a batch of curry also has a number of unique upsides. In general, it’s just as easy to make a whole pot as a single serving, so a guy can usually look forward to leftovers the next day. Speaking of which, like spaghetti sauce, the taste of curry goes through subtle transformations even after it’s done cooking, which means there’s a new flavor to look forward when digging into a plate of leftovers.

Perhaps most appealing of all is the timing involved in cooking curry. In the beginning, there’s a lot of prep work that needs to be done, what with peeling the potatoes, slicing the carrots, and setting the rice cooker. Once you’ve got everything in the pot, though, there’s a long period of simmering to wait through, which gives the loving couple ample time to…discuss classical literature. Or, you know, whatever couples do when they’re alone with some time to kill.

Just remember, guys: Common courtesy dictates that if a girl cooks dinner for you, it’s your job to wash the dishes, regardless of whether or not the menu matches up with this list.

Source: Ameba News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Let’s try a Japanese Home Cooked Meal…in a Sandwich -- 12 meals to make using your leftover curry -- Regional Culture of Japanese Food Varies Widely From East to West

© RocketNews24

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I vote for the japanese curry although omelette rice is a close second!!!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

My Japanese wife was adept at every one of the items on the list. I probably enjoyed the "nikujaga" (#3) the most. She followed "grandma's recipe" (my mother-in-law) on the miso soup (#5) and added so much "wakame" (seaweed) that I used to call it "wakame soup" ! The article makes me hungry !

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Top Five From The Mrs.

karage. She marinates thigh meat in ginger, and garlic and soy sauce for an hour. Now, that's the ticket. Baked whitefish, with yamaimo and shimeji. kaki fry. Don't know how she does it, but wow! Mentaiko Pasta. Probably my favorite pasta recipe. Salty, mild fish flavor, olive oil. And nori. None of this mayonaise business. Strictly Ballroom! oshechi. Kyoto style baby. Really good, and only once every year, so very special.
2 ( +5 / -3 )

I wonder what the top 10 dishes women want their boyfriends to cook for them.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

I make better curry IMO, so the "top" choice here makes me laugh. I'd prefer her to be able to make something that I am not good at making myself.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

My wife is a sensational cook. I'm useless. Her Italian dishes are fantastic. I will eat anything although I'm not overly keen on nikujaga or omrice... but I will eat them. I'd have to say her best 2 are seafood tomato risotto and chicken shiso ume spring rolls. JTDanMan, those dishes your wife makes sounds great.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yes, curry, or McDonalds.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Hey roosterman77 check your grammar... should have said 'sound great'....sorry.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

How about the Japanese men cook something for their girlfriends?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

between the ages of 22 and 39

Isn't the list the same as the ranking of fav dishes of primary school kids that we saw recently ?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I'm with hampton on this. Why don't Japanese men cook for their wives? I love cooking, or is it that the typical salarimonkey can't cook, but bring the bacon instead.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Osechi is foul. I say that as a self-professed connoisseur of all things washoku.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japanese culture sure has changed! You notice how most of these are heavy, foreign dishes in origin (or based on them)? You might also note the increase in heart attacks and what not. Anyway, I like pretty much all of these dishes, In any case, I cook for myself, for the most part, and for my wife. Before we met she had never even heard of half the foods I made for her: Greek, Pasta (other than spaghetti), Indian (and Japanese curry is NOT Indian food!), Jamaican, Middle-Eastern, Russian (or Eastern European), African, etc. While I like, as said, the things mentioned above, they are basically instantly prepared slop. But, if a person likes it, and the effort is put in and appreciated, and all parties happy, so be it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

LBW2010 at Jun. 22, 2014 - 12:58AM JST "Osechi is foul. I say that as a self-professed connoisseur of all things washoku."

I totally agree.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

LBW2010, no greater truth has ever been written on JT that your comment: "Osechi is foul. I say that as a self-professed connoisseur of all things washoku."

There is a reason that even the Japanese only attempt to eat this once a year and it didn't get a mention on the top 10 list in this article.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What, no gyoza? I'm shocked!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japanese culture sure has changed! You notice how most of these are heavy, foreign dishes in origin (or based on them)?

Cream stew, gratin and hamburg may be newer, but most of these are as old as the hills. DH loves a lot of them, and he's not someone in his 20s. Kara-age, miso soup, nimono (which is broth and soy sauce/mirin based), ginger pork etc aren't heavy at all. Curry was first eaten in the 1870's (although it was expensive and not available for most people), and really took off after the Japanese army started to make great vats of it to feed soldiers in the years before WWI. Originally, Japanese curry was based on British canned curry, but then they started to invent curry dishes here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What a singularly unimaginative set of wishes.

"I wish my girlfriend would prepare a generic type of food I can eat anywhere"

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

What an enlightening article from JT once again. How about men taking the time to learn to cook. I mean, it ain't that hard is it?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I can't believe #1 is curry, that is not Indian curry, it's "Japanese" curry, which is nowhere near as good as Indian curry.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

How about cooking it yourself! Sorry but nimono is just about as bland as it gets.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

These are just generic everyday dishes in Japan, which are for the most part, junk. I pretty much guessed what all the dishes would be before reading the article.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm not a fan of osechi ryori, mostly because in an attempt to make the dish stay "fresh" over the New Years holidays, the result is way too sweet or salty food that's not exactly mouth-watering. One wonders do the Japanese treat osechi ryori like Americans treat a fruitcake--some are delicious but most are not worth eating....

Now, a decent Japanese curry with stewed beef, I'm all for it! I'd love to learn how to make Japanese curry from literal scratch (well, except for the curry roux itself).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Interesting that the list is so Western, or at least meat-based.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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