Tanabata is an important Japanese festival held on the 7th day of the 7th month and represents the legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi, the names of two stars (Vega & Altair) portrayed as lovers who only have a chance to meet once a year.
As with many Japanese festivals, there are lots of traditional customs for Tanabata. The most popular is the custom of writing one’s wishes onto a small strip of paper and then hanging them on a piece of bamboo. The bamboo is then set afloat down a river so that the wishes can be taken away and hopefully come true.
Of course, like other Japanese festivals, tanabata is a great way to celebrate with friends and family and eat some popular Japanese festival foods. During Japanese festivals, the streets are alive with small stalls selling everything from dango mochi balls to takoyaki octopus balls and all number of snacks in between! We know that not everyone can be in Japan during the tanabata festival so instead, Japan Centre has four of the top Japanese festival foods to introduce to you along with some easy to follow recipes so you can make these great tasting dishes at home.
If you have ever visited Japan, you may have seen a selection of small stands floating around train stations which emanate a delicious aroma of gently grilled chicken. These stands specialise in yakitori, traditionally made from tender pieces of chicken on a wooden skewer, barbecued over an open flame with a slightly sweet, soy based sauce and washed down with an ice cold Japanese beer.
With this barbecue weather set to continue and Sundays now designated “official bbq days”, now is a great time to try this tasty Japanese finger food by grilling authentically over charcoal. Check the recipe below to find out how you can impress your friends this weekend!