I dont mean to bombard this site with too much Japanese things
I dont even eat Japanese food regularly, but that 'chirashi'thread below got me thinkng about Japanese food, and there are things that I dream of occasionally. One is edamame, boiled green soy beans. You can buy edamame or eat it at the restaurants, but they are often tasteless. Freshly harvested edamame - boiled in water as salty as the sea are so good I can eat astonishing quantities. Sadly I havent eaten this in years; I tried to grow edamame myself, but the plant yielded very few pods and had grown into vines rather than stocky bush.
Another thing that I miss is called heshiko: its fermented mackerel, the specialty of Fukui / Wakasa. Ive seen heshiko made with other things, but the most common is mackerel. The fish is cured in salt and nuka (rice bran: used for making pickles) and left to ferment. I learned that this can be eaten uncooked, but we usually ate this grilled. Its very salty like anchovies, but with more deep and complex flavour. Its eaten as condiment, and you can eat a bowl of rice with only a tiny piece of this. I remember my mother had a book called Japanese pickles or something, and it contained the recipe for heshiko unfortunately, the book is lost in the clutter of our Kyoto house, though I hope itll surface one day.