What Is the Main Difference Between Chinese and Japanese Cuisine?

Every country in the world is known for some sort of signature cuisine. As Americans, we tend to gobble up Chinese and Japanese dishes, placing them under the umbrella of Asian cuisine. Our late-night cravings for sushi, potstickers, and barbecued beef drive us to consume these unique flavors, but few of us have given any thought to the fact that these two countries differ in their ingredients and food preparation techniques.

Here, we will showcase some of the most significant differences between Chinese and Japanese food and give you tips for enjoying signature dishes. Read on to discover how to best take advantage of the flavors, textures, and richness that both of these cultures provide.

Chinese Food

Chinese dishes are known for packing a powerful punch of flavor and spice. A wide variety of seeds, spices, and sauces will add heat and tanginess to meat, vegetables, and various grains. Elements present in virtually every Chinese meal include some form of noodle or rice paired with vegetables and protein. Patrons who keep circling back to Chinese cuisine appreciate rich and spicy sauces paired with beef, pork, chicken, and even duck.

Cooking techniques for Chinese food are a bit heavier than those found in Japan. In general, many dishes are dipped in batter, sauced, and fried. This gives many Chinese dishes heavy doses of crunch, flavor, and heartiness. You can, however, leave the table with a heavy, weighed-down feeling after indulging in your favorite Chinese treat.

Japanese Food

Japanese food, on the other hand, leans heavily into principles of minimalism. Japanese chefs prepare dishes with very few added ingredients, preferring to let the fresh flavors of vegetables, fruits, and protein speak for themselves. The goal of Japanese cooking is to elevate natural flavors that are already present and enhance them with small amounts of spices and savory sauces. Many health-conscious people prefer the lighter taste and simple elegance of Japanese dishes.

The Japanese believe that freshness is an essential component of quality cuisine. Cooking techniques such as steaming, grilling, and pan searing are preferred over heavy frying and saucing techniques. These lighter meals pave the way for better digestion end make room for occasional treats such as pastries and desserts.

We’re Not Biased: We’re the Best Japanese Restaurant in Miami

OK, we may be a little biased. Zaka Modern Japanese Cuisine serves up some of the most delicious high-end Japanese dishes Miami has to offer. Rolls and bowls, stir-fried entrees, and much more tantalize and tease anyone with a hankering for a great Japanese experience. Vibrant starters like edamame are the perfect precursor to signature dishes like seafood ramen and Yaki udon. Finish it all off with a beautiful green tea ice cream for an authentic ethnic experience at the best Japanese restaurant in Miami. Make your reservation today!

5 Japanese Sushi Etiquette Tips

You have been eating sushi for many years now as you absolutely love it. Each time you have an opportunity to enjoy a sushi meal, you become excited because you anticipate enjoying richly flavored food. Though you have been enjoying sushi forever, you likely never considered that there are certain rules of etiquette you must follow. Whether you are eating sushi in a Japanese Restaurant in Florida or across the sea in Japan, there are five sushi etiquette tips you must follow.

1. Do Not Rub Your Chopsticks Together

If you are using chopsticks while eating Japanese cuisine, avoid rubbing them together. Rubbing your chopsticks implies that they are defective and of inferior quality. It is extremely rare that you will find splinters or other defects in wooden chopsticks since the restaurant is careful about making sure all chopsticks are of exceptional quality before offering them to customers. If you do notice a problem with your chopsticks, politely notify your server discretely.

2. Lay Off the Cologne or Perfume

While you may have a favorite cologne or perfume, sushi etiquette dictates that you do not wear it when you go to eat sushi. This rule applies whether you are eating sushi in Doral, FL or in Tokyo. Those who are avid sushi eaters understand that part of the sushi experience is enjoying the smells of the various fish along with their tastes. When diners wear perfume or cologne, this interferes with the flavors and smells of the food. You may think this rule is unreasonable. But when you consider that most sushi restaurants are not that large, the smells of perfume or cologne can literally affect everyone in the establishment. Following the rule of avoiding any scented cosmetics ensures that you remain in harmony with everyone at the restaurant as you will not create a disturbance for others who are there to enjoy their meals.

3. Eat Your Sushi in the Correct Order

You probably never thought about this, but there is a correct order for eating sushi. While there are no hard and fast rules, it is customary in Japanese culture to start by eating lighter-colored fish first and then move on to eating richer and oily fish such as eel and tuna. Furthermore, make sure to eat a piece of ginger and take a sip of green tea between eating each piece of fish as this is thought to cleanse your pallet.

4. Finish All the Food You Order

When you order sushi, it is crucial that you finish everything that you order. This is especially true if you order the omakase course also known as the chef’s choice. If you choose to order the omakase course, failing to finish all your food is rude because it implies that the food is not prepared well or is of inferior quality. Even if you do not order the omakase course, leaving food behind is considered wasteful, and wasting food is frowned upon in Japanese culture.

5. Drink and Slurp the Soup

When you order a sushi dinner, you will also be served soup. While you may be accustomed to eating soup with a spoon, it is customary in Japanese culture to drink the soup instead. If spoons or chopsticks are provided, these are only for picking up solid food items such as noodles, meat, tofu or vegetables. If your soup contains noodles, it is important to slurp while eating them. In Japanese culture, it is rude not to slurp when eating because slurping implies that the chef did an excellent job on the food.

If you are in the Doral, Florida area and are looking for a Japanese Restaurant in Florida that serves top-of-the-line sushi and other Japanese cuisine, Zaka Modern Japanese Cuisine has you covered. We are widely known for our top-quality sushi in Doral, FL. Check out all our offerings on our website or contact us to see what is available.

At Zaka Modern, It All Begins with Edamame

Few would argue that Japanese cuisine is nutritious and delicious and truly, artistic in a colorful presentation. Our Doral, FL restaurant takes great pride in serving the finest and freshest ingredients available right down to the fantastic, emerald green soybeans known as edamame.

Packed with a nutritional powerhouse featuring protein, vitamins, calcium, manganese and iron, these tasty beans have been eaten as a snack food in many Asian countries for thousands of years. The wonderful and healthy tradition continues for this vegetarian delight here at Zaka Modern.

Serving Up a Distinct Sense of Culture and History

Japan has created many dishes based on freshness and balance. It’s a rich and cultural experience in tasting authentic Japanese cuisine.

Edamame is written like this “枝豆” in Japanese. It literally means “stem” and “bean.” In fact, these amazing stem and bean veggies became popular in Japan during the island country’s Edo era from 1603 until 1868. Today, the long healthy tradition continues, and the vegetable is easy to prepare by boiling in water for three minutes, draining and then topping with crushed sea salt. It’s the perfect, poppable snack!

A couple of ways to enjoy the protein-rich soybean is with a cold beer on a hot, summer day. Or a glass of Sake is another fab companion when eating a bowl of stem and bean at our Doral, FL restaurant. It’s a nutritious starter before ordering your entree.

A Superfood That Boasts Antioxidants, Too

The beautiful bean is correctly pronounced this way, edamame. It’s known as a modern-day superfood that is calorie-friendly at 120 for a half-cup and low-fat. Fans of the green soybean describe its flavor as being buttery with a hint of sweetness and nuttiness.

In addition, a half-cup of the snack delivers a colossal 11 grams of protein, nine grams of fiber and a big dose of antioxidants in vitamins A and C and isoflavones (anti-cancer compounds).

When cooking with the yummy, bright green soybeans, you don’t even need to add chicken or shrimp, for example, because this green veggie is already considered a complete protein containing a full complement of essential amino acids. It is an especially tasty and nutritious food if you follow a plant-based diet and/or want to maintain a slim physique. Some people enjoy them in smoothies or added to coleslaw.

We Are Refinement, Simplicity, Fresh Ingredients

Zaka is all about modern Japanese cuisine, and you don’t have to be an expert to experience and appreciate these incredible flavors, dishes and extraordinary ingredients. Our menu is large and features some of the best food on the planet, and we’re easy to find at 10832 NW 58th St, Doral, FL 33178. You can even order online. Call Zaka Modern at 786-855-8888.

The Nutritional Value Of A Poke Bowl

There is a new food trend every day, and many of them come and go. The poke bowl was intended to be one of those trends, but it seems like poke bowls are here to stay! We are not complaining. We love a good poke bowl. Doral Florida has some tantalizing poke bowl options which keep our cravings satisfied!

Now, for the health-conscious lot among us, the nutritional value of a poke bowl is super important. And there are so many varieties of poke bowls that it is easy to slip up and take in more calories or macros than we initially intended. Naturally, we need enough information on poke bowls, so we are careful in selecting what’s best for us:

 Nutritional Value of a Poke Bowl

It is not easy to define the nutritional values of a poke bowl. The most basic poke bowls have fish and rice, that’s it. But the process is a little more complex now.

Like most other rice bowls, a poke bowl’s nutrition solely depends on the options you add to it. So you can either have a delicious, healthy meal rivaling a salad with its macros and calories or consume a 1000 calories of food that can also be high in fat and sodium.

A good, filling poke bowl will be anywhere between 400 and 700 calories. Typically you will find around 80-100 g of carbs, 5-10 g of fat, and 40-60 g of protein in a healthy poke bowl. However, it is essential to know the nutritional values of the different bases, proteins, and toppings you add so that you can safely splurge your daily macros instead of going all out. 


The most common poke bowl base is white rice (350-450 Kcal). However, most places offer a variety of other options too, such as:

  • Brown rice (350-450 Kcal)
  • Salad greens (20-70 Kcal)
  • Tortilla (400-450 Kcal)

Amongst these, the greens are the only low-carb options. Brown rice is similar in calories to white rice but usually has higher fiber content, making them slightly healthier than white rice. Of course, loading on tortillas for your poke bowls will make it delicious but won’t be very healthy!


Poke bowls usually have fish as protein. There are different kinds of fish out there, and you can find one or a few of the following options:

  • Salmon (150 Kcal)
  • Tuna (100 Kcal)
  • Ahi (90 Kcal)
  • Shrimp (80 Kcal)
  • Crab (80 Kcal)
  • Tofu (vegetarian, 50 Kcal)

You can also forego protein altogether in your poke bowl for a vegetarian option. Many poke bowls also serve more than one type of protein in their bowls. 

Toppings And Sauces

There are a variety of toppings and sauces you can add to a poke bowl. These go from spicy mayo and Kewpie mayo to ponzu sauce and soy sauce. Sauces are healthy if added to the poke bowl in moderation. 

Toppings for poke bowls include options such as: 

  • Tortilla chips (150 Kcal) 
  • Mung beans (40 Kcal)
  • Salmon roe (20 Kcal) 
  • Sesame seeds (50 Kcal)
  • Sweet corn (50 Kcal)
  • Avocado  (100 Kcal)
  • Edamame (40 Kcal)
  • Green onion (15 Kcal)
  • Seaweed (25 Kcal)
  • Mangoes (100 kcal)
  • Berries (70 Kcal)

There are other toppings available for poke bowls that you can find in different places. However, these are among the most common ones. 

How To Choose A Healthy Poke Bowl

Poke bowls can easily be healthy, filling meals. The best part about having a poke bowl is that they contain all food groups and not large quantities of just one. You can also add options to your Poke bowl and customize it to your liking. For example, you can choose two types of fish and Tofu and use salad greens instead of rice if you want to have a low-carb option.

A healthy poke bowl for you is within the macro limits you have set for yourself. For example, if you are cutting down on carbs, you can choose a lean base with more protein and cut down on fruity and high-carb toppings. If you want a high-protein meal, you can choose brown rice with multiple protein options and clean toppings such as salmon roe and avocado. 

Zaka Modern Japanese Cuisine