51 Best Japanese Dishes | TravellersQuest
Located in the Pacific Ocean, Japan has an estimated population of 127 million people. This beautiful country has been characterized as one of the most structured civilizations.
Japan is one of the countries that has become popular, not only because of the warmth of its people and organized culture, but it has also a fascinating gastronomic history. Japan’s cuisine is quite diverse, and in the land of the Rising Sun you will find much more than just sushi and wasabi. Its famous fish rolls are only a very small sample of what the Japanese gastronomic culture has to offer.
Do you love Japanese food and want to learn more? Japan is a beautiful country with an interesting culinary history. Throughout this article we review the best Japanese dishes list including side dishes, rice dishes, egg dishes, tofu dishes, and more!
Table of Contents
The best dishes of Japanese food
Their best Japanese dishes range from tasty sushi rolls to excellent Ramen soup. Using various ingredients, Japanese cuisine characterized its unified but varied cultures, always places their best in each of their dishes.
Onigiri is a traditional Japanese dish that originated somewhere between 300 AC and BC. This Japanese dish made from rice forms a kind of triangle that can be filled with different ingredients and flavors. This small but very tasty Japanese dish is wrapped in algae called Nori. Onigiri can be stuffed with fish such as tuna or salmon and even some seaweed.
Ramen is a soup originated in Japan. There are multiple types of ramen dishes, with regional variations and different interpretations. Ramen soup contains mainly wheat and egg flour noodles, pork or chicken, soy sauce, fish paste, bean sprouts, and seaweed.
Sushi is surely one of the most consumed dishes. That is, sushi is one of the most famous dishes of Japanese food. However, sushi has different types of preparation and presentations.
Nigiri is one of these types of sushi. It consists of a cylindrical portion of rice, of intermediate consistency between dense and light. With a strip of fish on top of this, accompanied with a little wasabi.
Coming from the Kansai region in Japan, Takoyaki is a typical dish. Although it may appear to be fast food, Takoyaki is a delicious fry that is very typical in this Asian nation.
Takoyaki consists of a fried croquette and breaded with wheat flour. This dish is made with octopus. After this typical and delicious Japanese frying is ready, it is accompanied with some sauce highlighting its flavors.
One of the best Japanese dishes comes as an art through the fine and delicate cut of meat. Great quality and flavor are hidden behind the simplicity of this typical Japanese dish.
The cuts made by Sashimi can be of different types of fish. In addition to this, a Sashimi of seafood can also be made. This dish is not cooked and is accompanied with soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi.
On this occasion, Taiyaki Japanese cuisine present a peculiar dessert. Although its presentation is in the form of a savory fish, the dish is actually sweet.
The translation explains the dessert itself as it means “roasted sea bream”. Generally, ingredients include sweet bean paste, wheat flour, chocolate, sugar, and custard. These are salty desserts that highlight seafood.
Oden, the dish of the Rising Sun, was designed for consumption in times of low temperatures to warm the body. It is a meal that can be modified by the diner, choosing the ingredients of your choice.
This Japanese stew is a Kombu seaweed broth and then the consumer is the one who builds the dish choosing which portions he wants to place. These portions are of ingredients such as chicken, radishes, meat, potatoes, fried tofu and Konnyaku.
Japanese side dishes
Japanese food is one of the best in that they recommend making small bites to highlight the flavor of the main course. Side dishes compliment the meal without taking center stage.
The Gyoza is a very good side dish for any meal. These are similar to Chinese dumplings, however, Gyoza implement flour with more finesse and different texture.
These Japanese sacks can be stuffed with pork. In addition, inside you can also stand out ingredients such as ginger, cabbage, and chives. Itscooked by frying the dumpling first and then steaming it afterward.
Although they have a sweet flavor and filling, Mochi is one of the best Japanese dishes because with different ingredients inside, they are a very good companion or entrance to a Japanese main course. This dish began to be consumed during celebrations of the new year, now it is eaten throughout the year.
Mochi is a dough with glutinous rice as the main ingredient. It can be filled with strawberries or other fruits. Finally, they are covered with cornstarch for the preservation of their form.
Tamagoyaki is usually a side dish for breakfasts. Being one of the dishes that go hand in hand with Miso Soup, this rectangular tortilla is a traditional side dish in Japan.
Eggs, Dashi broth, and sugar form a delicious and thick tortilla ideal for a good balanced Japanese breakfast.
This is also a Japanese side dish that, like Mochi, is sweet. However, it is a very good start for an excellent lunch in this Asian nation.
The Dorayaki is a round cake that can be filled. This filling can be composed of chocolates, strawberries, and red beans.
This cookie-filled pie is a Hiroshima special. The delicious little dessert can best accompany a cup of hot black tea.
Momiji Manju is made from rice and buckwheat. Its characteristic shape is that of a maple leaf and is stuffed with red beans, sweet bean paste, and chocolate.
Japanese rice dishes
Japan consumes rice in large quantities. Although use of white rice varies in meals (sushi rolls, desserts, etc.) typically it is typically eaten plain as an accompaniment to the main course.
This Japanese dish with rice is sweet. It is a dessert made from rice flour. Its shape consists of small balls of a mixture of this rice flour called Mochiko and they are pierced with a wooden stick as if they were skewers.
These balls can be flavored with different condiments. These condiments can be green tea, red beans, eggs, ginger, strawberries, and pumpkins. Its preparation is made by boiling them and then pouring a little soy sauce syrup atop before ating.
The Japanese rice Maki dish is a type of sushi. This type of sushi is divided into several subtypes of Maki.
A small but very useful tool called a mat is the one that helps the Maki acquire its roll shape without major complications. This sushi is made up of Nori seaweed, rice, fish meat, and some vegetables.
The Kare Raisu is a Japanese dish that adapts the curried rice recipe to its own cuisine. This preparation is very typical of the winter months in Japan. The curry used in this dish is a special one that originated in Japan.
The most outstanding ingredients, in addition to white rice and curry, are pieces of veal, chopped carrots, some peas and onions in small pieces.
One of the best Japanese dishes that was created so that its digestion in the body is much simpler and faster is Kayu, a dish designed for cold diners. It focuses on the use of rice grain soaked so that it softens quite significantly.
In addition to this, the rice is simmered for a long time and then steamed for another shorter period of time. Its ingredients, although few, make this a very good dish of Japanese food.
This type of meal is one of the best in Japanese foods list in the country. And although it can be made in a large number of ways and with different ingredients, it is always based on an ingredient that cannot be replaced: rice.
Donburi is basically a stew of pork, veal or chicken that is served on top of a serving of white rice. What sets this dish apart is that the rice grain is washed multiple times and extensively.
Japanese noodles dishes
Noodles, like rice, are important in Japanese diet. That is why there are exquisite recipes based on the preparations with the use of them.
Soba is a type of noodle based on buckwheat. With a slightly dark color and an intense flavor, Soba can be made in different ways. The most common forms are boiled and fried, but Soba can even be served with a cold temperature as a side dish.
This noodle dish is characterized by being a thick noodle and is made from wheat flour and is quite typical in this country. Its preparation is usually manifested through a fairly tasty broth.
One of the recipes with Udon noodles is Miso soup. In this consortium, you can find ingredients such as fish meat, chopped seafood, sautéed and chopped mushrooms, boiled eggs, and various vegetables.
Gluten-free, harusame noodles are one of the most used in various Japanese dishes. The noodles are quite thin with transparent color. They are made of potato starch.
Harusame is usually presented in a type of salad that in addition to these noodles is made with wakame seaweed, eggs, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, lettuce, ham and crab sticks or Kanikama.
These noodles characteristic of Japanese cuisine are also quite thin and of a white color inclined to transparency. These are made with wheat flour and have a very special characteristic. This differentiation is that they are served cold.
Hiyamugi is placed in a cold broth that can even contain ice cubes. This sauce despite being cold can make the diner’s mouth warm a little, this is because the sauce is quite spicy.
These Japanese noodles are gelatinous and whitish in color. This dish is rich in fiber and low in carbohydrates allowing a low-calorie intake when eating them.
Gluten-free, these yam-based noodles can be accompanied with pork or fish in a very tasty way. In addition, certain vegetables such as carrots, chives, and onions intensify the taste of these noodles.
Japanese vegetable dishes
Vegetables and Japanese cuisine make a very good combination. In this way several dishes with very good potential are provided using vegetables. Only the best dishes with vegetables are presented.
This Japanese cuisine is very popular and fun inside and outside of Japan. Instead of someone else cooking your food for you, you do it yourself. This type of cooking is usually grilled.
The main ingredients are meat cooked to taste and carrots, green and red peppers, and some onions.
Okonomiyaki is the best Japanese dishes to make at home that are very similar to a pizza. The differences are in the ingredients and their dough. This dish is made with yams, eggs, wheat flour, and water, and then it is combined with the ingredients that are placed on top of it.
These ingredients can usually be chosen by the customer at the time of preparation of this recipe. This is because sometimes this dish is prepared in front of the guests, which is why it can be created with vegetables such as carrots, green and red peppers, onions, chives, and garlic.
Sunomono is a Japanese salad with cucumber as the main ingredient. Usually served as an entree, this dish is quite healthy and very light. In addition, thanks to the cucumber, the consumer will acquire important nutrients.
In addition to cucumber, the sumonomo is accompanied by rice vinegar, a touch of sugar, salt, sesame seeds, and soy sauce.
There are more dishes with chicken meat than you think. In fact, there is a very good variety of recipes that use this type of poultry. The best Japanese dishes including chicken can be found below.
Yakitori is a Japanese word that literally means “Grilled bird.” This practically explains itself the way of cooking as this dish made with chicken. Its presentation is given by a kind of skewer with pieces of chicken meat.
Generally, this type of dish is served as an appetizer to appease hunger. That is why it is not surprising that it can be found in street food stalls or bars in Japan. It should be noted that it can be sprinkled with teriyaki sauce.
Teriyaki chicken is a Japanese chicken recipe that is known worldwide. It is almost as famous as sushi. However, the word Teriyaki refers to the method of cooking meat or other food by using sweet sauce in a baked or grilled form.
Teriyaki sauce is made up of soy sauce, sake (which is Japanese rice wine), ginger, sugar, and MirkaTakara. The chicken breast will be part of the bird that will be used for this dish. This is chopped and sealed in an assortment, then the sauce is incorporated to finish cooking.
Tori no Karaage
This dish is one of the most prominent of the food derived from homemade dishes in Japan. It is fried chicken, but it is prepared according to the parameters of Japanese cuisine.
This chicken is breaded with potato starch and then fried until golden brown. It should be noted that it is previously marinated with garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sake. The final meal should be accompanied by white rice.
Like the previous dish, this chicken dish consists of fried chicken. However, there are certain differences that make them similar but not identical. These aspects that differentiate them are the ingredients used in their marinade.
Chicken thighs are macerated with soy sauce, a type of Japanese sweet wine called Mirin, Japanese rice wine called Sake, ginger juice and black pepper. Then, the thighs are breaded with katakuriko which is a type of Japanese starch.
Japanese egg dishes
The egg is a very versatile ingredient as it can be used for the preparation of breakfast, main entrees, side dishes, or desserts. In Japanese gastronomy the egg also plays a very important role in the menu of this country.
This Oyakodon Japanese dish is a fairly simple and very useful one since it can help simplify the accompaniments of a normal dish. It is a dish that integrates eggs, chicken pieces, and white rice.
The egg is beaten and cooked scrambled with sautéed onions with red peppers and chicken breast sliced in julienne. Finally, this mixture is positioned on a good portion of white rice.
This Japanese egg dish is made with beaten eggs and is Japanese version of a common egg omelet. However, this dish has a peculiarity: it has rice inside.
Omurice is prepared with cooked rice with chicken with soy sauce, onions and green peppers sautéed in butter. Then this rice forms a small portion on which the egg omelet is positioned.
This time it is soup. Although this soup is not just any soup, Chawanmushi is a dish made with a curd egg that makes the broth acquire a fairly thick consistency.
The eggs are beaten slowly with water and then this liquid base will be where the other ingredients will be cooked. These ingredients are chicken breast and prawns sautéed in soy sauce, sake, carrots, and mushrooms.
Fish meat is one of the most used ingredients in Japanese cuisine. Below are the best Japanese food recipes made with this type of meat.
Saba no miso ni
In this dish, the Japanese Miso seasoning will be in charge of helping the Mackerel meat to make an exceptional dish. This fish is cooked in a sauce of this fermented soy seasoning.
Mackerel is cooked on the grill. This fish is should be marinated with salt, pepper, ginger powder, and soy sauce. After it is cooked, it is covered with miso sauce and is usually eaten without any sides.
The meal is roasted eel that is covered with a sweet sauce. Despite having originated in Japan, there are few restaurants that prepare this unique Japanese fish dish correctly.
The sweet sauce is called Kabayaki and is made with soy sauce, sweet mirin wine, and sugar. The eel is cooked with sake and then brushed with the Kabayaki sauce. This dish is usually accompanied by white rice in large quantities.
Eel makes another appearance as the main fish of this Japanese dish called Shirataki. The meat of the eel should be deskinned and beheaded before it is cooked on the grill. Then it will be accompanied by white rice.
The meat of this fish is seasoned with salt, black pepper, ground ginger and soy sauce that will then be added more abundantly when this dish is already cooked.
Japanese cuisine is a place of meat production, as well as common beef and special meats that are only produced in Japanese soil. Among this great variety of meats their dishes are really exquisite, that is why choosing the best ones is somewhat complicated; however, here they are.
Kobe meat is one of the best dishes and most expensive meats in the world. This raw material comes from a type of cow originated in Japan. This cow is called Wagyu and is subjected to a fairly strict feeding process so that her cuts are of the best possible quality.
What makes this type of meat so special are its pieces of fat throughout the cut. When cooked, the fat releases a really exquisite flavor which make this dish one of the most desired in Japan.
Roasted Hida Meat
Being very similar to Kobe meat, Hida meat is a very expensive dish that originated in Japan. Its appearance is similar to that of Kobe meat, but with a more delicious and delicate cut.
You can eat this meat roasted, stewed, baked, fried and even raw. Regardless of how you cook this meat, its flavor is always unmatched for a Japanese beef dish.
Nikujaga translation would be something similar to “Meat with potatoes.” Veal is the type of meat used for this traditional Japanese dish. Its preparation is similar to that of a stew.
The meat is minced in julienne and seasoned with ginger and soy sauce. This is cooked in a broth with a large amount of soy sauce, potatoes, and carrots. After this broth is reduced, and it is served in a deep dish for your enjoyment.
This typical Japanese dish has a steamed beef steak. Sukiyaki is usually consumed in winter months; it has a quite pleasant taste which is acquired thanks to the meat and vegetables that accompany it.
Veal is fried with sunflower oil and a broth from an extensive list of ingredients. This consommé is made up of sake, soy sauce, mirin, chicken broth, eggs, sugar, white rice, and fish broth. To all this, mushrooms, carrots, spinach, bean sprouts, tofu, onions, and noodles are incorporated.
The cuts of the pig meat are the most adaptable to a large number of dishes. In Japanese cuisine, there are several dishes that include this type of meat. The best Japanese dishes with pork are found below.
Originated more than a hundred years ago, tonkatsu is a dish that has managed to have a good position in the most typical elaborations of Japan. This recipe uses a cut of the pork chop with a very small thickness.
This cutlet is breaded with panko, garlic, salt, pepper, and wheat flour. Then it is cooked with a sauce based on soy sauce. This substantial and thick sauce is what gives the flavor to the dish, it should be noted that its name is equal to that of the dish.
This dish is one of the most characteristic of the Nagoya region in Japan. It consists of fried and golden pork chops that are accompanied with an exquisite sauce that covers them.
This delicious Japanese food recipe is accompanied by a medium portion of white rice. In addition, fried pork chops are sprinkled with a sauce from a Japanese seasoning called Miso.
This Katsudondish is one of 4 the most typical of Japan. It has the participation of pork chops as the main ingredients of this popular Japanese dish. This dish consists of a bowl of white rice with scrambled eggs and breaded pork chops.
There are several types of Katsudon; however, most are based on the same ingredients. These ingredients include soy sauce, sweet mirin wine, and sautéed onions, which together with the battered pork chops and scrambled eggs will form a moist mixture. This mixture will be added to the cooked rice.
Japanese tofu dishes
Tofu has a texture very similar to that of cheese, and is widely used in oriental cuisine. Made with soymilk, tofu has a wide range of possibilities for people who do not consume products of animal origin. The Japanese dishes with tofu that taste the best are the following.
Tofu with Dashi sauce
Tofu based meals are some of the best Japanese dishes that are made from soybeans. This can be prepared in multiple ways and has a facility to acquire flavors very quickly. Tofu with Dashi sauce is a preparation that begins by frying the battered tofu cubes and then they are covered with said sauce.
Tofu is a food that has a lot of liquid, for this reason, before frying, it must be drained and dried effectively so that it does not lose its shape. Then the tofu cubes will be covered with wheat flour and potato starch to be fried later. Finally, they are covered with Dashi sauce made from soy sauce, Dashi broth, and sugar.
This Mabodofudish is not totally vegetarian since it mixes tofu with pork. It is a kind of stew with a medium amount of condiments and different flavors; however, in this dish the protagonists are tofu and pork. The final presentation of the dish present small amounts of meat and tofu and are accompanied by their own broth.
The meat is sautéed with ginger and grated garlic, and a bit of a spicy Japanese seasoning called Tobanjan is added. Then the soy sauce, sake, and chicken broth mix together with pork and tofu cubes. The dish is ready when it has already been reduced enough not to resemble a soup.
This Hiyayakkodish is one of the most consumed and prepared in Japan during the summer. This is because the tofu that is used for this dish is served cold, making this meal a new and refreshing moment in the middle of the possible heat that can be experienced during this season.
The tofu that will be used for this recipe should have spent a good period of time in the fridge. This will be cut into a medium block and placed on a deep plate. Then chopped chives, soy sauce, and grated ginger will be added.
Japanese dishes with salmon
Salmon is fish that has one of the best flavors of all this type of meat. Orange meat fish is one of the favorites in Japanese cuisine, as it is the most ideal for making sushi rolls.
Temaki Kari-Kari sake
This is one of the best Japanese dishes that consists of a salmon. A Temaki is a different way of presenting sushi as usual. In this case, instead of being placed in the form of a thick coin and in small circumferences, it will be placed in the form of a cone. Where the outside of the “roll” will be Nori seaweed and will be filled with all the ingredients that you want to use.
Temaki Kari-Kari’s sake is based on fresh salmon meat. This will be grilled so that it is soft but slightly crispy. Then it will be painted with mustard. Salmon meat will go in the center of Temaki, with rice and lettuce around it.
A different way of eating and presenting sushi in Japan is through a salmon dish called Chirashizushi, which consists of a dish that is the most disorganized of all types of sushi. This is because it is quite varied and consists primarily of a base of white rice and on top of it the ingredients corresponding to sushi.
Most of the time, Chirashizushi includes delicious raw salmon meat. This meat is sprinkled with lemon drops after being cut into fine julienne with the tuna meat. In addition to these two fish is accompanied by cooked prawns, ginger and soy sauce.
Yaki Sake Salmon
This Yaki Sake Salmon dish is an elaboration that cooks grilled salmon meat. With Japanese ingredients and in its own style, Yaki Sake Salmon is a dish with a great personality and a pleasant flavor.
Salmon is rigorously cleaned and then cut into large pieces. These pieces are marinated in soy sauce, sake, and mirin sweet wine. In addition, you can also add some black pepper and ground ginger. This marinade will last a few hours before cooking the grilled fish.
It should be noted that it can be garnished with slices of grilled cucumber.
Japanese dishes with seafood
Finally, this list includes seafood. These types of seafood are the protagonists of select dishes in Japanese cuisine. However, those that are present are really tasty dishes.
Fried shrimp with Teriyaki sauce
Shrimp is one of the tastiest fruits of the sea and makes delicious seafood dishes. This fried preparation makes your taste stand out in an incredible way. But this is not all, logically as expected of Japanese cuisine, the dish does not end there. Certain ingredients are added to highlight the taste of these delicious shrimp.
These ingredients are mainly green peppers, onions, black pepper and the juice of a lemon. Shrimp are cleaned and marinated with all these ingredients except for onions and peppers. These will be used as the basis for the final frying. After this, the breaded shrimp with potato starch are fried and accompanied with Teriyaki sauce.
Tepanyaki can be made from various types of meat. The Tepanyaki exists of shrimp, chicken, pork or even veal. In this case, it will logically focus on the shrimp version. This typical Japanese dish is one of the most varied and consumed in this country.
Sauté the chopped shrimp along with broccoli branches, red peppers, mushrooms and onions all in sunflower oil and with abundant soy sauce. Once the shrimp are cooked, they are mixed with a sauce based on soy sauce, lemon juice, and orange juice.
To close this search for the best Japanese dishes is the Ikayaki. Shrimp aside for this time, another type of seafood takes center stage of this dish: squid.
Its preparation consists of a marinade that includes soy sauce, sake, and ground ginger. Then the squid is chopped into rings and sewn on the grill for a short time. Finally, soy sauce is added to the rings for a final touch.