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100 Dishes from Japan (1-20)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 9:04 AM

100 Dishes from Japan

The top 100 must eat food from Japan

Japanese cuisine such as Sushi, Sashimi and Tempura nowadays are well known around the world. But very few people know a wide range of other Japanese dishes. This is a collection of about a 100 things to eat in Japan.

Sushi    #1 Sushi is probably the best known Japanese food in the world. There is a huge variety of classic Sushi in Japan and an even larger variety of modern Sushi such as Avocado Roll abroad. Going to a sushi restaurant and sitting at the counter watching the chefs preparing single sushi, all kinds of fish appetizers and Chirashizushi rice bowls always is an entertaining experience.

Tonkatsu    #2 Tonkatsu is breaded and deep fried pork cutlet. It is served with a dark sauce (Tonkatsu sauce) and Japanese mustard. The typical side dish is cabbage cut into tiny slices with Yuzu (Japanese lime) dressing. Most restaurants also serve Miso soup, white rice and pickled vegetables. Tonkatsu also is very popular as a sandwich called Katsu-Sando.


Gyudon    #3 Gyudon is a kind of Japanese fast food and literally means beef bowl. It consists of white rice in a bowl topped by beef and onion with a sweet sauce.There are a few restaurant chains open 24×7 all over Japan serving many variations of Gyudon. It is a cheap but savory dish that can be prepared within a few minutes which makes it very popular amongst Japanese salary man.

Okonomiyaki    #4 Okonomiyaki is a kind of savory pancake. It literally means “grill whatever you like” because you can literally use almost any ingredient to make Okonomiyaku, which makes it popular amongst housewives who want to use rests. There are many Okonomiyaki restaurants where it is prepared in front of the guest on a hot steel place. Okonomiyaki also is a street feed never missing at Japanese festivals.

Ramen    #5 Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish which is very popular amongst Japanese as well as foreigners. It consists of Chinese style noodles in a broth with toppings such as sliced pork, green onions and many more. There a four basic soup flavors: salt, miso, pork and soy sauce. There are thousands of ramen restaurants in Japan differing in the way they prepare the noodles, the toppings and the soup.

Tenpura    #6 Tempura is a dish of deep fried vegetables and seafood that have been battered. It is a very popular dish in Japan and found as side dish of many restaurants as well as in lunch boxes. The best Tempura is served in specialized restaurants where it is prepared in front of the guests who sit at a counter.

Sashimi    #7 Sashimi is raw food – mostly fish – served in thin slices that are eating with soy sauce and green Japanese Wasabi horse radish. Sashimi most often is served at the relative beginning of a Japanese menu. Although Sashimi is mainly known as raw fish there are variations with horse meat (Bazashi), liver or Tofu skin (Yuba).

Somen Noodles from Japan    #8 Somen are thin white Japanese noodles made of wheat flour. Cold Somen are dipped into a light sauce of soy sauce and Dashi fish soup with some welsh onion or ginger. They also can be used as salad or in soups. Nagashi Somen restaurants let the guests sit in front of a bamboo flume where the Somen pass by in a stream of cold water to be fished out with chopsticks when passing by.

Soba Noodles    #9 Soba are buckwheat noodles that are served warm or cold. Cold soba noodles are dipped into a soy sauce based dip with wasabi. Warm soba noodles are part of a soup with different kind of toppings such as duck meat slices, vegetables and others. It also is common to order soba with Tempura with cold or warm noodles.

Udon    #10 Udon are thick noodles of wheat flour originating from Western Japan. Warm Udon often are part of a soup with various kinds of toppings such as deep fried tofu. Udon also often comes at the end of a Sukiyaki or Shabu-Shabu course and cooked in the same hot-pot of the main dishes picking up the flavor of the meat and sauce. Cold udon is mainly eating in summer with a soy sauce based dip.


Yakitori  #11 Yakitori is grilled chicken meat or vegetables speared on sticks. There are many different types of Yakitori such as chicken skin, liver, filet, chicken meat balls, Shitake mushroom, green peppers, garlic and many more. Many restaurants offer Yakitory with grilled with a sweet sauce or just with salt.


Natto    #12 Natto is one of the less popular Japanese dishes among foreigners. It basically consists of fermented soy beans and has a very strong smell and a unique texture and flavor. It is typically eaten on rice and soy sauce – sometimes adding Japanese mustard. Natto often is part of Japanese breakfast. It is said to be very healthy.

Tofu    #13 Tofu is a soy bean curd that is part of many Japanese dishes since it very well supports the flavors of other ingredients. There are restaurants specialized in Tofu cuisine offering a wide range of dishes using many variations of Tofu such as Yuba Tofu skin, creamy raw tofu, deep fried tofu and tofu flavored with beans, eggs or other ingredients.


#14 Takoyaki are round savory pancakes with a piece of octopus inside. They are popular Japanese street food offered by small restaurants or booths at festivals. They are served with Tonkatsu sauce and brushed with a little bit of mayonnaise and topped with green labor sea weed and Katsuobushi (dried and fermented bonito flakes).

monjayaki    #15 Monjayaki is made of flour based batter, which is mixed with ingredients such as cabbage and tempura crumbs, seasoned with soy sauce or Worcester cause and cooked on a griddle. It is cooked in front of the guest who scrape off the browned area with a small spatula to eat as the batter cooks.

Manju    #16 Manju are steamed cakes with a filling. The most popular filling is sweet red bean paste, but other fillings such as chestnuts are also available. Manju often are offered by small shops in downtown streets or tourist spots, where is steaming takes place on the street in front of the shops to attract customers.

Onigiri Riceball    #17 Onigiri Rice balls are one of the most popular snacks in Japan. Many people make their own Onigiri but every convenience store and many other food stores compete to create the cheapest or the best rice ball. The are dozens of variations with classics such as salmon, tuna, pickled plum, mentaiko, etc. but also modern creating including mayonnaise and cheese.

 Okayu   #18 Okayu is a kind of rice porridge. It can be eaten alone or as a side dish and is popular as part of Japanese breakfast. To add more flavor dried fish, pickled ume or a kind of sour Ume Jam (ume bishiho) can be added. Japanese people once a year celebrate a day where almost everyone eats Okayu for heath reason.

Oyakodon    #19 Oyakodon means parents and child and it is one of the most popular rice bowl dishes in Japan. The rice in the bowl is topped by an omelet (child from the eggs) and chicken meat (parents) with onion. Sometimes it is enriched with deep fried slices of Tonkatsu pork and then called Katsudon. Japanese can have long debates about the right consistency of the egg in Oyakodon.

Carry Rice    #20 Curry Rice nowadays become a typical Japanese dish inspired by but different from Indian curry. The brown curry sauce is based on curry powder, oil, flour and other spices and there are many brands available for home cooking.There are many curry rice chain-restaurants serving this curry on white rice with beef, pork or shrimp and a variety of toppings such as red sweet ginger, cheese, raisins, etc.



1 Comment

Hiroshi Ohno

posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 5:36:39 PM Asia/Tokyo
Very smart introductory lines for various typical Japanese dishes! I found these recommendable to those non-Japanese who want to get the basic information on Japanese food for the first time.

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