List of Japanese dishes

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File:Breakfast by tiseb in Toya, Hokkaido.jpg

Below is a list of dishes found in Japanese cuisine. Apart from rice, staples in Japanese cuisine include noodles, such as soba and udon. Japan has many simmered dishes such as fish products in broth called oden, or beef in sukiyaki and nikujaga. Foreign food, in particular Chinese food in the form of noodles in soup called ramen and fried dumplings, gyoza, and western food such as curry and hamburger steaks are commonly found in Japan. Historically, the Japanese shunned meat, but with the modernization of Japan in the 1860s, meat-based dishes such as tonkatsu became common.

Rice dishes (ご飯物)


Rice porridge (お粥)

  • Kayu or Okayu (, お粥) is a rice congee (porridge), sometimes egg dropped and usually served to infants and sick people as easily digestible meals.
  • Zosui (Zōsui, 雑炊) or Ojiya (おじや) is a soup containing rice stewed in stock, often with egg, meat, seafood, vegetables or mushroom, and flavoured with miso or soy. Known as juushii in Okinawa. Some similarity to risotto and Kayu though Zosui uses cooked rice, as the difference is that kayu is made from raw rice.

Rice bowls (どんぶり)

A one-bowl dish, consisting of a donburi (どんぶり, , big bowl) full of hot steamed rice with various savory toppings:

Sushi (寿司)

Sushi (寿司, , ) is a vinegared rice topped or mixed with various fresh ingredients, usually seafood or vegetables.

Other staples

Noodles (men-rui, 麺類)

Noodles (麺類) often take the place of rice in a meal. However, the Japanese appetite for rice is so strong that many restaurants even serve noodles-rice combination sets.[citation needed]

File:Duck soba.jpg
Kamo nanban: Soba with sliced duck breast, negi (scallions) and mitsuba


  • Chinese-influenced noodles are served in a meat or chicken broth and have only appeared in the last 100 years or so.
    • Ramen (ラーメン): thin light yellow noodles served in hot chicken or pork broth with various toppings; of Chinese origin, it is a popular and common item in Japan. Also known as Shina-soba (支那そば) or Chuka-soba (中華そば) (both mean "Chinese-style soba")
    • Champon (ちゃんぽん): yellow noodles of medium thickness served with a great variety of seafood and vegetable toppings in a hot chicken broth which originated in Nagasaki as a cheap food for students
    • Hiyashi chuka (冷やし中華): thin, yellow noodles served cold with a variety of toppings, such as cucumber, tomato, ham or chicken, bean sprouts, thin-sliced omelet, etc., and a cold sauce (soy sauce based, sesame based, etc.). The name means "cold Chinese noodles."
  • Okinawa soba (沖縄そば): thick wheat-flour noodles served in Okinawa, often served in a hot broth with sōki, steamed pork. Akin to a cross between udon and ramen.
  • Yaki soba (焼きそば): Fried Chinese noodles
  • Yaki udon (焼きうどん): Fried udon noodles

Bread (pan, パン)

Bread (the word "pan" (パン) is derived from the Portuguese pão)[2] is not native to Japan and is not considered traditional Japanese food, but since its introduction in the 16th century it has become common.

Common Japanese main and side dishes (okazu, おかず)

Deep-fried dishes (agemono, 揚げ物)

Grilled and pan-fried dishes (yakimono, 焼き物)

Yakizakana (grilled rockfish) with mushroom, leeks, and yuzu
  • Yakimono (焼き物): Grilled and pan-fried dishes
    • Gyoza (餃子): Chinese ravioli-dumplings (potstickers), usually filled with chicken and vegetables (spring onion, leek, cabbage, garlic, and ginger) and pan-fried
    • Kushiyaki (串焼き): skewers of meat and vegetables
    • Motoyaki (素焼き): Baked seafood topped with a creamy sauce
    • Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) are savory pancakes with various meat and vegetable ingredients, flavoured with the likes of Worcestershire sauce or mayonnaise.
    • Takoyaki (たこ焼き, 蛸焼き): a spherical, fried dumpling of batter with a piece of octopus inside. Popular street snack.
    • Teriyaki (照り焼き): grilled, broiled, or pan-fried meat, fish, chicken or vegetables glazed with a sweetened soy sauce
    • Unagi (, うなぎ), including Kabayaki (蒲焼): grilled and flavored eel
    • Yakiniku ("grilled meat" 焼肉) may refer to several things. Vegetables such as bite-sized onion, carrot, cabbage, mushrooms, and bell pepper are usually grilled together. Grilled ingredients are dipped in a sauce known as tare before being eaten.
    • Yakitori (焼き鳥): barbecued chicken skewers, usually served with beer. In Japan, yakitori usually consists of a wide variety of parts of the chicken. It is not usual to see straight chicken meat as the only type of yakitori in a meal.
    • Yakizakana (焼き魚) is flame-grilled fish, often served with grated daikon. One of the most common dishes served at home. Because of the simple cuisine, fresh fish in season are highly preferable. See Arabesque greenling

Nabemono (one pot cooking, 鍋物)

Nabemono (鍋物) includes:

Nimono (stewed dishes, 煮物)

File:Maruyoshi Murotsu Tatsuno Hyogo08s3200.jpg

Nimono (煮物) is a stewed or simmered dish. A base ingredient is simmered in shiru stock flavored with sake, soy sauce, and a small amount of sweetening.[4]

Itamemono (stir-fried dishes, 炒め物)

Stir-frying (炒め物) is not a native method of cooking in Japan, however mock-Chinese stir fries such as yasai itame (stir fried vegetables, 野菜炒め) have been a staple in homes and canteens across Japan since the 1950s. Home grown stir fries include:

Sashimi (刺身)


Sashimi (刺身) is raw, thinly sliced foods served with a dipping sauce and simple garnishes; usually fish or shellfish served with soy sauce and wasabi. Less common variations include:

Soups (suimono (吸い物) and shirumono (汁物))

Soups (suimono (吸い物) and shirumono (汁物)) include:

Pickled or salted foods (tsukemono, 漬け物)

File:Mentaiko by Kanko.jpg

These foods are usually served in tiny portions, as a side dish to be eaten with white rice, to accompany sake or as a topping for rice porridges.

Miscellaneous (惣菜)

Chinmi (珍味)

Chinmi: Salt-pickled mullet roe (karasumi)

Chinmi (珍味?) are regional delicacies, and include:

Although most Japanese eschew eating insects, in some regions, locust (inago, イナゴ) and bee larvae (hachinoko, 蜂の子) are not uncommon dishes.[citation needed] The larvae of species of caddisflies and stoneflies (zaza-mushi, ざざむし), harvested from the Tenryū river as it flows through Ina, Nagano, is also boiled and canned, or boiled and then sautéed in soy sauce and sugar.[citation needed] Japanese clawed salamander (Hakone Sanshōuo, ハコネサンショウウオ, Onychodactylus japonicus) is eaten as well in Hinoemata, Fukushima in early summer.[citation needed]

Sweets and snacks (okashi (おかし), oyatsu (おやつ))

See also: List of Japanese desserts and sweets and Category:Japanese desserts and sweets

Japanese-style sweets (wagashi, 和菓子)

File:Okashi clg.jpg
Wagashi in a storefront in Sapporo, Japan

File:Higashi.jpg Wagashi include

Old-fashioned Japanese-style sweets (dagashi, 駄菓子)

Western-style sweets (yōgashi, 洋菓子)

Yōgashi are Western-style sweets, but in Japan are typically very light or spongy.

  • Kasutera: "Castella" Iberian-style sponge cake
  • Mirukurepu: "mille crepe": layered crepe (in French, "one thousand leaves")

Sweets bread (kashi pan, 菓子パン)

  • Anpan: bread with sweet bean paste in the center
  • Melonpan: a large, round bun which is a combination of regular dough beneath cookie dough. It occasionally contains a melon-flavored cream, though traditionally it is called melon bread because of its general shape resembling that of a melon (not due to any melon flavor).

Other snacks

Snacks include:

Tea and other drinks

Tea and non-alcoholic beverages

Japanese green tea
  • Amazake
  • Genmaicha is green tea combined with roasted brown rice.
  • Gyokuro: Gyokuro leaves are shaded from direct sunlight for approximately 3 weeks before the spring harvest. Removing direct sunlight in this way enhances the proportions of flavenols, amino acids, sugars, and other substances that provide tea aroma and taste. After harvesting the leaves are rolled and dried naturally. Gyokuro is slightly sweeter than sencha and is famous for its crisp, clean taste. Major growing areas include Uji, Kyōto and Shizuoka prefecture.
  • Hojicha: green tea roasted over charcoal
  • Kombucha (tea): specifically the tea poured with Kombu giving rich flavor in monosodium glutamate.
  • Kukicha is a blend of green tea made of stems, stalks, and twigs.
  • Kuzuyu is a thick herbal tea made with kudzu starch.
  • Matcha is powdered green tea. (Green tea ice cream is flavored with matcha, not ocha.)
  • Mugicha is barley tea, served chilled during summer.
  • Sakurayu is an herbal tea made with pickled cherry blossoms.
  • Sencha is steam treated green tea leaves that are then dried.
  • Umecha is a tea drink with umeboshi, which provides a refreshing sourness.

Soft drinks

Alcoholic beverages

Sake () is a rice wine that typically contains 12%–20% alcohol and is made by a double fermentation of rice. Kōjji fungus is first used to ferment the rice starch into sugar. Regular brewing yeast is used in the second fermentation to make alcohol. At traditional meals, it is considered an equivalent to rice and is not simultaneously taken with other rice-based dishes. Side dishes for sake is particularly called sakana (, 酒菜), or otsumami おつまみ or ate あて.

Shōchū is a distilled beverage, most commonly made from barley, sweet potatoes, or rice. Typically, it contains 25% alcohol by volume.

Imported and adapted foods

Japan has incorporated imported food from across the world (mostly from Asia, Europe and to a lesser extent the Americas), and have historically adapted many to make them their own.

Foods imported from Portugal in the 16th century

  • Tempura — so thoroughly adopted that its foreign roots are unknown to most people, including many Japanese. As such, it is considered washoku (和食, native food).
  • castella — sponge cake, originating in Nagasaki
  • Pan — bread, introduced by Portugal. (bread is pão in Portuguese.) Japanese bread crumbs, panko, have been popularized by cooking shows.


Yōshoku (洋食) is a style of Western-influenced food.

  • Breaded seafood or vegetables (furai, フライ, derived from "fry"), and breaded meat (katsuretsu, カツレツ, derived from "cutlet" and often contracted to katsu), are usually served with shredded cabbage and/or lettuce, Japanese Worcestershire or tonkatsu sauce and lemon. Tempura, a related dish, has been heavily modified since its introduction to Japan by use of batter and dashi-flavored dip, and is usually considered to be washoku.
File:Korokke food hall.jpg
Korokke for sale at a Mitsukoshi food hall in Tokyo, Japan
  • Kaki furai (カキフライ, 牡蠣フライ) - breaded oyster
  • Ebi furai (エビフライ, 海老フライ) - breaded shrimp
  • Korokke ("croquette" コロッケ) - breaded mashed potato and minced meat patties. When white sauce is added, it is called cream korokke. Other ingredients such as crab meat, shrimp, or mushrooms are also used instead of minced meat which are called kani-, ebi-, or kinoko-cream korokke, respectively.
  • Tonkatsu, Menchi katsu, chicken katsu, beef katsu, kujira katsu - breaded and deep-fried pork, minced meat patties, chicken, beef, and whale, respectively.
  • Japanese curry - rice - imported in the 19th century by way of the United Kingdom and adapted by Japanese Navy chefs. One of the most popular food items in Japan today. Eaten with a spoon. Curry is often eaten with pickled vegetables called fukujinzuke or rakkyo
    • Curry Pan - deep fried bread with Japanese curry sauce inside. The pirozhki of Russia was remodeled, and Curry bread was made.
    • Curry udon - is a hot noodle dish where the soup is made of Japanese curry. May also include meat or vegetables.
File:Hayashi rice.jpg
Hayashi rice
  • Hayashi rice (ハヤシライス?) - beef and onions stewed in a red-wine sauce and served on rice
  • Nikujaga - soy-flavored meat and potato stew. Has been Japanised to the extent that it is now considered washoku, but again originates from 19th Century Japanese Navy chefs adapting beef stews of the Royal Navy.
  • Omu raisu - ketchup-flavored rice wrapped in omelet.

Other items were popularized after the war:

  • Hamburg steak - a ground beef patty, usually mixed with breadcrumbs and fried chopped onions, served with a side of white rice and vegetables. Popular post-war food item served at homes. Sometimes eaten with a fork.
Fake food of naporitan in display window of a restaurant in Japan

File:Mentaiko spaghetti by kaex0r.jpg

  • Pizza - The popular American pizza companies Dominos, Pizza Hut and Shakey's all operate in Japan, but Japanese brands such as Aoki's and Pizza-La are higher-grossing and famous for catering to Japanese taste. Many pizza chains offer seasonal toppings. Japanese versions include:
    • with corn
    • with shrimp, squid, or other seafood
    • with mayonnaise, white sauce or Pesto basil sauce
    • with potato or eggplant
    • with Galbi beef or teriyaki chicken
    • with hard-boiled eggs
    • with macaroni, wieners or other prepared foods

Other homegrown cuisine of foreign origin



Lots of Japanese foods are prepared using one or more of the following:

Less traditional, but widely used ingredients include:

  • Monosodium glutamate, which is often used by chefs and food companies as a cheap flavor enhancer. It may be used as a substitute for kombu, which is a traditional source of free glutamate
  • Japanese-style Worcestershire sauce, often known as simply "sauce", thicker and fruitier than the original, is commonly used as a table condiment for okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), tonkatsu (トンカツ), croquette ("korokke", コロッケ) and the like.
  • Japanese mayonnaise is used with salads, okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), yaki soba (焼きそば) and sometimes mixed with wasabi or soy sauce.

See also


  1. Tsuji, Shizuo; M.F.K. Fisher (2007). Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art (25 ed.). Kodansha International. pp. 280–281. ISBN 978-4-7700-3049-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Stanlaw, James (2004). Japanese English: language and culture contact. Hong Kong University Press. p. 46. ISBN 962-209-572-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Sen, Colleen Taylor (2009). Curry: a Global History. London: Reaktion Books. p. 116. ISBN 9781861895226.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  5. Shimbo 2000, p.147 "wakame and cucumber in sanbaizu dressing (sunomono)"; p.74 "sanbaizu" recipe
  6. "Gyoza (Japanese dumplings)". BBC. Retrieved 14 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. McInerney, Jay (June 10, 2007). "Raw". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>