Japanese cuisine can be one of the healthiest and most delicious ways to eat that you can find. While the popularity of sushi continues to increase all over the world, there are so many more amazing Japanese recipes for you to discover for meals, snacks and entertaining.
Japanese food is full of seasonal vegetables and makes use of ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, wasabi, and pickled vegetables for flavoring. Seafood is an essential foundation in Japanese cooking--but there are also lots o…
great pork, chicken and beef recipes for meat lovers. If you are vegetarian or vegan, there are lots of variations of Japanese food for you, too, including Udon noodles (thick noodles made with wheat flour) and Soba noodles (made with buckwheat flour) cooked with tofu for a protein that can be served cold or hot in a dashi broth.
One distinctive factor in Japanese cuisine is the emphasis on Umami flavor--that is, the savory taste. The umami taste is found naturally in many of the foods that make up the base for Japanese cooking--fish and shellfish, mushrooms and cabbage and in dried and fermented products like fish sauce and soy sauce. The taste of umami is satisfying and filling.
One important note for vegan, lactose-intolerant or other dairy-free eaters: most Japanese recipes do not incorporate milk, cheese or other dairy ingredients--so these recipes are ideal for your preferred way of eating. Tofu or tempeh can be substituted for any meat-based recipe to make it entirely vegetarian.
Whether you’re already a fan of Japanese cooking or its flavors and ingredients are new to you, you’ll discover lots of great Japanese dishes here. Infuse your home cooking with Yummly's Japanese recipes!
Japanese Breakfast Recipes
Traditional breakfast in Japan isn’t a bagel or Danish with coffee on the run--it’s a serious meal! Breakfast may include a bowl of miso soup, some grilled fish, rice, pickles and “onsen tamago”--a slow-cooked, soft-boiled egg. Another favorite breakfast dish is natto--fermented soybeans, served with soy sauce, sesame oil and egg. Discover wonderful Japanese breakfast recipes to help you start the day feeling energized!
Japanese Lunch & Dinner Recipes
If you’re tired of cooking the same old entrees for lunch and dinner, check out this wonderful array of delicious Japanese recipes for both easy weekday meals and more elaborate entertaining for guests. In Japanese cooking, fish and other meats are often simmered in broth--rather than cooked in oil, making these recipes healthy as well as flavorful. Meat lovers will appreciate pepper steak, chicken katsu (a pan-fried chicken) and ramen noodles cooked with pork, beef or chicken. Tonkatsu is a favorite pork dish--breaded, fried and served with shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce, made with Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, sugar and oyster sauce.
Okonomiyaki (which means “grilled as you like it”) makes a delicious lunch or dinner--it’s a great way to use up leftover meat or veggies! Okonomiyaki is sometimes called “Japanese pizza” because, like pizza, it can be made with your personal favorite toppings. Vegetarian Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake made from cabbage and can be served with other seasonal vegetables.
Nabemono (or nabe) are traditional Japanese hot pot dishes--and they make delicious dinners! They are similar to stews because all of the ingredients are cooked together. They’re generally served during the colder season in Japan and cooked right at the table in a clay pot. Typical components include sliced meats, mushrooms (shitake and enoki), assorted seafood, tofu, and other vegetables.
Vegans and vegetarians will also find tons of great lunch and dinner recipes featuring tempeh, tofu, and fresh veggies. Stir-fry is another popular Japanese cooking technique--quick and easy for a great mid-week meal.
Sushi is probably the most recognizable Japanese dish all over the world. Sushi is prepared with vinegared rice, combined with raw fish, vegetables and sometimes fruit. Raw fish, known as sashimi in Japanese, is the most popular ingredient in sushi--but if you’re not a raw fish fan, there are still plenty of sushi options for you.
Sushi rolls are wrapped with nori seaweed and include popular ingredients like raw tuna, salmon, and vegetables like cucumber and carrot. Sushi is served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. Keep in mind, traditional Japanese sushi rolls don’t include ingredients like avocados--recipes likes the “California roll” was developed in the West.
If you’re already a sushi fan, you’ll want to explore this awesome collection of sushi and sashimi recipes. Making sushi at home is lots of fun--and it’s a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen! Invite friends over for a sushi making party, open some bottles of sake and learn the sushi-making process together. Even if your first rolls aren’t perfect, they will be sure to be tasty!
Japanese Soup Recipes
Soup is a vital part of Japanese cuisine. Many meals begin with miso soup--which is a straightforward recipe to learn to make at home. Miso soup is made with stock (called dashi), to which miso paste is added. Cubes of tofu, green onion, and other vegetables and meat can be added to miso soup.
It’s easy enough to make your dashi right at home--we have recipes to teach you how. Besides miso soup, dashi is used as a base to simmer fish and stews in--a healthy way to cook. In the way that chicken soup is often used as a base in European cooking, dashi serves as a base for much of Japanese cuisine.
Soup is also the base for great noodle bowls using Udon noodles, meat, and seasonal vegetables. Ramen is also wildly popular in Japan--and learning to make good ramen at home means you can always whip up a quick, yummy and healthy weeknight dinner. Check out the great variety of ramen recipes and find your favorites!
Japanese Snack & Side Recipes
Japanese snacks can be savory, protein-packed--and healthy! An easy to make, super-healthy Japanese snack is steamed edamame.
Yakitori are mini skewers of chicken, seasoned with salt and brushed with a sauce made of sake, mirin rice wine, and soy sauce. They’re a favorite to munch on while sports--so the next time you’re planning a Super Bowl party or just having some friends over to watch the game, make a platter of yakitori for something different and yummy for your guests.
Gyoza is yummy pan-fried dumplings filled with pork, cabbage, and chives and served with a tangy soy-vinegar sauce. Gyoza can be great for meals--or snacks. Nikuman are Japanese steamed pork buns--another favorite snack. Probably the most famous Japanese snack are onigiri--rice balls wrapped in nori, stuffed with different kinds of flavors and fillings like salted salmon, cod roe, grilled chicken or pickled plum. Learn to make this great snack at home!
And while frying is not conventional in Japanese cuisine, tempura is an exception. Discover yummy recipes for veggie, fish and chicken tempura--fritter-like, deep-fried Japanese dish. Even though tempura is fried, it’s never greasy or oily. You’ll discover how to make light and yummy tempura and also Tetsuya sauce to go with it (made with soy sauce, sweet sake, ginger, radish, and spices).
Probably the most important Japanese side dish is miso soup--it’s served with every meal. You can make excellent miso soup at home and serve with your meals--or also as a yummy, healthy snack. Miso is made with miso paste (fermented soybeans, dashi, and pieces of tofu, onion, and seaweed. You can add other veggies like sweet potato, daikon (a kind of radish) or carrots.
For a treat, check out our recipes for kashipan--a sweet roll or bun that is filled or topped with nuts or candied fruit and is often topped with icing.
There are so many kinds of Japanese snacks to experiment with! Take a look and discover your favorite recipes.