28 Authentic Japanese Recipes

28 authentic japanese recipes

Posted on: June 21, 2023

If you’re interested in Japanese culture or want to try some new and exotic dishes, you’ve come to the right place. Cooking authentic Japanese recipes at home is a great way to broaden your culinary horizons and it’s quite simple with the right recipes and ingredients. Browse this article for 28 easy authentic Japanese recipes.

28 Japanese Recipes to Try

You can try out many traditional Japanese dishes right in your own kitchen. The possibilities are endless, from authentic Japanese soba noodle recipes to light and fluffy milk bread. Below are 28 delicious recipes to get you started!

1. Miso Soup

Miso is a fermented soybean paste that you can use to create sauces, dressings, marinades, and, most commonly, soup. You can make miso soup by cooking your favorite mix of vegetables, seaweed and tofu in dashi — a Japanese soup stock — and stir in miso paste until dissolved. You can also use the broth as a base for authentic Japanese miso ramen recipes.

While many associate soup with lunch or dinner, miso soup is traditionally a breakfast dish in Japan. With just a few simple ingredients, you can enjoy miso soup’s warm, vibrant flavors any time of the day.

2. Soba Noodles

Soba noodles resemble dark gray or beige spaghetti. Made from buckwheat flour, they are known for their nutty and robust flavor

In Japan, soba noodles are typically served hot in a noodle soup or chilled with a dipping sauce. You can find this dish in multiple settings, from fast food joints to luxury restaurants.

3. Onigiri

Onigiri is a ball of rice wrapped in black seaweed. It may also contain salt and fillings like pickled plum or grilled salmon. It’s typically hand-shaped to be round or triangular, making it fun to form and eat.

Readily available in Japanese convenience stores, onigiri is a popular snack to eat on the go or pack in lunchboxes. However, it’s just as simple to make in your own kitchen.

4. Nikujaga

Nikujaga is a Japanese meat-and-potato stew with vegetables like onions, carrots and peas. Many like to sweeten this stew with ingredients like soy sauce, mirin, sake or sugar to enhance the taste. A steamy bowl of Nikujaga is the ideal comfort meal on a chilly day. Try making this dish yourself to experience its rich, sweet and savory flavors.

5. Curry Rice

This Japanese dish is a simple plate of curry and rice, typically including ingredients like beef, onions, potatoes and carrots. The curry’s distinctive flavor comes from the curry powder’s blend of spices and its texture from a thickening agent like roux or cornstarch. 

Combining fresh vegetables and spices transforms an ordinary plate of white rice into a delicious masterpiece. You can also customize this dish to your preferred flavors and spice level. Most Japanese households use a curry sauce mix that comes in a box for convenience. Consider making Japanese curry rice for your next meal!

6. Omurice

Omurice is a fried egg omelet stuffed with fried rice, then topped with an unusual ingredient — ketchup. The beauty of omurice is in its versatility. When frying the rice, you can add in whatever ingredients you prefer. Experiment with chicken, bacon, butter, carrots or onions! 

Despite being a Japanese staple, the omelet’s appearance highly resembles a Western-style dish. You’ll find omurice on the menu at many Western-style diners in Japan. However, it’s just as easy to make on your own at home.

7. Takikomi Gohan

Takikomi gohan is a mixed rice dish commonly made for special occasions and parties. It generally consists of seasoned white rice, chicken, carrots and shiitake mushrooms. Ingredients like dashi powder, mirin and soy sauce enrich the softer flavors of the rice and vegetables. Try making takikomi gohan at home if you need a unique way to upgrade your plain white rice.

8. Tamagoyaki

Tamagoyaki is a rolled omelet consisting of several layers of beaten fried eggs. You can season your tamagoyaki with ingredients like soy sauce, sugar or salt, depending on whether you prefer sweet or savory flavors. A popular home-made dish in Japan, you can also commonly find tamagoyaki on the menu at sushi restaurants or freshly prepared at markets. Tamagoyaki also works well to include in a bento-box menu.

9. Karaage

Karaage is a cooking technique in which food is coated with a binding agent like flour, cornstarch or potato starch and deep-fried in a light oil. 

While you can use this technique with various meats and fish, chicken is the most popular, and you’re most likely to get chicken when ordering karaage at a restaurant. Karaage is even the standard Japanese term for fried chicken! 

These boneless bite-sized morsels have a wonderfully crispy texture and a mouthwatering garlic aroma that makes them tough to resist. While it’s most common to serve them warm, you can also eat them cold in bento boxes.

10. Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu is a deep-fried breaded pork cutlet, usually either a loin or fillet. The process involves coating pork slices with panko — light and flaky breadcrumbs — before frying them in oil to achieve a perfectly crispy texture. 

While they sound similar, try not to confuse tonkatsu with tonkotsu, a ramen soup dish made from pork bones.

11. Shogayaki

Shogayaki is a popular Japanese dish consisting of grated ginger and sliced grilled or fried pork. Fragrant soy sauce and ginger give way to warm, tender pork for a comforting and mouthwatering blend. 

Compared to other meat dishes like tonkatsu and karaage, shogayaki is relatively quick and easy to make. Try grilling the pork with sliced onions, then seasoning it with ingredients like mirin, cooking sake and soy sauce. 

12. Yakizakana

Yakizakana refers to any grilled fish dish. While you can use any fish, the most popular types include salmon, cod, needlefish and horse mackerel. The recipe is straightforward — simply grill the fish until it’s fully cooked! 

Before grilling, you can season it with salt and pepper, marinate it in miso or soy sauce or leave the fish as is. In Japan, the fish is usually served whole and eaten with a bowl of rice or miso soup.

13. Oyakodon

Oyakodon is a Japanese chicken and egg rice bowl. Oyako means “parent and child,” while don means “bowl.” 

This dish contains bite-sized pieces of chicken and soft-cooked eggs as the base ingredients. It’s generally made with a soy sauce broth soup and sliced onions and served in a bowl with white rice. With basic ingredients and steps, this recipe is simple for anyone to try in the kitchen. 

14. Chirashizushi

Chirashizushi, also called scattered sushi, is a unique sushi dish served with colorful toppings. It’s a common meal for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions.

Some popular chirashizushi toppings include boiled shrimp, eggs, shiitake mushrooms, vegetables and sashimi. While toppings can vary by region and household preferences, you’ll typically find chirashizushi served on a bed of vinegared rice. 

15. Shoyu Ramen

If you’re familiar with ramen, you know it’s a popular noodle dish in Japan. It combines Chinese-style wheat noodles with a meat-based broth, usually flavored with miso or soy sauce. 

Ramen can also include toppings like scallions, sliced pork, nori — dried seaweed — and soft-boiled eggsShoyu ramen uses a broth made of shoyu, a Japanese-style soy sauce. This sauce provides incredible umami flavors accompanied by a strong tang. 

16. Spicy Tuna Donburi Rice Bowl

A staple in Western Japanese restaurants and grocery store deli sections, spicy tuna donburi is spicy tuna served over a bowl of steamed white or brown rice. 

Spicy tuna don is merely one of many donburi-style dishes found in Japan. “Donburi” describes any meal of a bowl of rice topped with fish, beef, chicken, egg or tempura, and you can adjust the tuna’s spiciness to accommodate your desired heat level.

17. Japanese Milk Bread

Japanese milk bread is a lightly-sweetened white bread with a wonderfully soft and fluffy cloud-like consistency. It’s sliced thicker than typical sandwich bread and has a mild flavor that complements many spreads. 

Whether slathering it with butter and jam or using it to make a delectable grilled cheese sandwich, you won’t want to miss an opportunity to try Japanese milk bread. After one bite, you’ll likely never want to go back to classic supermarket white bread again!

18. Vegetable Tempura

Vegetable tempura is an assortment of battered and lightly fried vegetables such as:

  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Squash

The batter contains ingredients like potato starch, flour, baking soda, egg and cold water for a light yet crisp texture. Making tempura requires some practice and patience, especially for beginners, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come out perfect on the first try! 

While vegetable tempura is a popular vegetarian choice at Japanese restaurants, authentic Japanese tempura recipes encompass much more. Once you’ve mastered the tempura batter, you might want to try out ingredients like chicken, shrimp, shellfish or egg.

19. Hiyashi Chuka

A popular summertime dish in Japan, hiyashi chuka consists of chilled ramen noodles with various colorful toppings. Some common choices are cucumber, ham, egg crepes, shrimp and imitation crab, but you can get creative with your own favorite toppings. 

A sesame-based dressing or soy sauce poured over the top completes the dish. These cool and refreshing noodles are perfect to enjoy on a warm day!

20. Potato Korokke

Korokke is a Japanese mashed potato cake coated with panko and deep-fried. While potato korokke is the traditional version of this dish, you may also enjoy variations like curry or pumpkin korokke.

With its crispy breaded crust and creamy interior, potato korokke is a dish beloved by all ages in Japan. This tasty appetizer pairs wonderfully with beef, vegetables or your favorite dipping sauce.

21. Buta No Kakuni

Buta no kakuni is braised pork belly, cooked slowly until the meat is juicy and tender. It’s often flavored with ingredients like mirin, soy sauce, sugar and sake. Simmering it with a hint of scallions and ginger reduces the fat content and enriches the umami flavor profile. Ideal as an appetizer or side dish, we highly recommend this recipe to brighten up your next meal.

22. Kaki Fry

Kaki fry is a dish of breaded, deep-fried oysters. These tasty morsels are coated with panko and deep-fried until golden brown. They’re traditionally served with tartar sauce and fresh lemon wedges. 

Whether you use fresh, canned or frozen oysters, kaki fry is the perfect way to satisfy your strongest seafood cravings.

23. Futomaki

A Japanese word that translates to “fat rolled sushi,” futomaki is sushi rolled into a thick, long cylinder and sliced into bite-sized pieces. If you’re on the hunt for authentic Japanese sushi recipes, this dish won’t disappoint. 

Like other sushi rolls, futomaki consists of various fillings wrapped in rice and nori. Standard futomaki fillings include cucumber, spinach, tamagoyaki and kanpyo — dried calabash gourd. However, feel free to get creative and add your favorite sushi fillings for a colorful blend. 

24. Tsukune

Tsukune is a Japanese chicken meatball dish. It’s often seasoned with fresh garlic, ginger, sesame oil and scallions. Egg and panko breadcrumbs serve as binding agents, allowing the meatballs to cling to a skewer and maintain their shape during grilling. Coating the meatballs with tare sauce afterward gives them a glistening sweet and salty glaze.

25. Ebi Fry

If you’re looking for authentic Japanese shrimp recipes, ebi fry is a classic menu option at Japanese restaurants and cafes. Shrimp is dusted with flour, dipped in an egg wash, then coated with panko to form a thick breaded exterior. While you can pair this dish with any dipping sauce you please, tartar sauce is especially popular.

26. Okayu

Okayu is a Japanese porridge made from water and rice. This light and comforting dish is easy on the stomach, making it a great choice when you’re sick or don’t have much of an appetite. 

Due to its low water-to-rice ratio, okayu has a thicker consistency than rice porridges in other countries. However, you can adjust the amount of water to your preferred thickness. You can also replace the water with chicken stock or dashi to boost its flavor.

27. Salmon Ochazuke

Salmon ochazuke is a small bowl of steamed rice topped with grilled salmon and tea — usually green tea. It can also include garnishes like nori slices, wasabi, fresh vegetables or puffed rice crackers. While green tea and traditional short-grain white rice are the norms for this dish, you can vary it with dashi and brown rice if desired.

28. Okonomiyaki

Translating literally to “whatever you want,” okonomiyaki is a highly versatile dish. This savory pancake is made with wheat flour and your choice of ingredients. Some popular additions are seafood, meat, cabbage, okonomiyaki sauce, nori, ginger and Japanese mayonnaise.

Try These Traditional Japanese Recipes With San-J Tamari

While the recipes above are delicious on their own, San-J Tamari Soy Sauce can make them taste even better. With a higher soy protein concentration than typical soy sauce, our Tamari delivers a richer and milder yet complex taste — adding more excitement and complexity to your dishes. Browse our Tamari products and order yours today!