50 Japanese Foods to Try While You Are in Japan

Until recently, Japanese food typically meant sushi, sukiyaki and tempura, but now Japanese gourmet is making a name for itself all around the world! Here, we would like to introduce some delicious Japanese dishes and foods that we recommend you try during your stay in Japan!


Food & Drink

41. Potato Salad

The Japanese version of potato salad. The dish uses Japanese mayonnaise which has a slightly different taste to European mayonnaise, giving the potato salad a different taste to what you find overseas. Corn, cucumber, carrots and onions are also often added to the dish. You can find potato saladin convenience stores, but we recommend trying it at a restaurant or izakaya, where the homemade taste is fantastic.

42. Miso-shiru (Miso soup)

Miso-shiru (miso soup in English) is the standard Japanese soup. Made by mixing miso into a stock (called dash) made from bonito flakes, konbu and other ingredients. Typically, miso soup is made with tofu, wakame and daikon. If you order a set-menu dish, it will usually come with miso soup, and you can usually enjoy it wherever you go. If you like it, you can find instant miso soup which makes a great present for your friends and family back at home. By the way, there is a dish called buta-jiru, which is made in almost exactly the same way as miso-shiru, but uses pork (buta nike in Japanese). daikon, carrots and taro (satoimo in Japanese) instead.

43. Tofu

Tofu has become well known overseas, but while you are in Japan, we recommend trying the real thing! A very simple dish using tofu is hiyayakko, where bonito flakes and ginger are put on top of the tofu and soy sauce is poured over it. You can find this at izakaya and other restaurants. We also recommend the dengaku, which is skewered tofu grilled over a fire and covered with miso.

44. Chawanmushi

A dish in which various ingredients, such as chicken, white fish, shrimps, steamed fish paste (kamaboko) and gingko nuts (ginnan) are added to a mix of egg and dashi stock in a cup (chawan) and steamed (steaming is called mushi in Japanese, which is where the name comes from). You can enjoy chawanmushi at traditional Japanese restaurants. It has a similar look and texture to custard pudding, but a very unique flavor.

45. Tsukemono

Tsukemono are Japanese picked. Tsukemono are usually vegetables which have been picked in salt, vinegar or sake lees. You will usually be served tsukemono at traditional Japanese restaurants, but the tsukemono from a specialist pickles shop are a delicacy. There are many different types of tsukemono, and we recommend visiting an all-you-can-eat tsukemono shop where you can try them all!

46. Tamagokake gohan

A rice dish onto which raw egg is mixed with soy sauce and poured over the hot rice. Recently it has been nicknamed TKG and has become so popular that you can find tamagokake gohan restaurants. While regular eggs make quite tasty tamagokake gohan, high quality eggs and special soy sauce will leave you longing for more after you return back home.

47. Edamame

Made from young soy beans that have been boiled and lightly salted. A great snack to go with beer, you will find many Japanese people ordering edamame with their drinks at bars. A very simple flavor, but one that will leave you wanting more.

48. Chazuke

A dish in which tea is poured over rice. It is often eaten at the end of a meal. A very light and refreshing taste, you can eat it even if you are full. Toppings, such as dried seaweed, cod roe and salmon, are often sprinkled on top. You can enjoy chazuke at izakaya and other restaurants, but the instant chazuke is also very good!

49. Umaibo

A Japanese snack that is very popular overseas. At only 10 yen, it is said that there are no children in the world who dislike umaibo. There are a wide range of flavors, including salami, takoyaki and cheese.

50. Kashipan

A type of sweet bun you can find if you visit a convenience store or bakery in various flavors, with some kashipan with ingredients inside, such as anpan (bread with sweet been paste in the middle) and curry pan (brad with curry sauce in the middle), and some flavored, such as melon pan (melon flavored bread). They usually cost about 100 yen, so we definitely recommend trying some while you are in Japan!

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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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