List of Japanese dishes

A Japanese dinner
Japanese breakfast foods

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)

steamed rice with furikake topping

Rice porridge (お粥)

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)

A sushi platter

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.

Kamo nanban: Soba with sliced duck breast, negi (scallions) and mitsuba

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
A beef teriyaki dish

Nabemono (one pot cooking, 鍋物)

Nabemono (鍋物) includes:

Nimono (stewed dishes, 煮物)

seaperch poached with ginger, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sake, and water.

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)

Bonito (skipjack tuna) tataki. Often on the menu as "Katsuo no Tataki" (鰹のタタキ)

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)

Karashimentaiko 辛子明太子

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)

Ohitashi (お浸し)

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. 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. 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.

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)

Wagashi in a storefront in Sapporo, Japan

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.

Sweets bread (kashi pan, 菓子パン)

Other snacks

See also: List of Japanese snacks and Category:Japanese snack food

Snacks include:

Tea and other drinks

Tea and non-alcoholic beverages

See also: Japanese green teas and Category:Japanese beverages
Japanese green tea

Soft drinks

Lemonade-flavored Ramune

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


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

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.
Hayashi rice

Other items were popularized after the war:

Fake food of naporitan in display window of a restaurant in Japan

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:

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.
  2. Stanlaw, James (2004). Japanese English: language and culture contact. Hong Kong University Press. p. 46. ISBN 962-209-572-0.
  3. Sen, Colleen Taylor (2009). Curry: a Global History. London: Reaktion Books. p. 116. ISBN 9781861895226.
  4. Hosking, Richard (2000). At the Japanese Table. Images of Asia. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-195-90980-7. LCCN 00058458. OCLC 44579064.
  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.
  7. McInerney, Jay (June 10, 2007). "Raw". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
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