21 Local Foods You Must Try Out in Japan

Japan is known as a hub of distinct gourmets. The nation serves cuisine similar to no other nation. Containing both savory and luscious items, Japan is truly a wonder for foodies.

21 Local Foods You Must Try Out in Japan

1. Sushi

Sushi is the first thing that comes up in our mind when we talk about Japanese cuisine. It contains an array of toppings. From fishes to simple vinegar, you will find it all. Sushi is made of rice, fish and covered with a seaweed called nori.

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2. Miso Soup

Image credit: Epicurious

One generally serves it in small quantities as a side dish. Tofu, spring onions and wakame seaweed are some toppings added to give it more texture. It largely consists of Miso paste which gives it a deeper flavour.

3. Ramen

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Ramen is one of the most popular noodle dishes from around the world and the best place to try it is the place it originates from, Japan. It consists of wheat noodles submerged in a savory broth. Ramen noodles are so popular that there is a theme park especially for them, Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum.

4. Udon

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Udon is another noodle dish consisting of wheat noodles and simple brine water. There are different sub-varieties of Udon like Kitsune Udon, Tempura Udon, Chikara Udon to name some.

5. Onigiri

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Onigiri is Japanese rice balls. They consist of nori, rice and a filling in between. One can find it in lunch boxes or even grab it as a quick snack.

6. Tempura

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Tempura consists of deep-fried meat or vegetables covered in a special batter. It is popular amongst seafood lovers. It can be a stand-alone dish or a complimentary side dish to noodles or rice.

7. Shabu Shabu

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Shabu Shabu is a mouth-watering traditional Japanese dish made of meat, veggies, and tofu. It is boiled in water to make a thick broth and is accompanied by a variety of dips.

8. Tamagoyaki

Tamagoyaki is a Japanese variant of an omelette. It is rolled up like a crepe and divided into individual pieces. It also shows up in sushi bars as an individual dish.

9. Kashipan

Kashipan is a type of Japanese bread. It is sweet in taste and is often used as a dessert. It comes with different variants and fillings.

10. Tacoyaki

Tacoyaki is a type of Japanese appetizer. They are balls made of wheat flour with fillings of octopus, tempura, pickled ginger and green onions.

11. Soba

Soba is Japanese for buckwheat. Made from Soba, the noodles get an earthy, crispy taste. Soba noodles have a historical value attached to them as they have lasted from the Edo period.

12. Yakisoba

Yakisoba is a stir fry variant of Soba. Generally fried in oyster sauce, yakisoba is a famous street food in Japan.

13. Okonomiyaki

Oknomiyaki is Japanese pancake made of meat, eggs and cabbage and flour as the batter. With the toppings and jazz, some even call it a Japanese Pizza!

14. Mochi

Mochi is a sugary rice cake sometimes also made of water, sugar and corn starch. Mochi is a traditional food eaten during celebratory festivities.

15. Dorayaki

Dorayaki is another sweet dish you should add to your list of must-haves. It consists of two buns sandwiching a yummy sweet red bean paste. Yes, this is what the famous cartoon character Doremon is always munching on.

16. Coffee Jelly

Although Coffee Jelly did not originate from Japan, it is now a celebrated dish there. It is what the name suggests: coffee in the form of jelly. Often served with cream, coffee jelly is another dessert you must try while visiting Japan.

17. Donburi

donburi
Image credit: Gousto

Donburi is a scrumptious rice bowl dish. It is another local dish consisting of local meat, fish and veggies. They are served in oversized rice bowls called donburi-bachi while the dish is called donburi-mono.  

18. Sashimi

sashimi
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Sashimi consists of raw meat and raw fish sliced into thin pieces and is often preferred to be eaten with soy sauce.

19. Oden

Oden
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Oden is a type of one pot dish. Here one finds several ingredients simmered in soy sauce based broth. Oden is easily found in food stalls for cheap prices and is considered a winter delight.

20. Mentaiko

mentaiko
Image Credit: The Jakarta Post

Mentaiko is a dish consisting of raw seasoned codfish served in spaghetti. Mentaiko is also known as Karashi Mentaiko.

21. Gyoza

gyoza
Image Credit: BBC Good Food

Gyoza is dish made of dumplings filled with meat and vegetables. There is a equally delicious vegetarian variant filled with tofu and vegetables. They come is a variant of shapes and seasoning.

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