Discover what to eat in Japan

Traditional dishes you cannot miss

In this article, we are going to show you that Japan not only stands out for sushi. There are many other dishes that sometimes go unnoticed by those who do not know Japanese culture. Discover what to eat in Japan!

Our trip to Japan has been the most enjoyed from the gastronomic point of view, but some people tell us that they hesitate to go there, precisely because of the food.

Beginning a meal

DONBURIS

In this term, a large number of dishes are included. Donburi means bowl, and they come to be bowls of rice with other ingredients (vegetables, meat, fish …). The name of each type is given by the main ingredient plus the “DON” suffix.

  • Oyakodon: Chicken, scrambled egg and onion. If you want to know more about this dish, click here to discover the recipe.
  • Tendon: Tempura of vegetables and/or fish.
  • Gyudon: beef and onion. This is very common in some 24-hour chains. We loved the one who brought grated cheese and another with tomato sauce.

KATSUDON

Breaded pork tenderloin (Tonkatsu), scrambled egg and onion. Tonkatsu is also served alone and accompanied by a “Tonkatsu” sauce very similar to Worcestershire sauce.

Tonkatsu in Japan

RAMEN

This is the Japanese version of the Chinese noodle soup. Although there are different types, depending on the composition of the broth (soy sauce, miso …) and the ingredients they contain, the vegetables and the pork loin are usually not lacking, but we ask for ready-to-eat ramen. There is another soup called Udon, but it is thicker than Ramen’s.

JAPANESE CURRY

Also called Kare, Japanese curry is different from what we can find elsewhere. In Japan, curry is a stew of vegetables and meat that carries this spice. It is served with rice and, sometimes, with breaded pork loin (Tonkatsu). In this case, his name is KatsukarĂȘ.

TAKOYAKIS

Octopus balls. They are dumplings made from flour, with some condiments, and they carry a piece of octopus inside. Moreover, they usually put Tonkatsu sauce and mayonnaise on the top.

Takoyaki in Japan

YAKISOBAS

Fried noodles with different vegetables.

Yakisoba in Japan

YAKITORI

The normal Yakitori is the chicken skewer. Nowadays, it can be used as a generic word on a skewer, and there are places that do it for different things.

This is perhaps the most “strange” dish we encountered during our trip. In addition to chicken meat and vegetables, you can also make liver, cartilage, intestines, etc. If you do not like to try this type of food, ask for “Tori niku” (chicken meat), but usually, they offer you the normal Yakitori.

Yakitori in Japan

GYOZAS

What we call Chinese meatballs. Stuffed pork and/or veal with garlic and some condiments.

OKONOMIYAKI

It’s difficult for me to describe this dish. Its meaning is “cooked to your taste”, because, in some restaurants, you do it yourself by putting the ingredients on the hotplate.

It is also called “Japanese omelette” because it usually has an egg layer in the form of an omelette at the base.

We tried the one made in Hiroshima: fried noodles, soy, cabbage, bacon and eggs. In this case, they did it to us.

Desserts

At this point, we would like to talk about the sweetest part… the desserts!
Japanese citizens love cakes, so you’ll see them everywhere (ice cream cups with fruit, huge pancakes with fruit and even cheesecakes).
Still, we recommend you to try the traditional Japanese flavours such as green tea, sakura (cherry blossom), roasted soybeans, anko (sweet bean paste, widely used for fodder, similar to chocolate).

All these flavours can be found, among others, in the following desserts:

MOCHIS

Gooey rice cake, usually stuffed with anko. Sakura-mochi is typical of the cherry blossom period, with a mass of rice bearing a cherry blossom that gives it a pink color.

DANGOS

They are also sticky rice balls but strung like a skewer.

Dangos in Japan

TAIYAKI

It’s a waffle-stuffed fish. I found them full of Anko and Cream (kurima).

DORAYAKIS

Known as the Doraemon Cake! You can also find two pancakes with Anko in the middle.

Dorayaki in Japan

ICE CREAMS

Creamy and full of flavor. We loved soy, it has a roasted taste that looks a bit like coffee. Since they are cheap and usually sold individually, you should definitely try them out until you find out which flavor or type of sweets you prefer.

Finally, we would like to tell you that in large cities it is easy to find western restaurants (there are many Italians), international fast food chains, as well as Japanese burgers.

Click here to discover other desserts.