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Japanese Food

The Japanese cuisine offers a very large variety of dishes and regional specialities. In this section you will find information pages about some illustrated recipes of the popular Japanese dishes.

Please note that some dishes may fit into multiple categories, but are listed only once.

Rice Dishes

For over 2000 years, rice [稲 Ine or 米 Amerika] has been the most important food stuff in the Japanese cuisine. The word gohan 御 飯 or ご 飯 - “boiled rice” in Japanese also means “food”. This alone is rather eloquent evidence of the structure of Japanese nutrition. In traditional Japan, koku (一石), the amount of rice an adult needs to live for a year (about 180 liters), was the main measure of wealth. Samurai pay was also determined in koku.

Despite changes in eating patterns over the last decades and slowly decreasing rice consumption in recent years, rice remains one of the most important ingredients in Japan today, and can be found in numerous dishes.

Seafood Dishes

Many dozens of kinds of fish, shellfish and other seafood from the oceans, seas, lakes and rivers are used in the Japanese cuisine. They are prepared and eaten in many different ways, for example, raw, dried, boiled, grilled, deep fried or steamed.

Noodle Dishes

There are various traditional Japanese and introduced Japanized noodle dishes in Japan. Many of them enjoy a very high popularity.

Nabe Dishes

Nabe dishes or hot pot dishes are prepared in a hot pot, usually at the table. Typical ingredients are vegetables such as negi (Japanese leek) and hakusai (Chinese cabbage), various mushrooms, seafood and/or meat. There are many regional and personal varieties, and they are especially popular in the cold winter months. Some special nabe dishes are:

Meat Dishes

Meat has been eaten in Japan in larger amounts only since the second half of the 19th century. Nowadays there are a variety of Japanese meat dishes.

Soya Bean Dishes

Tofu, natto, miso and many more important ingredients of Japanese cooking are made of soya beans. The following are some of the most popular soya bean based dishes:

Yoshoku Dishes

Yoshoku means Western food. A large number of Western dishes have been introduced to Japan over the centuries. Many of them have become completely Japanized, and these dishes are now called Yoshoku dishes. Some of the most popular ones are:

Other Dishes