Japanese Cuisine: Top 7 Tasty Japanese Dishes You Must Try

plats japonais

When I first arrived to Japan, I really got overwhelmed with the endless food options. Everything looked so perfect and beautiful which gave me the desire to try it all. It is no wonder that Japanese food is loved by people all around the world. It uses fine, fresh and healthy ingredients, focused on local products and offers dishes meticulously cooked to please the higher standards.

Here are in my opinion, the very must try food in Japan.

Takoyaki

tasty Japanese dishes

Takoyaki are an iconic street food from Osaka and the Kansai region. They are fried balls made of wheat-floor dough usually filled with octopus and fried in a special pan. These delicious balls are usually topped with Okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, fish flakes and nori powder ( seaweed powder). They are a very popular and tasty snack that I would absolutely recommend to try . The best place to try Takoyaki is in Dotonbori, the street food heaven of Osaka.

Restaurant: Otako

Address: 1-4-16 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka

How to get there:

Okonomiyaki 

tasty Japanese dishes

Okonomiyaki means “grilled as you like it” in Japanese. It is an extremely popular street food in Japan and mostly in the Kansai region and Hiroshima. This savory pancake is grilled on an iron cooktop with cabbage as a main ingredient, crunchy tempura crumbs, squid…etc.  It is toped with a sweet and savory sauce, mayonnaise, bonito fish flakes, and powdered nori seaweed.

The most delicious Okonomiyaki I ate so far was at my friend’s house. Yuki’s mom and dad invited me to spend the weekend at their house and showed me so much respect and hospitality. They treated me like a princess. For our first diner in Akashi, we cooked together Okonomiyaki and spent the night eating and talking about our mutual cultures and all our travels.

Since you will not have the chance to try Yuki’s mom and dad Okonomiyaki, here is my suggestion for the best Okonomiyaki I ate at a restaurant in Hiroshima.

Restaurant: Okonomi-mura

Address: Japan, 〒730-0034 Hiroshima-ken, Hiroshima-shi, Naka-ku, Shintenchi, 5−13

How to get there:

 

Noodles: Ramen, Somen,Udon, Soba

tasty Japanese dishes

When thinking about what to eat in Japan, the possibilities are numerous. For noodles, it is the same. They come in huge varieties. There are so many types to choose from : Ramen, Udon, Soba and Somen are the four main ones.

My favorite noodle dish in Japan is Tempura Udon . It is a very popular dish from Tokyo streets, and more specifically from Shinjiku Station. Here is my suggestion for where to eat a Udon or Ramen in Tokyo.

Restaurant: Fuunji Ramen

Address: 2-14-3, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

How to get there:

Donburi

tasty Japanese dishes

Donburi is a Japanese Rice Bowl that can be topped with all types of meat, vegetables or fish. My very favorite Donburi is the Kaisendon. It is a seafood Donburi made of a base of rice and topped with super fresh seafood of the day such as scallops, Uni (sea urchins), Shrimps, octopus, crab meat and Ikura (Salmon Roe).

The very best Kaisendo you could possibly eat in the world is in the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. I can’t suggest a specific place to go eat a Kaisendo since they are all super fresh and display amazing quality products.

Restaurant: Tsukiji Market

Address: 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045

How to get there:

Kushikatsu

tasty Japanese dishes

Kushikatsu is a fried heaven on a stick. They are also known as Kushiage and are battered and deep fried pieces of food on sticks. They can be made with meat, vegetables or cheese coated in egg, flour, and Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs); and deep-fried in vegetable oil. It sounds viciously delicious, right? Well, believe me, it is!

Eating Kushikatsu in restaurants and bars is a unique experience.  There are common pots of sauce over the tables to dip your skewers in. As the sauce pots are shared among customers, putting your stick in it after a bite is seen  as a disgusting manner. The best Kushikatsu I had in Japan was in Osaka, where my friend Yuki took me to a restaurant that had a 40min line. Was it worth it? OHHHH YES!

Discover more about Kushikatsu by clicking here.

Restaurant: Kushikatsu Daruma

Address: 2-3-9 Ebisuhigashi Naniwa-ku Osaka, Japan

How to get there:

 

Kaiseki

tasty Japanese dishes

Kaiseki is probably one of the world’s finest meal. It is a traditional multi-course dinner made of beautiful small dishes. Every single plated dish is scrupulously prepared and elegantly served. Kaiseki is a real art of haute cuisine where perfection can be found in every detail. It is a must try culinary experience that goes beyond the edible.

I have been invited for the kaiseki experience by my friend Misa in Kyoto. She explained to me that the Kaiseki was a way to show respect and hospitality to your guests. And I must confess, I did feel special!

Here is my suggestion to eat an “affordable” by exquisite Kaiseki in Kyoto.

Restaurant: Gion Karyo

Address: 570-23 Gion-machi Minami-gawa, Higashiyama-ku, Osaka, Japon.

How to get there:

 

Sashimi

tasty Japanese dishes

That is probably the first Japanese food you thought about when you read the tittle of this article. Sashimi is indubitably the most popular Japanese cuisine around the world after sushi. My sashimi experience in Japan, and mostly in Tokyo was indescribable. The freshness of the product and the whole ritual of serving it made eating sashimi in Japan so unique.

To arrive to a restaurant in Tokyo and tell the chef “Omakase”(I let you decide) has been on my bucket list for long. Therefore, each time I went for sashimis in Japan, I let the chef choose what he will serve me. It has been such a delight each time, to discover what is the fresh fish I was going to try.

Restaurant: Sushi Takase

Address: 4-26-11 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 151-0053, Japan

How to get there:

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