From sauces to sides to main dishes, your family will flip for these easy Japanese recipes!
Whether you’re searching for a tutorial to finally achieve the perfect Japanese rice or slightly more technical recipes such as Amazake, I have the best Japanese recipes for everyone!
Traditional Japanese Recipes You Can Make At Home
Japanese cooking is full of savory, rich, and umami flavors.
Umami comes from the Japanese word “umai,” which roughly translates as deliciousness. It’s the backbone of the country’s cuisine.
For a traditional Japanese experience, make sure to say “itadakimasu” before your meal, meaning, “I will humbly accept this food.”
It’s going to be hard to pick a favorite, but with traditional Japanese dishes like these, you can’t go wrong!
1. Japanese Cheesecake
Get the image of a dense and sweet westernized cheesecake out of your mind. This Japanese cheesecake is bouncy and light.
This dessert has similar ingredients to any cheesecake, including cream cheese, sugar, and eggs.
However, the addition of an airy meringue transforms this cheesecake into a heavenly treat!
Since it’s not very sweet, it’s usually coated in a generous layer of powdered sugar and served with fresh berries. And it’s fun to watch it jiggle!
2. Teriyaki Sauce
Being armed with a delicious and easy teriyaki sauce is essential for Japanese cuisine.
It’s most commonly used as a marinade for chicken, beef, or even shrimp. But it’s also great for a vegetable stir-fry or just slathered over rice.
Homemade teriyaki sauce is so much better than store-bought. This recipe is quick and easy, so there’s no excuse!
This sauce is sweet from sugar and savory due to the addition of soy sauce. Spices like garlic and ginger also give teriyaki sauce its traditional flavor.
3. Souffle Pancakes
You’ll never want any other pancakes after tasting these light and fluffy soufflé pancakes.
They’re impressive to look at and even more remarkable once you take a bite.
Using cake flour instead of traditional flour helps this fun pancake hold its shape.
Similar to Japanese cheesecake, the addition of egg white meringue makes these extra fluffy!
Serve with berries, syrup, powdered sugar, or homemade whipped cream.
Treat your guests with these delicious soufflé pancakes at your next brunch.
4. Japanese Rice
It may just be white rice, but there is an art to perfecting Japanese rice.
It’s not soggy, and you won’t want to boil it like pasta. Japanese rice is sticky, fluffy, and melts in your mouth.
The type of rice used plays a huge part in how it cooks. You’ll want to get short-grain or sushi rice.
All Japanese families will have a rice cooker, but you can also make it on the stove.
Once you learn how to make Japanese rice, you’ll never want rice any other way!
5. Japanese Cream Soda
Japanese cream soda is less like the American vanilla-flavored cream soda and closer to an ice cream float.
Bright green melon flavored soda is topped with a delicious scoop of ice cream.
You can find this vibrant drink served at restaurants all over Japan, but it’s super easy to make at home. Just mix melon-flavored syrup with club soda.
It’s a fun drink for kids and adults alike. Don’t forget to top it with a maraschino cherry!
6. Wafu Spaghetti
The flavor combinations in this wafu spaghetti are interesting, but you won’t believe how well they work together to create a mouth-watering dish.
Make your pasta sauce with tuna, mayo, ketchup, mustard, milk, and lemon juice. Cook up your choice of noodles and toss with the sauce and chopped onions.
Top your pasta with avocado and black pepper and enjoy!
7. Japanese Rolled Omelet
Tamagoyaki, or a Japanese rolled omelet, is popular at breakfast or in a lunch bento box. It can also be a side dish for dinner.
It’s an omelet made with layers and layers of egg.
It’s such a beloved dish in Japan that there is a special tamagoyaki frying pan! It’s rectangular, giving you that signature omelet shape.
Dashi and sugar kick this omelet up a notch. Some variations of this omelet even include cheese or nori.
8. Miso Chicken
Miso is a common flavor in Japan. You’ll find it in soup, on meats, or in ramen. This salty and tender miso chicken is the perfect weeknight meal.
Ginger and garlic give this chicken a subtle Asian flavor, while red pepper flakes add a touch of heat.
Serve this chicken with rice or make homemade edamame and roasted corn salad! Grilling the chicken will give it a delicious smoky flavor.
9. Teriyaki Chicken
When it comes to Japanese food, this quick and easy teriyaki chicken is one of my favorites! With tender chicken and a tangy sauce, it’s perfect for the entire family.
Cutting your chicken into even chunks beforehand helps it cook quickly and gets this meal on your table in a flash. All you need is 15 minutes!
Pour your teriyaki sauce into the pan as soon as the chicken chunks finish cooking.
The sauce will thicken up and start to caramelize around the chicken, leaving a beautiful glaze.
10. Japanese Fermented Rice Drink
Amazake is a fermented Japanese rice drink similar to sake, but with a touch of natural sweetness. It’s most popular during celebrations like New Year’s or Hina Matsuri.
Served hot or chilled, this creamy drink has a ton of nutritional value.
Making this drink is time-consuming, and it’s important to keep it at the right temperature at all times.
This is a great drink to cozy up with during the winter!
11. Baked Tonkatsu
Tonkatsu is a fried pork cutlet served all over Japan. This baked tonkatsu is healthier and easier to make, with that same crispy texture.
The secret to getting baked tonkatsu as crispy as the fried version is to cook the panko crumbs before breaking your pork.
It also gives it that gorgeous golden brown color.
Of course, no tonkatsu meal is complete without homemade tonkatsu sauce!
12. Udon Noodles
Only 20 minutes are needed to prepare these spicy udon noodles, making them perfect for busy nights.
You can have this tasty dish on the table in less time than it takes to get takeout!
Store-bought udon noodles are the key to making this an easy dish. Saute some ground chicken or leave it out if you want a vegetarian meal.
The addition of red and yellow bell peppers are tasty and vibrant. It’s a treat for both the mouth and the eyes!
13. Japanese Curry Buns
Japanese curry buns are crispy on the outside, but ooze out delicious curry as soon as you take a bite. This is such a fun and satisfying meal!
Homemade dough makes these curry buns light and fluffy, especially after letting them rise and puff up for 30 minutes.
They get super crispy as a result of rolling the buns in panko breadcrumbs and frying until they’re perfectly golden brown. Yum!
14. Miso Glazed Carrots
Looking for a new way to get your family to eat vegetables? These miso glazed carrots are the dish to add nutrition and color to your dinner table.
Buttery and smoky, these carrots are definitely going to become a family favorite.
Maple syrup enhances the natural sweetness of the carrots, making them feel like a treat!
White miso paste, garlic, and cayenne pepper also add to this flavorful dish. I’ll bet you can’t eat just one!
15. Potato Korokke
Even the pickiest of eaters will love these mashed potato cakes, known as korokke. They’re a great grab-and-go snack, appetizer, or side dish.
Mix mashed potatoes with beef and onion and form them into balls.
Roll them in panko breadcrumbs and fry until they’re golden brown. It’s the perfect hand-held meal!
Once you fall in love with this version, you can start experimenting with other flavors like curry korokke or even pumpkin korokke. The possibilities are endless.
Japan is known all around the world for its world class sushi rolls. This recipe is going to teach you how to make sushi like the pros.
Not only are the filling options endless, but Japan also has a special way of rolling them, so they stay together and look gorgeous!
From making sticky sushi rice to properly using a bamboo mat, each step plays an integral part in making the perfect sushi.
Have some friends over for a sushi making party!
17. Miso Soup
People in Japan eat miso soup for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The mild and savory flavor makes it perfect for any time of the day.
The heart of this dish is the rich dashi broth, made from dried bonito flakes. Flavor the broth with miso paste.
You can add so many different ingredients to the broth. Some of the most common ones are wakame, which is a type of seaweed, tofu, and green onions.
18. Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)
Japanese rice balls, or onigiri, are so versatile. They’re great to have in bento lunch boxes, as a dinner side, or on its own as a snack.
Your rice balls can be made plain or stuffed with a variety of fillings.
Common fillings include umeboshi, which is a salted plum, salted salmon, or salted cod roe.
Fun fact: the most common rice balls aren’t actually round, but triangular.
The key to a light and fluffy onigiri is to shape it, but not pack it too densely.
19. Japanese Chicken Wings
These Japanese chicken wings are buttery, garlicky, and melt in your mouth! You will be in heaven the minute you take your first crispy bite.
Soy sauce gives these chicken wings that quintessential Asian taste, while the sugar and vinegar add a wonderful depth and dimension of flavor.
After frying your wings in a combination of butter and oil, toss them in the delicious sauce. Finish them off in the oven and enjoy!
20. Japanese Fried Rice
Japanese fried rice is simple, but it’s bursting with flavor.
Also known as yakimeshi, this dish comes together in less than 10 minutes. Make it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
The secret to this dish is using cold, leftover rice. I know it sounds weird! However, old rice firms up in the fridge giving you much crispier fried rice.
Sesame oil and soy sauce give a salty and umami flavor to the rice. Add eggs, ham, and green onions for a filling meal.
21. Salmon Teriyaki
Salmon teriyaki feels like a fancy meal, but it could not be easier to make. This simple recipe calls for only four ingredients!
Since salmon is healthy, it’s a great way to sneak extra nutrients into your family’s meal. All you’ll need is salmon, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar!
Serve it with rice and broccoli. It reheats wonderfully and is a great recipe for meal prep.
22. Japanese Cucumber Salad
Make this Japanese cucumber salad as a side dish, or bring it to your next potluck.
Although, you’ll want to keep some on the side because every last bit will be gone!
Peel your cucumbers and thinly slice them before mixing them with your sauce.
The sauce uses sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil.
It’s tangy and salty, which works perfectly with the mild cucumber. Be careful — this salad is addicting!
23. Kani Salad
This low-carb and paleo version of kani salad is just as tasty as the one you’ll find in Japanese restaurants.
Real lump crab meat is used in place of imitation crab, which makes it taste so fresh! The kelp noodles add a heartiness without the dish feeling too heavy.
The dressing might be the best part! Mayonnaise, lemon juice, sesame, oil, and sriracha add a tangy and spicy touch to this mouth-watering dish.
Oshitashi is another healthy dish that everyone will love.
I’ll bet your family has never begged for more spinach before, but they will after trying this!
Boil your spinach for only one minute before shocking it in a bowl of ice cold water.
You’ll want to squeeze out as much water from the spinach to prevent it from getting soggy.
Add a touch of soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil. This dish is light and delicious!
25. Spicy Edamame
If you love regular edamame, get ready for this spicy edamame to change your life! Salty and spicy, this recipe is bound to be the star of any show.
Sambal oeleck is what gives this dish life. It’s a chili paste that not only adds spice but also gives such a mouth-watering flavor.
Make these as an appetizer, snack, or gobble them down as your meal!
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