66 Easy Japanese Recipes You Can Make At Home (2024)

Here are some easy and popular Japanese recipes anyone can make at home. Whether you are looking for a Japanese breakfast, a quick lunch, a tasty dinner, a sweet dessert, or a tasty sauce, you will find something here, I promise!

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Japanese Food 101

I’ve been in love with Japanese cooking since I was a little girl, watching my Japanese mother make dishes such as onigiri, somen, and my favorite – curry rice.

Nowadays, I make my own Japanese food at home because it’s quick and easy – and my husband’s favorite cuisine. We both love the savory and umami flavors. My Japanese recipes are based on dishes I’ve tasted from my own mother and also from spending three years living in Tokyo.

Pantry Fill your pantry with basic Japanese ingredients and you’ll be able to make a whole meal in no time. Most recipes take less than 30 minutes to make and use similar combinations of seasonings and sauces. The measurements of those stock ingredients are what makes each dish taste different.

From traditional Japanese recipes to westernized ones, these are all easy and simple recipes to make. You’ll be having fun in the kitchen, I promise. As we say in Japanese – itadakimasu (I humbly receive this food)!

Japanese Soups And Stews

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Miso Soup (Misoshiru)

One of the most popular foods in Japan and around the world, miso soup is a traditional Japanese dish made with dashi, miso paste and various ingredients depending on regional and seasonal recipes.

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Maitake Mushroom Miso Soup (Maitake Misoshiru)

This miso soup uses a mix of aburaage (deep fried tofu pouches) and meaty maitake mushrooms, to give this traditionally light soup, a heartier taste.

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Japanese Egg Drop Soup (Kakitamajiru)

Kakitamajiru,which is Japan’s version of Chinese egg drop soup, is very similar to the Chinese version, except that dashi is used instead of chicken broth.

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Ozoni (Japanese New Year’s Mochi Soup)

Though this soup is mainly served on New Year’s Day to represent health, prosperity and happiness, ozoni can also be eaten all year round. If you are a mochi lover like I am, you will love this simple soup made with dashi, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, daikon, mitsuba, and rice cakes.

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Japanese Cream Stew

Cream stew, or white stew, is a very popular Japanese dish served in family restaurants and homes all across Japan. It’s a hearty stew made with chicken and vegetables that are left to simmer in a thick white sauce, until tender. It’s the ultimate Japanese comfort food.

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Japanese Curry Rice (Kare Raisu)

Making Japanese curry rice is quick and easy when using Japanese curry roux. The result is also spectacular – a thick curry full of deep flavors and served with a mix of pan fried vegetables.

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Tori Nikujaga (Japanese Chicken and Potato Stew)

Tori nikujaga is a simple Japanese stew made of chicken, potatoes, carrots, konnyaku, and other ingredients, stewed in a sweet and savory soy based broth. It’s commonly served during the colder months for its heartwarming properties.

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Nikujaga (Japanese Beef and Potato Stew)

This is the same dish as tori nikujaga with the only difference being in the protein being used -beef instead of chicken.

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Oden (Japanese Fishcake Stew)

Oden is a delicious Japanese winter stew made of vegetables, eggs, Japanese fishcakes, konjac, and simmered in a soy sauce and dashi broth.

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Japanese Salads

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Japanese Cucumber Salad (Sunomo)

Sunomono is a popular Japanese seaweed and cucumber salad that’s tossed in a simple vinaigrette consisting of soy sauce, rice vinegar, dashi, and mirin. It’s a very refreshing salad that only takes 5 minutes to make. It’s often served as a side dish to other traditional Japanese foods, but I find that it pairs well with anything that’s light and summery.

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Kaisou Salada (Japanese Seaweed Salad)

This traditional Japanese seaweed salad is made with different types of seaweed and comes with a tangy and nutty vinaigrette.

This recipe is vegan.

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Watercress Salad (Kuresson Salada)

The combination of peanut butter, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, gives this chilled watercress salad a sweet and nutty taste. In Japan, watercress salad is usually served as a side dish.

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Hijiki Salad (Hijiki No Nimono)

This salad is made with hijiki seaweed, soybeans, konjac, aburaage, and sliced carrot. The ingredients are simmered in dashi, soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar. It’s served as a side dish or as otsumami, which are small dishes offered with beer and other alcoholic beverages, similar to Spanish tapas.

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Japanese Potato Salad (Poteto Salada)

Japanese potato salad is Sweet, tangy, creamy, and chunky. The salad also includes pickled cucumber which add a pop of freshness and tartness. It can be served as a side or as a spread for sandwiches, which is a very common way to eat it in Japan.

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Japanese Crab Salad (Kani Salada)

Kani salad is one of Japan’s most popular and loved salads. It is made with imitation crab, cucumber, and comes with a sweet and tangy kewpie mayo dressing.

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Japanese Coleslaw (Kyabetsu Salad)

You would never think that pairing dried fish flakes with shredded cabbage would taste so good – and yet it does! A simple vinaigrette of soy sauce and rice vinegar bring just the right amount of acidity to this spectacular salad.

Japanese Side Dishes

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Ohitashi (Japanese Boiled Spinach)

Osh*tashi, or ohitashi, is a traditional Japanese dish of boiled spinach that have been chilled and dressed in a sesame oil, soy sauce, and dashi sauce. The toppings include sesame seeds and bonito flakes. It’s very refreshing and makes a wonderful side dish or late night snack.

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Blistered Shish*to Peppers

Blistered shish*to peppers are a Japanese gastropub (izakaya) favorite. Their thin skin allows the peppers to easily achieve a blistered char on the outside, giving them a lovely smokey flavor. While most shish*to peppers are on the mild side, be prepared to chew on a hot one every now and then!

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Baked Japanese Sweet Potato (Satsumaimo)

These sweet potatoes are extremely popular in Japan and are most often eaten bare, without any added seasoning. They are packed with nutrients and are sweet enough to be enjoyed as a dessert too!

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Hiyayakko (Japanese Chilled Tofu)

Hiyayakko, oryakko-dōfu, is a traditional Japanese cold tofu dish that is served with various toppings such as green onions, bonito flakes, grated ginger, nori, and soy sauce.

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Nasu Dengaku (Japanese Broiled Eggplant With Miso)

One of the most popular Japanese eggplant recipes, nasu dengaku is a classic Japanese dish made with eggplant that are sliced in half, scored, and brushed with a sweet and savorymisosauce.

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Agedashi Tofu (Japanese Deed Fried Tofu)

Another popular Japanese pub (izakaya) food is agedashi tofu. Deep fried tofu served in a warm sweet and savory tsuyu broth, topped with green onions, grated ginger, and bonito flakes.

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Chawanmushi (Japanese Steamed Egg Custard)

Chawanmushi is a light, silky and savory egg custard served with a dashi sauce. It comes stuffed with various ingredients such as fish cakes, shrimp, mushrooms, and beans.

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Japanese Rice Dishes

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Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)

Also calledomusubiandnigirimeshi, onigiri is simply a rice ball filled with various fillings such as pickled plum (umeboshi), bonito flakes (okaka), pickled seaweed (kombu), and much more. It’s one of Japan’s most popular food because it’s convenient, delicious, and quick to make.

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Japanese Fried Rice (Yakimeshi)

Yakimeshi is a Japanese rice dish that’s made using leftovers such as eggs, veggies, meats and seafood. It’s a simple fried rice that can be made using leftovers.

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Teriyaki Salmon Donburi

Donburi is a rice bowl topped topped with a variety of meats, seafood, or vegetables. Some donburi ingredients are simmered in a sauce before being served over rice, while others are presented raw, just like sashimi.

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Tekka Don (Japanese Tuna Bowl)

Tekka don is a Japanese rice bowl topped with tuna sashimi that has been marinated in a savory/sweet mixture of sake, soy sauce and mirin. Nori, green onions and shiso leaves are added as toppings.

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Maki Sushi

Maki sushi are sushi rolls that come with various fillings in the center. They are easy to make and make a wonderful party food. They can also be served as part of a bento meal, or as a side or a snack.

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Ochazuke (Japanese Green Tea Rice Soup)

Ochazuke(お茶漬け) is a popular and traditional Japanese dish consisting of cooked Japanese rice and savory toppings, covered in hot green tea.

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Hayashi Rice With Ground Beef

Traditionally, hayashi rice is a sweet and savory stew made with beef, onions, and mushrooms. This recipe is a dry version of it made with ground beef instead.

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Omurice (Japanese Rice Omelet)

Omurice, oromuraisu, is a Western-influenced Japanese dish consisting of fried rice seasoned with ketchup, wrapped in a thin omelette, and topped with more ketchup. It’s considered a comfort food in Japan, often making an appearance in family restaurant menus.

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Tamago Kake Gohan (Egg Rice Bowl)

Tamago kake gohan is a combination of Japanese rice with a raw egg. It’s made by simply cracking an egg over a steaming bowl of rice and then beating the rice with chopsticks so the mixture takes on a slick, almost foamy consistency. It also comes with various topping to add more flavor.

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Japanese Noodle Dishes

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Kitsune Udon (Japanese Udon Noodle Soup With Inari Age)

Kitsune udon is a simple Japanese dish made of udon noodles served with a dashi based broth, and topped with seasoned deep fried tofu pouches (inari age), narutomaki fish cakes, and scallions.

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Basic Udon Noodle Soup

This is the traditional and basic udon noodle soup you will find in all Japanese restaurants across the globe. The chewy udon noodles are served in a light tsuyu broth and topped with egg, green onion, and nori.

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Yaki Udon (Pan Fried Udon Noodles)

Another classic Japanese udon noodle dish that’s worth trying! The udon noodles are pan fried with soy sauce and butter, topped with fresh scallions, nori and bonito flakes. Delicious!

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Zaru Soba

A summer favorite in Japan! Zaru soba are chilled soba noodles dipped in tsuyu sauce and served with green onions, wasabi, and sometimes grated ginger.

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Somen

Another Japanese summer favorite dish is somen which are thin chilled wheat noodles served with a tsuyu broth. It’s very similar to zaru soba and is extremely refreshing during the dog days of summer.

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Hiyashi Chuka

Another Japanese summer favorite dish is somen which are thin chilled wheat noodles served with a tsuyu broth. It’s very similar to zaru soba and is extremely refreshing during the dog days of summer.

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Miso Tsukemen (Dipping Noodles)

Tsukemen are Japanese dipping noodles. It’s the concentrated version of a hot bowl of ramen. The main difference from the traditional ramen preparation is that, with tsukemen, the broth and noodles are served in separate bowls.

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Shio Ramen (Salt Ramen)

The easiest and fastest ramen recipe! The broth of shio ramen is clear and light and has a briny and savory taste. Just like with all ramen broths, the list of ingredients will slightly vary from shop to shop but the preparation usually involves a mix of dashi, kelp, salt, garlic and ginger.

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Spicy Miso Ramen

This is not your average miso ramen recipe. Aside from miso paste, the broth is flavored with fiery and smokey tobanjan and gochugaru, and a drizzle of homemade garlic and scallion oil.

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Shoyu Ramen (Soy Sauce Ramen)

Shoyu ramen is a bowl of ramen with a soy sauce based broth. This ramen recipe is also very easy to make and the flavors will keep you coming back for more.

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Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fried Noodles)

Chinese style noodles are pan fried with vegetables like cabbage, julienned carrots and sliced mushrooms – as well as bits of pork or other proteins. It’s one of those Japanese comfort foods everyone loves.

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Spaghetti Napolitan

Spaghetti napolitan, also called neapolitan or naporitan, is a simple pasta dish made of ketchup, butter, milk, sausages, onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. It’s a classic Japanese dish found on okosama (children) lunch menus.

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Japanese Katsu Recipes

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Chicken Katsudon (Torikatsudon)

One of the most loved Japanese rice bowls is torikatsudon. Moist and crispy chicken breast served on top of rice and cooked with eggs and onions in a dashi broth. What makes this dish so delicious is the how the rice absorbs all the lovely flavors and delivers a punch with every single bite.

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Baked Chicken Katsu

This baked chicken katsu recipe is lighter than the iconic original Japanese deep fried chicken katsu – but with a depth of flavor and crunch that somehow makes it seem more indulgent.

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Tofu Katsu

While the preparation is the same as the traditional tonkatsu, tofu katsu simply means that extra firm bean curd is used as the protein instead of meat. And it’s just as delicious!

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Other Japanese Favorites

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Shrimp Tempura

Tempura (天ぷら) is a traditional Japanese dish consisting of vegetables and seafood that have been dipped in a light batter and deep fried until crispy. It is served with a tentsuyu dipping sauce, which you can get here.

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Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pizza)

Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake stuffed with cabbage and dressed with a mix of kewpie mayo and sweet okonomi sauce. Some pancakes include pork belly, while others contain seafood or a fried egg.

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Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich (Tamago Sando)

Japanese egg salad sandwich is a creamy, tangy, light, and tasty snack that’s extremely popular all across Japan. It’s more basic than the western version which can be served on different types of bread and have lettuce, tomato, cheese, and other ingredients as extras.

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Tamagoyaki

Tamagoyaki is a traditional Japanese omelette made with eggs, mirin, soy sauce, dashi, and a little sugar. It’s then cooked and rolled into several thin layers, one of top of the other, and shaped into a rectangle.

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Mabo Nasu (Japanese Eggplant Stir Fry)

This is a vegetarian recipe for Japanese mabo nasu which is a cross between Yú Xiāng (鱼香茄子), or fish fry eggplant, and mapo tofu . The eggplant is tossed in a gooey savory, earthy, and nutty sauce, perfect for pouring over rice.

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Japanese Desserts

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Mitarashi Dango

MItarashi dango, sometimes called mitarashi kushi dango, are Japanese rice dumplings that have been skewered and grilled over charcoal, until slightly charred, and coated with a sweet soy sauce glaze.

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Kinako Dango

Dango are rice flour balls that are boiled until they get the doughy and chewy. These ones are dusted with kinako (soybean flour) mixed with sugar and a little salt. It’s a classic Japanese flavor combination of nutty, sweet, and salty.

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Castella Cake

Castella, pronouncedkasuterain Japanese, is a Japanese confectionary that hails from Portugal. It’s a simple sponge cake made with flour, eggs, sugar, and starch syrup, and baked in a rectangular mold.

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Taiyaki

Taiyaki is a Japanese cake shaped like a fish stuffed withsweet red bean paste, or various other fillings. It’s a popular snack sold during street festivals and fairs, convenience stores, at food counters and specialty shops all across Japan.

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Dorayaki

Dorayaki is a delicious sandwich-like treat made with two pancakes filled with a layer of red bean paste in between. It’s one of Japan’s most famous confections and it dates all the way back to the Edo Period (1603-1867).

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Japanese Cheesecake (Souffle Cheesecake)

Japanese cheesecake contains less sugar and cream cheese and the eggs are whipped to create a light, airy and jiggly texture. The cheesecake is baked in the oven using thebain-mariemethod (water bath) and doesn’t come with a graham cracker crust. The texture is closer to a soufflé/sponge cake.

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Matcha Ice Cream

The perfect balance between the bitterness of green tea and the sweet and creamy flavors of ice cream. This is a no churn recipe.

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Japanese Dressings And Sauces

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Japanese Carrot Ginger Dressing

Making this iconic Japanese carrot ginger dressing only takes 10 minutes and 7 ingredients. Inspired by Japanese-American steakhouses, the sweet and tangy flavors make the perfect pairing to ice cold iceberg lettuce!

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Ponzu Sauce

Ponzu sauce is a Japanese citrus sauce that marries the umami flavors ofdashiwith citrus notes imparted by fruits such asyuzu,sudachiand sometimes lemon. It’s used as a tangy vinaigrette for salads, as a marinade for meats, as a dipping sauce for sashimi – or a dipping sauce for hot pot (nabe).

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Tonkatsu Sauce

Also called Japanese barbecue sauce, tonkatsu sauce is smoky, tangy, sweet and savory. Here’s a video! It’s often used as a sauce for grilled meats, katsu dishes, and sandwiches, and as a dipping sauce.

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Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise

Kewpie mayonnaise is tangy and fruity, has a hint of umami and an assertive eggy taste. It’s a less sweet version of Miracle Whip and has a richer flavor than the original Spanish mayonnaise. It’s a favorite among professional chefs.

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Japanese Eel Sauce (Unagi No Tare)

Eel sauce, also called unagi no tare, kabayaki sauce, or nitsume sauce (sweet eel sauce), is a sweet, umami, and savory brown sauce that’s traditionally used for grilled eel dishes such askabayaki,unadon (unagi donorunaju), and hitsumabushi. See how easy it is to make in this video.

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Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki is a cooking method where foods (usually protein) are broiled or grilled in a sauce composed of soy sauce, mirin and sugar. This sauce acts as a glaze that not only flavors the dish, but produces a laquer-like shine and a flavor profile that is both savory and sweet.

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Taberu Rayu (Japanese Chili Oil)

This chunky Japanese chili oil is fortified with bits of crunchy garlic, ginger and spring onion.It is used to add heat and smokiness to things like ramen, gyoza dipping sauce, soups or even pasta.

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Washoku vs Yoshoku

Most Japanese recipes can be placed into one of two categories: washoku and yōshoku. Here is an extremely oversimplified explanation of those terms.

  • Washoku is the traditional cuisine of Japan, which is usually reliant on in-season ingredients. So, when you eat classics like Japanese pickled vegetables or oden or miso glazed grilled fish, you’re likely eating washoku dishes.
  • Yōshoku is food containing some Western (or foreign) ingredients and flavors, prepared in a style that appeals to the Japanese palate. Therefore, food like ramen and gyoza that have their origins in Chinese cooking (sometimes referred to as chūka) – and spaghetti Napolitan, many au gratin dishes, and korokke (croquettes) which skew Western – are yōshoku.

It’s super difficult to know where the line is drawn! So many things we assume are straight-up Japanese recipes have actually been absorbed into the Japanese food sphere and perfected for the Japanese palate.

My opinion on the matter is that, no matter where dishes like curry rice and spaghetti Napolitan came from originally, they have become Japanese over the years through their ubiquitousness in Japanese food culture.

66 Easy Japanese Recipes You Can Make At Home (2024)

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