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Best Japanese Food, From Sashimi / Sushi to Street Food Like Yakitori

Updated on February 17, 2019

Japanese food is very popular these days among health conscious Americans and those that enjoy good Asian taste. Not only does it look like a piece of art, it tastes great and is low in calories. But how many people knows about Japanese food that well? Probably not many. Japanese food has lots of variety and you will never get bored of it even if you have it daily. Here are a list of all the foods that are native to Japan and to make it interesting here are lots of pictures as well.


Sushi is one Japanese food that is well know in the US and elsewhere in the world. It is cooked vinegar rice with a piece of usually raw piece of seawood on top. And is usually but not always wrapped with dry seaweed (nori). There are many different kinds of sushi because you can use so many different ingredients. In Japan, sushi is actually considered one their finest meals. Although, cheap sushi boxes are available in supermarkets.


This is a piece of raw seafood or meat that is presented by itself and eaten with dipping sauce. This is considered Japan's finest meal because the best sashimi needs to be made from the freshest ingredients. There are lots of varieties here because a lot of seafood / meat can be eaten raw. One of the most exotic sashimi served in Japan and elsewhere is Fugu or puffer fish. This fish is highly toxic and can only be prepared by a certified chef. Another exotic sashimi is called uni or sea urchin. This is the yellow roe from the sea urchin that is usually served by itself or wrapped with seaweed (nori).

Noodles - Ramen, Soba, Udon, and Yakisoba

Noodles are everyday meal that Japanese people love. The soba is a buckwheat noodle that is either cold dipped in a soy based sauce or hot in a soup. With a variety of topping available, the soba is a traditional New Year's Day food. Ramen is noodles that are eaten with a meat based or fish based broth with a variety of different toppings. There are lots of ramen shops in Japan and many Japanese people love ramen noodles. With a piece of fatty pork, vegetables, and noodles, this bowl of soul food will warm you right up during the cold winter months. Udon are fat noodles that are eaten in a hot broth. Yakisoba is another beloved Japanese noodle dish. These noodles are often eaten at summer festivals.

dipped ramen
dipped ramen
hot soba
hot soba
cold soba
cold soba

Japanese Curry

In Japan, curry over rice is very popular and eaten regularly Unlike Indian and southeast Asian curries, Japanese curry has its own unique taste. It is served over white rice with some meats. It is relatively inexpensive. It can be very mild to very hot depending on your preferences.


These are little balls of pieces of octopus that are battered and cooked. They are topped off with some dark colored sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and fish flakes. These are usually street food that are seen throughout Japan and overseas where there are significant Japanese population.

Izakaya Restaurant

This is a type of Japanese restaurant that is super popular in Japan and areas where there are significant amount of Japanese population. This type of restaurant serves a variety of food in small bites. You can find grilled skewers, fried foods, noodles, salads, sushi, sashimi, and more. Aside from the awesome food that is available at this type of restaurant, you also have an extensive alcohol list.

Green Tea and Red Bean Ice Cream

Aside from many traditional ice cream flavors that most places offer, Japanese restaurants often have green tea and red bean ice cream as well. Out of the two, green tea ice cream has more fans. The red bean ice cream is usually not what a non-Asian person would order. However, it is good to try both of them so that you can discover your own taste buds more.

Gyoza - Japanese Dumplings

This is the Japanese version of the Chinese dumplings. These are very much similar to the Chinese version. They are made from thin piece of dough with fillings (meat, seafood, vegetables in many different combinations) that are pressed together at the edges. In Japan, they are usually eaten with soy sauce and chilli (hot) oil. This is very common in Japan and you will be able to find them almost anywhere in the country.


This is a bowl of steamed white rice with condiments on top. Yoshinoya is a fast food restaurant that specializes donburi. Gyudon, beef and onion on top of white rice, is a very popular food item in Japan. The beef is very thinly sliced that melts in your mouth with soft cooked onions that are very flavorful as well. A more expensive type of donburi is called unadon. This is grilled eel served over rice. Some restaurants specialize in this dish and even earned Michelin stars with their delicious tasting eel.


This is Japanese style grilled fish. Traditionally, they utilize various different fish for this dish. The fish is often presented by itself in a little plate. The taste is very mild and is very healthy for you.


Many people are familiar with this dish. It is seafood, mushroom or vegetable deep fried in batter and served either by itself or in soup. It can be found in many different Japanese restaurants and is more of a everyday type food.

Miso Soup

This is a well known and traditional soup that is consumed daily in Japan. The traditional Japanese version is actually very salty to foreigners. In its simplest form, it includes water, miso paste (white or red), Hondashi (bonito fish soup stock, very little), scallion and tofu. However, it can have a lot of variation that can include all kinds of seafood, meat or mushroom.

 Matcha - Japanese Green Tea

Japanese green tea (matcha) – This is a traditional Japanese beverage that can be hot or cold. It is made of finely grounded green tea leaves. Sugar is added to it to offset the slight bitter taste associated with normal green tea.


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    • livingsta profile image


      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wow...that was a very interesting read. I tried Japanese Sushi for the first time last year on my birthday and it was Yum! Thank you for the hub, loaded with information and beautiful pictures! Voted up interesting and sharing!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      This is an interesting hub with excellent photos. Thanks so much for sharing. I rated it UP/U/I and will share. :)

    • watergeek profile image

      Susette Horspool 

      8 years ago from Pasadena CA

      This was very comprehensive. Thank you. I posted a hub today on sushi that had a photo with yakitori in it, but I didn't know the name. Now I do. I'm going to link your hub to mine, if that's ok.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This food looks so delicious. I love Japanese food and am going over soon to try even more of this delicious food.


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