12 Japanese Most Iconic Foods

Posted on Oct 1 2013 - 12:38pm by Shem MD

Japanese food is a world of its own. It is beautiful to look at, made with great skills and sense of beauty, and has unique flavor. Japanese food is so popular in many countries in the world, and you can find Japanese food almost everywhere. Are you fancy yourself as a food lover? Let’s check if you recognize all of these 12 iconic Japanese foods.

Oden is a type of street food you can find during autumn and winter, because its ingredients are stewed and served with hot broth. Ingredients of oden can consist of fish cakes, thick omelet, carrot, chicken, radish, dumplings and many more.

You must know that this is a fish dish, usually eaten with rice. However, sushi has a lot of variations. There is maki-zushi (rolled sushi wrapped in seaweed and filled with fish and vegetables), nigiri sushi (handmade sushi with rectangular sticky rice and different toppings), temaki (sushi rolled in ice cream cone shaped seaweed) and many more.

Mochi is a type of rice cake that can be either sweet or savory. Sweet mochi is eaten with sugar or soy powder, and unsweetened mocha becomes topping for savory dish such as udon (noodle dish).

Anpan and Melon Pan
Anpan and melon pan are two famous breads in Japan. Anpan is a traditional sweet bun that dates back from the Meiji Era, filled with red bean paste. Melon pan is called ‘melon’ because the shape is like half melon, not because it has melon in it.

Ramen and Udon
Ramen and udon are two popular noodle dishes in Japan. Ramen has soy sauce or meat broth with pork and egg as common toppings, while udon has thick shape and usually topped with tempura or fried tofu.

Tempura is a term of deep fried meat, vegetables, chicken or seafood that is covered with batter. They are fried in vegetable oil and eaten with dipping sauce.

Sukiyaki and Shabu-shabu
Sukiyaki and shabu-shabu are popular winter dishes served in hot pot style, and consist of thin slices of meat and vegetables. They are usually eaten with rice and accompanied by sake or beer.

Okonomiyaki is an Osaka dish that is often cooked as method to use leftovers, but it is popular outside Japan as ‘Japanese pancake’ although it is more like savory dish than cake. The batter is made of egg and flour, and the topping consists of shredded cabbage, chicken, seafood or anything you want.

Gyoza is a type of dumpling originated from China, but the Japanese version has more garlic in it and the wrapping is thinner. It is filled with chicken, beef or pork, and eaten with soy sauce.

Miso is a famous soup that is made of miso paste (a kind of soy paste), seaweed and fish stock, with fillings such as tofu, vegetables and onion. It is often served for daily meals and very healthy.

Teriyaki is a term for meat or fish dish that is cooked in sweet and savory sauce. The sauce is made of sugar, soy sauce, honey and mirin.

Oshiruko is often called dessert soup, because it is sweet but look like thick soup. It is made of red bean and eaten hot with mochi or dumpling. It is often served during winter or as New Year dish.

There are still many signature dishes in Japan, but these 12 foods can be considered as the most iconic ones, both in and outside Japan.

Shem MD
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About the Author

Shem MD is a young doctor who really has a passion for travel and food. He started his hobby of writing about travel and food when he graduated from medical school and became the founder of Travelfore.com. Through a blog created by him, he aspires to gather stories from people all over the world about their experiences in travel and food. He also was a true lover of the art of magic, musical instruments, and mind-blowing movies. And most importantly he is a big fan of Liverpool Football Club. The words often out of him were "Nomad is my middle name !" Shem MD also get Internet Marketing Fundamentals Practitioner Certification, Social Media Practitioner Certification, Content Marketing Practitioner Certification, Display Advertising Practitioner Certification from Marketmotive.com and a member of OMCP Organization. Shem MD also get Hootsuite Certified Professional and a Hootsuite Media Inc. Community Ambassador for Asia Pacific (ID) (Volunteer) Passionate in Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing, and Social Media. Specialties: Entrepreneurship, Business Building, Creative Strategy, Social Media Strategist, Travel and Food Blogging, General Medical Practitioner, Skin Care Business, Magic Props, and Concept Consultant.