Published On: Thursday Mar 30 2023

Traditional Japanese Food: 9 Must-Try Dishes

The unique and exquisite flavours of traditional Japanese food, also known as "Washoku", symbolise the country's incredible culture and long history. From all corners of the globe, travellers flock there in search of its famous cuisine that emphasises fresh seasonal ingredients with delicate flavour profiles that really make Japanese food culture what it is! 


As such, we have gathered some of the most delectable dishes from this nation. Here are 9 dishes that are a must-try for anyone looking to experience the best of Japanese cuisine:


  1. Okonomiyaki


Let’s start off with a beloved treat, but Japanese-style. Okonomiyaki! This Japanese "pizza" is a popular choice in Japan. Whether with vegetables or meat, this savoury pancake dish is absolutely delicious and sure to make your taste buds sing!


It is made with a batter of flour, egg, and dashi (Japanese fish stock) and filled with ingredients such as cabbage, meat, and seafood. It is then topped with various components, including a sweet and savoury sauce, mayonnaise, and dried bonito flakes.


  1. Ramen


Enjoy the bowl of soup and noodles that has taken the world by storm: Ramen! This Chinese-inspired dish is a nutrient-packed meal packed full of flavour. It is comprised of wheat noodles in either meat or fish-based broth with savoury additions such as soy sauce and miso, topped off with ingredients like meat slices, vegetables, a boiled egg, seaweed flakes and green onions. Just imagining it gets our mouths watering!



  1. Udon


Udon is a delicious Japanese delicacy that must be tasted. This thick wheat noodle can be served either hot as part of a mild soy-based broth with tempura or meat toppings or cold, accompanied by an appetising dipping sauce. To experience the full flavour of Japan's cuisine, try Udon!

  1. Takoyaki

Traditional Japanese food takes what we know of seafood and turns it on its head. Like octopus!


Takoyaki is a popular street food that originated in Osaka. It consists of small, fried balls of batter filled with diced octopus, tempura bits, and green onions. They are usually brushed with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and bonito flakes. They’re served in a little paper container and toothpicks to enjoy this dish one by one.


  1. Sushi

Of course, we can’t forget the incredibly popular Japanese dish: sushi! Out of all the variations of sushi we find worldwide, the Japanese version is the best.


It consists of vinegared rice, raw fish, seaweed, vegetables, and sometimes scrambled egg, not to mention the most essential element; soy sauce and wasabi, to give the dish an extra layer of flavour. Sushi can be enjoyed in many different forms, such as nigiri (hand-pressed sushi), maki (sushi rolls), and more!


  1. Yakitori


Nothing beats a good night out like some juicy chicken. Yakitori, which translates to "barbecue chicken," is a Japanese dish consisting of skewered and grilled chicken that has been marinated in a sweet soy sauce before grilling.


It is a popular dish at an izakaya (Japanese pubs) and street vendors. In Japan, you'll find a cart selling Yakitori at every corner from the north to the south. But no need to travel that far - you can immediately enjoy the delicious Yakitori and other Japanese food at Kyo, one of the best restaurants at the Palm.



  1. Tempura


Let's not forget to mention tempura! This delicious fried food can be served as a standalone dish or a side item for any of the classic Japanese dishes we've discussed.


It is a deep-fried dish typically made with seafood (shrimp in particular), vegetables, chicken, or tofu. It is cooked in a light tempura batter and often served with a dipping sauce made from dashi, soy sauce, and mirin (sweet rice wine).


  1. Sashimi


Traditional Japanese food is delicious and unique, and sashimi hits the spot. This dish typically consists of thin slices of raw fish like tuna, salmon, yellowtail or eel served with soy sauce and wasabi - adding an extra burst of flavour to every bite.


You can easily find sashimi at most sushi spots. Sometimes, people mistake sashimi for sushi - just remember that sashimi is served without rice.


  1. Kaiseki


This one can't be missed: Kaiseki, the famed dish from Kyoto. This multi-course Japanese feast - often served at upscale restaurants and during tea ceremonies - showcases a medley of exquisite dishes such as sashimi, grilled fish and simmered vegetables that are not only flavorful but also artfully presented!



Nothing Beats Traditional Japanese Food


Japan's traditional cuisine is a remarkable blend of seafood and flavourful ingredients, each crafted with its unique character. Want to get an authentic taste of Japan? Then you must sample the delicacies that make Japanese food culture so popular! Every bite will have your palate singing in delight as you experience a unique combination of textures that reflect centuries-old cultural traditions.


If you want the best Japanese food in Dubai, visit Kyo at The Pointe today.

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