In case our company name isn’t enough of a giveaway, we love sushi. It’s a delicious, nutritious, and wonderfully versatile dining experience, especially when you use the first-class ingredients from our online store to create it.
However, there’s so much more to Japanese cuisine than sushi. In this article, we recommend half a dozen sumptuous dishes that any good Japanese restaurant should have on their menu. Each one is a staple of Japanese food culture and promises a treat for your taste-buds.
Two words: octopus balls. Takoyaki are one of Japan’s most popular types of street food. They are battered and fried balls of dough containing chopped up octopus and are utterly delicious. They are served (appropriately enough) with takoyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, Bonito flakes and powdered nori, which really enhances the flavour.
When you think of Japanese noodles, you normally think of the light, thin ramen noodles, which are delicious in their own way. However, udon noodles are something altogether different. Thick, doughy, and unctuous, they soak up the flavour from the broth they have been served in, creating a combination of taste and texture that you won’t soon forget.
Nabe is a traditional Japanese soup comprising a light broth that you fill as you please. Vegetables, meat, tofu, mushrooms, noodles… you can concoct a bowl of nabe from anything you fancy. A lesser known addition is Japanese dumplings, which plump up nicely in the piping hot broth.
Most culinary cultures have a dish that can best be described as “throw everything into a bowl and then fry it”. For Japan, that dish is okonomiyaki. Meat, vegetables, and rice mixed into a light batter, and then fried to create a crisp, savoury pancake, okonomiyaki is a great way to make the most of any leftovers.
A delicious, savoury dish, tonkatsu is pork, coated with panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried. This gives it a fantastic, crispy shell that adds texture to the rest of the dish. Tonkatsu is served with rice, cabbage, and a tonkatsu dipping sauce, which is thick, fruity, and spicy, not unlike Worcestershire sauce.
Japanese curry is different from its more familiar Indian counterpart, having a powerful, salty flavour. Both tonkatsu and chicken katsu are popular additions to a Japanese curry, which is usually served on a bed of rice.
Okay, so we’re cheating slightly on this one, as we’re counting two classic Japanese sweet treats as a single entry. But believe us: once you’ve tried them – whether separately or as a single dish – you’ll thank us for doing so. First off, we have kakigori, a traditional dessert of finely shaven ice, topped with a selection of sweet syrups. This basic foundation can be built on with fresh fruits, ice cream, custard, and sweet azuki beans for the ultimate dessert experience. We particularly recommend adding mochi balls, which is our second choice for this entry. Sweet and flavourful rice cakes, with a gummy consistency, they are available in a breathtaking array of colours and flavours.
We hope these suggestions have helped whet your appetite and given you some ideas for the next time you go to your favourite Japanese restaurant. Most of the recipes for these dishes are simple enough to attempt at home. Check out our online store to get the best ingredients delivered to your door.
Big News: We have now been added as an approved supporter of Japanese food by the Japanese Government itself! We have officially received our Program of Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores Overseas certificate from the Japanese Government. 🇯🇵 We are 1 of only 5 certified suppliers in the whole United Kingdom verified!*