100 Japanese Foods to Try

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across a blog called Just Hungry, written by a Japanese expatriate living in Switzerland. I found her blog while searching for a recipe for 中華そば (Chinese Cold Noodle); anyway, today Maki has posted a long, interesting, and delicious-sounding list of Japanese foods that people should try. The list includes foods widely available throughout Japan with various price ranges. I thought I’d share the list here, but also link you guys to her blog as well. The blog is really handy in terms of Japanese food explanations and healthily adapted recipes.

Enjoy!

P.S. I’ve highlighted the ones that I have tried so far, although there are a few I’m not sure about since I don’t have the kanji/explanations available.

A List of 100 Japanese Foods To Try At Least Once

  1. Properly washed and cooked, top quality new harvest white rice (shinmai)
  2. Freshly made tofu, as hiyayakko or yudofu
  3. Properly made misoshiru and osumashi
  4. Properly made homemade nukazuke
  5. Very fresh sanma (saury), sizzling hot from the grill, eaten with a drizzle of soy sauce and a mound of grated daikon radish
  6. Homemade umeboshi
  7. Freshly made, piping hot crispy tempura. I prefer vegetable tempura like shiso leaves, eggplant and sweet potato.
  8. A whole grilled wild matsutake
  9. Freshly made sobagaki with sobayu
  10. Mentaiko from Fukuoka, or tarako
  11. Onigiri with the three classic fillings: umeboshi, okaka, shiozaki
  12. Assorted fresh-as-possible sashimi
  13. Saba oshizushi
  14. Mugicha
  15. Kakifurai
  16. Morinaga High-Chew candy, grape flavor
  17. Karasumi
  18. A pot of oden, preferably with homemade components especially ganmodoki, boiled eggs and daikon radish
  19. Ika no shiokara
  20. Calpis
  21. Ankou nabe
  22. Unadon
  23. Komochi kombu or kazunoko
  24. Yamakake, either with maguro (red tuna) cubes or a raw egg
  25. Properly made gyokuro shincha
  26. Milky Candy
  27. Wanko soba
  28. Omuraisu with demi-glace sauce
  29. Handmade katayaki senbei
  30. Yohkan (yokan) from Toraya
  31. Ishi yakiimo – sweet potatoes cooked in hot stones, available from street vendor carts
  32. Natto
  33. Fresh seaweed sunomono (can also have some tako in it)
  34. Ikura or sujiko
  35. Tonkatsu
  36. Goma dofu
  37. Chawan mushi or tamago dofu – the same dish either piping hot or ice cold
  38. Freshly made mochi, with kinako and sugar, grated daikon and soy sauce or natto
  39. Gindara no kasuzuke
  40. Hoshigaki
  41. Inarizushi
  42. Chikuzen-ni
  43. Surume
  44. Yakinasu with grated ginger
  45. Tamago kake gohan
  46. Kabuki-age
  47. Nikujaga
  48. Spinach gomaae
  49. Fuki no tou
  50. Okonomiyaki
  51. Yakitori
  52. Ohagi
  53. Japanese style curry, with rakkyo and fukujinzuke as condiments
  54. Kenchinjiru
  55. Yakult
  56. Kakipea
  57. Takoyaki
  58. Sakura mochi
  59. Buta no kakuni
  60. Daigaku imo
  61. Kappa Ebisen
  62. Chicken tsukune
  63. Hakusaizuke
  64. Hayashi rice
  65. Goya champuruu
  66. Dorayaki
  67. Ochazuke
  68. Sakuma Drops
  69. Stewed kiriboshi daikon
  70. Takenoko gohan (or in fall, kuri gohan)
  71. Cream or potato korokke
  72. Fresh yuba
  73. Real ramen
  74. Monaka
  75. Ekiben of all kinds
  76. Edamame
  77. Chicken karaage
  78. Kuzumochi
  79. Mitarashi dango
  80. Konnyaku no dengaku
  81. Yukimi Daifuku
  82. Sukiyaki
  83. Nama yatsuhashi
  84. Panfried hanpen
  85. Nozawanazuke or Takanazuke
  86. Kiritanpo
  87. Amanatto
  88. Narazuke
  89. Aji no himono
  90. Baby Ramen
  91. Kobucha
  92. Kasutera
  93. Tazukuri
  94. Karintou
  95. Sauce Yakisoba
  96. Kamaboko
  97. Oyako donburi
  98. Atsuyaki tamago
  99. Kuri kinton
  100. Japanese potato salad

(Source: Just Hungry)

Sushi Party Memories.

Today was one of my (few) days off, and I spent it at my friends’ house. Their roommate had a great idea to have a sushi party for the evening, so we prepared all the raw fish/toppings and cooked a lot of rice. There were five of us eating around a small table in their living room; we had all sorts of sushi, including unagi (eel), maguro, uni, and lots of others. I felt a bit of nostalgia/happiness within me as I enjoyed the camaraderie we had tonight. Cutting up the sashimi, preparing the rice with the rice vinegar, watching dumb funny movies…

We’re only young once, after all.

Haiti Cafe in Shinjuku.


Spent the day out with friends; I basically had an “International” meal day. For lunch, I met with some friends and we ate Indian food. For dinner, I was with another group of friends, and we were walking around the streets of Shinjuku, trying hard to find a decent/fun place to eat. We came upon this restaurant called Haiti Cafe; Haitian food. This was a new one for all of us!

So we walked in, and the atmosphere was very island-like with some voodoo statues and such. The menu was probably a fusion of Japanese and Haitian flavors–I ordered a curry actually–but, it was still new and interesting to us all. We felt really amused by the experience; at the end of the meal, we were served coffee, which came with rum to mix in. Interesting!

Sasebo Burger

This is a Sasebo burger–apparently the first “Japanese hamburger” originating from Sasebo located in Nagasaki. My friend Mayumi told me about the burger, and said that we should go eat it since she was going to be in Tokyo for the day.

I didn’t really know much about the burger, what made it special–but biting into it, I realized it was indeed unique. There’s egg included, and the burger is made fresh–this isn’t a fast food burger. We ate it at Zat’s Burger Cafe in Nakano; apparently Sasebo Burger is also available in Tachikawa at a small burger stand by the south entrance of the station.

The burger looks a little thick from the picture, but I felt it was a good enough portion for me. The restaurant was fun, relaxing–couches to sit on upstairs, just like a “regular” cafe. I wish I had known about this burger earlier on! I probably would eat it more if it weren’t for the abundance of burgers in the US already. Granted, I can’t get a Sasebo Burger in the US, but still, the idea of eating a lot of burgers in Japan makes me feel awkward.

Excelsior Caffe

It seems that most Japanese cafes have something with green tea in it; I ordered the green tea latte (cold, this time) and was mesmerized by its great flavor. There was an abundance of desserts on display, too, but I decided to go with this blueberry cheesecake. It tasted dry, however, so it didn’t really satiate my sweets craving today.

I probably should have gone for a different cake…but I guess I can’t turn back now, huh.