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18 Classic Japanese Dishes You Can Make At Home

Drop the instant ramen and bookmark this right now.

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2. Okonomiyaki

What is it? A savory pancake made with cabbage, protein, and other toppings like sesame seeds and green onion.

There are two distinct variations on this dish: the Osaka version (pictured above) whose mix is scrambled together, and the Hiroshima version, whose mix contains whole noodles and is prepared by layering ingredients. Recipe here.

3. Dorayaki

What is it? A sweet, red bean–filled pancake.

This pastry is both sold as a popular street food and as a packaged supermarket snack. It's made of soft, castella sponge cake, making it dangerously easy to inhale multiple servings in one go. Recipe here.


5. Vegetable and Seafood Tempura

What is it? Battered and deep-fried vegetables and seafood like whole shrimp, oysters, or squid tentacles.

Usually served with tentsuyu, a sweet and savory dipping sauce that brings out the savoriness of the fried ingredients. Recipe here.


10. Tamago gohan

What is it? A raw egg cracked over warm rice, usually topped with a splash of soy sauce to taste.

You can get fancy with it and season your rice with nori, furikake, and other condiments, or simply prepare it the traditional way — by cracking an egg over a bowl of rice. Recipe here.

12. Tamagoyaki

What is it? A log of rolled, cooked egg.

This side dish elevates the humble egg into a layered, savory creation slightly sweetened with mirin (sweet rice wine) and sugar. Though most traditional recipes use a rectangular tamagoyaki pan to achieve the classic log shape, you can use a 9- to 10-inch pan for a similar result. Recipe here.


13. Ramen

What is it? Wheat noodles served in a savory broth with pork, scallions, and other toppings.

There are hundreds of variations on Japan's most popular culinary export, but tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen is probably the most popular. Recipe here.

14. Yakisoba

What is it? Noodles stir-fried with vegetables and pork.

Curly ramen-style noodles and semi-sweet yakisoba sauce are basically the only prerequisites for this dish — feel free to vary the recipe with your own choice of beef, seafood, or tofu, and vegetables like snow peas and broccoli. Recipe here.

18. Strawberry daifuku (mochi)

What is it? Sweet, chewy rice cake filled with strawberry and red bean paste.

While traditional mochi contains just the red bean paste, this version adds a tart, sweet strawberry kick. They're a little more time- and labor-intensive than your typical dessert recipe, but there's also nothing funner to eat than a tender, chewy mochi. Recipe here.