Chazuke, or ochazuke, is a bowl of rice over which ample hot green tea has been poured. There are several varieties of chazuke depending on the additional ingredients used. These include “sake Chazuke” with salted salmon, “Nori Chazuke” with Nori (Laver).

Kaiseki-ryori originated as a light meal eaten before having tea in a tea ceremony. Now, however, it refers to a course of Japanese cuisine served at a high-class restaurant. Since each dish is made from carefully selected seasonal ingredients and served in beautiful plates, it is rather expensive.

Oden is a hot sort of stew made of Chikuwa (cylinder-shaped steamed fish cake), Tofu, Yudetamago (hard boiled egg), vegetables such as Daikon, and Kon-nyaku (devil’s-foot jelly) in a broth flavored with Katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and soy sauce. It is a very warming food eaten especially in winter. Sometimes the ingredients are on skewers.

Okonomiyaki are a kind of flour pancake cooked on a griddle. In the pancake are mixed pieces of meat, shrimp, cabbage, etc. When they are done, a special sauce is put on them and aonori (green water vegetable) flakes are sprinkled on them. People cut them into small pieces before eating.

Onigiri are handfuls of boiled rice pressed into a shape of a triangle or a ball, and often seasoned with a sprinkle of salt. They are also called, “Omusubi.”

They usually have an umeboshi (salted plum), salmon flakes or kelp that has been boiled in sweet soy sauce or other ingredients at the centre and are usually wrapped in nori (laver). They are popular lunch box items for outings.


Osechi is food eaten only on the first three days of the New Year. It is served in “Jubako (tiered laquerware boxes).” Osechi includes beautifully arranged items such as black beans, herring roe, steamed fish cakes, shrimp and soy sauce stewed vegetables prepared to welcome the new year. In recent years, fewer people make it at home and it has become common to buy ready-made Osechi at supermarkets or to order special made Osechi.

Sashimi is thinly sliced fresh raw fish. It is also called “Otsukuri.” Tai (sea bream), tuna, and cuttlefish Sashimi are very popular. The slices are arranged on finely shredded daikon (radish) in a deep dish. We put a little Wasabi (Japanese horseradish paste) on it and dip it in soy sauce before eating it.

Sekihan (Red Rice) is made from glutinous rice steamed together with boiled red Azuki beans. It is usually prepared on celebratory occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and festivals.

Shabu Shabu is a dish consisting of thinly sliced beef. You pick up a slice of beef with your chopsticks and briefly swish it around in a pot of boiling water before dipping it in a sauce and eating it.

Soba are noodles made of buckwheat flour and water, kneaded and cut fine. Typical ways of serving Soba are Kakesoba (briefly boiled Soba in hot soup served in a bowl) and Morisoba (briefly boiled then chilled Soba that is dipped in thick sauce and served on a bamboo tray.)

Somen are very thin wheat noodles. After being briefly boiled, they are soaked in cool water and served cool. You dip them in a special sauce before eating. People like to eat Somen in the summer when they don’t have a healthy appetite.

Sukiyaki is a dish made of sliced beef which is cooked in an iron pan with vegetables such as green onion, Shiitake mushrooms, edible chrysanthemum leaves, and grilled Tofu. It is seasoned with sot sauce and sugar. Sukiyaki is cooked at the table and everybody serves themselves from the same pan.


Sushi is a food made of boiled rice seasoned with vinegar and sugar, combined with various ingredients (mainly slices of raw fish or shellfish).

One kind is called Nigiri Zushi, in which the rice is lightly pressed into bite-sized morsels and topped with a slice of raw fish or shellfish or other ingredients. Another is called, Temaki Zushi, cone-shaped Sushi in which the ingredients are placed on rice and wrapped in a sheet of Nori.


Takoyaki are a kind of little round pancakes made of flour with shredded octopus and green onions. A special sauce is put on them.

In some countries, Takoyaki are called, “Samurai Balls.”


Takuan is a Daikon that has been dried and pickled in salted rice bran. It is one of the most popular pickles in Japan. Although it tastes good, its strong smell is a major drawback.

Tempura is a deep-fried food consisting of seafood or vegetables,

Which are dipped into a flour-and-water batter and deep-fried until crisp but not brown. Tempura is usually dipped into a light sauce containing grated Daikon radish.


Tofu is a sort of, white food made from soybeans. You pour some soy sauce over it when you eat it, or cut it into cubes and put them in a Miso soup.

It is low-calorie and popular as a health food.


Udon are thick noodles made from wheat. It is a relatively cheap food that is often eaten at lunch. Udon are usually boiled and served in a large bowl with hot broth, and tempura, Aburaage(fried Tofu) or Kamaboko (Steamed Fish Cake.)


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