A plate of gyoza.

Japanese Food to Try Cooking at Home

Japanese food is a mixture of staple foods available in the regions of the country. It usually consists of rice with one or more side dishes and main dishes and sometimes served with miso soup and pickles. Traditional Japanese cuisine has had a  strong influence from China and Korea for thousands of years. Japanese cuisine today has a blend of many other cultural influences that has made each dish uniquely Japanese.

Check out some of the Japanese food you can try cooking at home:

A plate of gyoza.

A plate of gyoza from Shibuya gyoza. | KCP Flickr

Gyoza (ギョーザ, ギョウザ) – is the Japanese version of a pot sticker. The texture of the gyoza is crunchy at the bottom part and softer and more tender on top than a Chinese dumpling. The cooking technique of gyoza involves pan frying the dumplings with water and very little oil instead of steaming. This makes preparation easier and more convenient. But other common ways to prepare it are by steaming and deep frying.

Tempura display in Japan.

Tempura display in Japan. | KCP Flickr

Tempura  (天ぷら or 天麩羅 ) – is a delicious Japanese dish with a light, crispy, and deep fried batter. It usually is made with vegetables like carrots, green beans, okra, sweet potato or seafood, shrimps being the most popular. Tempura was first introduced to Japan as early as the middle of the 16th century by the Portuguese. It is said that Tokugawa Ieyasu, first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, loved tempura.

KCP students cooking Japanese curry.

KCP students learning to cook Japanese curry. | KCP Flickr

Japanese curry (カレー) – curry is a popular dish in Japan. It is mainly served in three ways: with rice,with bread,  and with noodles (udon). Other variations are katsu curry (breaded and fried pork topped with curry) and curry bun, similar to a Chinese dim sum pork bun, only with curry inside. The dish is a popular Japanese favorite.

KCP students making teriyaki sauce.

KCP students learning to make teriyaki sauce. | KCP Flickr

Teriyaki chickenteriyaki is usually associated with  different types of international cuisine but it actually is a type of Japanese cooking. “Teri” in Japanese, means luster, while “yaki “means to boil or grill. The ingredients of a Japanese teriyaki dish are usually marinated then roasted or broiled while being basted occasionally in the teriyaki sauce. It’s also the teriyaki sauce that makes the food shine and look more appetizing.