Washoku Dishes

Japanese cooking is a cooking of subtraction using a minimum amount of ingredients to bring the maximum flavor of main ingredients. Each ingredients plays a big role that includes water making Dashi. -Chef Nobu Yamazaki, Sushi Taro


Dashi is a family of stocks used in Japanese cuisine and one of the most important elements for Washoku. Dashi forms the base for osuimono, noodle soup, and many simmering liquids to accentuate the umami flavor. Kombu and Katsuobushi is the essential ingredients along with high quality soft water.


Rice is central to Washoku culture because it is a simple preparation of rice and side dishes made with a variety of seasonal ingredients. Washoku usually combines rice as the staple food, with fish, meat, and vegetables and we always eat the main dish with plain white rice.


Japanese tea is an essential element for Washoku from the both cultural and spiritural point of view. It is because the Kaiseki cuisine tied with the Japanese tea ceremony. Tea may be served with most Japanese dishes and loved as a refreshing drink. We still drink tea during the meal and also a refreshing drink.

Chirimen Sansho

Chirimen Sansho or Jyako Sansho (Japanese Pepper & Dried Baby Sardines) is a traditional Kyoto dish that is seasoned with soy sauce, Mirin, Sake & Sansho Pepper Corn. It is often eaten with white rice or Ochazuke. Many house cooker still make their own chirimen sansho using the ingredients available at a local supermarket and it can be purchased at any supermarket or department store food court.


It is no doubt that rice is the most important element in Japanese cuisine. Then, we do not waste even rice bran. Nuka-zuke is the most popular Japanese pickled vegetables, made by fermenting vegetables in rice bran (Nuka), developed in the 17th century. The taste of Nuka-zuke can vary from pleasantly tangy to sour, salty, and pungent, depending on each family`s recipe, but, in general, it is similar to Sauerkraut in Western culture since it is fermented with lactobacillus. The interesting thing is if you keep mixing Nuka every day, you can keep using it for long years. Actually, older Nuka makes vegetable taste better.


Onigiri, also known as omusubi, nigirimeshi, or rice ball, is a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangule or cylindrical shapes and often wrapped in nori and contains some fillings like ume, salted salmon, katsuobushi, kombu, tarako, mentaiko, takana inside the rice ball. It is a quick server food and one of the most popular dishes for picnics in Japan.

Aji Fry

Aji Fry

Aji Fry, deep-fried horse mackerel, is one of the most popular dinner dishes for many years. Aji (Horse Mackerel) was the people`s fish, delicious and wallet-friendly, originally; however, the number of annual Aji catch is kept decreasing and you don`t see “Aji-Fry” on diner`s menu anymore, It is kind of casual food in nostalgia. It is usually served with a special Japanese Tartar Sauce.


Kakuni is made of thick cubes of pork simmered in dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and sake. By cooking it for a long time over a low temperature the collagen breaks down into gelatin keeping the meat moist while becoming extremely tender allowing it to be consumed with chopsticks easily. It is one of the popular dishes paring with alchohol at Izakaya in Japan but many house cooker still love to cook their own Kakuni.


Rame is a Japanese noodle soup consisting of wheat noodles, meats or fish based broth and toppings such as chashu (sliced pork), menma, scalions, egg and nori. Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation of ramen so there are a wide variety of soup flavors, but the basics are Tonkotsu, Miso, Shoyu and Shio. Now spin-off ramen like Mazemen, Tsukemen are also getting popular.


Battera, also known as Saba-zushi (mackerel sushi) or Bo-zushi is a most popular types of Oshizushi which is a pressed sushi. It is a rod-shaped sushi topped with large slice of Saba mackerel. It is the origin of Kansai region especially Osaka and Kyoto, but is also famous as a local specialty of the Wakasa area (Fukui Prefecture).


Tai Meshi is a Japanese dish that combines rice and the head of the sea bream by steaming a whole sea bream into rice. It is one of the traditional family dishes in Japan because both sea bream and rice are typical ingredients familar to Japanese people since ancient times. Kombu is also used to enhance the umami.

Korroke: Japanese croquette

Korokke is the Japanese croquette which is made by mixing cooked chopped meat, seafood, or vegetables with panko-crumbed mashed potato or white sauce. It is usually shaped like a flat patty, rolling it in wheat flour, eggs, and panko, then deep-frying this until brown on the outside. There are a variety of Korokke like potate korokke, beef korokke, ebi-cream korokke, kani-cream korokke and more.


Sukiyaki is one of the most popular cooking methods using Wagyu beef in Japan. It is a Japanese style nabeyaki dish using thinly sliced beef and vegetables slowly cooked or simmered at the table in a shallow iron pot with a special Warishita sauce by mixing soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. The cooked ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl filled with beaten raw eggs.


Shabu-shabu is also one of the most popular cooking methods using Wagyu beef in Japan. It is a Japanese style hot pot dish using thinly sliced beef and vegetables boiled in water and served with dipping sauces. It is also known that the ingredients are cooked piece by piece by the diner at the table and people swash the beef just for seconds.


Osechi-box is a traditional Japanese New Year foods and speccially prepared for eating during January 1st to the 3rd. It is usually served with a special box called ju-bako, which is a bigger type of bento boxes. A variety of colorful dishes are put in the compartments of layered Ju-bako and most dishes are cooked as preserved foods lasting for at least three days so that people do not require the use of kitchen utensils.


It is believed that fine knives are life-long companions of a “master chef,” indispensable for the art of cooking. Therefore, a master chef in Japan (traditional or contemporary) sharpens his/her knives by hand, with care and affection.