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Food Etiquette in Japan

Etiquette rules on how to eat sushi, ramen and other Japanese food in Japan

Food and etiquette are an important part of Japanese culture and we would like to shed light on some specific Japanese dishes that have their own rules, including sushi, ramen and boxed meals known as bentos. This will help you as you travel through Japan!

Soy Sauce vs Shoyu vs Tamari: Know the Difference?

Japanese soy sauce

Soy sauce is Japan's most popular sauce, adding salty umami flavors to so many Japanese dishes. You may be surprised to learn that there are quite a few varieties of soy sauce used in Japanese cuisine based on the region, ingredients and methods in which it's brewed. 

Sakura season is almost here as well as these tasty cherry blossom foods!

Sakura season is almost here as well as these tasty cherry blossom foods!
The most beautiful time of the year is near in Japan - during spring, the beautiful cherry tree blossoms know as sakura turn into a sea of pink. Not only are the cherry blossoms beautiful to see, the season also brings with it many special sakura foods to enjoy. For cherry blossom viewing (hanami), various shops have limited edition sakura inspired food items each year. Here are some must-try sakura foods and some iconic ones to try. Enjoy!

RECIPE: Japanese Curry Rice

RECIPE: Japanese Curry Rice Featuring Apples from Aomori

Japanese curry rice (karē raisu or カレーライス) is the quintessential comfort food in Japan. More sweet than spicy, this dish is easy to make and will quickly become your favorite home cooked meal. 

RECIPE: Shio Koji Chicken with Green Beans and Sweet Potatoes

RECIPE: Shio Koji Chicken with Green Beans and Sweet Potatoes

If Shio Koji is something you have never heard of before, get ready to fall in love with its taste and versatility. It can be used as a salt substitute and also enhances the flavors of the ingredients it’s mixed with. It also makes for a great marinade as you will see in this recipe. 

RECIPE: Niku (Beef) Udon

RECIPE: Niku (Beef) Udon

There is nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of noodles. Niku Udon (肉うどん) is a classic and truly delicious dish, combining traditional Japanese flavors into one soothing bowl of noodles!

RECIPE: Japanese Mille-Feuille Nabe (Thousand Leaves Hot Pot)

RECIPE: Japanese Mille-Feuille Nabe (Thousand Leaves Hot Pot)

Japanese Mille-Feuille Nabe (ミルフィーユ鍋, 重ね鍋) is the perfect hot pot for cold days. Not to be confused with the traditional French pastry with the same name, the “thousand leaves” in this case refers to the layers of cabbage leaves and thin slices of meat cooked in a hot dashi and miso broth.

RECIPE: Japanese Gyoza (Pan-Fried Potstickers) 

RECIPE: Japanese Gyoza (Pan-Fried Potstickers) 

Originally from China, Japanese gyoza (餃子) or potstickers are smaller, with a thinner outer shell. One of the most popular comfort foods in Japan, gyoza is crispy on the outside, hot and juicy on the inside, and are the perfect Japanese appetizer. 

RECIPE: Kinpira Gobo (Braised Carrot & Burdock Root) Chirashizushi (Rice Bowl)

RECIPE: Kinpira Gobo (Braised Carrot & Burdock Root) Chirashizushi (Rice Bowl)

Chirashi Sushi or chirashizushi (ちらし寿司), translates to “scattered sushi” and is essentially a bowl of sushi rice topped with sashimi. Try our Kinpira Gobo (Braised Carrot & Burdock Root) topping.

 

RECIPE: Kinshi Tamago (Shredded Egg Crepes) Chirashizushi (Rice Bowl)

RECIPE: Kinshi Tamago (Shredded Egg Crepes) Chirashizushi (Rice Bowl)

Chirashi Sushi or chirashizushi (ちらし寿司), translates to “scattered sushi” and is essentially a bowl of sushi rice topped with sashimi. Try our Kinshi Tamago (Shredded Egg Crepes) topping.

RECIPE: Sushi Rice 

RECIPE: Sushi Rice 

Equally as important as the quality of the fish, a good piece of sushi requires expertly made rice. Steamed and flavored with vinegar, sushi rice is the base for many Japanese recipes. 

RECIPE: Yakitori (Chicken Skewers) with Yuzu Miso Sauce

RECIPE: Yakitori (Chicken Skewers) with Yuzu Miso Sauce
Chicken skewers covered with a sweet-and-sour sauce and grilled over charcoal, yakitori (焼き鳥) are a popular dish found in Izakayas (Japanese pubs), at festivals and as street food.