Popular Japanese Foods You’ve Never Heard Off


When it comes to Japanese cuisine, most people are familiar with sushi, ramen, and tempura. However, beyond the well-trodden path lie some unique and incredibly tasty dishes that deserve their moment in the spotlight. Here are some popular Japanese foods you might not have heard of but should definitely try.


Okonomiyaki is often referred to as a Japanese savory pancake. The name itself means “as you like it.” Ingredients typically include a batter mixed with cabbage, green onions, meat (often pork belly), and seafood, cooked on a griddle and topped with a variety of condiments.

Chanko Nabe

Chanko Nabe is synonymous with sumo wrestling in Japan, a staple for many wrestlers. This hearty hot pot dish is anything but monotonous, comprising a rich broth filled with large quantities of protein (chicken, fish, tofu) and vegetables. Despite its association with sumo, Chanko Nabe is a balanced and nutritious meal.


Tsukemono, or Japanese pickles, are an essential side dish in Japanese cuisine, served with nearly every meal. Unlike Western pickles, Tsukemono includes a wide variety of vegetables such as radishes, cucumbers, and eggplants, pickled in different agents like salt, rice bran, vinegar, and sake lees. Each method has its own unique taste and texture.


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