What Foods Do the Japanese Eat?

foods-japanese-eat Credit: t-mizo/CC-BY 2.0

Traditional Japanese food consists mainly of rice, miso soup, grilled or raw fish, pickled vegetables, noodles, battered and fried fish or vegetables, and fish or vegetables served in broth. Other ingredients may be eaten depending on the season and region. Japan is most famously known for sushi.

Fish is a staple in Japanese food, and it is prepared many ways, including grilled, battered and fried, raw and almost alive. While seafood is the most common protein, other meats, such as Kobe beef, are eaten as well. A typical Japanese meal consists of a staple food, such as rice, a main dish and side dishes, such as miso soup or pickled vegetables. The rice is served in a small bowl, and each separate dish is placed on a plate or in a bowl, portioned for each individual.

Food is a prominent part of Japanese culture, and many regions are known for specific specialties, such as fish, sweets, seaweed, tofu, pancakes, noodles or other meals, based on their local options and traditions. Japanese food has a strong focus on meticulous presentation, as food is viewed as an art form. It is common for chefs to train for many years just to be able to properly prepare basic dishes.