Filipinos love a lot of Japanese things, whether it’s anime, actors and actresses, and their wild but artistic fashions. But we think you’d agree that what Filipinos love the most about Japan is the delicious food! So here’s a question for you: what is the Japanese food that you MUST TRY, if someone asked for a recommendation?
It’s not really a mystery why we Pinoys love Japanese cuisine. As this article puts it, “Filipinos have a natural palate for the sweet and savoury, so it comes as no surprise that Japanese cuisine is popular here.”
And as F&B Report, well, reports, Japanese restaurants are high in demand here in the Philippines. So with many Japanese restaurants and different options for Japanese foods, what are the ones to try for beginners or for those who are about to experience Japanese cuisine for the first time?
Well, keep reading for our tasty recommendations. All of these on the list are best to eat in Japan itself, in our opinion, but the ones you can get here are pretty darn good!
Japanese Food You Must Try: Sushi and Sashimi
Sushi, the epitome of elegance and precision, is a must-try in the world of Japanese cuisine. Each piece is a work of art, combining vinegared rice with fresh fish or vegetables delicately wrapped in seaweed. The explosion of flavors in every bite will leave you craving for more, no matter the type of sushi you try.
Not far off from sushi is sashimi, another traditional Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced, fresh, raw seafood. It is typically served without any cooking or seasoning, allowing the natural flavors and textures of the ingredients to shine. Do yourself a favor and look for both every time you step foot in sushi restaurants.
You can also make your own sushi in your own home. Click here to enroll in our Modern Sushi and Maki Class!
Japanese Food You Must Try: Ramen
When it comes to Japanese comfort food, there’s nothing better than a bowl of ramen. A steaming bowl of rich broth, noodles, and toppings, such as thin slices of pork or beef, spring onions, and marinated eggs, is one of the things you must try in Japan or in Japanese cuisine. As you slurp the ramen noodle soup, you’ll feel a sense of warmth and contentment wash over you.
It’s a popular Japanese dish for a good reason! You’ll likely want multiple bowls of ramen in one go. And if that’s a yes, it’s probably best for you to enroll in our Ramen Made Easy class! You can make five different kinds at home, just like the ramen in Japan—sounds pretty delicious, agree?
Japanese Food You Should Try: Tempura
Go to any buffet here in the Philippines that offers tempura, and you’ll find, more often than not, a line for Tempura. That’s how popular this deep fried dish is! In fact, we think that if a tempura restaurant opened here which serves nothing BUT tempura, it would sell out pretty fast!
Well, tempura’s light and crispy batter IS a delightful contrast to the shrimp inside—and don’t forget the dipping sauce! And, of course, since we’re Pinoy, we’d enjoy this with a bowl of rice… or two!
Takoyaki: A Must-Try Dish
Takoyaki is a popular street food that comes from Osaka. This makes the list because it’s a street food that contains seafood (specifically octopus) and vegetables like green onions and pickled ginger. It’s topped with a special kind of soy sauce and bonito flakes.
Who knew octopus could be made into street food and be so delicious?
You know something else that’s cool? When takoyaki is made hot and fresh, you can see the bonito flakes dance!
And despite it being unusual, eating takoyaki is a joy, especially when you experience the combination of the crispiness outside and the softness and gooeyness on the inside. It’s going to be one of those memorable food experiences for sure!
Onigiri: Portable and Delicious
Onigiri, also known as rice balls, are a staple in Japanese cuisine and in Japanese convenience stores. These handheld snacks are made by molding rice into a triangular or cylindrical shape and filling them with ingredients such as pickled plum, salmon, or seasoned seaweed. Onigiri is the perfect snack while you’re on the go, providing a satisfying combination of flavors and textures.
Want to make your own rice ball version? Check out our free Onigiri class!
Japanese Food You Need To Try: Tonkatsu
When you say tonkatsu, you’re talking about crispy, breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets. The succulent meat with the breading offers a delightful contrast of textures. It’s served with rice and a tangy dipping sauce, shredded cabbage, and a side of miso soup.
We recommend savoring each pork cutlet you dip into the tonkatsu sauce and eaten with rice. No exaggeration: this is one of the best food in Japan!
Sukiyaki: The Japanese Hot Pot
Sukiyaki is a traditional Japanese hot pot dish that, just like ramen, will warm both your body and soul. As of this writing, it’s currently the rainy season in the Philippines, so sukiyaki will be more than appropriate!
Imagine a sweet and savory soy-based broth that contains thinly sliced beef or other meat and vegetables, tofu, and noodles. Sounds good, right? And because the nature of this dish is communal, where the people you’re with gather around the pot, it’s a great bonding experience.
Good traditional Japanese food and people you love—what’s not to like with sukiyaki?
Want a twist on some of these Japanese dishes?
The traditional dishes of Japan are already good by themselves, but did you know you can make them taste even better? At least, that’s if you have the recipes of Chef Him Uy De Baron. Look at how he elevated these famous Japanese foods in his latest cooking class, Easy Japanese!
Discover the next level of these popular Japanese dishes:
- Sukiyaki is a time-honored Japanese hot pot masterpiece. But with this class, you don’t have to do any guesswork in making this. You’ll get the intricate techniques of crafting the perfect Dashi stock, infusing it with tantalizing flavors, and expertly arranging tender beef slices and fresh vegetables in a visually captivating way.
- Do you love tonkatsu? How about cheese? Then you’ll definitely appreciate Chef Him’s Cheesy Mille Feuille, his personal twist on the classic tonkatsu. You’ll get his secrets in achieving flawlessly crispy katsu, as well as how to place melty cheese and aromatic shiso leaves inside so you’ll get a symphony of flavors.
- Chef Him’s Beef Onigiri is not your ordinary kind of rice ball. You’ll get a savory combo of seasoned tender beef on a bed of delicious rice with a robust pepper sauce that gives your onigiri richness and depth. After eating one, you might consider onigiri more than a snack!
And the best part? Whether you’re a beginner or a devoted food enthusiast, this class is tailored to suit your needs and ignite your passion for Japanese cuisine. Unlock the gateway to the authentic flavors of Japan, all within the comfort of your own kitchen—sign up at The Bailiwick Academy today!
If you’re looking to explore the world of Japanese cuisine, here’s the scoop: there are a few must-try dishes that will undoubtedly satisfy your taste buds:
- Sushi and sashimi, with their delicate flavors and artful presentation, are an absolute must.
- Ramen, the ultimate comfort food, will warm your soul with its rich broth and delicious toppings.
- Tempura, with its crispy batter and succulent shrimp, is a popular favorite.
- Takoyaki, a delightful street food with octopus, is surprisingly delicious.
- Onigiri, the portable rice balls filled with flavorful ingredients, make for a perfect snack on the go.
- Who can resist the crispy and flavorful tonkatsu served with rice and miso soup?
- Finally, sukiyaki, a communal hot pot dish, is perfect for bonding with loved ones.
And if you’re feeling adventurous and want to take these dishes to the next level, Chef Him Uy De Baron’s cooking class, Easy Japanese, will elevate your culinary experience. So go ahead and dive into the world of Japanese cuisine.
Ultimately, any Japanese food is something you must try—guaranteed!
Keep coming back to The Bailiwick Academy blog for more kitchen tips, tricks, and much more!