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ORYOKI Japanese recipes

ORYOKI Japanese recipes

Japanese recipes: something for everyone

If you already know Oryoki, then you already know that Japanese cuisine has much more to offer than raw fish and rice. You don't have to travel far or visit a special restaurant, you can simply bring them to your home. A little excursion into the colorful, inspiring world of Japanese recipes.

Japanese cuisine is called Washoku in its homeland. Under this name, it has even been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for six years, which also includes the practices of preparation and consumption. Many factors make Japanese recipes special. One of them is the ingredients


Fried snacks but still low in calories? With Tempura, this is actually possible, as the batter is made only from flour, egg, and water and is applied very thinly to the food being fried.

Matcha tea

Good, high-quality matcha powder should smell fresh, feel fine, and be of a rich jade green color. Matcha is very versatile – did you know that you can also prepare delicious dishes with matcha tea?


are also commonly referred to as "Miracle Noodles" or "Zero Noodles." With just about 4kcal and 1g of digestible carbohydrates per 100g, they are a true low-carb star. And they have no taste of their own.


are traditionally slurped. While frowned upon in our culture, slurping Japanese noodle soup helps to cool the noodles, prevents them from splashing around, and also serves as a compliment to the chef for their good work.

Hokkaido Kürbis

The Hokkaido pumpkin is low in calories and is very popular for low-carb dishes. Moreover, it can be stored for a long time and its somewhat nutty taste makes it extremely popular.


Chirashi, also called Chirashizushi, is a different way of eating sushi than we are normally accustomed to. In this dish, the sushi ingredients are arranged in a bowl on top of sushi rice.


What hides behind this term? Something delicious: Wagashi refers to a type of sweets in Japan. From Dango and Dorayaki to Mochi and Taiyaki to Yokan and Yatsuhashi.

Baking like in Japan

When it comes to baking, one might not immediately think of recipes from Japan. Yet, both traditional and modern Japanese cuisine offer numerous interesting recipes for extraordinary desserts and cakes.

Baking with Cast Iron

Cast iron cookware is increasingly finding its way into European hobby and professional kitchens. But did you know that cast iron is also wonderful for baking?


Hardly a Recipe Without Rice

What would Japan be without the nutritious white grain that comes from the fields? Rice is an integral part of most Japanese recipes. The fact that there are many varieties of it – rice for the simple side dish bowl, sushi rice, and sticky types for Wagashi, Japanese sweets – makes it even more exciting. No wonder the Japanese word for "rice" - Gohan - is synonymous with "meal." Once you get the hang of cooking Japanese rice, you can use it almost anywhere.

For example, for sushi. Did you know that the sushi rolls that immediately come to mind at this word are called Maki Sushi? These are the famous seaweed sheets, usually filled with fish and rice but can also contain vegetables. But there is, for example, Nigiri Sushi, which does without seaweed. Here, the fish or other ingredients are placed directly on a piece of shaped rice. Sashimi, on the other hand, is raw fish without rice – thinly sliced and served fresh. A variety of other sushi versions have developed over time, even outside Japan, and have captured countless hearts worldwide.

That rice goes with everything is proven by Onigiri. These small Japanese rice balls or triangles, suitable as a snack or appetizer, can have a very different filling: such as seaweed, salmon, tofu, mushrooms, omelette, or tuna, and then often wrapped with a small Nori leaf. Rice serves as the base for the bowl Donburi, which can be filled with various toppings. Many sweets are also made from rice, like Mochi, Daifuku, Dango, and partly even Manju. Rice and red beans instead of flour and sugar – even the sweets from Japanese cuisine are healthy.

Delicious and Light or Tasty and Hearty

If you're looking to cut down on carbohydrates and try low-carb recipes or even eat vegetarian or vegan, you'll definitely find what you're looking for in Japanese cuisine. The diversity of vegetables that the Japanese like to use comes in handy here. Especially common are seaweeds and root vegetables like ginger, sweet potatoes, and radish. But in Japan, fermented foods are also loved, especially beans, which might sound unappealing but do a lot of good for the body. Soybeans are often used in this context. They are an important source of proteins and amino acids that fit almost anything. Therefore, soy is ubiquitous in Japanese recipes: The basis of tofu, sauce, and miso are fermented soybeans. Miso soup, based on the special paste of the same name, is also well known by almost everyone, and it is as easy to prepare as it is healthy, light, and delicious.

Even dishes that you wouldn't expect can be refreshingly light. For example, Japanese Tempura: Fried seafood and vegetables. Although it doesn't sound very healthy, it is in this variant. Thanks to a very thin batter, whole ingredients, and gentle preparation, you can enjoy it with a clear conscience.

Need nourishing winter recipes? Japanese cookbooks have something to offer there as well. For example, Ramen – the versatile noodle soup with aromatic broth and a Chinese history. It has made its way from small family restaurants into all supermarkets and even its own museums and is somewhat like the star among Japanese dishes. Although meat plays a big role both in the broth and as a topping, Ramen can also be cooked vegetarian or vegan. Most Japanese dishes are very adaptable, have dozens of variations, and thus challenge creativity in cooking. At the same time, there's something for everyone in this way.

What is "Traditional Japanese Cuisine"?

Ramen, Tempura, and the like may seem traditionally Japanese at first glance – but they actually aren't. Many recipes in their original form come from other countries like China, Korea, or even Portugal and the USA. Even the characteristic chopsticks were adopted from China around the 9th century. Before that, hands were the most popular tool for eating. However, Japanese people are too inventive to just copy foreign recipes. Instead, they put their own stamp on each dish – be it through local ingredients or special methods of preparation. Boiling and sugar, for instance, are relatively modern phenomena that would not have been found often in earlier Japanese dishes. Even meat was forbidden in the country for a long time.

Foreign dishes that were liked in Japan were altered beyond recognition until a new, typically Japanese recipe emerged. This is still the case today: Spaghetti is eaten with soy sauce instead of Bolognese, gratin with rice instead of potatoes, and curry is preferred sweet instead of spicy and often with schnitzel on top. Reinventions of Western dishes are called Yoshoku 洋食 in Japan.

So, "the" traditional Japanese dish does not exist. Even sushi, the hallmark of Japanese cuisine, probably came to the island from Southeast Asia. What's traditional is more the way food is served.

Cooking for Holistic Enjoyment

Another factor that makes Japanese cuisine so special is the philosophy behind it. To be precise, there are several: First of all, the saying "The eye eats as well" can be recognized in just about every dish in Japan. This way, a meal can truly be appreciated. A diversity of ingredients, colors, and shapes not only pleases the eye but also ensures that the recipe provides as many nutrients as possible.

However, the taste aspect is just as important. Japanese dishes are characterized by their naturalness. You will hardly find heavily spiced or fatty food here. Japanese rice is not salted and has hardly any flavor of its own, so it can optimally absorb the taste of sauces. The latter are mild and are precisely tailored to the ingredients to highlight their individual flavors rather than covering them. Vegetables are more often steamed than boiled, and even a breading is little more than decoration or rather an introduction to what's inside.

Health, balance, and nature connectedness have always played a major role in Japanese cuisine. According to the Buddhist principle of Shojin Ryori, for example, every element at a meal has a function and consists only of plant-based ingredients that are seasonal and regionally sourced. A typical Japanese breakfast or dinner at a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, consists of about 15 small bowls with various types of vegetables, tofu, and seafood, rounded off with a serving of rice, miso soup, and a dessert. Such a multi-course menu is called Kaiseki. The portions are modest, but through their number and careful balance, one is nevertheless satisfied. Of course, it can also be done without much effort: A soup and a dish, Ichiju Issai, is a principle that Japanese have followed in their diet for a long time. Accordingly, a popular lunch in a restaurant consists of a bowl of rice, miso soup, a serving of pickled vegetables (Tsukemono), and a main dish, usually grilled fish. This set is called Teishoku.

To understand the origin of these traditions, a look into the island's history is necessary. Meat, except for poultry, was hardly available for simple farmers who predominantly lived there, and they took what was abundantly available locally. The oldest meals in Japan since the cultivation of rice therefore consisted mainly of this grain, seasonally grown greens, and seafood. Looking into centuries-old cookbooks, one finds mainly various variations of vegetables, fish, tofu, and soup, always accompanied by the base of rice. Steamed, braised, and pickled vegetables as well as grilled meat and fish were and still are popular.

Eating Together Brings Joy

What can we learn from the Japanese way of eating? First and foremost, to appreciate food in its natural form, not to overcook or overseason it. This naturally includes products that are high-quality and healthy. A colorful variety of foods makes every recipe nutritious and wholesome. Small bowls help to keep portions reasonable. Finally, enjoying the dishes is part of the dining culture: Whether as an artfully arranged meal, a ceremonially designed multi-course menu, or a shared experience with family and friends.

In Japan, eating is primarily a social phenomenon. On one hand, you see solitary office workers slurping their noodles in a few minutes at noon, but on the other hand, in the evening, large groups of friends or colleagues cheerfully toasting with sake, or friends enjoying Yakisoba – fried noodles – at a festival snack stand. When wanting to eat deliciously together in Japan, whether going out or feasting at home in good company, dishes are often chosen that are prepared together. Dipping meat in broth for Sukiyaki or cooking Okonomiyaki pancakes right at the table is more fun together.

To ensure they are made with joy and turn out well, Japanese recipes should primarily be healthy and tasty, as well as easy and exciting to prepare. This way, they have already made it into many kitchens around the world, whose owners want to treat themselves to creative, healthy variety. This can also be done in company: Rolling sushi with friends, shaping Japanese rice balls, or cooking noodles makes the time fly by. We have a lot of Japanese recipes for you to try.