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Escape to Japan in the kitchen: our 7 favorite Japanese recipes

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

What if it was possible to travel through the kitchen? We offer you 7 easy Japanese recipes to make at home, from savory dishes to desserts and drinks!

Japanese cuisine is known for its wide variety of dishes and flavors, and we have selected seven key recipes. Between sushi, drinks and typical Japanese desserts, you will surely find what you are looking for. If, like many people during lockdown, cooking is your new hobby, these simple recipes will make your taste buds travel to the Land of the Rising Sun!

1- Salmon Sushi

This simple and trendy recipe for salmon sushi is a must-have in Japanese cuisine and is sure to win you praise from your co-workers.

Ingredients for 6 persons:

  • 600 g very fresh salmon fillet

  • 350 g round rice

  • 35 cl water

  • 4 tbsp. rice vinegar

  • 2 tbsp. sugar

  • 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar

  • 2 tsp of salt


Step 1: Wash the rice several times until the water that runs off is clear (this removes as much starch as possible).

Step 2: Put the rice in a saucepan, add the water, cover and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Cover and cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat. Let stand covered for 10 minutes.

Step 4: In a bowl, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, salt and sherry vinegar. Mix until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Step 5: Pour the mixture over the rice and mix.

Step 6: Let cool to room temperature.

Step 7: Meanwhile, cut the salmon fillet into thin strips.

Step 8: Moisten your hands and form small oval-shaped rice pies the length of the fish strips.

Step 9: Place a salmon slice on each rice ball.

Step 10: Arrange the sushi in a dish, cover with cling film and keep in a cool place until ready to serve.

Step 11: Enjoy your salmon sushi with soy sauce (sweet or salty depending on your preference), wasabi or pickled ginger. Enjoy!

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2- Ramen with shrimps

Ramen is a very popular dish in Japan and can be prepared according to your preferences: shrimp, beef, chicken ... Here, we propose you a shrimp ramen recipe that will allow you to taste new flavors during your long days of lockdown. This recipe is both balanced and delicious and is easy to make, so go ahead and impress everyone!

Ingredients for 4 persons :

  • 500 g ramen noodles

  • 2 carrots

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 leeks

  • 400 g peeled pink shrimp (frozen)

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil

  • Pepper

  • Salt

  • Soy sauce and sesame oil according to your preference


Step 1: Thinly slice the leeks and carrots with a vegetable razor and cut them into strips that you will cut back into "strands" with a knife.

Step 2: Chop the garlic clove.

Step 3: Heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in a skillet or frying pan. When it is very hot, throw in the carrots and leeks and stir them constantly for 2 minutes (they should remain crispy).

Step 4: Add the garlic clove and a twist of the pepper mill, then set aside in a dish.

Step 5: Thaw the shrimp by frying them for 2 minutes over high heat.

Step 6: Add them to the vegetables, reserving 2 or 3 tablespoons of the returned liquid.

Step 7: Sauté the noodles in a spoonful of peanut oil for 1 minute (they should fall apart and start to colour).

Step 8: Add the water from the shrimp, salt, soy sauce, sesame oil (a few drops are usually enough, as it is very fragrant) and the vegetables.

Step 9: Stir for another 1 min over high heat, and serve quickly.

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3- Gyoza (Japanese ravioli)

If cooking has become your new passion to occupy your days, you can start making the authentic recipe of Gyoza, those little raviolis that are all the rage in Japan! This extremely popular and trendy dish will make your taste buds travel. And then, what a pride to have made them with your little hands.

Ingredients for 4 people:

For the dough:

  • 200 g of flour

  • 15 cl boiling water

  • Potato starch (to prevent the dough from sticking when you roll it out)

For the filling:

  • 100 g minced pork

  • 200 g raw peeled shrimp, cut into small pieces

  • 4 spring onions (cut very finely)

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

For the preparation "A" to be mixed in a bowl:

  • 1 tbsp. classic soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp. chicken broth powder

  • ½ tbsp. sesame oil

  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger or ginger juice

  • 1 tsp. sugar


Step 1: Preparation of the dough

  • Put the flour in a bowl, add the boiling water and mix well with a fork.

  • Once the mixture is a little less hot, knead for 5 minutes to obtain a perfectly homogeneous dough. Form it into a ball and let it rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

Step 2: Prepare the filling

  • In another bowl, put the pork, the shrimps, a little salt and the oil. Mix until the mixture is very sticky.

  • Add preparation "A" and the spring onions and mix well.

Step 3: Flour the work surface with the potato starch.

Step 4: Divide the dough ball into 8 equal parts. Shape into 8 regular rolls, about 1.5 cm in diameter. Cut each roll into 1.5 cm wide slices. This will give you pieces of about 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm, which you can then roll into small balls.

Step 5: Roll each ball out with a rolling pin into almost transparent circles about 10 cm in diameter. It's important to flour the circles well so they don't stick together.

Step 6: Place a teaspoon of filling on each circle, moisten the edges with a little water and shape your gyoza. If the traditional shape is too hard to make, just close them in two neatly.

Step 7: Two ways of cooking your gyoza:

  • Cook them in boiling water or broth. When they become transparent, they are ready. Drain and serve quickly (a little broth will prevent them from sticking together).

  • In a frying pan: heat a dash of rapeseed oil in the pan. Arrange the gyoza in rows. Grill for 2 minutes, then add a glass of water and cover the pan. The water will evaporate and finish steaming the gyoza.

Step 8: Just enjoy with soy sauce!

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4- Matcha green tea latte

For tea lovers, why not try this matcha green tea recipe? With its undeniable nutritional qualities and its beautiful green color, it is as good as beautiful! Moreover, in this period of lockdown, many challenges have emerged on social networks: the realization of a perfect matcha latte is one of them. So get your whips!

Ingredients for 1 person :

  • 1 tsp matcha green tea powder

  • 2 teaspoons of sugar

  • 3 tbsp. hot water

  • 250 ml cold milk or 300 ml hot milk


Step 1: Put the matcha green tea powder and sugar in a cup.

Step 2: Add the hot water and mix with a spoon or whisk until you get a smooth dark green paste. This step helps prevent lumps.

Step 3: Heat the milk in the saucepan and pour it into the cup until it is almost full. Use cold milk for an iced latte.

Step 4: Use a whisk to mix the batter with the milk until the liquid is smooth and light green.

Step 5: If you like, sprinkle a pinch of matcha green tea powder on top for garnish. You can also add ice cubes for an extra cool iced latte. All you have to do is enjoy!

5- Sake and strawberry cocktail

To remember your evenings in bars or simply to keep a festive spirit even in lockdown, you can prepare this cocktail combining the sweetness of strawberry, the acidity of yuzu juice and the fruity flavor of sake. Simple and fast in its realization, it will be the occasion to spend a festive evening with your partners of lockdown!

Ingredients for 1 person:

  • 100 ml of ginjo or daiginjo sake

  • 1/2 teaspoon of yuzu juice

  • 8 fresh strawberries, hulled

  • 1.5 tbsp. white sugar

  • ice cubes

  • 2 strawberries for garnish


Step 1: Put the sake, strawberries, yuzu juice and sugar in a shaker (or a large airtight container if you don't have a shaker). Crush all ingredients with the end of a rolling pin.

Step 2: Fill the shaker 3/4 full with ice cubes and close it.

Step 3: Shake vigorously for 10 seconds, or until the outside of the shaker is cold.

Step 4: Strain the mixture into two martini glasses. Garnish with a strawberry and serve.

6- Kasutera

For the gourmets, we propose you the recipe of Kasutera, a very soft, thick and airy sponge cake which tasting will make your taste buds travel thousands of kilometers from home! This Japanese cake, popular and very simple to make, goes perfectly with a good tea... and why not a matcha latte, whose recipe we gave you just before?

Ingredients for 4 persons :

  • 3 eggs

  • 100 g of flour

  • 130 g of powdered sugar + 2 tablespoons for the mold

  • 2 tbsp. honey

  • 2 tbsp. hot water

  • 2 tbsp. of oil


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 150°C (gas mark 5).

Step 2: Line a square pan with baking paper. Brush with oil and sprinkle with two tablespoons of sugar.

Step 3: In the microwave, melt the honey in a bowl with the hot water.

Step 4: Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Beat the egg whites until stiff.

Step 5: Pour in sugar and continue beating for 1 minute.

Step 6: Gradually stir in the yolks, diluted honey and flour through a sieve.

Step 7: Pour everything into the pan and bake for 45 minutes.

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7- Red bean, peanut and chocolate mochi

For sweet tooths, this mochi recipe should delight you! The preparation of this typical Japanese cake with its special texture will allow you to finish your meal in beauty and will complete your Japanese culinary journey.

Ingredients for 6 persons:

  • 200 g red azuki beans (soak overnight in water)

  • 175 g brown sugar or unrefined sugar

  • 40 g peanut paste

  • 15 g of dark chocolate (70%)

  • 100 g glutinous rice flour

  • 50 g sugar

  • 150 ml water

  • Desired amount of cornstarch


Step 1: After soaking them overnight, put the beans in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 1 hour. The beans should mashed potato under finger pressure.

Step 2: Blend the beans very finely with their cooking liquid and the peanut paste.

Step 3: Cook this paste over medium heat, uncovered, with a square of chocolate. Mix regularly until you obtain a thick, fluid paste, then chill.

Step 4: When the dough is cold, cut it into a dozen balls of about 1.5 cm in diameter and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Prepare the dough (Anko): in a glass container, mix the flour, sugar and water. Cover and microwave at 600 watts for 30 seconds. Mix and cook again in the same way. Repeat this step until the dough is thick and sticky (about 5 times in total)

Step 6: Place some cornstarch on a work surface and coat your hands as well. Form about a dozen balls of dough. Work while the dough is still warm.

Step 7: Flatten each piece of dough (the one you placed in the freezer) into a circle +/- 7 mm thick and form a small hollow in the center of the circle. Place an Anko dumpling in the hollow, bring the edges of the dough up and roll into a ball. Eat immediately. You can also store them in the fridge in an airtight box and then heat them up for 20 seconds in the microwave before eating.

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