Updated: November 07, 2018
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What Are Japanese Comfort Foods? 10 Comfort Foods You Need To Try!

If you're curious about Japanese comfort foods, here are the top 10 must-try comfort foods you should have in Japan! Maybe they'll become yours too and you'll them back home when you're feeling a little under the weather.

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Pan-fried dumplings (餃子)- Gyoza

Gyozas are originally from China (called Jiaozi in Chinese) and are now hugely popular in Japan as well. They are recognized as a staple in Japanese homes. Gyozas are also called potstickers. They are usually made with garlic chives, Chinese chives and minced pork. They can be fried (yakigyoza 焼き餃子), boiled (suigyoza 水餃子) or deep fried (agegyoza 揚げ餃子), either way, they are delicious!

Miso soup (味噌汁)- Miso shiru

Miso soup is a very important element to Japanese cuisine, although it is a very easy dish to make, it has a deep and rich taste. Because of the mix of miso, fish broth and seaweed, it is a mix of different types of umami tastes. It really is a complimentary flavor to most Japanese dishes.
Miso soup is very comforting to Japanese people, a lot like chicken soup is comforting to Westerners when they are feeling unwell. When people are hungover or have an upset stomach, miso soup helps make you feel better.

Rice with a raw egg (卵かけご飯)- TKG

Tamago Kake Gohan (raw egg over rice) or TKG for short, is basically a raw egg over rice. The egg is beaten and poured over simple white rice. You can also put some soy sauce in the egg for that added umami flavour. As you stir the raw egg over the hot rice, it is slowly cooked, but not fully. If you're iffy about raw eggs, this might not become your comfort food any time soon, but it is a very filling, cheap and tasty dish.

Rice porridge (おかゆ)- Okayu

Okayu is simply porridge made with rice, hot water and a few other simple toppings, such as a pickled plum, sesame seeds, scallions, shiso leaves, etc. It is often eaten when people are feeling unwell or don't have much of an appetite. It is easily digestible and helps when you have an upset stomach, you're hungover or it's really cold outside. It can be eaten for breakfast, as well as for dinner. Simple, comforting and tasty.

Green tea over Rice (お茶漬け)- Ochazuke

This one is quite similar to the previous ones, however, it is usually made with green tea and sometimes with dashi. It can be eaten with salmon, seaweed, etc. Because it's easy to digest, it's great for people who don't have much of an appetite or are feeling sick.

Fried Chicken (唐揚げ)- Karaage

Japanese fried chicken is called "karaage" in Japanese. Karaage is actually a type of frying method and many ingredients can be used, such as burdock root and fish, but usually refers to chicken. Karaage is prepared by being marinated in a soy sauce mixture, and then is coated and fried. Since the chicken is marinated, it has a deeper umami flavour, which makes it deliciously addictive.

Oden (おでん)

Oden (おでん) is a kind of Japanese hotpot dish commonly eaten in winter. It consists of various ingredients simmered in a soy-flavoured and dashi (Japanese cooking stock made from seaweed and bonito) broth. Oden can be served at fancy Japanese restaurants, but it can also be made at home. You can also find convenience stores and food stalls selling oden at reasonable prices. It's a warm dish and very comforting on cold winter days.

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き)

Okonomiyaki is a pan fried dish, also known as Japanese pancakes. It consists of batter,cabbage, and a variety of toppings such as meat, seafood, cheese, etc. The word "okonomi" means "to one's liking", so there are many variations to this dish. Okonomiyaki originated in Hiroshima and Osaka, but Hiroshima Okonomiyaki always includes noodles and eggs while in Osaka, it does not. Depending on where you eat the Okonomiyaki, the style and ingredients may change, but you can find Okonomiyaki restaurants all over Japan.

Curry rice (カレーライス) -Kare raisu

Japanese curry is often eaten at home or in school cafeterias, and because of its mild taste, it is often the go-to dish for many children. It is different from Indian curry, as it isn't as spicy; and it also different from Thai curry. It is usually eaten with potatoes, carrots, and meat (pork, beef or chicken).

Deep-fried pork cutlets (とんかつ) -Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu is a traditional Japanese dish made of deep-fried pork fillet or loin cutlets. It will be often served with shredded cabbage. The sauces vary, but it can be served with a thick Worchestire-style sauce, miso, soy sauce, etc. Tonkatsu can be served on its own, but can also be served as a sandwich or on top of curry rice.
Lili Wanderlust
I love travelling and discovering new cuisines. Japan has a panoply of local dishes to try. I also love yoga, coffee, reading, and cycling.

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