10 Under-rated Japanese dishes

Here are our top 10 which don't tend to get a look-in at UK restaurants.

Soba Buckwheat noodles with a light brown colour. Normally eaten hot or cold and commonly with a simple dipping sauce, into which ingredients are added (spring onion, daikon, ginger and crispy tempura crumbs). An amazing snack or super quick light meal.


Kushi-age Deep fried and breadcrumb skewers of various kinds. Perfect accompaniment to a cold beer or snack whilst waiting for a train. Usually served with a dip or sauce.



Kara-age Marinated in ginger, soy and sometimes garlic. Lightly floured and then fried. Kara-age is super crispy and super tasty.

Chicken is popular but fish and other meats are also made in this way. A staple on many izakaya menus.


Tsukune Minced meat is formed in to balls and cooked in a similar way to yakitori, with a special 'tare' sauce which is lighter and less sweet than teriyaki. Try our wagyu tsukune, a super luxurious version!


Kaba yaki Usually the preferred way of serving eel in Japan, kabayaki is a butterflied fillet, grilled in a sweet soy sauce. The glazed fish is then served over rice or it can be eaten on skewers. If you are eel (unagi) fan this is a great way to get a bigger fill than just sushi!


Ohitashi A simple dish of wilted rolled spinach served in stock (dashi) with sesame and/or katsuoboshi flakes. A nice starter or small plate to add to your izakaya selection.



Tataki Lightly seared (so pretty much raw) meat or fish. Served with a vinegar sauce and ground or pounded ginger (hence the name, which means pounded). Popular dishes are tuna or beef tataki with their distinctive pink meat and only a lightly seared outer edge.


Usuzukuri Falling within the sashimi category, usuzukri is very thinly sliced, see through in fact, fish. Extremely delicate and beautifully presented, this is best suited to fish like halibut, but many fish can be prepared this way.


Chirashi Using sushi rice and a mixture of toppings, a chirashi bowl is a great healthy lunch meal. Various fish and vegetable varieties can be combined to create a hearty meal, full of good proteins and fish oils.


Age-dashi tofu A super popular dish, lightly fried tofu in a stock with grated ginger and spring onions.

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