Easy Japanese Dishes You Can Make In The West

Cooking Japanese food might seem quite daunting at first if you live in the West, mostly due to the perceived need for specialized ingredients. However, the reality is quite the opposite. With a few staple items and straightforward recipes, you can prepare delicious Japanese meals right in your own kitchen. Here, we introduce a few dishes that use ingredients readily available in most Western countries.

Quick, Cheap, Easy Meals
For those looking to whip up something fast and satisfying, several Japanese dishes fit the bill perfectly. These recipes not only save time but also use ingredients that are easy to find, making them ideal for beginners:

Tuna-don: A simple yet flavorful dish that combines canned tuna with steamed rice, seasoned with soy sauce and sesame seed oil, and topped with Korean seaweed.
Tamago Kake Gohan (TKG): This traditional Japanese breakfast involves mixing a raw egg with steaming hot rice, creating a comforting dish to start the day.
Miso Soup: An essential in Japanese cuisine, miso soup can be made with just a few ingredients like seaweed, tofu, and mushrooms, offering a warm and nutritious option that can be tailored to your taste.
Onigiri: These rice balls are both fun to make and versatile, with fillings ranging from salmon and spicy mayo to sweet red bean paste, wrapped in a nori strip for easy handling.

Dishes That Take a Little Longer, But Still Easy
When you have a bit more time to spare, these dishes offer a deeper dive into Japanese cooking without requiring professional skills. They are still easy to prepare and promise a more involved and rewarding cooking experience:

Oyakodon: A heartwarming bowl of chicken and egg over rice, this dish combines savory flavors in a comforting meal.
Japanese Curry: Unlike its Indian counterpart, Japanese curry is milder and sweeter. The main ingredients are meat and vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Tonkatsu: If you’re up for frying, tonkatsu is a great choice. Thinly sliced pork cutlets are coated in panko breadcrumbs and fried to perfection, often served with a drizzle of tonkatsu sauce.
Okonomiyaki: Often described as a Japanese pancake, okonomiyaki is made with a batter of cabbage, flour, egg, and water, cooked like a pancake with various toppings, offering a savory and satisfying meal.

Sauces & Condiments
The right sauce or condiment can elevate a simple dish to new heights, and in Japanese cooking, these flavorful additions are key to achieving authentic tastes:

Homemade Sauces: Teriyaki and yakiniku sauces are surprisingly easy to make at home and can transform simple ingredients into delectable meals.
Instant Dashi: This versatile stock powder can be used to create a variety of dishes, from nabe (hot pot) to stir-fries, adding a flavor that’s distinctly Japanese.
Essential Ingredients: Stocking your pantry with soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, miso, and sake will ensure you have the foundations for countless Japanese dishes.

Rice is not just a side dish in Japanese cuisine; it’s often the main event. Owning a rice cooker can simplify the process of preparing rice, making it an effortless addition to every meal. It is recommended that you invest in a good rice cooker to enjoy perfectly cooked rice with minimal effort. Use freshly cooked rice as the base for a variety of dishes. You can also wrap cooked rice into small portions & freeze them to save time. Here is a guide on how to freeze rice.

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