Japanese Side Dishes

Nov 08, 2022 ByAndrew Parker

Dishes from the Land of the Rising Sun may be less familiar than their American counterparts, but that does not mean you should pass them up when it comes to eating well. The Japanese are known for their emphasis on clean eating and minimally processed ingredients, which translates into a lot more vegetable side dishes than you might be used to. Here are some side dishes worth trying out, whether as the star of your meal or as something to mix.

Spicy Miso Cod Roe soup is a miso soup made with cod roe, giving it a rich, creamy texture and flavor that is quite different from the typical miso soup. The sauce’s spiciness comes from fermented red miso and Japanese chili peppers. For this soup, you can use any white fish, such as cod, pollock, or even white salmon, but mackerel is perfect for summer.

Japanese beef short ribs are quite simply the best. They are a cut of beef that is typically very lean and is used in Japanese cuisine. This dish, made by braising short ribs in sake and mirin, is one of the most popular dishes in Japan and is truly one of a kind. Short ribs are an excellent addition to any dish with their rich, sticky, and sweet flavor. While short ribs are great meat for this recipe, you can also try substituting them with beef shank or brisket.

Grilled Mackerel with Japanese Mustard Sauce is a dish often served at summer BBQs in Japan, and it is simply a grilled mackerel fillet topped with grated daikon radish and served with Japanese mustard sauce. What makes this one of the best fish dishes is the freshness of the mustard sauce. It is made from mustard greens, sake, mirin, and seaweed, and the sauce has a zingy, almost peppery flavor that goes wonderfully with the fish. You can try making your mustard greens by growing mustard greens in your home, or you can buy fresh mustard greens in a jar.