The Japanese are experts at a balance of textures and flavors. One of the main principles of washoku, traditional Japanese cuisine, is ichiju-sansai — one soup, two side dishes, and rice.
Konnyaku, a jelly-like food made from a type of yam, is naturally low in calories and nutrients, especially fiber and vitamin C. Natto, the fermented soybean dish, is full of protein and probiotics.
A dish full of umami, this classic Japanese recipe is one of the best ways to eat soy healthily. Soft silken tofu is lightly dusted with potato starch before being deep fried and then served in a savory broth, along with garnishes like katsuobushi, grated daikon, and ginger.
Agedashi tofu is a popular dish found at most temples and ryokans, as well as in the kitchens of Japanese homes. It is also a staple in the Japanese diet and has been linked to longevity due to its abundance of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.
To make this dish as healthy as possible, you’ll want to use light cooking oil and eat the tofu in moderation. It is also essential to use fresh ingredients that will give it the most flavor, including various vegetables, soy products, and seafood. Adding natto and miso, two of the most common Japanese condiments, will provide plenty of probiotics and essential vitamins and minerals, especially iodine, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A and C.
The healthy Japanese food onigiri consists of rice balls formed into different shapes and filled with various ingredients such as pickled umeboshi, salted salmon, Akaka (dried bonito flakes with soy sauce), cod roe, and nitamago (soy sauce flavored boiled egg). It is served as a snack or light meal in Japan and worldwide.
When preparing onigiri at home, use short-grain brown rice, salt, and water instead of white sushi rice. The resulting onigiri will be lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber and antioxidants.
Before handling the rice, wet your hands and rub them with salt; this helps prevent the rice from sticking to your fingers and adds flavor. When shaping the onigiri, apply gentle pressure and try not to squish the rice, as this will cause the filling to leak out.
If you avoid fish, you can stuff onigiri with low-FODMAP vegetables such as pickled carrots or cooked sweet potato. Or, if you’re a fan of spices, try mixing furikake into the rice before forming it into a shape. Tenmusu onigiri is a popular varietwithas tempura (Japanese fried chicken, karaagit.
The Japanese diet is packed with fish and vegetables. It also includes a variety of fermented foods. Fermented foods are rich in probiotics and healthy bacteria that can help balance our gut health.
One of the best options is Niku Udon (Rou udon). It’s made with beef, udon noodles, and dashi broth. You can add a variety of vegetable toppings to the dish, such as cucumber, eggplant, and daikon pickles. These veggies are low in calories and contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can add a few pieces of scallion greens or shichimi togarashi for flavor without adding too many additional calories.
This dish is an excellent option for anyone looking to eat healthier while enjoying Japanese cuisine. The beef and udon noodles provide an excellent source of protein and fiber. If you want to lower the calories even more, try cooking the udon in less water and using less oil in the sauce. You can also ask for the soup to be poured over the noodles instead of tossed in so that you’re not adding any extra oil to the dish.
Oyakodon (Qin Zi Jing ) is the second oldest donburi (rice bowl dish) type. It’s a chicken omelet on top of rice, but it’s much more decadent and more delicious than a simple omelet. It’s also a great comfort food that’s easy to find in restaurants all over Japan and abroad.
The main ingredients of oyakodon are dashi broth, soy sauce, and mirin. Dashi is made from kombu, an edible seaweed high in minerals and vitamins. It’s the base of many Japanese soups, including ramen and other popular dishes. It’s also a good calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium source.
Then you add the chicken and eggs, which are only partially boiled, to make them soft. The egg yolks are a little run, soaking up the savory flavor of the chicken and the sweet taste of the sake and mirin. Then it’s all poured over a bowl of cooked rice and garnished with scallions or mitsuba (stalks trefoil). This is the perfect one-bowl meal that’s easy to make and full of protein and healthy fats.
Whether following a diet or just wanting to feel better, these five Japanese foods will help keep your weight and health in check. They contain healthy nutrients like vitamin K2, folate, and more. Plus, they’re easy to make at home!
Gyoza is dumplings filled with ground meat and vegetables and wrapped in a thin dough. They originated in China (where they’re called jiao zi) and became popular in Japan after World War II. They’re often pan-fried, but they can also be steamed or boiled.
While the typical gyoza filling is made with ground pork and cabbage (wombako), other ingredients can be added to make a variety of gyoza flavors. Garlic chives (nira) add a hint of garlicky flavor and vibrant green color, while kombu is rich in umami and an essential ingredient for making the broth used to cook gyoza.