Anime does more than tell good stories – it also shows lots of delicious-looking food! Anime foods from Japanese cuisine or imaginary dishes can make viewers very hungry. Many anime fans wish they could reach the screen and taste what the characters eat.
In this article, we will talk about the most tempting anime foods. Get ready to explore the yummy anime world and see some foods you want to try!
Even if we can’t eat these anime creations in real life, seeing the tasty dishes anime artists dream up is still fun. Looking at dumplings, noodles, cakes, and other foods from popular anime might ignite some cravings! So, let’s dive in and enjoy this anime feast for the eyes.
Delicious Anime Foods
1. Miso Chashu Pork Ramen
This ramen comes from the popular Ichiraku Ramen Shop in the anime Naruto. It is Naruto’s favorite food that he often gets Kakashi to buy for him. It is a miso pork ramen. Miso is a paste made from soybeans. “Chashu” refers to the braised pork belly.
The broth is made using the liquid the pork was braised in to give it more flavor. Chashu comes from the Chinese word for braised meat. The ramen also often has narutomaki, the pink swirly ingredient in ramen.
It contains seaweed, braised pork belly, sprouts, egg, and daikon radish. This makes it a very popular ramen dish in Southeast Asia.
Onigiri is one of the most popular Japanese foods. It is a fast, easy snack or meal. Onigiri are rice balls wrapped in seaweed that sometimes have a filling. To make them, you form hot white rice or barley rice into balls. You can add a stuffing like chicken, beef, vegetables like edamame and ginger, or red beans.
Then, you wrap the finished rice balls with dried wakame seaweed. This seaweed wrapping helps you eat onigiri with your hands without getting messy. Even though they are simple, Japanese people love onigiri as a tasty, fast snack.
Takoyaki is a popular Japanese food made with octopus. The name comes from the Japanese word for octopus, “tako.” To make takoyaki, chop up octopus and mix it into a thick flour batter.
Then, pour the batter into a special pan to make round takoyaki pancakes with octopus pieces inside. When the takoyaki pancakes are cooked, you top them with tonkatsu sauce (a Japanese barbecue-like sauce), dried bonito fish flakes, pickled ginger, and green onions.
Takoyaki is commonly sold as a snack food at Japanese festivals. It’s so popular that there is even a planet named after it! Though it has unique ingredients, takoyaki is a tasty dish without much mess.
So Takoyaki makes cameo appearances as a popular casual Japanese food in quite a few anime series.
- In “Blue Exorcist,” Rin Okumura works part-time at a takoyaki stand and is seen making and serving takoyaki several times.
- In “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid,” there is an episode where Kobayashi makes homemade takoyaki for Tohru, the dragon, and Kanna.
- In “Yakitate!! Japan”, one of the bread-baking challenges is perfectly recreating takoyaki flavors and textures in bread form.
- In many anime like “Clannad,” “Rosario + Vampire,” and “Squid Girl,” takoyaki often appears or is eaten at summer festivals and school culture fests.
Omelets are a popular breakfast food all over the world. Omurice is a Japanese-style omelet that uses some Southeast Asian ingredients. To make omurice, stir eggs with milk and butter to make a creamy egg mixture.
It is cooked to wrap around chicken fried rice flavored with soy sauce. The egg omelet envelops the chicken fried rice in a nice package.
So omurice starts with the familiar omelet many enjoy for breakfast but with the added twist of having fried rice inside, thanks to Japanese and Southeast Asian influences. It combines an omelet’s creaminess with the hearty flavor of fried rice.
5. Yaki Dango
Yaki dango is a popular Japanese festival food, especially at the Tanabata festival when people view fireworks. It is made of sweet dumplings cooked on a stick, like a kebab. The dumplings are made from rice flour and grilled with a sweet soy sauce glaze.
This makes them sticky, chewy, and sweet – perfect for walking around and eating at lively summer festivals. The different rice flours create a soft but firm texture.
Yaki Dango is an easy, portable finger food you can enjoy while having fun and watching fireworks or parades at Japanese festivals in the summer. Its sweet taste and dumpling shape on a stick have made it a favorite snack.
Taiyaki is a very popular Japanese snack. Even though it’s shaped like a fish, it doesn’t contain seafood. Taiyaki is made by baking a thick, sweet pancake batter in a fish-shaped mold. The pancake is then filled with sweet red bean paste. Some varieties add chocolate, honey, or fruit fillings instead for extra sweetness!
You can buy taiyaki from street vendors and shops all over Japan for about a dollar each. It makes for an easy, affordable treat. The fish shape and sweet flavor make it fun for kids to eat as an after-school snack. Adults also enjoy taiyaki as a tasty dessert.
This sweet snack with many filling choices has become a food loved by all ages across Japan despite being cheap and simple to make. Its popularity shows no sign of decreasing.
7. Shrimp Tempura Fry
Shrimp tempura is a popular Japanese dish often served in izakaya bars with alcoholic drinks. The light, crispy batter and savory shrimp taste great with beer or sake. Shrimp tempura is also easy to make at home for dinner.
To prepare it, shrimp are dipped into flour, egg, and ice water to coat them evenly. Then the battered shrimp are fried quickly until light brown and very crispy. The tempura shrimp can be eaten plain with a dipping sauce or squirted with lime juice or hot sauce to add some extra zing.
The combination of hot, juicy shrimp with a bubbly tempura coating keeps this dish a staple of Japanese home cooking and bar food. It matches perfectly with drinks and packs some serious flavor.
Gyoza are Japanese-style dumplings that are a favorite food of the main character Caiman in the anime Dorohedoro. Caiman loves to eat gyoza from his friend Nikaido’s restaurant.
Gyoza has a filling made of ground pork, cabbage, chives, onions, garlic, sesame oil, and soy sauce. The filling gets wrapped in a dough wrapper made from rice flour, cake flour, and all-purpose flour. Then, the dumplings are cooked by pan frying or steaming.
Since Caiman the lizard-man is obsessed with Nikaido’s delicious gyoza, I wanted to include it on this list of popular anime foods. The anime made gyoza look so good that they sparked cravings for many fans hungry to try the same dumplings Caiman loves!
Tamagoyaki is a popular Japanese breakfast food. It is an omelet made by cooking eggs slowly instead of frying them fast. Beaten eggs are mixed with dashi, mirin, and soy sauce to make a sweet, creamy egg batter. The cook pours the egg mixture into a small pan in layers, grilling each layer gently. This allows thin layers of fluffy egg to stack up into a square or rectangular omelet shape.
In anime, tamagoyaki is often shown plain without vegetables or meat inside. But in real life, many Japanese add fillings like green onion, spinach, pork, garlic, or more to the egg batter for extra flavor before grilling. The soft, slightly sweet egg layers wrap around the fillings nicely.
While making the layered omelet shape properly takes practice, tamagoyaki is simple to prepare. It’s a warming, satisfying breakfast stable with many tasty variations.
Katsudon is my favorite Japanese food that I’ve ever tried. A sushi restaurant near my college served it for a limited time, and was amazingly delicious. The combination of the savory pork, sweet egg, and hot rice melted in my mouth.
Katsudon has only three main ingredients: rice, pork, and egg. First, a bowl of sticky white rice is served hot. Then, breaded, fried pork cutlets called tonkatsu are placed on top of the rice. Finally, an egg is cooked slowly in a sweet, salty broth until the whites are soft. The egg is gently poured over the pork and rice. The egg mixes with the tonkatsu juices, creating an unbelievably tasty sauce for the rice.
I highly recommend trying Katsudon if you ever get the chance. The flavors and textures come together perfectly. It gave me one of the best food experiences I can remember, so it’s an absolute must-try bucket list food item for me.
11. Curry Rice
Curry rice is a go-to quick and easy meal in many Japanese homes. It is especially popular with students because it is fast to prepare after long study sessions. Curry rice is rice topped with a thick curry sauce. The curry sauce is made by cooking vegetables like carrots and potatoes using curry powder spices.
Some common spices are garam masala, paprika, fennel, and other curry blends. Onions, carrots, potatoes, beef, or other meats can also be cooked into the sauce. The hearty, flavorful curry is spooned over a big bowl of fluffy white rice.
Since curry rice comes together fast and makes for cheap, filling comfort food, it’s frequently shown in anime for dinnertimes or school lunches. The spicy, aromatic curry over rice has become a convenient backup dinner option for Japanese families and students that this list had to include! It’s a staple meal that requires little work for those nights you need food quickly.
12. Shabu-Shabu Hot Pot
Shabu-shabu is a tasty Japanese hot pot dish that is fun to eat in groups. It contains thinly sliced beef and vegetables cooked together in a flavorful broth. The broth is made from kombu seaweed and bonito fish flakes, giving it plenty of “umami” richness.
Along with the thinly cut meats, all kinds of vegetables go into the pot, including mushrooms, cabbage, onions, seaweed, and whatever else you want. Everyone gathers around the bubbling pot and uses chopsticks or small strainers to swish the ingredients in the broth to cook them, saying “shabu-shabu.”
Hot pots like shabu-shabu are enjoyed for big gatherings in Japan, especially in winter. Eating from a shared pot is a way to bring people together for laughs and bonding. More ingredients get added as the pot empties, so you try a bit of everything.
The tasty assortment of vegetables, noodles, and dipping sauces makes every bite different. So, in Japan, hot pot meals are considered a fun, social event for making new connections over lots of delicious food.
Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese food often bought from festivals, especially during fireworks shows in the summer. It comes packaged in a box with chopsticks for easy eating on the go. To make it, flour dough gets mixed with grated yam, eggs, water, cabbage, pork belly, and other favorite ingredients like seafood or green onions. The mixture then gets cooked on a grill like a thick, savory pancake or pizza. Okonomiyaki means “cook as you like it,” so the fillings can vary.
Finally, sweet-savory sauces are drizzled overtop – usually okonomiyaki and tonkatsu sauce. Those thick, sticky sauces perfectly complement the hearty vegetables, meats, and creamy batter. With so many textures and flavors, it’s an amazing fair food to walk around with and watch fireworks.
Okonomiyaki reflects a more casual, fun side of Japanese cuisine that allows customization for your tastes. The sweet, salty, doughy goodness makes for the ultimate summertime treat.