The Bases of Japanese Dishes

Gohan (Cooked rice)

Gohan is cooked rice. Plain white Gohan is the most popular in Japan, but Takikomi-gohan (seasoned Gohan cooked with other cooking ingredients of the season) is often cooked as well. Gohan is the staple food in Japan.
The Japanese diet has been built and developed around the rice. Rice is a very nutritious grain and as it is an excellent source of protein, it is more than just a dish that gives people energy. Japanese have a perfectly balanced and nutritious meal by combining rice with vegetables, meat or fish.
Gohan is simple and has always played the main role in Japanese food culture.


The most popular and common soup is Miso* soup. Miso soup is considered to be indispensable in the Japanese traditional breakfast It combines well with gohan. Each family has their own original Miso soup recipe. This is why Miso soup is said to be "the mother's taste."

*Miso: Japanese traditional fermented seasoning

Main dish and side dish

Cooked dishes are called Okazu. There are Shusai and Fukusai in Okazu. Shusai is the main dish using meat or fish. Fukusai is the side dish, adding different taste and nutrition to Shusai.
Fukusai is usually cooked with a different recipe from Shusai.


Fish - Raw fish, grilled fish, cooked fish, and fried fish
Meat - Grilled meat, cooked meat, and fried meat
Use these dishes as a source of protein.


Vegetables - Simmered dishes, marinated dishes, and boiled vegetables with dressing
Fish and meat are also used as Fukusai. Legumes, tofu and seaweed are used as well.