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Japanese food and drinks you can make at home
Japanese food and drinks you can make at home

During this pandemic and our self-confinement, it’s easy to get bored; bored of our daily routine, bored of TV, and, of course, bored of the limited things we can eat and drink at home. Thinking about what to do during lockdown? So, here’s a list of some simple recipes for Japanese food, drinks and alcohol at home that you can easily try out. All of them require only the most basic ingredients found in most kitchens. We have special FREE Japnaese recipes for you so make sure to snatch that!

If you’re interested in trying out these Japanese recipes, make sure to snatch it here!

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Japanese food at home

Teriyaki sauce 

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks Teriyaki
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

The sweet, tantalising Japanese teriyaki sauce is a great Japanese food surprisingly easy to make. All you need is soy sauce, mirin and white vinegar. Mix it all together and then pour it over chicken, fish or tofu. With a side of rice and vegetables, you’ve got a delicious Japanese dinner. 

Grab the full Japanese recipe for terriyaki above!

Chahan 

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks chahan fried rice
Credit: Flickr (What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try)

Chahan, Japanese fried rice, is an amazing Japanese food you can make at home. First, prepare your ingredients: they can be whatever you like, but the typical Japanese chahan is made with eggs, green onions and chashu. Throw all your ingredients in the pan with your rice. Make sure the rice is on the drier side so you can get the perfect, crisp texture. Flavour it with pepper and a little bit of soy sauce if you like. 

Grab the full Japanese recipe for chahan above!

Omurice

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks Omelette rice omurice
Credit: NYT cooking (What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try)

Omurice, or omelette rice, is a Japanese fusion dish: a fluffy omelette surrounding delicious fried rice or fried tomato rice. Sometimes, you can also get it with curry. You may have come across mouth-watering videos where the chef cuts the  omelette in half and you see that it has a runny texture. You can make it home, too!

To make the fried tomato rice, simply fry some rice with ketchup and other ingredients like onions or peas. Now you just need an omelette on top of it. 

The key point of omurice is that the omelette has a nice and runny texture. To achieve this, add a bit of milk to your beat eggs. Make sure there’s enough oil in your pan and then pour your egg-milk mixture into the pan on low heat. Tilt the pan left and right until the egg covers the entire pan. Then, just let it sit for a while. You’ll get a runny, slightly creamy, fluffy omelette to put on top of your fried tomato rice. 

Grab the full Japanese recipe for omurice above!

Tonkatsu

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks Taonkatsu
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

Tonkatsu is deep fried pork or chicken cutlet. To make this Japanese food at home, cut your pork or chicken up into nice, slim strips. Dip them into flour, and then eggs, and then into bread crumbs or panko. Then, deep-fry it. You’ll have a nice, crispy pork/chicken cutlet that you can eat ala carte, or with rice or vegetables on the side. 

Grab the full Japanese recipe for tonkatsu above!

Ramen

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks Ramen
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

This Japanese food might be difficult to make restaurant-quality ramen at home, but we’ve got to make do in these times. Make a broth with either chicken stock or miso paste, and then simply boil ramen noodles in them. You can throw in whatever toppings you’d like. If you want to make the broth stronger in taste, you can throw in chicken bones or pork bones to bring out the rich and creamy texture you can get in Japanese ramen restaurants

Grab the full Japanese recipe for two different types of ramen above!

Onigiri

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks onigiri
Credit: Food network (What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try)

Onigiri are Japanese rice balls, and they are a popular household food for many people in Japan. You only need cooked rice and whatever fillings you want your onigiri to have, canned tuna with mayo, minced salmon or even beef. 

Once your rice is cooked, add a small amount of vinegar to it so it gets a nice, sticky texture. Then, take a small amount and put it into the palm of your hand. Put your fillings in the rice, cover it with another palm-full of rice, and mould it until it’s got a nice shape. If you have seaweed at home, wrap your onigiri up in it and take a bite. 

Nigiri sushi

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks Sushi
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

Just like with onigiri, add a small amount of vinegar to your cooked rice. Make sure your hands are wet when handling the rice so it doesn’t stick to your hands. Mould it with your hands so it gets a nice, rectangular-ish shape. Then, stick whatever you want on top of it. Classic nigiri sushi often has sashimi on top of the rice, but just make do with whatever you have at home. 

Gyoza

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks gyoza
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

If you’ve got some time to spare, try making your own gyoza. This Japanese food at home is a fun activity you can enjoy with your family or your partner at home. First, make the wrap by mixing flour, cornstarch, salt and water. Keep in mind that making the wrap requires a lot of strength and it can get quite tiring. 

Roll your dough so it’s nice and flat. Cut out a small circle to make your wrap. Put whatever fillings you want in the middle of it and then roll it up. A pro-tip is to make sure your fillings are minced/chopped finely. Gyoza wrapping is quite thin and any big piece of meat or vegetables could rip it. 

Grab the full Japanese recipe for how to wrap gyoza above!

Healthy ingredients

Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world and that’s likely because of their cuisine which makes use of many healthy ingredients. Here are some you can start incorporating into your own meals. All of these choices are gluten-free and vegan. 

Tofu

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks tofu salad
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

Tofu is one of the world’s healthiest foods. It has a good amount of protein and contains all nine of the essential amino acids our body needs, as well as other good nutrients. 

If eating plain tofu doesn’t sound very appetising to you, add some soy sauce or diced green onions. Or, add kimchi, another healthy food! The sourness and spiciness with all a little flavour to your tofu. 

Seaweed 

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks wakame seaweed
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

Seaweed contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Though seaweed doesn’t taste like much on its own, you make a salad out of it by combining different types, adding Japanese dressing or soy sauce, and dashi. Throw in a little bit of wasabi to give your salad a little kick. 

Soba 

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks soba noodles
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat and they contain a lot of fiber. It’s said that soba noodles are especially good for maintaining your blood sugar levels, heart, preventing inflammation and even cancer (Healthline, 2018).

To make this Japanese food at home, simply boil the noodles to cook it, and if you want to eat it with broth, mix a small amount of soy sauce, mirin and sake into the water. If you want to eat it dry, drain the water and pour a little bit of soy sauce on the noodles for flavour. Add some ingredients such as seaweed, vegetables, fish or pork.

Miso soup

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks miso soup
Credit: Delish (What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try)

Miso soup has a large number of nutrients and beneficial antioxidants. All you need is miso paste (which you can get on your next essential grocery-shopping trip), and throw it into a boiling pot of water. Add some of the other ingredients listed above to make a warm, filling and healthy dish. 

Japanese snacks

Japan has a wide range of snacks, chips, chocolate, biscuits, cookies and more. If you tend to get peckish, stock up this Japanese food at home and get some of these snacks on your next essential grocery-shopping trip. 

Kit Kat

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks kit kat
Credit: Timeout (What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try)

Kit Kat is its own category of snack in Japan, as opposed to chocolate or biscuit elsewhere. There are countless flavours or limited editions of Kit Kat in Japan, the most famous of which is the matcha—green tea—Kit Kat. There is the subtle, bitter taste of matcha mixed into the sweetness of the chocolate, and the combination is just a burst of flavour in your mouth. 

Pocky 

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks Pocky
Credit: Japan Centre

Pocky are long, thin biscuits coated in chocolate, and they are addictive. They, like Kit Kats, come in all sorts of flavours: chocolate, strawberry, matcha, rum raisin, maple, and more. 

Senbei

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks sebei
Credit: Sweets of Japan (What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try)

If sweets aren’t your thing, try senbei, Japanese rice crackers. They come in all shapes, sizes and flavours. They are usually coated with a thin layer of soy sauce which makes it taste salty. 

Potato Chips 

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks potato chips
Credit: Inside hook (What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try)

Japan has many unique flavours of potato chips: seaweed, wasabi, soy sauce, cheeseburger, garlic butter, steak, fried chicken, and more. 

Japanese drinks at home

Another reason Japanese people might have a higher life expectancy is the large amount of tea and other healthy Japanese beverages they drink. Lucky for you, you can easily recreate these Japanese drinks at home!

Matcha tea

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks matcha
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

Matcha is a green tea made from a powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It is a Japanese drink you can make at home. It’s said they have enormous health benefits—it is rich in fiber, has beneficial antioxidants, boosts metabolism, helps calm one’s mind and more. If you have matcha powder, add some into your latte to have a delicious matcha latte. 

Sencha 

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks green tea sencha
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

If you find matcha too bitter, then try out another green tea, sencha, which is the typical green tea often served in Japanese restaurants. It has a lighter taste than matcha, and has a sweeter aftertaste. Sencha, similar to matcha, has health benefits such as anti-ageing properties and antibacterial properties. 

Hojicha

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks hojicha
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

Hojicha is roasted green tea. As the name suggests, it’s roasted at a high temperature instead of steamed like most other teas. It has antioxidants  and provides a relaxing, therapeutic effect after you drink it. 

Yakult

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks yakult
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

If you’re not a fan of tea, then try Yakult. It’s a sweetened probiotic milk beverage fermented with bacteria. It’s said that this Yakult can improve digestion and help strengthen your immune system. 

Calpis

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks calpis
Credit: Tsunagu Japan (What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try)

Calpis is another popular drink in Japan. It’s often made fun of by foreigners as it sounds like “cow piss”, but the name is actually a combination of the words ‘calcium’ and ‘salpis’, one of the five tastes described in Buddhism. It is made of milk, yeast and lactic acid bacterium. It’s said it can give you a good night’s sleep and help improve your immune system against  influenza. 

Japanese alcohol at home

If you enjoy having a drink or two at home, then grab some of these Japanese alcohols to make at home on your next grocery-shopping trip! These make great Japanese drinks using Japanese alcohol you can enjoy at home.

Japanese beers 

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks beer
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

Japanese beers are known to be weaker in flavor compared to beers from other countries, but they have a crispy flavour that goes well with meals. 

Nihonshu 

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks nihonshu sake
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

Nihonshu, also known as Japanese sake, is the most traditional Japanese alcohol. It is made of fermented rice and can be served cold or warm. Sake is said to be a healthy drink in small amounts, and that it prevents high blood pressure. You can easily make this Japanese alcoholic drink at home!

Japanese whiskeys

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks Japanese whiskey
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

Japanese whiskeys is a Japanese alcohol that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. The Japanese distilleries are usually in remote locations known for their water purity and clean rainforest environments. This makes Japanese whisky lighter and mellower, a good accompaniment to meals. 

Highball

Japanese things you can do during lockdown, Japanese food and drinks Highball
What to do during lockdown? Japanese food & Drinks to try

A mixer in Japan is called a highball. They are usually made with shochu, a distilled alcohol similar to vodka, and a mixer of your choice. A popular highball in Japan is the lemon highball, which you make by mixing shochu, soda water and a lemon. Another popular one is the oolong highball, made by mixing shochu with oolong tea. Both these drinks are refreshing and easy to drink. 

A whiskey highball is made by mixing whiskey—instead of shochu—with soda, and usually topped with a slice of lemon.   

Japanese abbreviated words in temple

Want to find out more about Japan travel and explore the ins and outs of Japan?

Check out the free resources here!

There you have it, here are many amazing Japanese food, drinks and Japanese alcohol you can enjoy in the comfort of your home! You can also check out Japanese anime, manga and games, as well as Japanese books, movies and TV shows for you to check out!

If you have any questions about these Japanese recipes to make at home or want to get in touch, feel free to DM us on Instagram or message us on Facebook Messenger! We would love to talk with you!

FLIP Guide Team

FLIP Guide Team

Connect: Instagram, Facebook, Youtube

The FLIP Guide team has discovered many hidden places in Japan, and has learned about numerous parts of Japanese society, and we are excited to share our knowledge with you!

FLIP GUIDE TEAM

Hey friend!

Just like you, we are foreigners from all around the world.

When we first arrived in Tokyo, we all found this city to be overwhelming, not sure where to begin.

During the years that we have lived here in Japan, we have discovered and visited countless famous tourist attractions as well as unique and underground places.

We are now proud to say that we are experts of Japan and would love to share the knowledge with all of you!

 

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