The beauty of Japanese cuisine is in its wide variety of ingredients and cooking methods. The various ways of preparing the many different categories of ingredients combine to create healthy, nutritionally well-balanced meals. Here is an introduction to some of the principal categories of Japanese cuisine. Once the characteristics of each category are understood, Japanese cooking can be more fun and healthier.



The trick is to deep-fry until the batter is crispy

Agemono are dishes prepared by deep-frying vegetables or seafood in a relatively large amount of oil at a high temperature. Typical agemono dishes are tempura, "fry" (deep-fried foods), and "kara-age".

The tip for successful agemono is to cook the ingredients thoroughly and deep-fry until the batter is crispy. For agemono, ingredients are coated in a batter; for tempura, the ingredients are dipped in a batter of flour, beaten egg and water, for "fry", the batter is made of flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs, and for kara-age, the ingredients are dusted with katakuriko (potato starch) or another starch.

It is also important to keep the oil at the correct temperature according to the ingredients or recipe. The best agemono is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

related recipes


207kcal / per person

Tempura is one of the typical Japanese dishes. Seafood and vegetables are battered with a mixture of flour, egg and water, and then deep fried until crunchy. Serve with dipping sauce mixed with grated daikon.

Mackerel Tatsuta-age

226kcal / per person

Tatsuta-age is named after the Tatsuta River, a famous site for the autumn leaves in Nara Prefecture. It is said that the red color of deep fried chicken or mackerel marinated in soy sauce-based sauce and the white color of starch resemble the Tatsuta River with autumn leaves.

Deep-fried Chicken

152kcal / per person

One of the most popular dishes at home and at izakayas, Japanese-style deep-fried chicken is seasoned with soy sauce-based sauce and coated with starch before deep frying.


295kcal / per person

Tonkatsu is also popular overseas. A thick slice of pork is dredged in breadcrumbs and deep fried. This Japanese original dish was invented in the Meiji era, based on a British dish.

Oil-seared Bonito

179kcal / per person

Seared bonito is one of the typical bonito dishes and is prepared by searing on the outside of the fish. In this recipe, bonito is breaded and deep fried. As it is a bold dish but easy to make, it is perfect for meals with your guests.

Baby Horse Mackerel Nanban-zuke

187kcal / per person

Nanban means dishes with leek and red chili pepper. Foreign countries such as Portugal and Spain were called Nanban at the end of the Muromachi era. The term nanban was attached to the ingredients and the cooking methods introduced from these countries.

Crunchy White Fish with Thick Sauce

190kcal / per person

Delightful combination of deep fried white fish and steaming thick sauce. It is a dish for cold days.

Steamy Fried Vegetables

106kcal / per person

All you need to do is cut and deep-fry vegetables. No batter is needed.

Deep Fried Okaki Salmon

133kcal / per person

There are a variety of batters for deep frying; besides the classics such as tempura batter and bread crumb frying batter, you can use okaki, arare (both are Japanese rice crackers) and harusame (bean-starch vermicelli). Try various batters and enjoy new tastes.

Light and Refreshing Deep-fried Chicken Stew

113kcal / per person

This is a light and refreshing dish with flavorful fried chicken simmered in soup with vinegar.