Top 8 healthy Japanese food dishes you must try

Japan has a long history of eating healthy food, and this is what you will find in Japan. The Japanese diet is high in ingredients such as fish and seaweed, and most of the food used is low in fat. The traditional Japanese diet includes a lot of rice or rice noodles as well as soy products such as tofu and soy sauce. Let’s take a look at the top 8 healthy Japanese food dishes you must try and possibly add to your diet. 

Does healthy Japanese food lead to its longevity? 

Before we dive in, first, let’s take a look at how healthy Japanese food leads to its longevity. The Japanese population has one of the longest life expectancies in the world, and there are many theories for why this is. One theory is that it could be because of their diet. The Japanese diet is typically full of healthy food that leads to longer lives.

Japanese food is healthy for many reasons. Traditional Japanese cooking techniques such as stir-frying and steaming keep the nutrients in the food intact. This means that you can eat lots of different types of foods without worrying about missing out on essential nutrients.

When we say traditional Japanese cooking, we don’t just mean sushi and noodles. The majority of traditional Japanese dishes are healthy and nutritious. However, it is also important to remember that different dishes vary in their nutritional quality depending on how they are prepared and what ingredients they contain.

Healthy Japanese food

1. Miso soup 

Top 8 healthy Japanese food Miso soup

Miso soup is a staple in Japanese cuisine popular all around the world. Miso is a traditional popular Japanese food high in protein and low calories. The main ingredients are a stock called “dashi,” soy paste called “miso,” and seaweed.

There are many variations of miso soups, but they usually have tofu, wakame seaweed, green onions, and shiitake mushrooms for toppings.

I recommend starting with low-salt miso because it’s less salty than other varieties, which might be too overpowering for people who are unfamiliar with the taste of miso.

2. Natto 

Top 8 healthy Japanese food Natto

Natto is a traditional Japanese food that is also a popular breakfast dish in Japan. Natto is made from fermented soybeans and is full of vitamins, proteins, and nattokinase enzymes. It’s an amazing meal for your body, your health, and also your skin!

It can be eaten with cooked rice or on its own. It has a sticky texture and a strong smell of garlic. The taste varies depending on the maker but it usually has a strong, vinegary taste.

Natto is not for everyone, since the taste and texture are quite unique. If you haven’t, definitely give it a try and see if you like it!

3. Salmon sashimi 

Top 8 healthy Japanese food Salmon sashimi

There are many different types of sashimi and they are all quite healthy for you. In particular, salmon sashimi is very healthy. 

Salmon sashimi is a famous healthy dish in Japan. It’s thinly sliced pieces of raw fish that has a lot of benefits such as omega 3 fats, “the good fats”, vitamins and other benefits. Eating salmon sashimi is great for your heart and is said to be able to help you to lose weight.

The mercury levels in salmon are a matter of concern for many people. Salmon are thought to be healthy, but recent studies have shown that the mercury levels in salmon are cause for concern, especially when it comes to pregnant women. Although these studies are limited and need to be replicated, it is troubling that people who consume this type of fish on a daily basis could be at risk for health problems due to the high amounts of mercury they consume.

Take salmon sashimi in moderation and it can be a great addition to your healthy diet. 

4. Shiitake mushrooms 

Top 8 healthy Japanese food Shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are some of the most popular mushrooms in the world. It is a popular ingredient in traditional Japanese cooking and it has low calories, high protein and also a good source of carbohydrates.

Shiitake mushrooms are healthful in many ways, but they are most known for their immune-building properties. They contain the compound lentinan, which has been shown to increase the production of white blood cells in humans. Shiitake mushrooms also have anti-tumor properties, and promote the body’s natural defenses by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure.

The shiitake mushroom is a well-known medicinal fungus that has been used for centuries to help improve immunity, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce high blood pressure. Especially during autumn, there are many special Japanese recipes that feature Shiitake mushrooms.

5. Ochazuke 

Top 8 healthy Japanese food Ochazuke

Ochazuke is a healthy yet very simple traditional Japanese dish. This dish is typically eaten for breakfast or dinner in Japan. 

Chazuke is a dish made by pouring hot tea over cooked rice. Sometimes, instead of hot tea, hot water or hot soup stock is poured over cooked rice. Ingredients such as chopped nori, salmon, wasabi and umaibo are eaten with ochazuke. It is a refreshing dish that can be made quickly. If you are in Japan and want to try it out, you can usually find it in izakayas. 

6. Tofu 

Top 8 healthy Japanese food Tofu

Tofu is a type of food made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. Tofu is a great source of plant-based protein and in recent years, tofu has gained a lot of popularity worldwide. It is an inexpensive source of protein with a relatively bland taste that absorbs the flavors of other foods. As such, it serves as an alternative to meat products in vegetarian diets.

There are a lot of recipes you can make from tofu! and It can be used in salty and sweet dishes. You can eat tofu uncooked and cold with some chopped green onion and ginger, along with soy sauce. Tofu can also be eaten deep-fried, stir-fried, boiled and also used in shabu shabu. There are many different ways to enjoy tofu, give it a try when you visit Japanese restaurants. 

7. Soba 

Top 8 healthy Japanese food Soba

Soba noodles are not as well-known as ramen or udon but it is a healthier and some might even argue, tastier option. Soba noodles are made from 100% buckwheat flour. They have a lot of health benefits such as zinc and potassium, and it’s also high in protein and low in fat. It is believed that soba noodles can help you control your blood sugar.

Soba noodles can be eaten cold on their own or hot with dipping sauce. They are popular in Japan, where they are often served with quick pickles and soy sauce, or in broth-based soups such as the traditional Japanese broth miso soup, like we talked about earlier on. 

8. Edamame 

Top 8 healthy Japanese food Edamame

Edamame, meaning “beans on pods”, is a traditional Japanese food consisting of boiled immature soybeans in their pods. 

Edamame is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world. Edamame is an easily prepared dish with low calories and high protein. Edamame is rich in vitamins and minerals and it has a lot of benefits for your health.

It is usually seasoned with sea salt, and it is also deep-fried occasionally. Edamame originated in China where it was called “maodou” or “horse beans.” It has been eaten for centuries by Buddhist monks due to its high nutritional value.

Have you tried these Japanese healthy dishes? What other Japanese healthy food dishes do you know about? When you get a chance, definitely give these Japanese healthy dishes a try!


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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