Our Top 10 Japanese Izakaya Recipes
Eating in a Japanese izakaya is a bit like pub or gastropub dining in the United States. You'll grab a beer, sake, or cocktail, and share plates of comfort food with your friends in a warm and welcoming environment. To recreate the fun, comfortable izakaya experience at home, we've gathered together some of our favorite izakaya-style recipes.
Simple Roasted Edamame
A classic nibble, edamame are simply soybeans seasoned with minced garlic and salt, coated with oil, and roasted until browned. A super-quick recipe for a fun-to-eat appetizer or bar snack. "Love this method," says Buckwheat Queen. "The edamame come out plump and flavorful."
Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelette)
Tamagoyaki is a classic Japanese omelette, slightly sweet and seasoned with soy sauce, mirin, and dashi stock. "It's a favorite in bento boxes and also makes an easy, authentic Japanese appetizer," says Chef Jackie. "Serve with shredded daikon and soy sauce for dipping."
Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)
This version of the savory and highly customizable Japanese pancake is filled with cabbage, bacon, sausage, and shrimp. "Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake stuffed with yummy goodness!" says Stephanie Llamas. "Okonomi means 'what you like' and yaki means 'grilled.' The ingredients provided are the basic okonomiyaki recipe. Feel free to add any vegetables or other meats. Have fun playing with the ingredients!"
You might also like these variations:
These pan-fried dumplings are filled with a savory mixture of ground pork, cabbage, and ginger, flavored with mirin, ginger, sake, and soy saue. They're perfect starters or light noshes shared with friends.
Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)
This classic Japanese-style fried chicken features bite-size pieces of chicken marinated in ginger, sake, and soy sauce and then fried. "Serve as an appetizer or with rice and veggies to make a yummy meal," says Brenda Sawyer Adamson. "It even tastes good cold; my mom used to make this to take with us on picnics."
Easy Chicken Yakitori
Grilled yakitori is one of the most popular izakaya dishes. To make this easy chicken version, simply baste skewered chicken thigh meat with a tasty mixture of sake, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar as they grill. "Chicken yakitori is an easy Japanese dish to make at home," says ChefJackie. "Serve with white rice and sake for an easy but special meal!"
Gyudon Japanese Beef Bowl
"This is basically a common Japanese fast food where thinly sliced beef and caramelized onions are served on top of short-grain rice," says LittoBubbo. "Perfect when hot, cold, or room temperature. Good for school lunches on hot days."
Chicken breast halves are pounded thin, coated in flour, egg, and Japanese panko, and then quickly pan-fried until beautifully golden brown. "This is my family recipe for Chicken Katsu — Japanese style fried chicken," says sakuraiiko. "Serve with white rice and tonkatsu sauce." You can also use this recipe to make Tonkatsu, which calls for pork cutlets instead of chicken.
This recipe starts with a simple soy-ginger marinade. The skewered, marinated cubes of sirloin steak require mere minutes on the grill. "This marinade is delicious with beef, but is great with pork or chicken too," says Rayna Jordan. "You will need to adjust the cooking time depending upon the meat or poultry you use for the skewers."
Buckwheat soba noodles mix it up with stir-fried thin strips of pork tenderloin, julienned strips of carrots and onions, grated ginger, minced garlic, shredded napa cabbage, and a flavorful sauce. "This authentic yakisoba was taught to me by my host mother when I lived in Osaka, Japan," says veithk. "It is the real deal and my friends love it."