If there is nothing better in anime aside from plot and characters, it's all the food! No matter what type of anime you're into, from slice of life to action and adventure, you have probably seen your favorite characters chowing down on something delicious that you wish you could just reach into the computer screen and steal it! That would be heaven.
Most of the food shown in anime are part of the Japanese cuisine. From bento boxes to vibrant dinners, most anime foods are Japanese or Japanese takes on western dishes. With so many foods to choose from, what would you dive into a bowl of first on your first trip to Japan? In the land of the rising sun, where umami is key, you have so many options to consider. Now, here's our list of top 10 anime food you want to eat!
One anime food dish that you may want to consider is okayu. Okayu is the Japanese version of rice porridge, otherwise known as congee. In Japan, okayu is served to ill patients because it is very easy to digest, but it can also be served to infants who are transitioning to more solid foods, or the elderly. Rice is a staple food in most Asian countries so it is understandable that a dish would be created so the ill and elderly can still consume rice but is easier on the body.
Typically, okayu is made by boiling uncooked rice and water for about 30 minutes. Other things may be added to add flavor like rice, negi, meats, fish or other side dishes. Japanese okayu is much thicker than other variations and quicker to make, but the Japanese do not eat it as often as say, the Chinese who may eat jook for breakfast everyday. Cooked rice can be made into congee, but then it becomes zosui.
While okayu may seem like just another rice dish, it is actually quite warming and delicious if the right condiments and side dishes are included. It can also be quite exciting to have your beloved feed you this dish much like in any ecchi anime! Or, you could just be oblivious when someone feeds this dish to you like in Hanasaku Iroha.
If there's nothing that you've seen more than ecchi in anime, it's probably onigiri! Onigiri is a rice ball that is made from Japanese rice and may or may not be wrapped in seaweed. Contrary to popular belief, onigiri do not have to be in a triangle shape, however many do prefer to form this anime food into a triangle! Just look at how cute it is in a triangle shape!
Although not required, fillings are generally placed inside onigiri ranging from umeboshi (pickled plums) to fish or meats. Should you choose not to put a filling inside, as Kiyoshi from Prison School stated, the onigiri is all carbs! Nothing but carbs.
Still, onigiri is a great anime food to make for a quick snack, a picnic, or even to put into a bento. They sell an assortment of onigiri in konbini as well. If you are in the states, you can find onigiri in Japanese supermarkets. Onigiri purchased in konbini and supermarkets come wrapped in a way to keep the seaweed from becoming soggy so that you can eat it at your leisure! If you are a bit calorie conscious, making onigiri is a good way to portion control your rice! It's no wonder that the Japanese love onigiri.
When it's cold outside, what anime food do you run to first? Onabe! In Japan, onabe is usually eaten in the winter because it makes the body feel warm. Onabe is actually just the Japanese variation of hot pot, but in reality, there are many different type of onabe from sukiyaki to oden. Hot pot itself is a popular dish among other Asian countries, especially in the winter time. It's also a great dish to consume around the kotatsu, as Kyouhei from Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge stated. You have to have a kotatsu!
Onabe is a one pot meal in which all ingredients are cooked in one pot together either in a light flavored broth with a sauce for dipping or a more hardy broth that will seep into the ingredients. The ingredients can vary from vegetables to different proteins like meat or tofu. Noodles like udon can also be placed into the pot to make it more hardy, especially for those really cold months! All of these ingredients are placed in a pot that is usually on top of a portable stove at the table so diners can cook and eat at their leisure at the dining table. Also, it's not a dish that has to be heavy on the stomach as made by Megumi in Shokugeki no Soma. It can be quite light yet delicious too.
One positive aspect of eating onabe is being able to share a meal with loved ones and sit around the kotatsu. It is the anime food that allows you to bond with your family and friends since you share foods out of the same pot and eat together. Just don't forget to share the meat too! Ah, don't you wish there were onabe stands like in Amagami SS? Only in Japan...
Often called "Japanese pizza," the next anime food item is okonomiyaki! The term "okonomiyaki" comes from the words "okonomi" which means "as you like" and "yaki" or "grilled. This anime food is made out of batter and cabbage as a base. The toppings can vary but generally include seafood, meat, green onions, vegetables, or mochi.
Kansai style okonomiyaki is the most predominant. It involves mixing all of the ingredients together first then pan frying everything and topping it with okonomiyaki sauce, and aonori flakes. Hiroshima style okonomiyaki involves first preparing a crepe-like base then topped with the cooked toppings and placed atop yakisoba noodles.
Okonomiyaki looks delicious in anime like in Kuroko no Basuke or Nabari no Ou, but don't think you'll be able to devour the whole thing. It's a pretty heavy dish! You may find it a great opportunity to share this anime food with friends so that you can enjoy this savory pizza-like dish without having to overstuff yourself. Of course, if you're a big eater, don't be shy! If you are feeling really confident, you can also make okonomiyaki in a restaurant that supplies you with the ingredients or try making it at home! Pretend your Ukyou from Ranma 1/2, just be a little careful about the size.
Often seen consumed at festivals, takoyaki is one anime food that you won't want to pass up. "Tako" means octopus and "yaki" means fried, which fits this anime food nicely considering it is a ball-shaped snack with octopus inside and fried in a special takoyaki pan. Technically, you can choose other fillings or omit the octopus entirely, but the octopus is worth trying at least once. The takoyaki is usually topped with takoyaki sauce, a drizzle of mayonnaise, aonori, and bonito creating an amazing blend of savory flavors.
Although many people may be put off trying something with octopus in it, takoyaki is actually quite delicious. It's crisp on the outside but also quite moist and soft on the inside; the perfect textures for eating. You just can't help but want to eat them the way Kill la Kill's Mako does: all at once! Just don't bite into it whole unless you want to cough it back up. Takoyaki is served piping hot so do as Megumi from Tenshi na Konamaiki and blow that sucker until it's cooled!
When you think of Golden Darkness from To-Love-Ru or Tsukimiya Ayu from Kanon, what anime food suits them best? Taiyaki, of course! It is hard to see them without their customary bag of taiyaki. Taiyaki is a fish-shaped cake that is usually filled with red bean paste, although taiyaki has been known to have other fillings like sweet potato or chocolate. The fish shape is that of a sea bream and is created using a special taiyaki pan so that results are fairly consistent.
While some may think that making it fish-shaped seems tedious and may opt for the easier to make dorayaki, the fish shape is still very popular. Even South Korea has their own variation called bungeoppang which is in the shape of a Carassius fish.
Truly fresh taiyaki is a delicious treat! With the warm dough and the soft yet sweet anko, the blend of both flavors is perfect in every way. If you choose chocolate, imagine taking a bite and having the melted chocolate filling your taste buds! Now that's an anime food to get your mouth watering.
If you aren't jealous of Kyouko from Working!! (Wagnaria), you should be. She is spoiled every episode with delicious parfaits made by Yachiyo that you can only dream of! While Japanese desserts all seem so appealing, there is no doubt that the parfait is the anime food to get your sweet tooth begging.
Japanese parfaits are decadent desserts made up of ice cream, corn flakes, red bean, mochi, and various other toppings like pocky, waffles, fruits, or wafers all piled into a parfait glass. The size of parfaits can vary but if you've seen Himouto! Umaru-chan, just make note that it is not impossible to get a parfait of that size.
Aside from the sweetness of a Japanese parfait, parfaits can also be quite creative in design. Some parfaits can come with cookies or wafers in special shapes like stars, hearts, or even your favorite anime characters! If you've got a sweet tooth, you will definitely enjoy the perfect blend of ice cream, sweets, and crunchy toppings that comes only in a parfait glass.
What anime food do you see so much of that isn't actually Japanese? That would be curry! The average Japanese family will consume curry at least once a week. It's consumed so often that it could be called a national dish. Even in Lucky Star, Izumi is shown making curry on a regular basis and the cast even discussed how to eat curry.
Actually, curry came to Japan from the British who had control of India at the time. Japanese curry is different from other curries in that it is thicker and sweeter, though there are spicy variations as well. It is quite easy to make curry roux, but in most households, curry is made out of instant roux that can come in vacuum sealed packets, blocks, or even powder. Despite the high salt content, the curry still comes out delicious.
Just like you've seen it in anime, Japanese curry can be consumed in so many different ways. It can be eaten with rice, udon, omurice, katsu, ramen, tempura, and even inside bread! There's also quite a few different types of curries based on peolpe's preferences; een when you purchase packaged curry, the brand can make all the difference in taste. In Tsuyokiss, Sunao ends up working at a curry restaurant and there were endless types of curry from cheese curry to chocolate curry! There are so many different ways to consume curry and so many different types, it's no wonder the Japanese don't get bored eating it.
In a country where taste and appearance are in harmony, it is no doubt that even the simplest of dishes are perfect in every aspect. One common anime food is omurice that is no different! While you can choose to alter the fried rice as you like from ketchup to chicken fried rice, the omelet part of omurice is key for its appearance!
When making this delicious rice dish, you can choose to do a half cooked omelet that is placed on top of the rice and carefully cut open to unfold over the rice, or you can actually wrap the rice in a more well done omelet, which is great for packing in a omurice bento!
While this dish is delicious like fried rice, it does make up for fried rice's lack of visual appeal and allows the chef or the consumer to decorate the omelet with ketchup or a sauce of their choosing. This can make eating more fun especially for kids. It's also on the menu at maid cafes if you want some service.
If there is one food with a cult following outside of Japan, it's ramen. Made notable outside the United States by the anime, Naruto, ramen is one anime food that will have you begging for more. Once we only knew of instant ramen, but now, we know that there is so much more to ramen than we ever knew before.
Ramen was first brought to Japan from China. There is a belief that the word "ramen" comes from the Chinese dish "lo mein," though it is not certain. In Japan, ramen is actually quite a popular dish with many variations including hakata, tsukemen, tonkotsu, shoyu, shio, and miso ramen; there are so many out there! The broths vary between each type but generally the broths are quite rich and delicious, while some may be a bit hardier than others. Noodle textures can vary as well from thin to thick and cooked differently making each bowl of ramen a unique experience.
Japanese ramen is a delicious culinary experience made up of rich broth, chewy noodles, and the perfect toppings all working together to make a wonderful meal that is sure to get your taste buds dancing. If there's one anime food that is a must try, it's ramen! You'll wish you could eat as much of it as Hei from Darker than Black.
When it comes to anime foods, they really reflect the tastes of the Japanese people. From anime foods shown like festival snacks, everyday junk foods, to family dinners, the food you usually see in anime are foods that the Japanese people love to eat. There are a variety of restaurants located in cities like Tokyo where you can consume different types of foods the same way you would be able to in big cities in the U.S. like Los Angeles or New York, but nothing helps warm the soul better than your nation's cuisine, isn't that right?
Anime foods are so tempting to look at and luckily, they are pretty damn good in real life too. There are still many different Japanese foods and treats to enjoy. From street foods to konbini snacks, what anime foods tempt you the most?