Have you ever wondered what to serve with your sushi order? You’re not alone!
Japanese cuisine is incredibly varied and complex, meaning a lot of people feel perplexed as to what side dishes they should pair their beloved raw fish with.
Fear not: we have the answers for you right here!
Get ready to explore 12 delicious traditional Japanese sides specifically designed to perfectly accompany and enhance your sushi order.
From light salads and pickles to comforting rice bowls or hot stews, there’s something in this list for everyone – so dive in now and get experimenting!
What to Serve with Sushi? 12 Japanese Side Dishes to Try
1. Miso Soup
Miso soup is a delicious and easy-to-make Japanese dish.
It’s made with miso paste, water, and bonito flakes, and it’s typically served with tofu, seaweed, and green onions.
Miso soup is a great recipe to try if you’re looking for something quick and tasty.
The soup is very flavorful, and the bonito flakes give it a nice umami flavor.
If you’re looking for a bit of spice, you can add some red pepper flakes to the soup.
To make miso soup, simply combine miso paste, water, and bonito flakes in a pot and bring it to a boil.
Then, add tofu, seaweed, and green onions and let the soup simmer for a few minutes.
Serve hot, and enjoy.
Edamame is a great Japanese dish to try if you’re looking for something healthy and flavorful.
This dish is made with soybeans, and it’s typically served as a side dish or appetizer.
The beans are usually boiled and then salted, which gives them a delicious flavor.
If you’re looking to make edamame at home, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, make sure to buy fresh soybeans – they’ll be more tender and have a better flavor.
You can find fresh soybeans at most Asian markets.
Second, don’t overcook the beans – they should be cooked until they’re tender but still slightly firm.
Finally, season the beans with salt to taste.
Edamame is a simple but delicious dish that makes a great addition to any meal.
If you’re looking for something healthy and flavorful, give edamame a try.
3. Seaweed Salad
If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy way to enjoy sushi, then you should definitely try seaweed salad.
This dish is packed with nutrients and is very low in calories, making it a great option for those watching their weight.
Seaweed salad is also extremely versatile, as it can be enjoyed as a side dish or even as a main course.
One of the best things about seaweed salad is that it’s loaded with flavor.
The umami tastes of the seaweed pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the vinegar dressing, creating a balance of flavors that is simply irresistible.
If you’ve never tried seaweed salad before, then you’re in for a real treat.
Here are a few tips on how to make the delicious seaweed salad:
- Be sure to rinse the seaweed thoroughly before adding it to the other ingredients.
- Soak the seaweed in cold water for at least 30 minutes to soften it up before adding it to the salad.
- Feel free to add any other vegetables or fruits that you like. Some good options include cucumber, avocado, and mango.
- If you want a little bit of spice, try adding some diced chili pepper to the mix.
4. Cucumber Salad
This cucumber salad is the perfect dish to serve alongside sushi.
It is refreshing, light, and has a beautiful bright green color that contrasts nicely with the sushi rolls.
The cucumber salad is also very easy to make and only requires a few simple ingredients.
The cucumber salad is made with thinly sliced cucumbers, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
The dressing is very light and has a slightly sweet and sour flavor.
I like to add a little bit of sesame oil to mine for an extra depth of flavor.
You can also add some shredded carrots or red radishes for a pop of color.
To make the cucumber salad, simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix until everything is evenly coated.
Let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can meld together.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
5. Green Salad
A green salad is a great recipe to try because it is healthy and flavorful.
The salad can be made with a variety of greens, including spinach, kale, and arugula.
The greens can be mixed with other vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, and carrots.
The salad can also be flavored with a variety of dressings, including vinaigrettes, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice.
The flavor of the green salad will depend on the type of greens used.
Spinach has a mild flavor that goes well with other strong-tasting ingredients.
Kale has a slightly bitter taste that can be offset by sweet fruits or dressings.
Arugula has a peppery flavor that can add zest to any dish.
When making a green salad, it is important to use fresh ingredients.
The greens should be washed thoroughly and dried before being added to the salad.
The vegetables should be chopped into bite-sized pieces so that they are easy to eat.
The dressing should be added just before serving so that the salad is not soggy.
Tamagoyaki is a Japanese omelet that is made by rolling together several thin layers of egg.
It is often served for breakfast but can also be found in bento boxes and at sushi restaurants.
Tamagoyaki has a soft, custard-like texture and a slightly sweet flavor.
The key to making a good tamagoyaki is to cook the eggs slowly over low heat so that they have time to set before being rolled up.
Tamagoyaki pans have ridged bottoms, which help to create even layers.
Some cooks also use a small amount of dashi or soy sauce in the eggs for added flavor.
With a little practice, anyone can make a delicious tamagoyaki at home.
7. Soba Noodles
Soba noodles are a type of Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour.
They are thin and brown in color, with a slightly nutty flavor.
Soba noodles are traditionally served cold, with a dipping sauce on the side.
Soba noodles are a great recipe to try if you’re looking for something different from the usual pasta dish.
The nutty flavor of the noodles goes well with a variety of sauces and toppings.
You can also experiment with different flavors and textures by adding vegetables or meat to the dish.
If you’re serving soba noodles cold, it’s important to cook them just enough so that they’re still firm to the bite.
Overcooked noodles will become mushy and difficult to eat.
When cooking soba noodles, be sure to follow the package instructions carefully.
To make a simple soba noodle dish, start by cooking the noodles according to package instructions.
Once they’re cooked, rinse them in cold water and drain them well.
Then, add your desired sauce or toppings and serve immediately.
If you’re looking for a delicious Japanese dish to try, you can’t go wrong with tempura.
This dish is made by coating vegetables or seafood in batter and then deep-frying them.
The result is a crispy, light dish that’s perfect as an appetizer or side dish.
One of the best things about tempura is that it’s relatively easy to make at home.
All you need is a good batter recipe and a deep fryer.
You can also experiment with different types of vegetables or seafood to find your perfect tempura combination.
Tempura is usually served with a dipping sauce, such as soy sauce or tonkatsu sauce.
It can also be sprinkled with salt or lemon juice for extra flavor.
If you’re looking for a truly authentic tempura experience, be sure to try it with rice and miso soup.
9. Rice Balls (Onigiri)
Rice balls, or onigiri, are a delicious and easy Japanese side dish that can be enjoyed with sushi.
Onigiri is made with steamed rice that is formed into a ball or triangle shape and then typically wrapped in nori (seaweed).
They can be filled with a variety of different ingredients, such as pickled plum, salmon, or tuna.
Onigiri is a great recipe to try because they are relatively simple to make and can be easily customized to your liking.
If you’re not a fan of seaweed, you can simply leave the nori off.
And if you want to change up the filling, feel free to experiment with different ingredients until you find a combination that you love.
When it comes to flavor, onigiri is typically quite salty due to the addition of soy sauce or other seasonings.
However, the rice itself is fairly bland, so the overall taste will depend largely on the fillings and toppings that you choose.
For a more traditional onigiri experience, try using pickled plum as your filling.
The sweetness of the plum pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the soy sauce-flavored rice.
10. Pickled Ginger (Gari)
Pickled ginger, also known as gari, is a traditional Japanese side dish that is often served with sushi.
The pinkish-white color of the ginger contrasts beautifully with the bright colors of the sushi, and the pickled flavor is a perfect complement to the rich taste of the fish.
Gari is made by slicing the young ginger root into thin strips and pickling it in vinegar.
The resulting flavor is both sweet and sour, with a slightly spicy kick from the ginger.
Pickled ginger is not only a delicious side dish but it is also said to have many health benefits.
If you’re interested in trying pickled ginger, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First of all, be sure to buy young ginger root for the best flavor.
Older ginger can be quite tough and fibrous, making it difficult to eat.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to experiment with the pickling process.
You can add different flavors to the vinegar, such as honey or garlic, or even try using a different type of vinegar altogether.
Yakitori is a Japanese dish of skewered and grilled chicken.
It’s a great recipe to try if you’re looking for something new and exciting to make for dinner.
The chicken is marinated in a soy sauce-based marinade, which gives it a salty and savory flavor.
Yakitori is typically served with rice and vegetables, making it a complete and balanced meal.
If you’re interested in trying yakitori, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, it’s important to use chicken thighs for this dish, as they are more flavorful and will stay moist during the grilling process.
Second, be sure to soak your skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using them so that they don’t burn.
Finally, when grilling the chicken, be sure to cook it over medium-high heat so that the outside gets nice and crispy while the inside stays juicy.
Gyoza is a great Japanese dish to try if you’re looking for something that’s both delicious and easy to make.
This dish is typically made with pork, cabbage, and ginger and is wrapped in a thin dough skin.
Gyoza can be fried or steamed and is often served with a dipping sauce on the side.
One of the best things about gyoza is that it’s very versatile – you can add whatever vegetables you like to the filling, and the dish will still taste great.
If you’re not a fan of pork, you can also use chicken or beef as your protein source.
And if you want to make vegetarian gyoza, simply leave out the meat altogether.
When it comes to cooking gyoza, you have two options: frying or steaming.
Both methods are fairly simple, but frying will give your gyoza a crispy exterior that’s really delicious.
If you’re steaming your gyoza, be sure to add enough water to the pot so that the gyoza doesn’t stick to the bottom and get burnt.
Sushi is a delicious and healthy Japanese food that is perfect for any occasion.
But what should you serve with sushi? There are a variety of Japanese side dishes that are perfect for sushi.
We have 12 of the best Japanese side dishes for you to try.
So the next time you are craving sushi, be sure to try one of these delicious and healthy Japanese side dishes.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!