The 20 Most Awesome Anime Foods of All-Time

Anime Food

Food is a fundamental part of the human experience. As a result, it shows up everywhere in fiction. Anime and animesque media are no exception to this. Sometimes, their foods are memorable because these items are outright magical. Other times, their foods are memorable because they come from Japanese culture, which should be very familiar to Japanese watchers but tend to be much less so to non-Japanese watchers. Regardless, the important point in that there are numerous foods that have managed to make lasting impressions on anime watchers.

20. Onigiri

Onigiri would be Japanese rice balls. Interested individuals might be most familiar with a very basic form, which can be summed up as a round, triangular, or even cylindrical clump of rice wrapped with a bit of dried seaweed. However, it is important to note that onigiri can be made much fancier that that. For example, it has become traditional for onigiri to have some kind of sour or salty filling. Similarly, interested individuals are by no means limited to using boiled white rice.

19. Sashimi

Sashimi refers to meat that has been cut into thin slices for human consumption. Generally speaking, this means seafood. However, there are other versions based on other meats. To name some example, Okinawan cuisine has apparently been known to use both goat and pork, though to be fair, Okinawa is quite distinct in a lot of ways because the Ryukyu Kingdom that once ruled the region was subjugated in 1609 and then annexed in 1879.

18. Sushi

There are a lot of people who use sushi and sashimi in an interchangeable manner. This is a serious mistake because sushi is defined by being something made using vinegared rice. As such, there are certain kinds of sushi such as inarizushi made using no seafood whatsoever. On the whole, sushi are rather reminiscent of onigiri in that some are very basic while others are very complicated. This is particularly true because it has become popular outside of Japan, thus resulting in the creation of even more kinds of sushi.

17. Nabe

Nabe is just the Japanese take on hot pots. Essentially, everyone sits around a pot of simmering soup stock, which can be used to cook a wide range of ingredients by interested individuals. Nabe is the kind of thing that people eat in the company of their friends and family members, particularly when it is cold outside.

16. Fried Shrimp

Japan loves its seafood. For further proof, consider its fried shrimp. Of course, Japan makes its fried shrimp in more than one way. However, both ebi fry and ebi tempura are very common. The first is battered and breaded while the second is battered but not breaded. As such, ebi fry tends to be both darker-looking and crunchier-textured.

15. Miso Soup

Miso soup is one of those old favorites that can be found in every cuisine. It uses a dashi stock, which can be made out of various things. Kelp and shavings of preserved fish are the most common combination. However, sardines and shiitake mushrooms see use as well. In any case, the other critical ingredient of miso soup would be miso paste, which is made by fermenting soy beans.

14. Oyakodon

Oyakodon is a kind of donburi, which refers to a kind of dish consisting of meat and vegetables that have been cooked together before being served over rice. The name can be a bit ghoulish. After all, it stands for “parent and child donburi” because it is made using both chicken and egg. However, one could also make an argument that it is a bit of poetic reflection on what people eat. Of course, the chickens that we eat tend not to be the same animals as the chickens that lay the eggs that we eat, though there would have been much less of a separation between the two in the not so distant past.

13. Hamburg Steak

When one hears someone saying hanbagu in anime, chances are good that one will think of hamburgers. However, it is interesting to note that hanbagu can refer to Hamburg steak, which started out in Germany but went on to become popular in a wide range of other countries. As the story goes, the dish became popularized during the 1960s because it was a less expensive way to serve the meat that was still expensive in those times. As for what Hamburg steak is supposed to be, the gist of it is that it is a patty of ground beef, meaning that it is very similar to Salisbury steak from the United States. Indeed, it is possible that Salisbury steak descended from Hamburg steak, which was known to have been served in New York City during the first half of the 19th century.

12. Nagashi Somen

Somen refers to a thin variety of wheat noodles that see extensive use in East Asia. Japan likes to serve somen cold with some kind of dipping sauce. However, the most memorable form of somen would be nagashi somen, which is when the noodles are put in a bamboo pipe with cold water running through them. As such, diners are expected to pluck the moving noodles out of the water, which seems unnecessarily complicated but is nonetheless very memorable.

11. Katsudon

Katsudon is another kind of donburi. In its case, its name stands for “tonkatsu donburi.” Tonkatsu means “pork cutlet” but specifically refers to a kind of pork cutlet that has been breaded before being deep fried. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that a katsudon features one of these pork cutlets plus other ingredients served over rice. It is amusing to note that it is apparently a cliche for Japanese police movies to have a suspect tell the truth while crying after eating a katsudon as well as after being asked how their mother would feel about their current situation, which to be fair, says a lot about its place in Japan’s popular consciousness. Having said that, that kind of scenario is impossible in the present because Japanese police have a standardized policy about not feeding suspects during interrogation.

10. Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a kind of savory pancake made using wheat flour batter plus other ingredients that have either been mixed into the batter or put on top of the batter. It is one of those things that can trace its roots to the past but became prominent in relatively recent times. Crepe-like predecessors are known to have existed by the late Edo period. Furthermore, it is possible that their own predecessors were written about by an influential figure named Sen no Rikyu, who lived towards the end of the Sengoku period. However, okonomiyaki itself was popularized by the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake and then the post-war period because of its low cost plus high convenience.

9. Yakisoba

Yakisoba is the Japanese take on stir-fried noodles. Generally speaking, soba refers to buckwheat noodles. However, the soba in yakisoba are Chuuka soba, which means Chinese-style wheat noodles. This dish is very versatile. Indeed, interested individuals might be familiar with yakisoba-pan, which can be summed up as a stir-fried noodle sandwich. Unsurprisingly, yakisoba is something strongly associated with young people. Thanks to that, it shows up a lot in anime with high school settings.

8. Super Soba

Ranma 1/2 is an older series. It was focused on the titular character who was cursed to change into a girl when splashed with cold water but would turn back into a boy when splashed with hot water plus a supporting cast, all of whom would get into wacky, vaguely martial arts-related shenanigans on a regular basis. To name an example, there was the Super Soba, which would provide the eater with super strength. Something that came with a couple of issues. One, the super strength didn’t come with any automatic control over it. Two, at least one eater started growing animal-like whiskers, which made it an instant no for said character.

7. Curry Bread

Curry started out on the Indian subcontinent. However, it has become popular in a wide range of other places, each of which has incorporated it into their own cuisines as people do. Sometimes, this has led to some rather strange but also rather interesting results. To name an example, consider Japan’s curry bread, which is actually curry wrapped in a piece of dough that is then breaded and cooked. Generally speaking, this means a bit of deep frying but there are baked versions as well.

6. Ramen

A lot of people will be most familiar with ramen because of instant ramen. After all, said food is both cheap and convenient, meaning that it is well-suited for a wide range of people in a wide range of countries. Having said that, it is important to remember that instant ramen is like everything else that has been converted for mass production and mass consumption, which is to say, it isn’t as good as the dish that it was converted from. To be fair, this is understandable. As the saying goes, “Good, fast, cheap. Choose two.” In any case, ramen is another dish made using Chinese-style wheat noodles, which are served in either a meat-based broth or a fish-based broth that has been flavored using either miso or soy sauce. Toppings such as seaweed, cuts of pork, and fermented bamboo shoots are a very common addition to ramen.

5. Takoyaki

Takoyaki is another Japanese food that ends in -yaki. As a result, people might wonder whether it is connected to okonomiyaki in some way. If so, they would be right to do so because the -yaki indicates that both of these foods were cooked via grilling. Meanwhile, the first component of takoyaki refers to octopus, so it should come as no surprise to learn that takoyaki is diced or minced octopus, deep-fried flour batter, and other ingredients that have been rolled into balls before being put on skewers. They show up a lot in scenes with food stalls. However, takoyaki are by no means limited to those, seeing as how they can even be found in supermarkets.

4. Taiyaki

Meanwhile, taiyaki are fish-shaped cakes based on the red seabream. The most common version is stuffed using red bean paste, meaning that it is sweet. However, that is by no means guaranteed to be the case because there are taiyaki stuffed using sausages, okonomiyaki, and even the kind of meat-based stuffing that tends to see use in gyoza. Of course, there are also plenty of taiyaki that are stuffed using other kinds of sweet fillings such as custard, chocolate, and sweet potato.

3. Devil Fruits

Devil Fruits are special fruits from One Piece that give superpowers to the people who eat them. Each one is unique, so much so that when a user dies, their Devil Fruit will reappear somewhere in the world. There are three categories of Devil Fruits, which are called Logia-types, Zoan-types, and Paramecia-types. The first lets the user control as well as turn into a particular element; the second lets the user turn into a particular animal; and the third covers everything else. As such, Devil Fruits are much sought-after in the One Piece setting, though they do come with an issue in that the people who eat them lose the ability to swim. Having said that, Devil Fruits are apparently pretty garbage as actual food. Canonically, they taste absolutely awful. Furthermore, most people force themselves to eat the entire Devil Fruit because they don’t know that they can get the associated superpower with just a single bite.

2. Dango

Dango is another catch-all term for a wide range of related foods that show up a lot in the context of street stalls. They are dumplings made using a mixture of uruchi rice flour and glutinous rice flour, which are often served on a skewer but can also be served on a plate. Some kinds of dango are better-known than others. To name an example, sanshoku dango are called thus because each skewer comes with three different-colored dangos, which are pink, white, and green.

1. Senzu Beans

Senzu Beans are a very magical food from the Dragon Ball franchise. As a food, they don’t seem to be that appealing. Apparently, Senzu Beans have the taste of fish plus the texture of an uncooked bean or celery stalk, which doesn’t sound particularly great to be honest. However, they more than make up for that by restoring people to full health in a near-instantaneous manner even if they were seriously injured. In other words, Senzu Beans work like video game healing potions. However, it is amusing to note that they also fill people up, meaning that it is very much possible to become overstuffed by eating too many of them.

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