Learning About Food and Cooking

Japanese Food Ideas For A Special Event

If you're looking for healthy-yet-delicious food to serve at your next special event, consider Japanese cuisine. Japanese food ranges from classic to exotic, so there is sure to be something to please everyone. Although sushi is one of the most popular types of Japanese food, there are plenty of other options to choose from as well. 

When planning a large celebration with a long guest list, you may want to save time by having your favorite Japanese restaurant cater the event. You can call ahead to place your order, and then pick up the food right before the soiree starts. If catering isn't in your party-planning budget, you can use menu items from the local eatery as inspiration. 

One of the best things about Japanese cuisine is that it's versatile, and offers plenty of options for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike. There are also many gluten-free choices for those with food sensitivities, too. A restaurant like Tanpopo Japanese Restaurant can help you more ideas as well.

Here are some Japanese food ideas to get you started:


1. Tempura

Crunchy with a light, crispy batter, traditional tempura consists of fresh vegetables coated with panko flakes and then deep-fried. You can easily make tempura at home using squash, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans or any other vegetable you have on hand.

Serve the fried treats hot with a classic sauce made with shoyu, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and finely grated ginger and garlic. 

2. Miso Soup

Traditionally made with a stock called "dashi," miso soup is another classic way to begin a Japanese-inspired meal. Miso paste is mixed into the dashi, and then small cubes of tofu and seaweed are added to create a flavorful soup. If you don't want to make the soup from scratch, you can find dried mixes at grocery stores—simply add hot water and serve. 

Main Courses

1. Sushi

When it comes to serving sushi at a special event, stick with the most well-known items, such as avocado, cucumber, and California rolls. You can also incorporate raw fish, including sushi-grade cuts of salmon and tuna, for party-goers with more adventurous palates. Serve sushi with plenty of pickled ginger and soy sauce for dipping.

2. Yakiniku

Yakiniku is a fun Japanese party food idea in that allows guests to get involved with the cooking process. You can set up a few small grills at each table, and provide party-goers with a variety of raw meat, such as thinly sliced beef or fish. You can also include tofu for vegans and vegetarians.

Guests place their desired proteins on the fire using chopsticks, and cook for as long or as short a time as they'd like.