Japanese Food That Starts With K

From crispy Kushikatsu to tender Kuruma Ebi, and traditional Kuromame, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, let’s kampai to deliciousness! Get ready for a taste bud adventure with Japanese cuisine starting with the letter K.

1. Karaage

Karaage is a popular Japanese dish consisting of bite-sized pieces of chicken that are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sake, ginger, and garlic, then coated in a seasoned flour or potato starch before being deep-fried. The result is a crispy exterior and juicy and flavorful meat. Karaage can be eaten as a snack, appetizer, or main dish and is often accompanied by a wedge of lemon and mayonnaise.

2. Kakiage

Kakiage is a type of tempura made with a mixture of vegetables, seafood, and sometimes meat. The ingredients are cut into small pieces, mixed with a batter made from flour, water, and sometimes egg, then deep-fried until golden and crispy. Kakiage is often served as a side dish or appetizer and is commonly enjoyed with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, and dashi.

3. Kaki no Ha Sushi

Kaki no Ha Sushi is a traditional type of sushi that originated in the Kansai region of Japan. It consists of bite-sized pieces of sushi rice and toppings such as grilled eel, shrimp, or salmon, wrapped in persimmon leaves instead of nori seaweed. The persimmon leaves impart a unique flavor and fragrance to the sushi, and are believed to help preserve the fish.

4. Kama-meshi

Kama-meshi is a Japanese rice dish that is traditionally cooked in a small iron pot called a kama. The rice is typically cooked with fish or meat and seasoned with soy sauce, sake, and mirin, along with other ingredients such as vegetables, mushrooms, and seaweed. The dish is served straight from the pot and is often accompanied by pickles, miso soup, and other side dishes. Kama-meshi is a popular winter dish in Japan and is known for its rich and savory flavors.

5. Kamaboko

Kamaboko is a traditional Japanese seafood product made by blending fish paste with other ingredients and steaming it into a loaf shape. It’s often served in thin slices and can be eaten on its own or used as a topping for sushi or noodle dishes.

6. Kani Nabe

Kani Nabe is a hot pot dish made with fresh crab meat and vegetables cooked in a savory broth. The dish is typically served during the winter months and is a popular comfort food in Japan.

7. Karashi Renkon

Karashi Renkon is a dish made by stuffing spicy mustard into slices of lotus root before frying or boiling them. This dish is a popular appetizer in Japan and is often served at Izakayas (Japanese-style pubs).

8. Kasutera

Kasutera, also known as Castella, is a type of sponge cake that was brought to Japan by Portuguese traders in the 16th century. The cake is made with flour, sugar, and eggs, and has a moist and dense texture. It’s often served with green tea and is a popular dessert in Japan.

9. Katsu

Katsu is a Japanese dish made by deep-frying a cutlet of meat that has been coated in breadcrumbs. The most common meats used for katsu are pork and chicken. The meat is pounded thin to make it tender and then coated in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs before being deep-fried until crispy. Katsu is often served with a sweet and savory sauce called tonkatsu sauce, which is made from vegetables, fruits, and soy sauce.

10. Katsudon

Katsudon is a rice bowl dish topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet, egg, and onions that are simmered in a sweet and savory broth. The dish is typically served in a donburi bowl, which is a large bowl that is specifically designed for rice dishes. Katsudon is a popular dish in Japan and is often served at restaurants that specialize in donburi dishes.

11. Kawara Soba

Kawara Soba is a popular noodle dish from Yamaguchi prefecture in Japan. The dish features soba noodles that are served on a heated ceramic plate called a kawara. The plate is heated to a high temperature, which causes the noodles to sizzle and gives them a crispy texture. The noodles are usually served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, and other seasonings.

12. Kinako

Kinako is a type of roasted soybean flour that is commonly used as a seasoning or ingredient in Japanese desserts. The flour has a nutty flavor and is often used as a topping for mochi, a sweet rice cake. Kinako is also used as an ingredient in various Japanese sweets, such as daifuku, which is a type of mochi filled with sweet red bean paste.

13. Kiriboshi daikon

Kiriboshi daikon is a type of Japanese preserved food made by drying daikon radish strips in the sun. The dried radish is then soaked in water before cooking to remove the salt and rehydrate it. It is commonly used as an ingredient in soups and stews and adds a sweet and earthy flavor to the dish.

14. Kiritanpo

Kiritanpo is a traditional dish from Akita Prefecture in northern Japan. It is made by mashing steamed rice and then molding it onto a stick to form a cylindrical shape. The rice is then grilled until golden brown and served with miso soup. Kiritanpo is often eaten during the winter months and is known for its warming and comforting qualities.

15. Kobachi

Kobachi is a Japanese term that refers to small appetizer dishes that are served before the main course. These dishes are typically made up of small portions of food such as vegetables, seafood, or meat, and are often served in small, decorative bowls. Kobachi dishes are designed to whet the appetite and provide a variety of flavors and textures for diners to enjoy.

16. Kombu

Kombu is a type of dried seaweed that is an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine, particularly in making dashi stock, which is a fundamental component of many soups, broths, and sauces. Kombu has a distinctive umami flavor and is packed with nutrients like iodine, calcium, and vitamins. It is also a versatile ingredient and is used in many Japanese dishes, such as salads, pickles, stews, and even sushi.

17. Konnyaku

Konnyaku is a jelly-like food made from the root of the konjac yam, a plant native to Southeast Asia. It is low in calories and high in dietary fiber, making it a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine for those looking to eat healthily. Konnyaku has a unique texture that is both firm and elastic, and it absorbs flavors well, making it a popular addition to soups, stews, and stir-fries. It is also used to make traditional Japanese desserts like konnyaku jelly, which is often served with fruit and syrup. Despite its popularity in Japanese cuisine, konjac yam and konnyaku originated in China and have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.

18. Korokke

Korokke is a Japanese take on the French croquette, consisting of a mixture of mashed potato, ground meat (usually beef or pork), and vegetables such as onion and carrot. The mixture is formed into a patty or cylinder shape, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried until golden brown. It is often served as a snack or as a side dish.

19. Kudzu

Kudzu, also known as kuzu, is a starchy substance derived from the root of the kudzu vine. It is commonly used as a natural thickener in Japanese dishes such as kuzumochi (a sweet, chewy dessert made with kudzu starch) and kuzu-ni (a stew made with meat, vegetables, and kudzu starch). Kudzu is also used in traditional Chinese medicine.

20. Kurikinton

Kurikinton is a sweet dish made from mashed chestnuts and sweet potatoes, typically served during the fall and winter months in Japan. The chestnuts and sweet potatoes are boiled, mashed, and mixed together with sugar to create a smooth, creamy texture. It can be served as a dessert or as a snack.

21. Kuruma Ebi

Kuruma Ebi, also known as Japanese tiger prawns, are large prawns with a firm texture and sweet flavor that are commonly used in Japanese cuisine. They are often grilled, steamed, or boiled and served as a main dish or in sushi rolls.

22. Kuromame

Kuromame is a traditional Japanese dish that is commonly eaten on New Year’s Day. These are sweet black soybeans that have been simmered in a sweet and savory sauce until tender. The dish is said to bring good luck and health for the new year.

23. Kushikatsu

Kushikatsu is a popular Japanese street food consisting of skewered and deep-fried meat and vegetables, usually served with a savory dipping sauce. The skewers can include various ingredients such as pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetables.

24. Kyuri no Sunomono

Kyuri no Sunomono is a refreshing Japanese cucumber salad that is marinated in vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. It is a common side dish in Japanese cuisine and is often served with sushi or as a palate cleanser between courses.



Simon is a food lover and passionate home cook with a talent for creating delicious, healthy meals. When he's not in the kitchen, he enjoys exploring new restaurants, cuisines, trying out new ingredients, and sharing his love of food with others. Simon has always been fascinated by the art of cooking and the ways in which food can nourish both the body and the soul.
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