Japanese Food That Starts With N

From umami-rich natto to delicate nori-wrapped sushi rolls, each bite transports you to the heart of Japan’s vibrant culinary culture. Nourishing, flavorful, and diverse, Japanese cuisine offers a range of delicious dishes that start with the letter N.

1. Nabemono

Nabemono is a type of one-pot dish in Japanese cuisine that is cooked and served in a hot pot or nabe. The dish typically consists of various ingredients such as meat, seafood, tofu, vegetables, and noodles that are cooked in a seasoned broth. The ingredients are often arranged attractively in the pot before cooking.

2. Nabeyaki Udon

Nabeyaki Udon is a type of noodle soup that is served in a hot pot with a variety of ingredients such as chicken, shrimp, vegetables, and a raw egg. The soup is typically made with dashi, soy sauce, and mirin, and the noodles are thick and chewy.

3. Nagaimo-imo

Nagaimo-imo, also known as mountain yam, Japanese yam or nagaimo, is a starchy root vegetable used in Japanese cuisine. It is often grated and used as a garnish or mixed into dishes like okonomiyaki, takoyaki and yamaimo soba, where the grated yam is mixed into the buckwheat noodles. It has a slightly slimy texture when grated, but becomes firm and crispy when cooked.

4. Nama-fu

Nama-fu is a traditional Japanese food made from wheat gluten. It is often used in Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, and can be found in dishes like oden, a hot pot dish with various ingredients simmered in a light broth.

5. Nama-harumaki

Nama-harumaki are rice paper rolls that originated in China but have become popular in Japan. They are made with a thin wheat wrapper and filled with a variety of vegetables, meat, and/or seafood. They are often served as an appetizer or snack.

6. Nama-yatsuhashi

Nama-yatsuhashi is a traditional sweet from Kyoto, Japan. It is made from glutinous rice flour, sugar, and cinnamon, and has a soft, chewy texture. It is often served as a dessert, and can be found in various flavors such as matcha or black sesame.

7. Nankotsu

Nankotsu is a Japanese food that refers to chicken cartilage, which is a common ingredient in yakitori, a type of grilled chicken skewers. It is often grilled until crispy and served with salt or a savory sauce.

8. Narutomaki

Narutomaki is a type of Japanese fish cake that is commonly used as a topping for ramen noodles. It has a distinct pink swirl pattern and is made from a mixture of fish paste and other ingredients such as egg whites and salt.

9. Nasu

Nasu is a Japanese eggplant that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine in a variety of dishes such as tempura, miso soup, and stir-fries. It has a mild flavor and a tender texture, making it a versatile ingredient in many Japanese dishes.

10. Natto

Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans that has a distinctive flavor and slimy texture. It is often eaten for breakfast and is commonly served over a bowl of steamed rice with soy sauce and mustard. It is also used as an ingredient in various Japanese dishes such as natto rolls and salads.

11. Negi

Negi, also known as Japanese scallions or green onions, are a type of allium vegetable commonly used in Japanese cuisine. They have a long, slender shape with a white base and a green stem. Negi can be eaten raw or cooked, and are often used as a garnish, as well as a key ingredient in dishes such as ramen, soba, and okonomiyaki.

12. Nigiri

Nigiri is a type of sushi that consists of a small hand-pressed sushi rice topped with a piece of seafood, typically raw fish. The rice is usually seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt, and is molded by hand into an oval shape. The topping can vary widely, with popular options including tuna, salmon, eel, and shrimp. Nigiri is often served as an appetizer or as part of a larger sushi platter.

13. Nikujaga

Nikujaga is a hearty Japanese dish that consists of meat and potatoes stewed in a sweet and savory broth. The dish originated in the late 19th century as a way to incorporate Western-style ingredients like meat and potatoes into Japanese cuisine. The meat used can vary, with popular options including beef, pork, and chicken, and the potatoes are often cut into small cubes. Other common ingredients include onions, carrots, and shirataki noodles. Nikujaga is typically served as a main dish and is often accompanied by steamed rice.

14. Nishime

Nishime is a traditional Japanese simmered dish made with a variety of ingredients such as meat, fish, and vegetables. The dish is typically flavored with soy sauce, mirin, and sake and is often served during special occasions such as the New Year.

15. Nishin soba

Nishin soba is a popular Japanese dish that consists of buckwheat noodles served with herring. The herring is usually pickled or simmered and served on top of the noodles along with other toppings such as scallions, grated daikon, and wasabi.

16. Nishin-zushi

Nishin-zushi is a type of sushi that features pickled herring as the main ingredient. The herring is usually marinated in vinegar and sugar before being placed on top of a ball of sushi rice. The dish is often served as a regional specialty in areas of Japan that are known for their herring fisheries.

17. Nishin

Nishin, also known as herring, is a fish commonly found in the northern Pacific and Atlantic oceans. In Japanese cuisine, it is often marinated or pickled and used as a topping or filling in various dishes such as sushi, nishin soba, and nishin-zushi.

18. Nokke-don

Nokke-don is a Japanese rice bowl dish that typically consists of a bed of rice topped with various ingredients such as sashimi, vegetables, and egg. The toppings can vary depending on the restaurant or personal preference.

19. Nori

Nori is a type of dried seaweed commonly used in Japanese cuisine. It is often used as a wrap for sushi or as a garnish for various dishes. Nori is also a source of iodine and other nutrients, making it a healthy addition to the diet.

20. Norimaki

Norimaki is a popular Japanese dish that consists of sushi rice and various fillings rolled up in dried seaweed (nori). The fillings can include raw or cooked seafood, vegetables, or egg, and the rolls are often sliced into bite-sized pieces. Norimaki is commonly served as an appetizer or snack and can also be found in bento boxes.

21. Nukazuke

Nukazuke is a type of pickling method that involves fermenting vegetables in rice bran (nuka). The vegetables are first coated in a mixture of nuka, salt, and water and left to ferment for several days to several months. This process creates a tangy and slightly sour flavor and a crunchy texture. Nukazuke is a popular side dish in Japanese cuisine and is often served with rice or as a topping for salads.

22. Nuta

Nuta is a traditional Japanese dressing made from miso, vinegar, and other ingredients such as sesame seeds, ginger, and sugar. The mixture is typically whisked together until smooth and creamy and used to dress various vegetables, salads, and meats. Nuta has a sweet and savory flavor and is often used to enhance the flavor of dishes without overpowering them. It is a common condiment in Japanese cuisine and can also be found in various types of noodle dishes.



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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