12 Iconic Anime Foods To Add To Your Repertoire
Anime is a style of animation originating in Japan. It is an abbreviated version of the word “animation.” In Japan, they consider any movie or show to be anime if it is illustrated. This shouldn’t be confused with manga, the term used to describe Japanese comic books (though it’s not uncommon for a good manga to be created into an anime series).
While graphic literature is incredible, today’s blog post is all about anime—specifically, the food.
The amount of detail and attention that animators give to anime food can turn anyone into an anime foodie. In nearly every anime series, we see the main character chowing down on a bowl of ramen or taking a bite of a rice ball, and there’s something about the way that food looks that makes it irresistible.
Here are our favorites worth putting together in your own kitchen!
Popular anime character Naruto is a huge ramen fan! There is a lot of culture and history in ramen, which could be why so many anime characters are seen eating it. What else would make them eat it? It’s so delicious.
The spring in the noodles combined with the broth's savory, sometimes spicy flavors is too good to pass up – even for anime.
We recommend getting your hands on the Sun Noodle Miso Ramen Kit. Miso is a rich, hearty, and savory broth that will please your taste buds. Don’t forget to add all your favorite toppings. We recommend mushrooms, green onions, bean sprouts, and pork belly.
Katsudon (Pork Cutlet Bowl)
Katsudon is a bowl of rice with a fried pork cutlet on top. It is generally garnished with egg, vegetables, and condiments of the eaters’ choice. The character Yuri is a huge fan of this dish, and it is made known throughout the manga that Katsudon is his favorite meal.
You’ll need to pound the pork cutlet thin before coating it in panko to get this dish right.
Pro Tip: Two coats of breadcrumbs will create the crispiest pork cutlet for you to enjoy!
Onigiri is a popular rice treat that is shaped into a triangle. Before it’s shaped, the onigiri is filled with meat or veggies and wrapped with seaweed. It’s a trendy snack in Japan as it’s affordable, easy to put together, and simply delicious. In Fruits Basket, Tohru Honda’s spirit “animal” is often portrayed as a cute chibi onigiri!
The seaweed acts as a salt garnish on top of an otherwise hearty and savory dish.
It’s also popular in anime because it’s easy to draw and an easy item to add to the character’s hand without causing too much break in the scene. We suggest adding furikake to the top for a delicious salty burst of flavor.
Deku and Gran Torino will agree, taiyaki is a deliciously sweet snack. Taiyaki is a pastry shaped like a fish and filled with sweet red bean paste.
Dessert options can be filled with ice cream, chocolate, and custard. In the spring season, taiyaki can even be seen filled with sakura, which is a cherry blossom paste that is soft, floral, and fragrant. For a savory snack, try taiyaki filled with cheese.
Dango are dumplings made from a mixture of rice flour. They are served on a skewer and topped with a glaze before serving. They are commonly served and used as a dish for anime as they are easy for characters to carry on their journey.
Dango comes in a lot of flavors. Mitarashi dango, the most commonly utilized version in anime, is grilled and covered in a soy glaze.
Sanshoku (三色) means “three colors” and consists of sweetened rice flour and water made into a paste and molded into bite-size balls. Goma Dango is drizzled with a sweet glaze made with black and white sesame seeds, depending on the variety you choose.
Addicted to Curry is a whole manga series is dedicated to inciting a love for cooking in readers. The main character is Sonezaki Yui, and she is a precocious schoolgirl that loves her curry. She works at her father's curry restaurant when she’s not helping stray dogs that she finds on the street.
While we love the story, we love curry even more. Thai-style curries provide a lot of spice and a hearty stew with a delicious side of rice that soaks up all the yummy flavors.
Try this Maesri Green Curry Paste for a delicious but spicy dish.
Omurice is a Japanese dish consisting of fried rice veiled by a thin egg omelet, then topped with ketchup. It is delicious, savory and sweet, and so satisfying. If you need any more convincing that you’ll love omurice?
Anime habitually features characters eating this tasty dish when feelings of love are involved. What do we mean? Often, if a character feels romance floating by, their love interest’s name will be written on the egg with the ketchup.
Want the ultimate fried rice experience for your omurice? Try your hand at our kimchi fried rice recipe. It will be savory, salty, sweet, and tangy – emphasizing the perfect egg dish.
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup with a mix of dashi broth and miso paste. It has a subtle saltiness with a savory finish. It is a light soup, usually filled with tofu and seaweed strips.
Try our Hikari Organic White Miso for the ultimate miso soup base.
While many anime movies feature this delightful soup, there’s an ad for miso that is very popular around Japan. It features an older man who takes over the cooking for his wife as he grows older. The connection with each other and the soup is a beautiful thing.
Takoyaki is also known as “octopus balls.” It is a wheat flour base that is cooked in a special pan. It is filled with minced or diced octopus. You’ll see takoyaki served in two ways: on a skewer or in a box with a toothpick on the side.
The flavors of the octopus come through, mixed with the flavors of dashi. You can expect a seafood brine balanced well with a salty, savory quality. Mixed with the batter's chewy texture, you’ve got yourself a winner.
Fat Gum in Hero Academia is one of the more popular characters that can’t get enough of takoyaki. The anime creators must be huge fans, as another character on the show, Tamaki, also uses his love of takoyaki to defeat the villains.
Tamagoyaki is an egg dish made by layering together several fried egg omelets. It is savory and naturally salty, with crispy edges and a soft interior. The dish is traditionally built and baked in a special tamagoyaki pan called makiyakinabe.
You can expect to see this dish often featured in bento boxes in anime. It is a staple item and an easy one to create an illustration. Plus, it’s a popular dish, so it's also easily recognized.
Nikuman (AKA Chuka Man or Baozi in Chinese)
Nikuman is another handheld food that is very popular in anime. You can often catch the main character walking around eating this savory and delicious snack. Usagi from Sailor Moon is a huge fan.
It is a steamed bun filled with minced pork. The bun is light and slightly chewy with a very mild sweetness that complements the savory saltiness of the pork filling. Why are there two names? Nikuman is the Japanese name for the Chinese baozi bun, so they’re similar fodos produced in two different regions.
Pocky isn’t just for anime fans. This is what our childhood treat dreams were made of. The thin stick-like biscuits are dipped in different flavored candy melts or white chocolates. They traditionally came in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, but those flavors have been expanded these days. One of those most popular recent makes is matcha.
In anime, all characters can and usually do have a love for pocky. However, there are a few anime movies and shows out there that shed light on a “pocky game.” It’s a riff on the typical teenage game of the spin the bottle.
Two characters take either end of a pocky in their mouth and try to eat through to the middle first. Generally, this means that the two will inevitably kiss.
We know your Umamicart grocery bag is full of all the products we just highlighted today. We are so excited to get these foods in your hands so you don’t have to stare longingly at the food on TV as you enjoy your favorite anime!
One thing we know for sure, anime isn’t going anywhere. The connection that anime has with food directly mimics the relationship culture and food have with each other. It’s an important bond, and we love how well it’s documented.
So what are you waiting for? Head to Umamicart and grab your favorite Anime snacks today!