Food in anime is a reflection of authentic Japanese cuisine and has been tempting audiences for decades now. Anime characters loving a certain type of dish is often considered as their personality trait. No true food anime fans can forget dessert lovers Usagi Tsukino and Mamoru relishing everything sweet in Sailor Moon, Naruto gorging on his favourite miso chashu ramen at the Ichiraku Ramen shop, Soma Yukihira attending a prestigious culinary school and baking bread in Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma or Jean recalling the popular anime food omurice as his most cherished childhood memory in Attack On Titan. Moreover, watching anime where one’s favourite character displays excellent cooking skills is always special.
Video anime club ‘Get In the Robot’ reveals that the scene in the movie Laputa: Castle in the Sky, where orphan Pazu shares his egg over toast (Laputa bread) with a girl who floated down from the sky named Sheeta, is so iconic that every time the movie is broadcasted on Japanese television, there’s a spike in tweets for that specific egg over toast.
Be it the old yet beautiful Studio Ghibli films that put food anime in the forefront or be it novel creations such as the gourmet anime series Chuuka Ichiban! (Cooking Master Boy) that highlighted cooking wars as being therapeutic, the Japanese cuisine appeal has only expanded. So much so that some cooking anime even showcase the recipes of the featured food as the end credits, successfully piquing the audiences’ interest in those delicious meals. Anime also brings into the limelight some of the most interesting dishes in the world — platters of loco moco donburi, onigiri and gyoza being enough to make one curious. So, put your curiosity to rest and treat yourself with the best as here’s a list of some of the most iconic anime foods of all time. Tag along.
Get set for an anime food-tasting spree with these dishes
— Anime Food (@anime_foods) June 3, 2018
Ramen is a bowl of comfort that you can often see in anime. Episode 9 of Persona 5 or Goku and Beerus from Dragon Ball instantly make every anime fan crave a bowl of ramen.
This Japanese bowl of soup is mostly made with wheat noodles, vegetables or meat broth, scallions and sliced meat of your choice. A sliced boiled egg best serves as the topping.
However, everyone has their own variations of ramen, just like ‘Maggi’. One can completely avoid meat and add tofu, green onions, and beansprouts to their bowls too.
— Anime Food (@anime_foods) June 21, 2018
Extremely popular in Japan, this delicious treat is usually made with ice cream, mochi, red beans, cornflakes and fruits. A pocky topping acts as the cherry on top for parfaits.
One can often see this popular anime food in Tokyo Ghoul: Root A, Vampire Knight, Zombieland Saga, Vampire Princess Miyu, After the Rain and Someday’s Dreamers. Akame ga Kill and Gintama are two other anime where strawberry parfait makes an appearance.
Loco moco donburi
No one can forget the dish made by Ikumi Mito for the Breakfast Buffet Challenge during the Tōtsuki Friendship and Rapport Training Camp in Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma.
The main ingredient for this dish is the famous local meal of Hawaii, the loco moco. It’s completed with sunny-side-up eggs, rib roast hamburger steak and white rice topped with a simple brown gravy of choice. One can also choose vinaigrette as the gravy. After all, Ikumi Mito did the same right?
Rainbow rice bowl
🌈Rainbow Rice bowl! – Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai ep10 pic.twitter.com/hbp5ovikJe
— Anime Food (@anime_foods) June 7, 2018
Episode 10 of Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai must have surely made you crave a rainbow rice bowl.
Perfect for a healthy lunch or dinner, this rice bowl is usually packed with tofu, colourful veggies, a creamy sauce of choice and warm rice. One can always add a spicy or sweet peanut sauce to enhance the flavours.
This classic Japanese chicken recipe combines marinated chicken in perfectly whisked tempura batter that gives it the needed crispiness. An instant pot sushi rice is one of the few dishes that go extremely well with these tempuras.
In Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi Volume 6 Chapter 2, viewers get a glimpse of the dish in Gintengai.
Gyoza and fish – Gurazeni ep10 pic.twitter.com/IdtnYWh0uD
— Anime Food (@anime_foods) June 8, 2018
Best paired with fish, this Chinese-origin dish is popular as IDOLM@ster‘s favourite food in the anime world. One can also see this dumpling-inspired dish make an appearance in animes such as Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles, Food Wars, Sakura CardCaptor and Dorohedoro.
The dish requires a thin dough to be filled with meat or vegetables of choice and is mostly served with soy sauce. Gyoza is also served as an appetiser in restaurants that specialise in ramen.
Making its presence felt in iconic anime such as Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Fruits Basket and Demon Slayer, the simple onigiri is the most common anime food in the animation culinary scene and a popular snack in Japan.
These triangular-shaped white rice ball snacks are made with vegetables or meat fillings and are wrapped in nori seaweed. Unlike its look-alike sushi, onigiri does not use raw fish as an ingredient.
— Anime Food (@anime_foods) May 1, 2018
A fresh seafood one-bowl donburi dish, kaisendon is made of different types of raw seafood known as sashimi and is spread over hot rice. The sashimi selection varies from marinated ikura (salmon roe) and maguro (tuna) to tai (sea bream) and ama ebi (deep-water shrimps).
One of the most popular anime where kaisendon becomes a recurring dish is Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World.
This popular American food is a favourite snack of most anime characters. From Cowboy Bebop and Dragon Ball GT to Ranma 1/2 and One Piece, all kinds of hamburgers (beef patty burgers, katsu burgers and pork burgers) make sure to tease one’s taste buds.
— Anime Food (@anime_foods) May 1, 2018
Chazuke, a common anime food, is an underrated Japanese dish. Its preparation is quite simple. Just add a hot cup of green tea or dashi (Japanese cooking stock) broth over some cooked rice, and your Chazuke is ready.
You can see the Chazuke dish in Bungou Stray Dogs and Shokugeki no Souma.
The sweet and tender herring atop a tangle of nishin soba (buckwheat noodles) dipped in a hot broth, perfectly complements winters, and anime such as Golden Kamuy, is proof of the same.
For the hot broth, people often prefer to choose a mixture of soy sauce, mirin sweet cooking rice wine and sugar.
— Anime Food (@anime_foods) May 16, 2018
The most favourite anime tea or sencha, also happens to be the most popular tea in Japan. This whole-leaf tea which makes an appearance in episode 6 of Rokuhōdō Yotsuiro Biyori, is prepared in a ratio of one teaspoon of tea to one cup of fresh non-distilled water.
Japanese sencha tea is brewed at low temperatures, so always go for water that has just started to simmer.
Be it Rin cooking for Usamaro in Blue Exorcist or Jean winning his cooking duel against Sasha in Attack on Titan, the wholesome omurice has always been the saviour of anime food.
An omelette filled with fried rice, vegetables and chicken, omurice is garnished with ketchup and served with greens for the best flavours.
— Anime Food (@anime_foods) May 24, 2018
There’s no better way to liven up your dining table than an anime-inspired BBQ platter. The curry rice with BBQ combo in episode 8 of 3D Kanojo, still makes one drool.
For preparing a perfect barbeque platter, a selection of fresh, thinly-sliced, raw meat can be dipped in sauces of your choice, grilled and served along with fresh vegetables and other side dishes.
— Anime Food (@anime_foods) May 1, 2018
This simple yet delectable dish is another comfort anime food. From MyHeroAcademia, Persona 5 to Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory, the curry and rice combo makes sure to enjoy all the limelight alone.
A comfort food even for Indians, the Japanese style of making curry is different from the Indian version as it is more thick and sweet. In most anime, one might see different versions of curry with chocolate curry buns being the most common one.
(Main image: Courtesy Cody Chan/Unsplash; featured image: Courtesy David Hunter/Unsplash)