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20 Japanese Recipes to Make While Watching the Tokyo Olympics

These recipes get the gold
ahirao_photo/iStock via Getty Images

After being postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo Summer Olympics are finally here. The games begin on July 23 and close on August 8. If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the quadrennial event’s arrival, chances are you’re ready to kick back with a cold beer and good food and cheer on your nation’s team as they swim, leap, dive, run and more in Japan.

In addition to your favorite party dishes and yummy appetizers, pay homage to this year’s host country by making one (or all) of these delicious Japanese and Japanese-inspired recipes.

Teriyaki Beef and Asparagus Skewers

Teriyaki Beef and Asparagus Skewers
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

Grilling is an important aspect of summer so there’s no better time to make these Japanese-inspired grilled teriyaki beef and asparagus skewers than during the Summer Tokyo Olympics. Add it to your growing list of the best grilling recipes.

For the Teriyaki Beef and Asparagus Skewers recipe, click here.

Spicy Japanese Izakaya Style Grilled Wings

Spicy Japanese Izakaya Style Grilled Wings
Courtesy of McCormick

Of course, any sports watch party isn’t complete without a plate of wings. These Japanese-inspired wings are tossed in a combination of sake, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Sprinkle the nutty, salty wings with wasabi furikake seasoning and green onions before serving.

For the Spicy Japanese Izakaya Style Grilled Wings recipe, click here.

Spicy Sushi Roll

Spicy Sushi Roll
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

If you were planning to pay homage to Japan during the Olympics by visiting your favorite sushi restaurant, try making a roll at home. This spicy sushi roll is easy enough for beginners to make from scratch. Just be sure to buy the highest quality sushi-grade tuna available at your local fish market.

For the Spicy Sushi Roll recipe, click here.

Miso Vinaigrette

Miso Vinaigrette
Weedezign/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Miso was first introduced to Japan 1,300 years ago and it remains a treasured ingredient throughout the country. In this recipe the salty, earthy paste is mixed with rice wine vinegar, Indonesian sambal oelek and other traditional Asian ingredients to make a vinaigrette for salads.

For the Miso Vinaigrette recipe, click here.

Miso Soup With Napa Cabbage and Shrimp

Miso Soup With Napa Cabbage and Shrimp
Food styling by Corrine Kozlak;E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune

Perhaps the most popular way to utilize miso — at least in the United States — is in soup. The popular Japanese meal can be made with a variety of optional ingredients, but for this recipe, additions include napa cabbage, shrimp and cilantro.

For the Miso Soup With Napa Cabbage and Shrimp recipe, click here.

Japanese Seven-Spice Beef Skewers With Brussels Sprouts Salad

Japanese Seven-Spice Beef Skewers With Brussels Sprouts Salad
Courtesy of McCormick

Grilled meat skewers are a popular street food in Japan. Serve the yakitori-inspired skewers as an appetizer or with the Brussels sprouts salad for a complete weeknight dinner.

For the Japanese Seven-Spice Beef Skewers With Brussels Sprouts Salad recipe, click here.

Crispy Pork Tonkatsu With Japanese Curry and Rice

Crispy Pork Tonkatsu With Japanese Curry and Rice
Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

Japanese curry can be served in various ways, and this mix of potatoes, carrots, onions and meat is total comfort food. Here, the curry is served with rice and crispy pork tonkatsu.

For the Crispy Pork Tonkatsu With Japanese Curry and Rice recipe, click here.

Japanese Style Curry With Carrots and Apples

Japanese Style Curry With Carrots and Apples
Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

This take on Japanese-style curry forgoes the potatoes and uses apples instead. The sweetness adds a nice balance to the spice provided from the curry powder and cayenne pepper. Serve it with rice or cooked noodles with a fried egg on top.

For the Japanese Style Curry with Carrots and Apples recipe, click here.

Chicken Ramen Soup

Chicken Ramen Soup
Courtesy of McCormick

Although some parts of the world are battling 90-degree days, ramen is eaten year-round in Japan. Yep, even during the throngs of summer. Not only will this ramen recipe delight your taste buds, it’s also one of the best ways to use up leftover chicken. Just throw it into the broth with the rest of the ingredients and dig in.

For the Chicken Ramen Soup recipe, click here.

Wasabi Mayonnaise

Wasabi Mayonnaise
October22/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Wasabi is an important part of Japanese food culture. The word even appears in Japan's oldest encyclopedia of medicinal plants. Here, it’s mixed with lemon and lime juice, soy sauce, egg and oil to create a homemade flavored mayo that’s great for putting on top of the best burger recipes.

For the Wasabi Mayonnaise recipe, click here.

Beef Sukiyaki

Beef Sukiyaki
ahirao_photo/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re tuning into the Olympics on a weeknight and want to make a meal with easy clean-up, try beef sukiyaki. This take on the traditional Japanese one-pot dish is made by cooking beef with a blend of mushrooms, green onions, bok choy, tofu and noodles in a seasoned beef broth until all the flavors meld together.

For the Beef Sukiyaki recipe, click here.

Shabu-Shabu

Shabu-Shabu
Food styling by Lisa Schumacher;Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune

For an interactive meal, consider making shabu-shabu. The hotpot dish is prepared by making dashi flavored with Japanese seaweed and bonito shavings and leaving it simmering on a burner or in a fondue pot. Let guests cook their own beef, tofu, carrots, bok choy and other ingredients by swishing them around in the hot broth.

For the Shabu-Shabu recipe, click here.

Teriyaki Tuna

Teriyaki Tuna
Vladimir Mironov/iStock via Getty Images

Ready in just 15 minutes, this teriyaki tuna dish is great to serve on busy nights when you still want a themed dinner. The tuna itself needs to be marinated and cooked for a few minutes on a skillet, then feel free to add other elements to the meal, like rice and sauteed greens.

For the Teriyaki Tuna recipe, click here.

Mirin Glazed Salmon

Mirin Glazed Salmon
Chicago Tribune

Mirin is a rice wine comparable to sake but with more sugar and less alcohol content. When heated, the sugars in mirin form a delectable glaze on salmon — as in this recipe — or other proteins.

For the Mirin Glazed Salmon recipe, click here.

Asparagus Tempura

Asparagus Tempura
Neil Burger/Chicago Tribune

You can tempura just about any vegetable, seafood or meat but the star of the battering and frying process in this recipe is asparagus. The springtime veggie can be used in frittatas and fresh salads but it’s equally as delicious when it gets drenched in batter and deep-fried.

For the Asparagus Tempura recipe, click here.

Grilled Chicken Ramen Bowl

Grilled Chicken Ramen Bowl
tbralnina/iStock via Getty Images

This grilled chicken ramen bowl is pretty straightforward to assemble, but the ingredient that makes it so special is the soy-wasabi eggs. They’re made by soaking hard-boiled eggs in wasabi and soy sauce for about 20 minutes until eggs are golden in color.

For the Grilled Chicken Ramen Bowl recipe, click here.

Japanese Milk Pudding

Japanese Milk Pudding
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

Japanese milk pudding, also referred to as purin, has a texture comparable to flan but it’s flavor is reminiscent of ice cream. It can be enjoyed plain or topped with black sugar sauce, ginger-lemon sauce or macerated blueberries. This recipe gives options for all three.

For the Japanese Milk Pudding recipe, click here.

Japanese Cake

Japanese Cake
Food styling by Lisa Schumacher;Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune

Kasutera is a popular Japanese sponge cake that's incredibly soft and slightly sweet. Different varieties of the cake are available — some use powdered green tea or brown sugar — but this recipe uses honey to add an extra layer of sweetness to the dessert.

For the Japanese Cake recipe, click here.

Matcha Marble Cake

Matcha Marble Cake
Courtesy of Ready Set Eat

Made by grinding tea-leaves into a powder, matcha is an important ingredient in Japanese culture. Although it’s commonly enjoyed as a beverage, it’s mixed with hot chocolate in this recipe and turned into a marbled cake.

For the Matcha Marble Cake recipe, click here.

Matcha Smoothie

Matcha Smoothie
Mila Naumova/iStock/Getty Images Plus

In addition to being added to dessert, matcha can also be used to bring an earthy quality to smoothies. Mix it with pineapple, spinach, banana and coconut like this recipe does or try adding it to any other healthy smoothie recipe that tastes great.

For the Matcha Smoothie recipe, click here.

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