Weeknight Meal Ideas: Easy Japanese recipes for a quick, reliable dinner you can make for the family at the end of a long day.
What do you make on those nights when you’re tired but still just want something nourishing & healthy for the family? If you love a quick dinner like I do on most days, here are some family-friendly Japanese recipes that are tasty yet easy-to-follow.
These recipes are perfect for weeknight meals as they can be prepped in less than 1 hour! They are my go-to rotations, so I hope they will help you plan your meals as well.
Easy Japanese Recipes for Weeknight Meals
This easy homemade Teriyaki Salmon are cooked in soy sauce, sake, and mirin. If you buy salmon as a whole fish, you can fillet it the Japanese way. It helps to cook faster and absorb the flavors quickly. Not a seafood fan? Try Chicken Teriyaki or Beef Teriyaki.
Loaded with plenty of vegetables and your choice of protein, this Stir fry Vegetables (Yasai Itame) makes a well-rounded weeknight meal. Not only everything comes together in less than 30 minutes, it’s also a great way to use up any leftovers.
A really popular Japanese Yoshoku (Japanese fusion) recipe, Omurice is one of my children’s favorite meals. The rice is pan-fried with ketchup and chicken, then wrapped in a thin layer of egg. When there is leftover rice, it’s a perfect single plate meal to prepare the next day.
When you feel like you’re stuck in the usual dinner rut, this Baked Tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlet) will shake things up a little. The best part is you don’t need to deep fry the meat to achieve the crispy crust and tender, juicy texture. You can also try Crispy Baked Chicken or Crispy Salmon in replace of pork.
Enjoyed chilled or at room temperature, this Soba Noodle Salad makes a healthy choice when you are looking for a quick, light meal.
Niratama Donburi, or Egg with Garlic Chives Over Rice is a quick dish to serve over fluffy steamed rice. You can pick up garlic chives when you make a stop at your local Asian grocery store.
Gyudon (Beef Bowl) is a comfort food for Japanese. Simple ingredients such as onion, sliced beef, and eggs, are tossed into a hot frying pan for a quick cook. In 15 minutes, you’d get to serve some delicious rice bowl for dinner.
Craving for some spicy food on the weeknight? This Japanese-version of Mapo Tofu is a lot milder than the Sichuan-style mapo tofu, yet it is flavorful enough that even both adults & children can enjoy.
Marinated in sake, soy sauce, and honey, these Honey Soy Sauce Chicken can be prepped the night before. When you’re ready to cook, pop them into the oven while you prepare a simple salad or miso soup to serve along.
Oyakodon is one of the easy dishes I learned at the home-making class in middle school. If you have older children at home, this would be a fun dish to teach them. It’s a classic Donbori dish, where beaten egg and chicken pieces are simmered in sweet soy dashi sauce, and served over white rice.
11. Ochazuke お茶漬け
A simple rice dish which combines green tea (ocha), steamed rice, and an assortment of savory ingredients, Ochazuke is a perfect quick meal when you’re feeling under the weather. I promise, the warm tea and rice combination will hit the right spot.
Although you can find Ginger Pork (Shogayaki) at most of the Japanese restaurants in the US, it is a simple dish to make at home. You want to use thinly sliced pork loin or sukiyaki meat to cook. The sweet garlic ginger sauce makes it a delicious savory dish to go with shredded cabbage.
A classic Japanese stir fried noodles – Yakisoba. You can literally add any ingredients to make your own version of Yakisoba.
Prepared with dashi stock, sliced pork, soy sauce, and Japanese curry roux, this Curry Udon Noodle is a keeper for the noodle lovers.
MORE EASY JAPANESE RECIPES?
I hope you enjoy making these delicious easy Japanese recipes at home. If you are looking for more easy recipes, click here to get inspiration! Thank you so much for reading and till next time!
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Editor’s Note: The post was originally published on October 5, 2014. The content has been updated in October 2017.