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Are you new to Just One Cookbook? Let us guide you through how to best use our website.

Just One Cookbook focuses on 3 main topics on the site.

Click the link of your interest:

  1. Recipes
  2. Travel Guides (mostly Japan)
  3. Japanese Culture

Let’s take a look at each topic below.

1. Recipes

Looking for a Specific Recipe or Inspiration?

You can browse our recipe collection in 4 different ways.

  • Search Box on the menu bar – enter the recipe name or ingredient 
  • Recipe Menu Dropdowns – pick the topic of your interest
  • Recipe Filternarrow down your choice
  • Recipe Indexpick the topic of your interest

We also share:

My recipes include detailed instructions with step-by-step photos and a video tutorial. I focus on sharing with you the real flavors of Japanese cuisine.

If you prefer video tutorials, do visit our YouTube channel!

Salted salmon served along with Japanese style breakfast.

★ Interested in Learning How to Make a Basic Japanese Meal?

If you have never cooked Japanese food before or still new to the cuisine, you’re at the right place! 

There are a lot of recipes to explore, but let’s start from the basic.

For a typical Japanese meal, we serve steamed rice, miso soup, pickled vegetable, main dish, and 1-2 side dishes. This style is called Ichiju Sansai

Ichiju Sansai (一汁三菜) - One Soup Three Dishes: A typical Japanese meal composed of four elements: rice, soup, side dishes and pickled vegetables.

I will show you the steps in preparing a very basic Japanese meal at home. Are you ready? Let’s’ jump in.

Step 1: Get Essential Japanese Ingredients

6 Must-Have Condiments to Make Your Favorite Japanese Food

Stock up on these 26 ingredients to cook Japanese food. If you haven’t decided what to cook yet, then start with these basic 6 condiments.

Not sure where to find Japanese/Asian ingredients?

Check this list, where our readers helped create this directory. You may help us with your local shops if it is not listed. 

If you can’t find Japanese ingredients locally, you can shop online or on Amazon.

You can also browse my pantry page to learn more.

Step 2: Make Perfect Steamed Rice

How To Cook Japanese Rice

Rice is the fundamental of Japanese cuisine (you can read more about it here). So it’s important to learn how to choose rice and make good rice.

Choose your cooking equipment to make perfect rice:

Step 3: Make Dashi (Japanese Soup Stock)

5 different types of dashi in a jar and their ingredients.

Whenever we serve rice, we always serve it with miso soup. Miso soup is made of dashi (Japanese soup stock) and miso (fermented soybean paste), both of which are included in the 6 essential Japanese condiments.

To make miso soup, let’s make dashi first. If you want to learn more about dashi, click here.

Here are a few ways to make Dashi:

Step 4: Make Miso Soup

Japanese wooden bowls containing vegan miso soup with tofu and seaweed.

Now that you’ve made dashi, you are ready to make miso soup.

Step 5: Make the Main Dish

A white plate containing teriyaki salmon with glaze and asparagus.

Today, for a basic Japanese meal, let’s prepare an easy teriyaki dish with a few of the 6 condiments you already purchased. Want to make different dishes? Browse our Main Dish category for inspiration.

Step 6: Make 1-2 Side Dishes

Japanese spinach salad dressed in sesame sauce served in a bowl

Side dishes should be vegetable-focused. For a beginner, I recommend preparing one non-cooked dish (like a salad) and one cooked dish (like simmered dish).

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are my recommendations.

Step 7: Serve!

Example: (in clockwise) Shio Koji Salmon, Tofu and Wakame Miso Soup, Steamed Rice, Simmered Kombu, Pickled Plum, Spinach Gomaae, and Simmered Daikon.
Kabocha Miso Soup served in a black bowl.
Example: (in clockwise) Salted Salmon, Tamagoyaki, Broccoli Blanched with Sesame Oil, Kabocha Miso Soup, Brown Rice, Pickled Daikon, and Pickled Napa Cabbage.

Optional Add-ons:

This is just a quick guide on how to make a simple Japanese meal. Hope you enjoy browsing and cooking from our recipe collection.

view of Matsumoto Castle and moat

2. Japan Travel Guides

If you are here to read our travel guides to Japan, start here. We cover the majority of popular destinations and some lesser-known areas in Japan.  

By Regions

Travel Tips

Japanese dining room - Kaiseki Ryori: The Art of the Japanese Refined Multi-course Meal |

3. Japanese Culture

If you love learning about Japanese culture, you’re going to enjoy reading these articles.

  • Washoku 101Everything about Japanese Food
  • EntertainmentBest Japanese Movies, What Shows to Stream, Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories Season 1 & 2 Recipes, Best Website to Learn Japanese, and more
  • DiningJapanese Dining Etiquette, Japanese Beer Guide, Japanese Ramen Guide for Beginner, Ekiben, and more

Hope you enjoy browsing Just One Cookbook!

Nami & JOC Team

Just One Cookbook Essential Japanese Recipes vol-2

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