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Osaka food has been mainly popularized by the prevalent street food culture in the Osaka city of Japan. The city is also called as the kitchen of Japan. The proximity of the city to the sea and mountains has ensured that locals get an ample supply of fruits, vegetables, fish and meat that is prepared into exquisite dishes.

Historical and Cultural Influences on Osaka Cuisine

Traditionally, Osaka food is considered to be the best in Japan. The Japanese word “kuidaore” is used to refer to the city and the culture of overindulgence in the best of food cooked to perfection.

Ingredients Commonly Used in Osaka Cuisine

Osaka food has a rich mix of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat from all over Japan. The strategic port location of the city means that any ingredient can be source quite quickly. As a result, the city is teeming with a large selection of local fast food and gourmet Japanese food along with a complete repertoire of international foods.

Popular Recipes from Osaka City Cuisine

The local fast food of Osaka is popular all over Japan. The most famous dishes include-

  1. Tako-yaki which is a popular dumpling. The different varieties of dumpling include tako that has sliced octopus, tenkasu that contains tempura scraps etc. Most of these dumplings are served as fast food accompanied with pickled ginger and green onion. A few varieties of the dumplings will also have Okonomi-yaki sauce, bonito flakes, aonori or green laver, and mayonnaise as dipping sauces with them.
  2. Osaka sushi is very famous for using cheaper cuts of fish like sea bream, eel and shrimp to prepare boxed traditional sushi. It is also called as Oshi-zushi and is made in a wooden box and then cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Okonomi-yaki are special flat cakes that are prepared from a wide variety of fillings like vegetables, meat, seafood and even pork mixed together.
  4. Kitsune udon is typical udon flat noodles that are served in a clear soy sauce with fried bean curd alongside or in the broth.
  5. The popular Osaka food called Fugu or blowfish is cooked in a clear light broth and then dipped into a citrus juice and soy sauce dip.
  6. Bento lunch boxes are extremely popular modern boxed lunches that arose in Osaka. This modern version has now bloomed in popularity all over the world but is derived from the boxed Shokado bento that was served in the interval of Kabuki plays in Osaka.
  7. Tessa is raw globefish meat that is sliced paper thin and serve raw.
  8. Tecchiri or Nabe is hot pot of meat, fish and vegetables that is eaten during the winter months.
  9. Shabu-shabu is a world famous dish where paper thin slice of Kobe beef are dipped into a boiling hot broth and removed by the diner. These are eaten according to the diner’s taste preferences of rare, medium or well done.

Osaka Cuisine Food Habits and Etiquette

Different varieties of sauces are served with Osaka food. It is considered taboo to dip meats into the sauce containers as containers are for all customers. Every restaurant will have signs reminding diners of the same.