The Best Japanese Street Food Snacks, Appetizers, and Small Bites
With this collection of Japanese appetizer recipes, we're takin' it to the street! Take a peek at our best Japanese street food recipes, appetizers, and tiny nibbles -- from classic skewers like yakitori to super-simple pre-dinner snacks like edamame. Then explore more Japanese street foods and small bites in our complete collection of Japanese Appetizers.
Easy Chicken Yakitori
These grilled chicken skewers are classic food-on-a-stick street food that you can easily make at home. "Chicken yakitori is an easy Japanese dish to make at home. Serve with white rice and sake for an easy but special meal!" says ChefJackie. You might also like Beef Yakitori.
Japanese-Style Deep-Fried Shrimp
Panko is the key! "Shrimp are seasoned and coated with crispy panko crumbs to make the easiest, tastiest deep-fried shrimp ever!" says ait0shi.
Originally imported from China, gyoza are pan-fried Japanese dumplings filled with a savory mixture of ground pork and Japanese flavors. Perfect starters to a Japanese meal or as party appetizers. Enjoy with a simple dipping sauce made with soy sauce and vinegar.
Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)
"This is one of those foods that come in many different variations in Japan," says garywhinton. "They are served primarily on a stick, but you can also get them in soups, bentos, as a main dish, etc. It became a family favorite almost instantly."
Yummylicious Japanese Beef Croquettes
These yummy Japanese croquettes combine ground beef with mashed potatoes and onions -- formed into patties, coated with panko, and deep fried to a golden brown. "Absolutely mouth-watering!" raves RUBYRONG. "They make a delicious snack! I prefer to make them in smaller bite-size pieces so it's easier to pick up with fingers. Serve with Tonkatsu sauce."
Japanese Salted Chicken Wings
Chicken wings are marinated in a salted, Japanese-style marinade, dipped in cornstarch and deep-fried until crispy. "Crispy, fried, salty chicken wings - Japanese-style!" says ZAYO. "Delicious as a hot starter or snack eaten with soy sauce and fresh lemon juice."
With just 3 simple ingredients, you can make your own tempura batter. Then go to town! Coat your favorite meats and vegetables and fry into light and delicious appetizers. "Perfect and so easy!" says SunnyDaysNor. "Very light batter."
Grilled Chicken Teriyaki Skewers with Miso Ranch
"If ‘teri' means ‘shine,' and ‘yaki' refers to grilling, then these chicken skewers are the poster children for teriyaki," says Chef John. "Marinated in soy sauce, sake, and mirin, the chicken is grilled to sweet, smoky perfection and dipped in a refreshing, herby miso ‘ranch' sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired."
Japanese Agedashi Tofu
Crispy fried cubes of tofu are served with chopped green onions and a tasty sauce."This quick and easy Japanese fried tofu recipe is a great appetizer," says ChefJackie. "
"This easy edamame (soybean) recipe served with a dip is a great quick appetizer that can be whipped up in a few minutes," says ChefJackie. "Edamame also make a healthy vegan snack."
Okonomiyaki griddle cakes are like a Japanese pancake combining flour, eggs, cabbage, and...whatever you like -- literally. "'Okonomi' means 'whatever you like' and 'yaki' means 'cook or fry,'" explains Sherbg. "Serve with your favorite sauce: sweet and sour, Tonkatsu, sweet chili, etc."
Furikake Snack Mix
Aji nori furikake is a seaweed and sesame rice seasoning that's often sprinkled over rice, fish, and veggie dishes. Here, you'll toss it with crispy corn and rice cereal and sugar and corn syrup for a sweet and salty sensation. "It's a popular Hawaii snack a crowd-pleaser!" says Laurie Sueko Lau.
Thinly-sliced pieces of steak are marinated in a savory-sweet mix of rice vinegar and soy, and rolled around pieces of green onion. Broiled on bamboo skewers, they make a tasty little appetizer bite. "Amazing!" raves spencersmom. "Our whole family loved it and said it was a new family favorite!"
Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)
"This is a simple yet delicious Japanese-style fried chicken flavored with ginger, garlic and sake and soy sauce," says Brenda Sawyer Adamson. "It even tastes good cold; my mom used to make this to take with us on picnics."
Deep-Fried Prawn and Rice Croquettes
Japanese-style rice balls are a delicious way to reuse leftover rice. "Fair number of ingredients, but this really is pretty easy to make," says lutzflcat. "Would suggest you don’t chop your shrimp too small, so you get a nice pop of that succulent shrimp when you bite into the croquette."