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Japanese healthy food! Top 5 ingredients that are attracting attention from the world's top chefs

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Japanese food culture is attracting attention from all over the world, and Japan's healthy ingredients are particularly highly praised by top chefs.

In this article, we will introduce in detail the top five Japanese healthy ingredients that are attracting attention from the world's top chefs, including their characteristics, health benefits, cooking methods, and recipes.

Let's take a closer look at the reasons why Japanese healthy ingredients are loved all over the world and explore their appeal.

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Natto – The miracle of fermentation and its various charms

Nutrition and unique flavor of natto

Natto is a traditional Japanese fermented food known for its unique stickiness and flavor. Made from soybeans and fermented by Bacillus bacteria, it is attracting attention around the world as a healthy food containing abundant nutrients such as probiotics, vitamin K2, and nattokinase.

Health benefits of natto and its status as a superfood

Additionally, as people become more health conscious, natto is establishing its status as a superfood. Nutritionists and diet experts have also recommended natto as an essential food for maintaining good health, pointing to its probiotic effects and protective effects against cardiovascular disease.

History of natto

Natto has a long history, and records of it can be found in Japanese books as early as the Heian period. During the Sengoku period, it was loved by samurai as a convenient portable food. According to one legend, natto was discovered by chance, and after a battle, a straw wrapper stuffed with soybeans was fermented by the body heat of a horse, and natto was born.

Use of natto in cooking

In addition to its health benefits, natto is adding new appeal to cuisines around the world with its unique texture and flavor. In addition to being used as a topping for pasta and salads, it is also attracting attention as a protein source for vegan dishes.

Famous chefs' love for natto

Famous chefs around the world are also paying attention to the appeal of natto. The late French culinary master Joël Robuchon said of natto, ``Natto is an ingredient that symbolizes the spirit of Japanese cuisine, and its simplicity has a deep flavor.'' In his cooking philosophy, it is important to bring out the essence of the ingredients, and natto is one of the ingredients that embodies this philosophy.

Natto kimchi bowl recipe

[Recipe description

  1. Serve hot rice in a bowl.
  2. Add the sauce that comes with the natto, stir, and place on top of the rice.
  3. Add an appropriate amount of kimchi.
  4. Top with chopped green onions, seaweed, and hot spring eggs.
  5. Add soy sauce or mustard if you like, and serve while stirring.

Dried natto is recommended because it has less odor than raw natto and does not have the characteristic sliminess.
▶︎If you want to try natto firsthereCheck it out!

Matcha - The door to health and the heart of Japanese culture

Health benefits of matcha

Matcha is a type of green tea made from powdered tea called tencha, and is characterized by its bright green color and rich flavor. It contains abundant nutrients such as catechins, amino acids, and vitamins, and is said to have antioxidant and relaxing effects. Matcha has also played an important role in Japanese tea ceremonies as a drink that enhances spirituality.

History of matcha

The history of matcha is said to have been introduced to Japan from China in the 9th century. It was used by Zen monks as a means of mental concentration, and later became deeply ingrained in Japanese culture in the form of the tea ceremony. In the tea ceremony, the spirit of a once-in-a-lifetime encounter is valued, and the emphasis is on communicating hearts through a cup of matcha.

Sweets using matcha

In recent years, matcha has been incorporated into new sweets and dishes by pastry chefs and cooks around the world, not only for its health benefits but also for its unique flavor. Matcha latte and matcha ice cream are now loved by many people as everyday desserts.

Behind the scenes of the matcha boom

Behind the global matcha boom is a growing interest in health and wellness. Nutritionists have praised matcha's antioxidant potential, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a natural relaxing effect in a stressed-out society.

matcha latte recipe

Recipe description

  1. Add 1-2 tablespoons of matcha powder to the cup.
  2. Add a little warm water and mix well with a whisk until creamy.
  3. Warm the milk in a separate container (or substitute with plant-based milk), whisk, and pour into the matcha.
  4. Adjust the sweetness by adding sugar or honey to your preference.
  5. Finally, lightly sprinkle with matcha powder and it's done.

There is also a stick-type matcha latte that you can enjoy just by adding hot water.
▶︎If you want to try ithereCheck it out!

Seaweed – Nutrients from the sea and many uses

Nutritional value of seaweed and its diversity

Seaweed is known to be rich in minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber, and is particularly notable for its high content of iodine and iron. It has been used as part of Japan's food culture since ancient times, but its value is now being rediscovered around the world as a superfood.

History of seaweed

The history of seaweed can be traced back to Japan's Jomon period. Seaweed is an important ingredient that brings the blessings of the sea to people living on land, and was an important source of nutrition for the ancient Japanese people. Seaweed is also used in cultural events such as Shinto rituals and festivals, and is deeply rooted in Japanese life.

Cooking methods that make use of seaweed

Seaweed is used in a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, and smoothies. Seaweed also plays an important role as a source of protein in vegan and vegetarian diets, and new recipes using seaweed are expanding in restaurants and home kitchens around the world.

Seaweed changes the world's diet

Nutritionists and health food experts emphasize the positive health effects of seaweed. In particular, fucoidan, a unique component found in seaweed, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and support the immune system. Furthermore, seaweed as a sustainable food source is attracting attention as an environmentally friendly option.

seaweed salad recipe

Recipe description

  1. Rehydrate various seaweeds and drain excess water.
  2. Add sliced ​​cucumber, tomato, and avocado.
  3. Make a dressing by mixing soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and mirin.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
  5. Finish by sprinkling with sesame seeds.

By the way, dried and processed seaweed can be stored for a long time and is easy to use in cooking.
▶︎If you want to try cooking with seaweedhereCheck it out!

Shiitake – a forest superfood that supports health

Health benefits of shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are known to contain nutrients such as vitamin D, B vitamins, and selenium. These ingredients are said to help strengthen the immune system and lower cholesterol, making them appealing to health-conscious people.

History of Shiitake cultivation

Shiitake mushroom cultivation has a long history in Japan. In particular, the ``shiitake bed cultivation method'' for cultivating shiitake mushrooms has spread around the world as an innovation in Japanese agricultural technology. Through this method, shiitake mushrooms can be grown stably throughout the year, and their delicious taste and nutritional value can now be enjoyed all over the world.

Various dishes using shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms add depth to many dishes with their unique flavor and texture. Dishes using shiitake mushrooms are not only used in Asian cuisine, but also in cuisines from various countries such as Italian and French. Shiitake mushrooms are also used as a meat substitute and play an important role in vegan cuisine.

Health effects and future possibilities of shiitake mushrooms

Nutritionists and health experts are focusing on the health benefits of compounds found in shiitake mushrooms, such as lentinan and eritadenine. These ingredients are said to be effective in preventing cancer and regulating blood pressure, and shiitake mushrooms will continue to establish themselves as a health food.

Shiitake mushroom stir-fry recipe with butter and soy sauce

Recipe description

  1. Slice the shiitake mushrooms.
  2. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the shiitake mushrooms over medium heat.
  3. Add soy sauce and a small amount of sugar and stir-fry until the shiitake mushrooms are soft.
  4. Add the chopped green onions, stir-fry briefly, and it's done.

Dried shiitake mushrooms are recommended because they are easy to prepare.
▶︎If you want to cook with dried shiitake mushroomshereCheck it out!

Blue fish – blessings of the sea that are kind to the mind and body

Health benefits of blue fish

Green fish is known to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. These fish, such as mackerel, sardines, and horse mackerel, are essential to the Japanese diet, and their health benefits are recognized around the world.

History of blue fish

In Japan, green fish have been eaten as an important protein source since ancient times. In particular, dried fish, which is a traditional preserved food, is a representative food made from blue fish. These fish also appear in Japanese festivals and annual events, and are important as ingredients with cultural significance.

Healthy recipes that make use of blue fish

In modern cuisine, green fish is featured in a variety of health-conscious recipes due to its high nutritional value. Green fish can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, from simply grilled to salads, pasta, and stews.

Health effects of blue fish

Nutritionists and medical professionals praise the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, found in green fish. These ingredients are known to support brain health and have anti-inflammatory properties. Eating green fish regularly is also said to lead to longevity.

Miso-stewed mackerel recipe

Recipe description

  1. Sprinkle salt on the mackerel fillet, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then wipe it dry with kitchen paper.
  2. Fry the mackerel in a frying pan over medium heat starting from the skin side.
  3. Once it's browned, add water, miso, sugar, and sake and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and simmer over medium heat until the mackerel is tender.
  5. It's done when the broth becomes slightly glossy.

You can also easily eat canned mackerel in miso.
▶︎If you want to try canned mackerel boiled in misohereCheck it out!


Japanese food culture is attracting attention from all over the world for its delicacy and nutritional balance. Ingredients such as natto, matcha, seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, and green fish are bringing new life to the health and eating habits of people not only in Japanese kitchens but around the world, and are becoming important elements in shaping future food trends. I'll go.

With increasing health consciousness, these ingredients are used daily in many countries and are driving international culinary trends, with each ingredient's unique properties offering benefits not only for health but also for taste. We offer new experiences.

Through this article, we explored the influence of traditional Japanese healthy ingredients on food and health around the world. By incorporating these ingredients, we can not only improve our health but also enjoy dietary diversity. We hope that through the recipes introduced here, you will discover a variety of ways to enjoy these ingredients.

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