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13+ Flavorful Japanese Side Dishes For Salmon To Serve

Are you sick of eating salmon on the same old sides? Ready to make dinner more exciting? In this blog has delicious side dishes that go perfectly with salmon. From fresh salads to yummy mashed potatoes, we have covered what you need to make your meal awesome. 

No more boring dinners! Let us help you make something special. With our ideas, you will never wonder what to serve with salmon again. And if you are feeling adventurous, stick around to learn how to cook salmon head Japanese style for a truly authentic dining experience. So grab your chopsticks and get ready to enjoy amazing flavors and impress your friends and family with these tasty side dishes.

Explore our mouthwatering selection of dishes crafted to perfection. From savory delights to sweet treats, we’ve got something for everyone. Join us in celebrating the joy of good food and let your taste buds dance with delight. Stay Foodiee is where you’ll find the ultimate culinary satisfaction.

What Is Salmon In Japanese?

In Japanese, salmon is called “sake” (サケ). The word “sake” in Japanese refers specifically to salmon, distinguishing it from the alcoholic beverage with the same pronunciation. Salmon holds a significant culinary and cultural importance in Japan, where it is enjoyed in various dishes ranging from sushi and sashimi to grilled and broiled preparations. Japanese cuisine values the freshness and quality of seafood, and salmon is no exception, often sourced locally and prepared with precision to highlight its delicate flavor and texture.

Salmon has become a staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine, appearing in traditional dishes such as sushi rolls (makizushi), rice bowls (donburi), and grilled skewers (yakitori). Its versatility and popularity have led to innovative culinary creations, blending Japanese techniques with global influences to offer a diverse array of salmon-based dishes that appeal to both traditionalists and adventurous eaters alike.

Also Read : Gluten Free Shrimp Dishes

Japanese Side Dishes For Salmon

Here are some japanese side dishes for salmon, explore each one in detail: 

1. Spinach Ohitashi (Japanese Spinach Salad)

Spinach Ohitashi is a delightful Japanese side dish that showcases the natural freshness and flavor of spinach. To prepare this dish, fresh spinach leaves are briefly blanched in boiling water then immediately cooled in ice water to preserve their vibrant green color and crisp texture. The blanched spinach is then gently squeezed to remove excess water and marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and dashi broth. 

This simple yet flavorful dressing infuses the spinach with a savory umami taste that complements its mild sweetness. Spinach Ohitashi is often served cold or at room temperature, making it a refreshing accompaniment to a variety of main dishes in a traditional Japanese meal. Its light and healthy qualities make it a popular choice for those seeking a nutritious side dish packed with vitamins and minerals.

2. Goma-ae (Sesame Spinach Salad)

Goma-ae is a classic Japanese dish featuring blanched spinach coated in a creamy sesame dressing. The dish starts by blanching the spinach leaves briefly in boiling water, then shocking them in ice water to retain their bright green color and crisp texture. The dressing, made from ground toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, sugar, and sometimes a splash of mirin or rice vinegar, adds a rich and nutty flavor to the spinach. 

This combination of sweet, savory, and nutty tastes creates a harmonious balance that tantalizes the taste buds. Goma-ae is often served as a side dish or appetizer, adding both visual appeal and nutritional value to the meal. Its simplicity and versatility make it a favorite in Japanese cuisine, enjoyed year-round as a refreshing and satisfying dish.

3. Edamame (Boiled Soybeans)

Edamame are young soybeans harvested before they fully mature, prized for their tender texture and sweet, nutty flavor. These vibrant green pods are typically boiled in salted water until they’re tender, then drained and sprinkled with additional salt for seasoning. Edamame is not only delicious but also highly nutritious, packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

They make a perfect snack or appetizer, whether enjoyed on their own or added to salads, stir-fries, or rice dishes. Edamame’s versatility and health benefits have made them a popular choice among health-conscious eaters looking for a tasty and satisfying plant-based protein source. Their addictive flavor and satisfying crunch make them a crowd-pleaser at parties, gatherings, and everyday meals alike.

4. Tsukemono (Japanese Pickles)

Tsukemono are a staple in Japanese cuisine, encompassing a wide variety of pickled vegetables with different flavors, textures, and colors. These pickles are made by soaking vegetables such as cucumbers, daikon radish, carrots, and eggplant in a brine or seasoned vinegar mixture. Common ingredients in the pickling liquid include salt, rice bran, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and spices like ginger or chili pepper. The pickling process not only preserves the vegetables but also imparts a tangy, salty, or sweet flavor profile, depending on the ingredients used. 

Tsukemono are often served as a palate cleanser or accompaniment to rice and main dishes, adding brightness and acidity to balance out richer flavors. Their crunchy texture and refreshing taste make them a beloved addition to any Japanese meal, offering a burst of flavor and a satisfying crunch with every bite.

5. Kinpira Gobo (Braised Burdock Root and Carrot)

Kinpira Gobo is a traditional Japanese dish that combines thinly sliced burdock root and carrots, sautéed and braised in a sweet and savory soy sauce-based sauce. The dish starts by julienning the burdock root and carrots into thin strips, then sautéing them in oil until they’re slightly softened. A mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and sometimes sake is added to the pan, infusing the vegetables with rich umami flavor and a hint of sweetness. 

Kinpira Gobo is known for its crunchy texture, earthy taste, and vibrant colors, making it both visually appealing and satisfying to eat. This dish is often enjoyed as a side dish or topping for rice, offering a nutritious and flavorful addition to the meal. Its hearty and comforting qualities make it a popular choice in Japanese home cooking, especially during the colder months.

Also Read : Low-Carb Desserts For Potluck

6. Hijiki Salad (Hijiki Seaweed Salad)

Hijiki Salad is a nutritious and flavorful Japanese dish made with hijiki seaweed, a type of brown seaweed rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron. To prepare the salad, dried hijiki seaweed is rehydrated and then simmered until tender, absorbing the flavors of the cooking liquid, which typically includes soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. 

The seaweed is often combined with other ingredients such as carrots, mushrooms, and tofu, adding both texture and flavor to the dish. Hijiki Salad is valued for its unique taste and health benefits, as hijiki seaweed is believed to support overall well-being, particularly in promoting healthy skin and hair. Its savory-sweet flavor profile and crunchy texture make it a delicious and satisfying addition to any Japanese meal, whether served as a side dish, salad, or appetizer.

7. Nasu Dengaku (Miso-glazed Eggplant)

A traditional Japanese meal called Nasu Dengaku consists of broiled or grilled eggplant covered in a savory and sweet miso sauce. To prepare this dish, the eggplant is sliced lengthwise and scored to allow the miso glaze to penetrate the flesh. The eggplant is then grilled or broiled until tender and slightly charred, imparting a smoky flavor to the dish. 

The miso glaze, made from miso paste, sugar, mirin, and sake, adds depth and richness to the eggplant, creating a harmonious blend of sweet, salty, and umami flavors. Nasu Dengaku is often served as an appetizer or side dish, showcasing the natural sweetness and creaminess of the eggplant enhanced by the flavorful miso glaze. Its simplicity and versatility make it a favorite in Japanese cuisine, enjoyed year-round as a delicious and satisfying dish.

8. Kabocha no Nimono (Simmered Pumpkin)

Kabocha no Nimono is a comforting and flavorful Japanese dish of simmered kabocha squash, showcasing the natural sweetness and creamy texture of the pumpkin. To prepare this dish, the kabocha squash is peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-sized pieces, then simmered in a broth made with soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and dashi until tender. The result is a sweet and savory dish with a soft and velvety texture, perfect for enjoying alongside rice and other main dishes. 

Kabocha no Nimono is often served as part of a traditional Japanese meal, offering a comforting and nourishing addition to the table. Its hearty and satisfying qualities make it a popular choice, particularly during the cooler months when kabocha squash is in season.

9. Sunomono (Cucumber Salad)

Sunomono is a refreshing Japanese cucumber salad dressed in a tangy and slightly sweet vinegar-based dressing. Thinly sliced cucumbers are marinated in a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and sometimes dashi or sesame oil for added flavor. The dressing infuses the cucumbers with a bright and zesty taste, creating a crisp and refreshing dish that cleanses the palate and complements a variety of main dishes. 

Sunomono is often served as a starter or side dish in traditional Japanese meals, offering a light and refreshing contrast to richer flavors. Its simple yet vibrant flavors make it a popular choice, particularly during the summer months when cucumbers are in season.

10. Shishito Peppers (Grilled or Blistered)

Shishito Peppers are small, slender Japanese peppers prized for their mild flavor and thin skin. They are typically grilled or blistered in a hot pan until charred and blistered, then seasoned with a sprinkle of salt. Shishito Peppers are often served as a snack or appetizer, enjoyed for their smoky flavor and slightly sweet taste. Occasionally, one in ten peppers may be spicy, adding an element of surprise to each bite. Shishito Peppers are simple to prepare and versatile in their use, whether served on their own as a tasty snack or incorporated into various dishes such as stir-fries, salads, or skewers. 

Their addictive flavor and fun, interactive eating experience make them a favorite among both home cooks and restaurant-goers.

11. Agedashi Tofu (Deep-fried Tofu in Dashi Sauce)

Agedashi Tofu is a popular Japanese appetizer featuring deep-fried tofu cubes served in a flavorful dashi-based sauce. The tofu is first coated in a light dusting of potato starch or cornstarch, then deep-fried until golden and crispy on the outside while remaining soft and silky on the inside. The tofu cubes are then served hot and drizzled with a savory dashi sauce made with soy sauce, mirin, and dashi stock, often garnished with toppings like grated daikon radish and green onions. 

Agedashi Tofu offers a delightful contrast of textures, with the crispy exterior giving way to the creamy tofu interior, while the umami-rich dashi sauce adds depth and complexity to the dish. It’s a beloved appetizer in Japanese cuisine, appreciated for its simple yet satisfying flavors and comforting appeal.

12. Yaki Nasu (Grilled Eggplant)

Yaki Nasu is a simple yet delicious Japanese dish of grilled eggplant, often served as a side dish or appetizer. The eggplant is typically sliced lengthwise, brushed with oil, and grilled until tender and slightly charred. Yaki Nasu can be enjoyed on its own or with a drizzle of soy sauce or a dollop of miso paste for added flavor. Its simplicity allows the natural sweetness and smokiness of the eggplant to shine, creating a dish that is both satisfying and full of flavor. Yaki Nasu is versatile in its use and pairs well with a variety of ingredients, making it a popular choice in Japanese home cooking. 

Whether served hot off the grill or at room temperature, Yaki Nasu is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, offering a taste of summer in every bite.

13. Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savory Pancake)

Okonomiyaki is a beloved dish in Japanese cuisine, cherished for its comforting and customizable nature. Its base consists of a simple batter made from flour, eggs, grated yam or nagaimo (a type of yam), and shredded cabbage, creating a pancake-like texture. However, what truly sets Okonomiyaki apart is its versatility in toppings. Thinly sliced pork belly, shrimp, squid, or a combination of these proteins are common additions, adding layers of flavor and texture.

The cooking process involves griddling the batter until it’s golden and crisp on the outside while maintaining a soft and fluffy interior. Once cooked, Okonomiyaki is traditionally adorned with a drizzle of sweet and savory okonomiyaki sauce, creamy mayonnaise, and a sprinkling of bonito flakes and dried seaweed for an extra burst of umami. It’s a quintessential street food in Japan, found at bustling food stalls and restaurants alike, where patrons can tailor their toppings to their liking for a truly personalized culinary experience.

14. Tori Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

Tori Karaage is a delightful rendition of fried chicken in Japanese cuisine, boasting tender and juicy meat encased in a crunchy and flavorful coating. The chicken pieces are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sake, infusing them with a rich umami flavor before being coated in potato starch or wheat flour. This coating creates a crisp exterior when the chicken is deep-fried until perfectly golden and crunchy.

What makes Tori Karaage particularly irresistible is its balance of textures and flavors. The juicy interior contrasts with the crispy exterior, creating a satisfying bite with every mouthful. It’s a versatile dish, commonly served as an appetizer, snack, or main course, and pairs exceptionally well with a squeeze of fresh lemon or a dollop of creamy Japanese mayonnaise for dipping. Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger meal, Tori Karaage never fails to delight with its delicious simplicity and satisfying crunch.

How To Cook Salmon Head Japanese Style?

Salmon head Japanese style is a dish that utilizes the head of the salmon, often considered a delicacy in Japanese cuisine. The head is typically grilled or broiled until the skin is crispy and the flesh is tender, resulting in a flavorful and succulent dish.

Preparation: Clean the salmon head thoroughly, removing any scales and gills.

Seasoning: Marinate the head with a mixture of soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), sake (Japanese rice wine), and ginger for a few hours to infuse it with flavor.

Grilling: Place the marinated salmon head on a grill or under a broiler, cooking each side until golden brown and crispy.

Serving: Garnish the cooked salmon head with green onions and sesame seeds before serving. Enjoy the tender meat and rich flavor of the salmon head with steamed rice and your favorite side dishes.


In the world of Japanese food, the little dishes next to salmon are like colorful friends at a party. From yummy miso soup to crunchy cucumber salad, each dish has its own special flavor story. Whether you’re munching on edamame or enjoying spinach with sesame sauce, Japanese side dishes make eating fun and tasty. 

So, when you’re eating salmon, don’t forget about these tasty pals! They add excitement and flavor to every bite. Saying goodbye to boring meals means saying hello to exciting Japanese flavors. So, next time you sit down to eat, remember to thank these little dishes for making your meal so delicious!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are good side dishes for salmon and lobster?

Good side dishes for salmon and lobster include roasted vegetables such as asparagus or Brussels sprouts, creamy mashed potatoes, and a fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette. These sides complement the rich flavors of the seafood while providing a balanced meal.

What to serve with Japanese salmon?

When serving Japanese salmon, popular accompaniments include steamed rice, stir-fried vegetables with soy sauce and garlic, and a side of miso soup. Additionally, pickled vegetables like cucumber sunomono or seaweed salad add a refreshing contrast to the savory salmon dish. These sides enhance the overall dining experience by offering a variety of textures and flavors that harmonize with the Japanese-inspired cuisine.

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