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MONJA! (Tsukishima, Tokyo, Japan) | © t-mizo / Flickr
MONJA! (Tsukishima, Tokyo, Japan) | © t-mizo / Flickr
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11 Japanese Dishes That Taste a Lot Better Than They Look

Picture of Lucy Dayman
Updated: 2 March 2018

Japan is a culinary wonderland. From high-end dining to grabbing a bite at convenience stores, the country is overflowing with some of the most delicious dishes in the world. If you want to try the full gamut of everything Japan has to offer in the food department, you can’t be squeamish, especially when it comes to how your dishes look. Sure, sushi is pretty, but in reality the country is filled with delicious yet ugly offerings – here are just a few.


Most people know okonomiyaki, often referred to as “Japanese pizza” or a “Japanese pancake” depending on where you’re from, which is basically a pancake-looking mix of batter, meat, seafood, and vegetables all fried on a hotplate. Well, now it’s time to meet monjayaki, okonomiyaki’s ugly cousin. Most popular in the Kanto region, in the plainest terms, this dish essentially looks like vomit. A runny, almost paste-like consistency, this fried delicacy may not win any beauty contests, but next time you see it on the menu at an okonomiyaki place, give it a try and you’ll be very pleasantly surprised.