With an abundance of healthy dishes which are built around fresh vegetables, rice and seafood, Japanese cuisine is ideally placed to take advantage of the continued movement towards more plant-based, wholesome, and sustainable diets.

Sumo Sushi & Bento, the originator of family friendly sushi dining in the UAE and throughout the GCC and EU has picked out some of the key ingredients, foods and techniques that might put Japanese food at the forefront of customers’ minds when looking for a new food experience in 2022.

Experts have tracked a particular interest in Japanese flavours in the build-up to and following the Tokyo Olympics. 2022 is about umami flavours, as customers seek out more and more of these deep, earthy flavours. Miso, fish sauce and mushrooms are looking set to continue and really become magic.

“When it comes to Japanese dining, customers are growing in confidence. Sumo Sushi & Bento has been serving the UAE for over 20+ years. The shear amount of new Japanese restaurants opening in the region is a testament to the increasing popularity of Japanese cuisine, which is seen as healthy, too. The long lives of the Japanese have been linked to their traditional food products of green tea, soy, seaweed, raw fish, matcha and fermented foods like miso.” said Ms. Julianne Holt-Kailihiwa, CEO, Sumo International Inc. LLC.

Whole Foods’ experts also noted that yuzu, a citrus from Japan, Korea, and China, is being found in a growing number of products, from vinaigrettes to hard seltzers to mayos and more. Yuzu is a hybrid citrus fruit that originated in China and now grows in Japan, Korea, and other parts of the world. The taste is a subtle mix of grapefruit and lemon and adds an amazing punch to dressings, currently mostly used in Japanese salads and many Japanese desserts, cookies, cakes, and in just about everything.

In 2022, we see it shines even brighter along with the following.


Dried seaweed is traditionally used to wrap around sushi, but it can ground up or finely chopped to be used as a flavouring in its own right too. It performs particularly well in vegan dishes to give the hint of fish.


As a nation set on an archipelago, the islands of Japan unsurprisingly get through a fair number of fish, and not just in the form of sushi and sashimi either. As a great source of vitamin D and protein, Seafood is fantastically healthy and can revitalise any menu.


As within many Asian cultures, Japanese cooking can be an incredible experience even before you try the food! Whether it’s white-hot glowing charcoals or a glistening Teppanyaki grill, adopting equipment or techniques to create fusion dishes of your own will get customers talking.


Botanicals are still big news. Flowery flavours like hibiscus can add an exciting element to desserts, cocktails or used sparingly in main courses.


Japanese katsu, a fried meat cutlet, is the epitome of Japanese comfort food. Beloved by children and adults alike, the dish is popular across all walks of life in Japan. The term “katsu” encompasses a wide variety of cutlets including chicken, and beef.


Teriyaki is a cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine in which foods are broiled or grilled with a glaze of soy sauce, mirin and sugar. The sauce is boiled and reduced to the desired thickness, then used to marinate meat or fish, which is then grilled or broiled. Sometimes ginger is added, and the final dish may be garnished with spring onions. Fish – yellowtail, marlin, skipjack tuna, salmon, trout and mackerel are mainly used sometimes squid, hamburger steak and meatballs.

Yaki udon

Yaki udon is a Japanese stir fry dish consisting of thick, smooth, white udon noodles mixed with a soy-based sauce, meat, and vegetables. It is like yakisoba, which involves a similar stir fry technique using ramen-style wheat noodles.


This Japanese dish combines ramen noodles, beef mince and a delicious barbecue and oyster sauce mixture for a super-speedy stir-fry. 

Ramen Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork, nori, menma, and scallions.

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