Nutrition Articles

Dining Out: Japanese Cuisine

Restaurant-Specific Strategies


This cuisine features smaller portions that are lower calories and lower fat (IF you avoid fried options) and emphasizes rice and soybean products. Sometimes features tabletop stir-fry cooking, some foods are fried, but most are grilled, broiled, braised, simmered or steamed.
Common Ingredients:

Generally meat, fish or chicken combine with fresh veggies. Dishes contain lots of rice, noodles, tofu, and seafood, a limited amount of additional oils and fat, and are usually accompanied by edible garnishes, such as vegetables or seaweed.
Hidden Dangers:
  • Ask that your dish not be prepared with soy sauce, fish sauce or MSG, all of which are high in sodium.
  • If you're watching your sodium, also go light on miso and teriyaki sauces.
  • “Tempura” dishes are batter-coated and fried. Just 3 large tempura prawns with veggies will cost you 320 calories and 18 grams of fat.
  • Watch for these words:
    • Tempura (battered and fried)
    • Agemono (breaded and fried)
    • Katsu (breaded and fried)
  • Breaded and fried dishes like Tonkatsu (pork) or Torikatsu (chicken)
  • Rainbow Roll: 480 calories, 10g fat
  • Beef Teriyaki with sauce with rice: 1,110 calories and 37g fat
  • 10-ounces of Teppanyaki (steak, seafood and veggies): 470 calories, 30g fat
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