Whether you’re a dedicated otaku, a casual anime fan, or just somebody who’s seen their fair share of anime gifs on the internet, you have to admit that anime food looks surprisingly good.
Japanese animators seem to take attention to detail to the next level when it comes to animating their characters’ favorite anime meals. Bread looks light and fluffy, steam rises out of freshly halved omurice, and deep-fried karaage makes a satisfying pop and crackle when brought in and out of hot oil.
It’s a fictional feast for the senses that makes you hungry at whatever unhealthy time of the morning you’re still binge-watching anime at.
Before you end up making another cup of instant noodles, here are some recipes for the yummiest classics (and a few unique dishes!) we’ve ever seen in an anime.
Not very dish is made equal, though. Some of these anime foods are harder to make than others. That’s why I’ll be rating them from 1-5 on difficulty scale to keep you from setting your kitchen on fire if you’re new to stove alchemy.
1. Sebastian’s Chocolate Curry Buns from Black Butler
Difficulty Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Reason: Chocolate Curry Buns require you to prepare two things, the bun and the curry, separately. With so many steps involved and a need for dumpling worthy fine motor skills, the dish can easily go wrong for inexperienced home cooks.
Weird, right? It might even look a little unappetizing but before you click away or scroll down, let’s wrap our heads around this dish first.
It seems that this one of a kind anime food was a dish invented by Yana Toboso specifically for her Black Butler manga and anime series. In episode 21, Sebastian Michaelis, supernaturally talented demon butler extraordinaire, joins the Curry Fair at the behest of his master, Ciel Phantomhive.
At first, it looks like the dish is going to turn out horrible. The only Indian characters on the show are horrified as Sebastian sets the heat too high for curry and makes the worst naan buns ever. But once the dish is finished, the judges are surprised to find that it’s actually good.
Which is what your experience will be when you try to make this anime food.
CHEFPK’s YouTube channel has one of the best iterations of the chocolate curry bun made by fans. You can watch the video here and learn cooking basics from his super informative commentary.
2. Tonkotsu, Miso, and Chasu Ramen from Naruto
Difficulty Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ or ⭐ ⭐
Reason: It all comes down to how you make this anime food. Truly authentic ramen from Naruto will take you a while and require more than beginner cooking skills. But if you just want to fix yourself a quick meal, you can easily cheat with a couple of packages of Top Ramen.
According to the anime series itself, the protagonist Naruto is named after a character from one of his father’s favorite books. But have you ever wondered what naruto actually means in Japanese?
The real-life Naruto isn’t a ninja but a common food ingredient used in Japanese ramen. Also known as narutomaki, this cooking staple is a type of Japanese fish cake with a pink spiral shape at the center that comes from red food dye. The fish paste used for narutomaki is molded into a cylindrical shape, hence the pink swirl.
As for the anime food that Naruto scarfs down on the reg at Ramen Ichiraku, it’s a classic miso ramen dish.
Before you get started, you’re going to want to run down to your nearest Asian grocery and stock up on miso, nori, bonito flakes, bamboo shoots, narutomaki; and Japanese flavor staples such as soy sauce and mirin.
Guga Foods has the complicated version of the recipe here where he makes every part of this anime food with Michelin restaurant level of attention. He makes the char siu, chasu in Japanese, by hand and creates the broth from scratch before leaving it to boil for four hours.
Chef’s kiss, eh?
But if you don’t have the patience, skills, budget, or any combination of the three, you can opt for this cheated version that uses instant ramen noodles.
3. Bacon and Eggs Breakfast from Howl’s Moving Castle
Difficulty Rating: ⭐
Reason: If you manage to mess up fried bacon and eggs, I have nothing left to say to you.
Bacon and eggs. Anime food doesn’t get more straightforward than this.
This breakfast combo is best known for showing up in Howl’s Moving Castle, a Studio Ghibli featuring a steampunk moving castle, obviously, and a fantasy romance between the titular Howl and Sophie who settles into her new life as the castle’s keeper pretty easily. In one of the scenes, Sophie and Howl make breakfast together using Calcifer, a fire demon bound to serve Howl.
All you need is bacon, eggs, salt, oil, and a warm pan. Start by heating up your pan on medium to low heat before pouring in the oil. Make sure it coats the entire pan without making a pool of grease at the bottom. Wait for the oil to warm up before placing your bacon strips and cracking eggs onto the pan. Season your eggs and bacon with salt before turning off the stove.
The only part of this anime food that has any chance of going wrong is the sunny side up eggs. Keep an eye out for when the edges begin to cook and brown before flicking water around the egg. Cover with a lid for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the white is cooked. Do not over cook. You want your yolk still slightly runny for this. Or not, it depends on how you like your eggs.
4. Gotcha Pork Roast from Food Wars!/Shokugeki no Soma
Difficulty Rating: ⭐ ⭐
Reason: Don’t let the Food Wars! name scare you. Gotcha Pork Roast only looks fancy, but if you have an oven and working hands, this anime food recipe is incredibly easy to knock out of the park.
This anime food goes by three different names: Roast Pork, Just Kidding, Gotcha Pork Roast, and Pseudo Pork Roast.
Despite the naming variance due to translation differences, one theme remains the same for all its name iterations: the pork roast is a lie.
Made by protagonist Soma Yukihara, the not-so-porky pork roast makes its appearance in Chapter 1, Episode 1 where the dish saves Restaurant Yukihara, Soma’s family’s restarant, from being demolished by an urban planner. It’s primary ingredients consist of potatoes, bacon, and mushrooms.
The first two ingredients are key to Gotcha Pork Roast’s deception: It’s practically mashed potatoes wrapped in bacon and tied up to look sort of like a budget beef wellington. The potatoes are boiled and steamed to create chunky mashed potatoes. The mushrooms, which are King Trumpet mushrooms, are minced and cooked before being added to the mashed potatoes to create a meaty texture. Wrap in a blanket of bacon, put it away for 10 minutes, and tie up your fake pork roast before popping it in an oven.
Alvin of the Babish Culinary Universe Channel gives an in-depth guide to making this anime food here.
5. Dango From Literally Every Anime That Has a Summer Festival Episode
Difficulty Rating: ⭐ ⭐
Reason: Sourcing the ingredients for this anime food is the only hard part about making it. Finding the right type of rice flour, tofu, and matcha powder are the easy parts. Getting your hands on pickled cherry blossoms, however? Not so much.
Do not make the same mistake I did.
When Japanese people on YouTube tell you they used glutinous rice flour, they mean a very specific kind of rice flour that’s actually made of two different kinds of rice flour. This Japanese dessert is composed of a mix of shiratamako, a sweet rice flour that gives the dango its signature chewy texture, and joshinko, the regular rice flour you find in Asian grocery stores that gives dango its stretchiness.
Dango is an anime food often featured whenever a show has a summer festival episode, often around the same time its beach episode comes out. It’s such a staple anime food for marking the passage of time in a show that tracking down every episode it appears in would take forever.
While the more common tri-colored dango is well known among even casual anime watchers, other types of dango do exist.
First, you have your basic hanami dango that has three different rice flour balls in green, white, and pink. Emmy over at Emmymade has a recipe that you can copy from this video. No pickled sakura flowers needed for this version as Emmy uses food coloring. However, if you have access to authentic ingredients, this recipe from YouTuber Miss Wagashi stays true to the original recipe.
Next up is mitarashi dango which is a savory type of dango that’s eaten with a drizzle of reduced sweet and salty soy sauce. This version of the anime food has been seen in Samurai Champloo among other shows. Try it out with this recipe.
6. Melon Pan From Shakugan no Shana
Difficulty Rating: ⭐ ⭐
Reason: Melon Pan is a relatively simple bread to make. Whether you’re an experienced baker or new to the world of baking, it’s a delightfully yummy bread that’s satisfyingly easy to make. It doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, tools, or time, making it a great afternoon tea time snack for your friends at the student council.
It’s fluffy, soft, and super easy to make.
This anime food shows up in multiple anime series and movies, but is also popular for being the favorite snack of Shana from the hit anime series Shakugan no Shana. Despite its name, melon pan doesn’t really have any melons in it nor does its cooking process involve a pan at all.
Melon pan is a sweet bread that is best described by Redditor u/DrNagatochi as ‘a sugar cookie wrapped around bread’. This is because aside from the actual bread part, you have to make a biscuit dough to cover the top of the bread. This two-layer bread results in the melon pan having a slightly crispy exterior and a pillowy interior.
As for where the melon in its name comes from, that’s because of the design of the melon pan. You’ll notice that this anime food has a crisscrossed surface that’s reminiscent of the bumpy rind of sweet melons.
You can learn the step by step process for making melon pan here.
7. Hikari’s Surprisingly Edible Onigiri From Special A
Difficulty Rating: ⭐
Reason: There’s rice. There’s seaweed. The stuffing is optional. It’s essentially a rice sandwich and it doesn’t get easier than that.
It’s been nearly 13 years since Special A came out but it’s famous onigiri rice balls are still showing up in anime movies and series to this day.
Now, Special A didn’t invent the onigiri. It’s a popular Japanese dish that is often included in bento and even sold in konbini, which is what the Japanese call convenience stores. What Special A‘s onigiri claim to fame is, however, is its female lead Hikari’s complete inability to cook anything that remotely resembles food.
In the episode “Rice Balls and Devotion“, Hikari does her best to make this famous anime food for the male lead Kei Takishima after losing to him in a challenge. The cooking process doesn’t go well to say the least. Among Hikari’s many cooking mishaps are liquefying the rice from washing it too hard and punching a hole into the pot she was washing the rice in.
Though the rice balls still don’t taste right after several attempts, Kei eats it anyway with genuine appreciation (and really, so he doesn’t hurt her feelings after she tried so hard).
Kimono Mom and her adorable cucumber nibbling toddler make onigiri with four different kinds of filling in this video.
8. Omuri Rice From Pretty Much Every Anime Where The Characters Eat Breakfast
Difficulty Rating: ⭐ ⭐ or ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Reason: Like the ramen, it depends on which version you go with. This can be as easy as making a regular omelet, albeit with some extra fine motor skills needed, or as hard as defusing a bomb.
Omurice is another anime food staple that takes Western cuisine and gives it a distinctly Japanese twist.
Omurice, also sometimes called ketchup rice, is a fusion dish that features fried rice, scrambled eggs, and sweet tomato ketchup that is drizzled on top or even used to write cute little messages that help motivate the one eating it to push through the day’s busy routine.
There are two ways of making omurice. The first is the complicated version that results in the egg omelette unfolding over the rice once it’s cut open. The second, much easier version has you fold the rice into the center of the egg.
The only hard part of both recipes is making sure that you don’t break the egg while you’re cooking it or adding the rice. Sure, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, but under no circumstances do you want your omelette to break before its time.
Got your own favorite anime food? Or maybe you have a custom take on these dishes? Feel free to share your faves and recipes in the comments.