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What To Serve With Sashimi: Discover The Best 8 Side Dishes

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Sashimi is a highlight of Japanese cuisine.

What To Serve With Sashimi Discover The Best 8 Side Dishes

It features some of the best cuts of raw meat, particularly seafood, and the raw nature of the food allows the delicate flavors to be experienced and savored.

Although sashimi is delicious on its own, pairing it with the right side dishes can elevate your dining experience to new heights.

However, knowing which are the best side dishes to experience with your sashimi is not always obvious.

In this article, we delve into the art of selecting the best side dishes to serve alongside sashimi, providing you with several options to enhance your next dining adventure.

Whether you prefer a subtle and refreshing palate cleanser or a bold and contrasting flavor profile, we have you covered.

What Is Sashimi?

Sashimi is thinly sliced raw food and is very popular in Japan.

It is usually various types of seafood and fish, but can also be other meats such as beef, chicken, or horse. Seafood sashimi is the most common form, however.

The shape and size of each slice of sashimi can differ greatly depending on what meat it has been cut from.

However, all of the slices should be thin and uniform and the presentation of sashimi is just as important as the taste.

Sashimi should not be confused with sushi. Sushi is raw or cooked meat served with seasoned and vinegared rice, often with seaweed, wasabi, or other ingredients.

Sashimi, however, is always raw meat served on its own.

Sashimi Side Dishes

Although sashimi is delicious on its own, it often needs some side dishes to make it a complete meal. Let’s look at some of the best side dishes to serve with sashimi.

1. Miso Soup

One of the best side dishes for any Japanese cuisine is miso soup.

It’s a very versatile soup that is regularly eaten in Japan for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is also the perfect accompaniment for sashimi.

The base of miso soup is miso paste and this is packed with many healthy nutrients.

The miso is added to a traditional Japanese soup broth called dashi, but for a less-authentic version, you can use vegetable broth instead. 

There are many ingredients you can then add to your miso soup. Some of the most traditional ingredients are nori, green onion, tofu, and daikon.

2. Gyoza

Gyoza is another common side dish found in Japanese cuisine.

They’re dumplings that are fried until the exterior coating becomes crispy and are usually dipped in soy sauce before being eaten.

The filling in gyoza can change from recipe to recipe. The most common version includes minced ground pork with some vegetables such as green cabbage or green onion.

The wrappers can be made by hand but it’s easier to use premade wonton wrappers.

Gyoza is best served hot and browned on the sides. Serve the dipping sauce in individual dishes so that each person can dip their gyoza as they please.

3. Edamame

Edamame is often served as both a side dish and an appetizer.

It’s regularly served alongside sashimi in many Japanese restaurants as well, so it makes a great side dish if you’re serving sashimi at home.

Edamame are whole immature soybeans and they’re served in the pod.

You can use fresh or frozen edamame and depending on how the edamame is prepared, it can be eaten without any additional dips. 

The recipe we’ve linked is a simple recipe for preparing edamame and only requires sesame oil, soy sauce, and a little salt and pepper to taste.

However, other recipes use garlic, chili, and other ingredients to add more flavor.

4. Pickled Ginger

Pickles are very popular in Japanese cuisine.

They’re often served as a side dish with a large number of different mains and they’re especially common with sashimi.

One of the most common forms of pickles that you will find is ginger.

Ginger is a great palate cleanser and if you use baby ginger, you will get pickles that are sweet and less spicy than other types of ginger.

If you prefer something with more of a kick, however, use regular fresh ginger.

Sliced ginger is pickled in a mix of rice wine vinegar, water, and sugar. It needs to wait for at least 24 hours before being eaten and will last for around a month.

5. Seaweed Salad

Salads make a great side dish in any cuisine and although you can opt for a standard Western salad as a sashimi side dish, a Japanese-style seaweed salad is a more fitting choice.

There are many different types of edible seaweed that are used in Japanese cooking and you can choose the seaweed of your choice.

Some specialty stores stock dried seaweed or already prepared seaweed salad mixes. However, if you have a choice of different seaweeds, we recommend a mix of wakame and hijiki seaweed.

These two types of seaweed are some of the most popular in salads and complement each other very well.

The seaweed is served with a dressing made from a variety of common Japanese ingredients. These can include miso, soy sauce, mirin, sesame seeds, rice vinegar, and yuzu juice.

The dressing should remain thin and will have a delicious taste and aroma.

6. Shrimp Tempura 

The term tempura refers to any food that has been lightly battered and then deep-fried. This gives the food a light and crispy coating.

The most common foods used for tempura are vegetables and seafood and arguably the most common is shrimp.

Tempura is surprisingly easy to make at home. You can make your own tempura batter or buy it from the store.

The shrimp should be peeled and deveined, but you don’t need to remove the tails unless you want to.

Cover your shrimp in batter and then fry them in hot oil for around two to three minutes. Your tempura batter should be nice and crispy once the frying has finished.

Tempura is best eaten when dipped in a dipping sauce such as soy sauce or a specific tempura dipping sauce.

7. Potato Salad

Go to any supermarket in Japan and you will find fresh potato salad to buy.

It’s a very popular side dish and has been made by Japanese families for decades. It’s fresh, creamy, and packed with vegetables.

Common ingredients in Japanese-style potato salad include cucumber, carrot, ham, and corn.

There should be some crunch to your potato salad and the base of the dressing is Japanese mayonnaise, making it creamier than Western takes on potato salad.

Preparing your potatoes is key with this salad. They should be soft but not so mushy that they instantly fall apart.

8. Kani Salad

For our final side dish, we’ve picked another salad. Kani is the Japanese word for crab and this salad is made with crab sticks.

It’s typically made with imitation crab sticks but you can use real crab instead if you want! The crab should be shredded and mixed in with the other ingredients.

Also included in kani salad is cucumber and green onion but you can add a variety of other ingredients as well.

The salad dressing is creamy and made from Japanese mayonnaise, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and Sriracha chili sauce.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we introduced the best eight side dishes to serve with sashimi. Although sashimi is a delicious dish on its own, it often needs a side dish to become a full meal.

We chose a variety of different side dishes but they are all traditional Japanese dishes. Whether you want something light or more filling, there is a side dish for you.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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