If you’re keen to make delicious Japanese dishes you don’t need to look far on the internet to find inspiration. In fact, the amount of resources can be daunting. That’s why we’ve waded through swaths of content and compiled a list of the Top 10 Japanese cooking YouTube video channels. YouTube is home to a wide range of quality from the professional all the way down to the cringeworthy. As a result, to make this list we selected only the channels that are entertaining to watch, easy to follow and have something special to offer. We also looked for ones that add aspects of culture as well as some original dishes.
Japanese cooking goes far back. Certainly China and Korea have greatly influenced Japan’s culture and with food there is no exception. A major milestone hit in 400 BC when rice was introduced to the island. Soybean soon followed. Land animals were banned in AD 675 leaving seafood to fill the vacuum. Above all, these developments set the foundation for the Japanese diet. Gyoza, nikuman, curry, nabe, hamburgers and tofu have come from outside of Japan. But being an island famously isolated for hundreds of years we find some dishes so quintessentially Japanese that no one can question its origin. We are talking of course about ramen, miso, sushi, onigiri, udon and teriyaki.
In recent years Japanese dishes have been growing in popularity outside of Japanese. Health food trends have taken note of the healthy lifestyle and longevity of Japanese people and what they eat. With this surge comes an increasing number of people looking to make these meals by themselves. To manage the supply, we’ve curated the best 10 Japanese cooking YouTube video channels to get you excited to dive into authentic Japanese cuisine.
Table of Contents
1) Top 10: Japanese Cooking 101
2) Top 9: Hiroyuki Terada – Diaries of a Master Sushi Chef
3) Top 8: Adam Liaw
4) Top 7: Cooking With Dog
5) Top 6: 白ごはん.comチャンネル
6) Top 5: Pâtissier Masayoshi Ishikawa
7) Top 4: Ochikeron
8) Top 3: Yuka Kinoshita
9) Top 2: Tasty Japan
10) Top1: MosoGourmet
Japanese Cooking Channel 10: JapaneseCooking101
Lucky for us, videos start with the basics: how to steam rice, make miso and sauces. The difficulty gradually increases to well-made bento lunch boxes, sushi and baking. One of the more interesting lessons is the Pizzaman recipe. A meat bun filled with pizza flavor. This is common at the convenience store but rarely made at home. The lessons are practical so that a beginner can be confident in following any of their videos. Each lesson features the same music box style song. Depending on if you like the song it could be a major plus.
YouTube Channel: Japanese Cooking 101
The name doesn’t hide what the channel is about: beginning Japanese cooking. Noriko and Yuko are the team behind the channel and while production value is simple, the content is fantastic. In fact, they have been consistently uploading one video a week since 2012. Their repertoire covers all the Japanese basics so you’ll find plenty of dishes to make. All the standards are available like chicken katsu, onigiri, ramen, udon, curry, and soba.
Japanese Cooking Channel 9: Hiroyuki Terada – Diaries of a Master Sushi Chef
YouTube Channel: Hiroyuki Terada – Diaries of a Master Sushi Chef
Chef Hiro is the best knife wielder on the list. As his YouTube channel name suggests he is a master sushi chef and his channel is stocked with videos about sushi. Don’t worry, he has more to offer in the world of Japanese cookery. He has many videos dedicated to basic knife skills like sharpening and whetting. Chef Hiroyuki Terada is perhaps the most famous person on this list. According, he has been highlighted by Gordon Ramsey when competing for Guinness World Record for the most number of carrots sliced blindfolded in thirty seconds. He still holds the record. Actually, in some videos he teaches how to make sushi blindfolded. His YouTube channel has over a million followers and it’s easy to see why.
Entertaining playlists focus around making sushi with unconventional ingredients like fast food meals. Preparing seafood is certainly Chef Hiro’s specialty. Filleting fish, preparing sea urchin, live shrimp and sushi rolls are made with perfection. What is more, he can make amazing art from thinly sliced vegetables. As a warning, he has some graphic videos cutting up live lobsters, snakes and shrimp. Lastly, a personal touch to the videos is the dynamic between the camera man and the chef. The man behind the camera will begin narrating while the chef prepares. He will chat and ask questions of Chef Hiro to make for a natural storytelling interaction.
Japanese Cooking Channel 8: Adam Liaw
YouTube Channel: Adam Liaw
This guy rocks a slick Australian accent, humble demeanor and organic outfits. To be sure, Mr Liaw’s channel features food from all over Asia but his extensive Japanese videos coupled with high quality production and a likable face more than qualifies him for this list. His love for cooking is almost on a sensual level. There is no denying his passion as a chef.
You get the feeling his wife and three kids are jealous of how near teriyaki is to the chef’s heart. Chef Liaw will show you his homemade recipe for the sauce and dozens of videos dedicated to meals featuring teriyaki sauce. Likewise, the series on ramen shows step by step the process of making a mean bowl. Videos are broken down into bite-sized segments. A video for the broth, one for the egg, one for the chashu and so on. At the end of the videos you’ll be rewarded with a dish as colorful as it is savory. Finally, as an acclaimed celebrity Chef Liaw won the second series of MasterChef Australia which has led to publishing cookbooks and hosting multiple travel food TV shows in Australia.
Japanese Cooking Channel 7: Cooking With Dog
YouTube Channel: Cooking With Dog
Cooking With Dog gives a true taste of Japanese flavor and culture. The production style must have been inspired by a Japanese reality show. It’s a cooking show with a few twists. First, there’s a dog. An adorable Japanese lady begins preparing ingredients while surrounded in an array of dog memorabilia. A dog apron, dog stuffed animals, a real dog and a dog painting decorate the set. Even the food scale has a dog image embossed on the metal platform.
Alternately, by far the most engaging part of the show is the voice host Francis. This man dances with intonation while he narrates. The YouTube channel describes him as a “mysterious Japanese Chef” but his accent makes you believe he is of Italian origin. Cooking With Dog is wildly popular with over a million subscribers. Equally important, the content of the dishes look wonderful. This channel shines with loads of Japanese pastry options from the ubiquitous to the unusual. Udon, pork dishes, soups and vegetables are made on screen as well. For sweeter things, melonpan, Japanese sweet buns, Japanese soufflé as well as a mochi are are striking desserts. In brief, Cooking With Dog has been uploading videos for many years so you can listen to the Japanese Italian voice dancer for hours. It is as entertaining as it is practical.
Japanese Cooking Channel 6: 白ごはん.comチャンネル
YouTube Channel: 白ごはん.comチャンネル
The fact that this channel doesn’t have an English name simply means it oozes authenticity. It’s called shirigohan which means white rice. And to be sure, the quality is exceptional. While the videos are narrated in Japanese, there are English subtitles and overall it is simple to follow. The wholesome tempo gives a zen feeling. The videos are set to a slower pace and everything is delicately prepared and spoken of in a relaxed tone. This is the best channel if you’re looking to focus on brazen details. This YouTuber begins with a simple dish and goes through each subtle minutia of preparation. For example, he has a video explaining exactly how to boil eggs.
While the videos have a relaxing tone behind the gently spoken chef they do not lag or bore. With an average under three minutes you too can learn the delicate craft of precision cooking. Shirigohan excels in charm but also delivers. Accordingly, his finished plates are well presented and glossy in flavor. They are satisfying and mouth-watering. If you’re looking to make simple but stunning teriyaki chicken, gyudon bowl, corn on the cob, braised eggplant, or rice he’s got a video for it.
Japanese Cooking Channel 5: Pâtissier Masayoshi Ishikawa
YouTube Channel: Pâtissier Masayoshi Ishikawa
This chef is the baking expert. With more than two decades in the culinary industry he studied 8 years at a patissier and it shows. All the work on his YouTube channel revolves around inspiring pastries. Videos include Japanese and English and are full of hints and tips about the baking process.
Because his finished pieces are flawless and pastries are challenging to make, this channel is not easy. We suspect it would require multiple attempts with a few failures for some of these dishes. Having said that, Chef Masayoshi Ishikawa really does break it down in the best possible way for everyone to learn. The pastries are stunning to look at. Nevertheless, the best way to learn is to start. This channel makes the list because the level of craft in the work is immaculate, the chef’s explanations are practical and he has a unique selection of pastries coming from a Japanese chef. You can learn how to make Japanese souffle cheesecake, mango tart, homemade butter, chocolate almonds and cream puffs.
Japanese Cooking Channel 4: Ochikeron
YouTube Channel: Ochikeron
This YouTuber is great for families. The host is a chipper Japanese mother of two and presents in a blog style. The intro is the chef in front of the camera with a toothy grin explaining the meal. She speaks in English throughout the video with Japanese subtitles. Furthermore, she is quite active on social media. She shares posts from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube of things her followers have made and will often reply to comments.
The recipes are kept simple and she really likes to make cute food. Her goal is to make Japanese home cooking more exciting. This channel’s videos are kept short and usually includes the chef cooking alongside kids or having kids do all the cooking. Ochikeron wins in style points for having the most adorable bento lunch boxes, omelets with faces and anime characters like Hello Kitty cake rolls. To summarize, the best part of Ochikeron is the recipes are simple enough for kids to make and fun enough for everyone to enjoy.
Japanese Cooking Channel 3: Yuka Kinoshita
YouTube Channel: Yuka Kinoshita
Yuka Kinoshita is a YouTube star. With millions of subscribers and billions of views this YouTuber posts a vlog nearly everyday at 4pm. She speaks in Japanese but has English subtitles. Ms Yuka is not what most people consider a chef. In fact, she much prefers eating and eating. For instance, her videos are of her eating a meal then debating with herself what meal to have next.
First, they begin with Yuka sat at a table squaring up with a sizable amount of food in front of her. With an energetic voice she explains the meal that can feed two families and then shows herself eating it all until the final morsel is polished. The videos don’t seem like an eating challenge but more of an unusual activity to share. Videos have included 10 bowls of bibimbap, 70 onigiri, endless hamburgers and spicy dishes. Most videos will have a calorie counter of the meal ranging from 4,000 to 10,000 kcals. Fans like her fun personality, the humorously oversized portions and being introduced to all kinds of foods.
Japanese Cooking Channel 2: Tasty Japan
YouTube Channel: Tasty Japan
Tasty Japan has plenty of good things going. Loads of baking tutorials and delectable savory meals as well. The artists behind the channel are constantly uploading high quality videos that are easy to follow and have clean camera work. What sets Tasty Japan apart from the rest is all their obscure recipes. Because of this, they come up with very creative ideas and will have followers vote on what to make. With a spread including banana crepe onigiri, cheese fried rice, chocolate beer cups, handmade soba and craft coffee and you will not find a boring video on the channel.
Even though they try adventure dishes, Tasty Japan spares no expenses to make sure the look of the end product is immaculate. This channel goes far beyond traditional Japanese flavors. Tasty Japan is the best find for unique dishes. Additionally, the content makers are likeable. The female chef has an obsession with miniature sized food and one male chef gets more compliments on being cute than his food.
Japanese Cooking Channel 1: MosoGourmet
YouTube Channel: MosoGourmet
Oddly satisfying, therapeutic and calming are names of some of MosoGourmet’s playlists and fitting titles they are. With subscribers in the millions, MosoGourmet has an amazing ability to capture an audience without music or dialogue. Food as therapy. The steady pace helps highlight the subtleties of the craft bringing the delicate sounds to the forefront. The crinkle of the plastic wrap, the rasping of the foil, the tapping of the whisk and the cracking of the egg help set the scene. MosoGourmet brings respect and class back to the making of food. Furthermore, this channel has it all: creative design, easy to follow and fun to try. This is why it comes in at the top of our list for Japanese cooking YouTube video channels.
MosoGourmet has many videos to choose from. The results are always pleasing to the eye. Notable dishes include pea ice cream rolls, hurricane roll cakes, Oreo taco, and anything about watermelon, faces and cute tiny edible characters. Actually, watermelon recipes seldom use real watermelon and instead use the shape or pattern of watermelon to make cakes.
Concluding the Top 10 Japanese Cooking Youtube Channels
That concludes our Top 10 Japanese Cooking YouTube Video Channels. We’ve come a long way from the first rice patties of Japan and hand dried sea salt fields. Nowadays we can follow some of the best talent and try our hand at their art pieces. Traditional Japanese foods are the ones that have endured the test of time. With chefs trying eccentric and exotic dishes it will be exciting to see what might join the classics. Even takoyaki emerged as a specialty street food but now is among the legendary ranks. In other parts of the world Japanese food has made other adaptations. In places like Hawaii, Japanese flavors have fused with local traditions to make modern twists. Poke bows, musubi, saimin and shaved ice are examples of this flavor mashup. Who knows what will become the new tradition.
With so many tasty options with new styles and old styles people want to make it themselves and they are looking to YouTube for guidance. The beauty of YouTube is that we all have access. Years of culinary school and apprenticeships at hotels are no longer required to begin making your own bites. Incredibly, wealths of cooking knowledge are available for free. In this list we included something for people looking for an entertaining vlog curious about what Japanese cooking looks like. But also we’ve selected channels for someone looking for the rice and noodle making basics all the way up to fish fillet and pastries. Each channel on this list has something special to offer and will inspire you to cook Japanese food at home.
If you are further interested in Japanese cooking and recipes, check out the list Top 10 Delicious Japanese Hot Pot Dishes to Make at Home as well!!