The rankings of the best friends of rice! What’s an ideal partner of our national food, rice?



Do you guess what foods are good partners of rice, which is indispensable for Japanese life?

A survey about foods served with rice was done three times by “My Voice Com,” an Internet research company, and more than 10,000 people answered.


Today, I’m gonna tell you the results!

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Question: What you usually eat with a bowl of rice?


* 1st : Natto (納豆)


Refer to the site:


Natto (納豆) is fermented soybeans.

Some of you may not like it, because of the smell and the stickiness, but 62% of respondents answered it went well with rice.

In fact, natto is more popular among people in eastern Japan, than among those in western Japan.

The research shows that 70%-80% of people in eastern Japan answers that natto goes well with rice.

By contrast, only 40%-50% of people in the West like to eat rice with natto.

It seems that food culture in each area reflects the way to eat rice.



* 2nd : Dried laver seaweed (海苔)


Refer to the site:


Maybe many people already know what dried laver seaweeds are, because some types of sushi (寿司) is served with it.

Here, around 45% of respondents love to eat it with rice, and there is no distinctive regional feature, which means that it’s chosen as a good partner of rice in all regions!

There are various ways to eat it with rice, for example, just putting flavored laver on rice, seasoning laver with soy sauce, and so on.

Some people love laver boiled and cooked with sweetened soy sauce, called Tsukudani(佃煮).

Many hotels serve laver at breakfast, thus just try when you find it!


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* 3rd : Furikake (ふりかけ)



Furikake is what makes rice flavoured, which is sprinkled on it when you eat.

There are a large variety of furikake in Japanese food market, and you can give rice your favorite flavor.

In this servey, about 40% of people answered that they love to serve a bowl of rice with furikake.



*4th : Tarako, Mentaiko (たらこ、明太子)



Both Tarako and Mentaiko are made from red cod.

The difference between them is that Tarako is just salted on the one hand, and Mentaiko is flavoured with salt and red pepper.

Here too, they are chosen as a nice friend of rice by approximately 40% of people who answered the questionnaire.



* 5th : raw egg



Some of you cannot believe that there are people who eat raw eggs.

However, Japanese people really love it, and it goes well with steaming hot rice very much!

30% to 35% of people choose raw eggs as a food perfect with rice.

Few years ago, rice with raw eggs, called Tamagokake-gohan (卵かけご飯) in Japanese, became a big boom in Japan, and people sought the best way to eat it.

When you stay in a hotel, you may have a chance to taste it at the time of breakfast.

Just try!



* Other answers


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Of course, there are other various answers, such as umeboshi, salted Japanese apricot, kimchi, pickled Japanese radish (たくあん) and so on.

It seems that there is a tendency that Japanese love to eat rice with salted foods because of their strong tastes.



By the way, when Japanese people serves foods mentioned above?

There is a survey on it.

More than half of the respondents (about 56%) tell that they serves the foods at dinner.

Then breakfast (about 43%) and lunch time (about 27%) come after.

Some people answer that they serve the foods when they feel they need more to serve (about 24%).

It’s also popular that the foods are served with rice ball, in Japanese, onigiri (おにぎり).




How was it?
When you travel Japan, you have many chances to eat a bowl of rice.
Let’s find your favorite ways to eat rice!


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