Foods in Naruto
Naruto is a series about ninja, friendship, hope, and pride. It has been hugely popular both in Japan and abroad, and is full of interesting characters and great combat. It’s also full of delicious looking food. Let’s have a look at some of the things the ninja eat. Maybe it will inspire you to try some Japanese food!
The first thing on this list had to be ramen. Ramen is such a staple of the series that it shows up in the very first episode. It's main character Naruto's favorite food! Ramen Ichiraku is a small restaurant in the Konoha village, and it’s Naruto’s favorite hangout. Ramen Ichiraku actually looks a lot like many modern Ramen restaurants in Japan. They are often quite small, but are able to serve a lot of customers by moving quickly. They are more like stalls than restaurants, and the only place to sit is at a bar-like counter on stools.
Here's Naruto and Jiraiya enjoying some ramen.
If you’re not familiar with ramen, it’s a Japanese noodle soup with toppings. The way ramen is prepared and what it contains varies wildly throughout Japan, which each region having its own specialty. Ramen can feature a variety of meats and vegetables, and soup bases. Even the noodles vary slightly! Real ramen bears very little resemblance to the pre-packaged stuff you often see at the grocery store, though Naruto himself seems to eat this as well. Ramen is regarded as fast food in Japan. People especially crave it after a night of drinking. Ramen is a food that people are passionate about-everyone has a favorite type of ramen and ramen shop!
This is what a good bowl of ramen should look like. Complete with naruto!
As an interesting note, many types of ramen actually contain naruto (or narutomaki), the famed ninja’s namesake. Naruto is a type of kamaboko, which is a sort of seafood paste or cake. Kamaboko is quite common in ramen, including Naruto's narutomaki. You’ll notice that the Naruto bears a very familiar spiral pattern. Also, Naruto's last name Uzumaki means spiral!
Real ramen from Hanamaruken
Anko enjoying some Dango.
If you watch closely, you’ll often see characters in Naruto eating dango. Konoha village even has its own dango shop! Dango is a traditional Japanese sweet made from glutinous rice flour. It is often served with tea to help offset the slight bitterness of the tea. It comes in a wide variety of flavors and usually comes 3 or 4 dumplings to a stick. This food is significant in Naruto because the character Mitarashi Anko is a double pun on dango. Mitarashi is a variety of dango that is covered in a sweet, salty sauce made from soy sauce. Anko can mean red bean paste, and is another common topping for dango. Anko also sounds kind of like dango!
Mitarashi Anko's Mitarashi Dango!
Yakiniku makes for a great group meal.
Yakiniku, which means “grilled meat,” generally refers to a specific type of restaurant that involves cooking small bits of meat and vegetables at your table. The table will be equipped with a small grill, usually charcoal, that allows guests to cook for themselves. Yakiniku is thought to have its roots in Korean culture, but has become quite popular in Japan. Konoha village’s yakiniku restaurant is often frequented by Asuma Sarutobi’s team. This Naruto food is popular to eat in groups, such as with family and friends. It's like a little indoor barbecue!
Are you drooling yet?
The famed curry of life.
Most beloved by Naruto's Rock Lee, curry is another popular ninja food. Curry is a dish made with spices, herbs, meat, and vegetables, and is a common type of dish throughout Asia. In Japan, it commonly includes beef, onions, potatoes, and carrots. It’s also very common to see curry served over rice. Though Japanese curry tends to be relatively mild, the curry of life featured in Naruto is renowned for its spiciness, which is supposedly able to revive an unconscious person. Food for the soul, indeed!
Curry is a good opportunity to make your meal cute!
Chouji's source of power
It's no secret that Chouji loves to snack. In fact, he has to in order to reach maximum power levels! You'll often see him munching on a bag of potato chips in Naruto- it's one of his favorite junk foods. Chips in Japan have different flavors from ones in Western countries. Yes, they have plan salted ones and barbecue varieties, but they also have consomme, honey butter, and seaweed flavors as well!
Norishio, or seaweed and salt chips!
So perhaps you’re feeling up to trying some ninja delicacies yourself. Naruto and his friends generally eat very traditional Japanese food, and when it looks this good, it’s easy to understand why!