8 Summer Seasonal Food in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

8 Summer Seasonal Food in Japan

By Yae Jun 29, 2017

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional)

What do you imagine for Japanese food? Sushi or Okonomiyaki in the first place?
Foreigners who live in Japan or people who loves and interested in Japanese food, you can’t miss the seasonal food in Japan as well.
We say, “shun no aji” for seasonal food’s taste in Japanese.
People think it’s very important to eat seasonal food in Japan since you can eat with the best timing
for each food and known as high nutritious food with reasonable price.
So, what kind of seasonal food you can find in summer in Japan?
For instance, there are eel, bitter melon, edamame, Japanese apricot, sea urchin, etc.

Here are 8 recommended summer seasonal food in Japan and easy tradition recipes which consisted of these materials.

1. Eel


Do you know that eel is well known as recovering food for getting tired from hot summer heat in Japan?
Not only heat but we also have humidity in summer so you feel the heat more than you think.
If you get sweat, your body will lose Vitamin B1 and this leads you to get tired from summer heat.
However, according to the eel nutrition, it helps you to get energized and rich in nutrients for fatigue recovery.

The Best Season to Eat: August~December

Major Nutrition Value:
□Vitamin A, B1, B2, E, D
□Iron Intake

Easy Recipe: Glaze-grilled eel with rice
1. Buy cooked glaze-grilled eel in the supermarket.
2. Heat it up by microwave at home and put it on rice.

2. Bitter Melon

This vegetable helps you to inhibit elevation of blood pressure and makes your body cool from hot summer heat.
The appearance looks similar to the cucumber but bitter melon contains 10 times more vitamin C than cucumber.

The Best Season to Eat: May~August

Major Nutrition Value:
□Vitamin C, E
□Food Fiber

Easy Recipe: Japanese Pickle
1. Cut the bitter melon into small size you can easily eat, then sprinkle the salt and rubbing it in.
2. Put 1. in the bowl and mix with following ☆ seasoning together.
☆ 2 teaspoon of vinegar
☆ 1 tablespoon of sugar
☆ 1 teaspoon of red pepper
☆ 1 teaspoon of ground garlic
☆ 1 teaspoon of sesame oil

3. Put 2. in the plastic container and put it in the fridge for one night.

3.  Edamame (Green Soy beans)

If you go to Japanese Izakaya, you see Edamame in menu everywhere and this is the typical menu that Japanese people like to eat with draft beer.
Edamame helps you out from lack of stamina and makes you protect from hangover.

The Best Season to Eat: June~September

Major Nutrition Value:
□Vitamin B1
□Food Fiber

Easy Recipe: Boiled Edamame
1. Boil the edamame for about 1-2 minutes.
2. Drain 1. in a strainer and sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and mix it.

4. Japanese Apricot

Ume is very traditional food in Japan.
It will strengthen the liver function and blood-thinner.

The Best Season to Eat : May~July

Major Nutrition Value:
□Organic Acid
□Vitamin A, B1, B2,C

Easy Recipe: Plum Brandy
1. Wash and dry the Japanese apricot.
2.  Put 1. and crystal sugar(500g) one after the other into the bottle which is the size big as a pot.
3.  Pour the brandy (1,800ml) into the 2.
4. Put 3. somewhere cold dark place at home.
5. You can drink the plum brandy in about 2 months but if you want to keep it longer,
take out the plum out of the bottle after 6 months and sometimes shake softly the bottle to make the   contents well adapted.

5.Sea Urchin

Do you know that sea urchin is one of the top 3 delicacies in Japan?
It’s also well known as an expensive food.
However, it has high protein and low-fat food you can enjoy in summer.

The Best Season to Eat: June~September

Major Nutrition Value:
□Vitamin A

Easy Recipe: Bowl of rice topped with sea urchin
1. Put some rice in the rice bowl.
2. Put sea urchin and shredded nori on the rice.
3. Pour soy sauce or noodle soup base on 2. and eat with wasabi.


Tomato has super value for anti-aging and recovering from summer heat.
The big advantage for eating seasonal tomato is very sweet and juicy so you don’t even need to cook but eat with simple style.

The Best Season to Eat: June~October

Major Nutrition Value:
□Citric Acid
□Food Fiber

Easy Recipe: Slice Tomato
1. Cut the tomato into round slices.
2. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt on 1.

7. Okra

This vegetable is sticky paste and it’s very good for your health.
Strengthen bones and eliminates frustration.

The Best Season to Eat: June~August

Major Nutrition Value:

Easy Recipe: Eat with Natto
1. Cut the okra into small size.
2. Mix with Natto.
3. Eat rice with 2. Together.

8. Pumpkin

You may think seasonal food of pumpkin is October because of the Halloween season, but the season starts from summer time.

The Best Season to Eat: June~December

Major Nutrition Value:
□B Carotene
□Food Fiber

Easy Recipe: Simmered Pumpkin
1. Cut the pumpkin into small size you can easily eat.
2. Put 1. and following seasoning into the pot and boil for about 10 minutes.
☆ 1 teaspoon of sugar
☆ 1 tablespoon of cooking sake
☆ 1 tablespoon of mirin
☆ 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
☆ 1 teaspoon of salt

Do you know all kinds of above food or find any unfamiliar to you?
If you go to the supermarket in summer time, please check above seasonal food.
Try above very simple recipes and let’s stay healthy in hot humid summer in Japan!