Kaiseke Dinner Recipes

Kaiseke Dinner Recipes

A Japanese Tasting Experience

Japan boasts an extraordinarily rich culture. Tremendous attention is paid to detail, in so many aspects of life.

A kaiseke dinner is more of an experience than a meal. There are a few high end restaurants in the U.S. that offer a traditional kaiseke dinner. They are very expensive and each dish is presented as one of the chef’s choices. There is no menu.

The ingredients are always seasonal and the presentation is as important as the flavor. Think of the meal like a culinary diamond. Color, cut and clarity count. The selection of colors on the plate is intended to evoke a sense of appreciation for the beauty of nature. By cutting fruits and vegetables artistically, the chef shows respect for the guests as well as gratitude for the availability of the food. The flavors are clean and natural. Chemical additives are not included.

We have participated in a number of these meals and we value each event but truth be told, we don’t really

love a meal based on dealer’s choice. Many of the ingredients are a bit too exotic for our taste.

If you are trying to experiment with creative dinner party ideas, this is a unique style, worthy of consideration. Below, is a list of dishes that would be presented in a formal kaiseke meal. Throughout the next few posts, we will offer recipes for each dish.  There is no need to include them all.

This is a meal designed by you as a reflection of your esthetic tastes. If you are feeling creative, give it a try. Your guests will be overwhelmed by your efforts to provide them with such a beautiful experience.

Saizuke- a small appetizer

Hassun- sushi

Mukozuke- sashimi

Takiawase- vegetable & fish

Futamono- lidded dish (soup or stew)

Yakimono- broiled seafood or tofu

Su-zakana- palate cleansing salad in vinegar

Hiyahi- bachi- served only during summer months- vegetable

Naka- choko- palate cleansing chilled soup

Shiizakana- hot pot


Gohan- rice with fish

Ko no mono- pickled vegetables

Tome- wan- miso soup served with rice

Mizumono- dessert


You may choose to offer this small appetizer to the guests as the arrive along with a cup of sake. Cold sake is easier to serve at this point because as we all know, dinner guests tend to arrive in waves. All you need to do is stick the sake bottle in ice and pour. You don’t have to time it.

Hiyayakko - Cold tofu bites

This is a delicious way to start. Offer each guest a cube of the cold decorated tofu on a small dish, about the size of a coaster, as they arrive. (tea cup saucers work nicely)

That tiny personal touch will set the tone for the evening. Your guests will be surprised but if you are comfortable and excited about the night ahead, they will be too.

Hiyayakko - Cold tofu bites


  • 1 pkg soft tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 5 Tbsp dried bonito flakes
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 4 Tbsp ponzu sauce or low sodium soy sauce


  1. Place a cube on each dish
  2. Top it decoratively with a pinch of ginger and bonito
  3. Sprinkle a pinch of the scallion across the top and around the cube
  4. Spoon a tsp of sauce over each one and serve

Edamame - Soy beans

Depending upon your guests and your personal style, you can choose to serve these on a platter as if they were cocktail nuts or in individual small dishes. Frankly, we always opt for individual dishes. Some people are funny about a collective plate in which other people touch their food. More importantly some people like to suck the beans out of the pod and they need a place to dispose of the shells.

This recipe is quick and easy.


  • 1 lb bag of frozen edamame
  • 1/3 c water
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sake
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil


  1. Boil the edamame for 6 min
  2. Drain and rinse in cold water
  3. Sauté with remaining ingredients except the sesame oil until sauce thickens about 5-6 min
  4. Toss with sesame oil and serve



Soba Sushi

We love this unique sushi recipe. It is one of our favorite treats. This recipe is for 2 people but as a small sushi plate you only need 2-3 slices per person. You can multiply the ingredients if you need more


  • 1/2 lb soba noodles
  • 2 Tbsp sushi rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 sheets nori seaweed
  • 2 cucumber
  • 2 Japanese omelets (recipe below)
  • 6 oz cooked and cleaned shrimp, puréed
  • 4 oz sea tangle boiled in sweetened soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp Sakura denbu, (sweetened fish available in Asian markets) prepared as directed

soba sushi


  1. Separate the soba noodles into 4 bunches and tie each bunch with string
  2. Boil according to directions
  3. When they are done, rinse in cold water
  4. Mix 2 Tbsp sushi rice vinegar and 1/2 tsp sugar and pour over noodles
  5. Let them dry off
  6. Cut the cucumbers and omelets into pieces 1/2 inch thick and the length of the seaweed sheets
  7. Heat the seaweed sheets at 300 for a couple of min to warm them
  8. Layer the warmed sheets with the ingredients leaving room at the edges
  9. 1 bunch of noodles (cut the string off)
  10. A stick of cucumber
  11. A slice of omelet
  12. A bit of tangle
  13. And some denbu
  14. Spread the puréed shrimp across the length of a cucumber stick
  15. Use a sushi mat to roll it into a cylinder
  16. Use some extra noodles as glue
  17. Let the rolls sit for a few min and slice

Tamagotchi - Japanese Omelet



  • 3 lg eggs
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 inch of the green part of a daikon radish minced
  • 3 Tbsp dashi
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin


  1. Whisk the eggs lightly
  2. Whisk together dashi, sugar, soy sauce, mirin and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl
  3. Whisk the liquid into the eggs
  4. Heat a bit of the oil in a frying pan (ideally square shaped)
  5. Pour a thin layer of egg mix into the hot pan
  6. When the bottom starts to set but the top is still soft, start to roll it like a jelly roll
  7. Swipe the empty area of the pan with oil
  8. Also swipe the oil under the rolled egg
  9. Pour another thin layer of egg
  10. When it starts to set, roll it from the other side, beginning with the previously rolled part
  11. Swipe the pan with oil again and repeat until all of the egg mix has been rolled together.
  12. Brown the outside lightly and set aside to cool.

Enjoy your Kaiseke recipes

More next time

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