Japan-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

Hosting two Thanksgivings in Japan taught me to love the holiday and its food again. My friends are amazing cooks, and the sheer sense of community, of getting together to remake a tradition in our own way really made the holiday feel special.

Last year, I did a recipe-roundup of our meal. This year, I’d like to offer more recipes and suggestions for making Thanksgiving special in Japan or wherever you are.


Recipes marked with an asterisk indicate that the recipe contains ingredients that may be unavailable in a standard Japanese grocery store but are available at import stores and gourmet stores. (And there’s notes, as always, either on the recipe page or by the title if it’s off-site.)

General Ingredients




  • Takenoko Miso Potage (Just Hungry) [vegetarian/vegan] – use an autumn vegetable instead of bamboo shoots.
  • Carrot, Ginger and Orange Soup with Star Anise (Cook Eat Live Vegetarian) [vegetarian] Star anise is usually stocked with the Chinese and Korean spices; it’s called stâ anisu (スターアニス), hakkaku kûikyô (八角茴香), or dai kûikyô (大茴香); I skipped the cilantro; and I used yogurt for the topping.

Vegetable Side Dishes

Seasonal Vegetarian Main Dishes



What are (were) your favorite dishes to make and serve in Japan for Thanksgiving?

More ideas on the Japan-Friendly Recipes Master List!


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