Yakimeshi vs Chahan: Japanese Fried Rice Dishes

When it comes to fried rice dishes commonly eaten in Japan, “Yakimeshi (焼き飯)” and “Chahan (炒飯, チャーハン)” are especially popular. 

Yakimeshi vs Chahan: What is the Difference?

These Japanese fried rice, Yakimeshi and Chahan are similar in appearance but different in various respects.

Then, what is the difference between them? Today, for people who are curious, I will explain that.

Yakimeshi (焼き飯)


The Japanese dish name, Yakimeshi can be divided into 2 words, “Yaki (焼き)” that refers to the cooking method using fire or heat, such as “bake”, grill”, and “fry”, and “Meshi (飯)” that stands for cooked rice. 

Thus, it seems Yakimeshi is often referred to as Japanese fried rice in English-speaking countries.

Yakimeshi is made with steamed plain rice, flavored typically with oyster sauce and Dashi soup stock. 

Unlike Chahan, eggs are added after the rice is fried. Other typical ingredients used in Yakimeshi include cabbage, Gyoniku fish sausage, and Chikuwa fish cake

Yakimeshi is a Japanese fried rice dish close to Chahan rather than Pilaf, but it is generally offered by Japanese restaurants and often cooked on an iron griddle or “Teppan (鉄板)”.

Chahan (炒飯)


On the other hand, Chahan is a Japanese stir-fry originating from China, so the dish is usually offered by Chinese-style restaurants and often cooked in a wok.

Since in Japan, Chahan is a more common dish than Yakimeshi, Japanese home cooks sometimes make it at home.

Chahan is made with steamed plain rice and seasoned typically with soy sauce and sesame oil. Unlike Yakimeshi, eggs are added before the rice is fried. 

Other typical ingredients for Chahan are bits of Charshu roast pork, shrimps, crab meat, green onions, onions, and green peas.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia チャーハン, TABI LABO )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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