Yakimeshi vs. Chahan: Japanese Fried Rice Dishes

When people think of a fried rice dish commonly eaten in Japan, many will probably picture Yakimeshi (焼き飯) or Chahan (炒飯/チャーハン). 

Yakimeshi vs. Chahan

The Japanese fried rice dishes Yakimeshi and Chahan are similar in appearance but different in various ways.

Then, how do they differ? This article will explain that for people curious.

Yakimeshi (焼き飯)


First, Yakimeshi is a dish’s name divided into two words, Yaki (焼き) for the cooking method using fire or heat, such as baking, grilling, or frying, and Meshi (飯) for cooked rice. 

The Japanese dish Yakimeshi uses steamed plain rice, typically flavored with oyster sauce and Dashi soup stock. 

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

Yakimeshi is a 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 is typically cooked in a wok.

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

Chahan prepares steamed plain rice, typically seasoned 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, shrimp, crab meat, onions, green 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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