UNDER $1.50 | 3 Cheap & Delicious Japanese Dinner Recipes

These days prices are going up around the world, so I will share 3 cheap and delicious Japanese dinner recipes!
Assuming 140 Japanese yen per US dollar, and I tried a dinner that cost under $1.50 per dish (1 serving)*. 

*Seasoning prices are not included

1. Deep-fried Stuffed Eggplant Recipe [1.14 USD/serving]

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

・2.8 oz (80g) Ground meat (beef, pork, or chicken)
・2 tbsp Minced green onion
・2 tsp Soy sauce
・1 tsp Sake
・1 tsp Sesame oil
・A pinch of Salt
・1/2 tbsp Potato starch or Corn starch

・5.6 oz (160g) Eggplant
・2 tbsp Flour

・3 tbsp Flour
・3 tbsp Milk
・5-6 tbsp Bread crumbs (Panko)

・Oil for deep-frying
・Tonkatsu sauce


1. Put ground meat and minced green onion in bowl. Add soy sauce, sake, sesame oil, salt, and potato starch. Knead well.

2. Slice eggplant. Coat eggplant with flour by placing in plastic bag with flour and shaking.

3. Using a small spoon, place the meat on top of the eggplant and place another piece of eggplant on top.

4. Make batter with flour and milk. Dip eggplant sandwiches in batter, then coat it with bread crumbs.

5. Deep-fry in oil for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Ready to eat!

2. Egg Croquette Recipe [1.29 USD/serving]

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

・8.5 oz (240g) Potato
・3.2 oz (90g) Onion
・2.8 oz (80g) Ground meat (beef, pork, or chicken)
・2 Eggs
・2 tsp Soy sauce
・1 tsp Honey
・1 tsp Butter
・Salt and pepper
・Garlic powder

・1 tbsp Flour
・1/2 Egg
・3-4 tbsp Bread crumbs (Panko)

・Oil for deep-frying

Tomato sauce
・2 oz (60g) Tomato
・4 tbsp Ketchup
・2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
・1 tsp Sugar
・1-2 tsp Butter


1. Gently place eggs in boiling water. Boil for 7.5 minutes. Immediately put into ice water, and peel.

2. Cut potato into small pieces. Cook it in microwave until soft. Mash potato, and let it cool.

3. Mince onion, and stir-fry with butter in pan. When it gets soft, add ground meat, sprinkle salt and pepper, and stir-fry for a while.

4. Add soy sauce, honey, and garlic powder. Stir-fry until all moisture is absorbed.

5. Mix mashed potato with meat mixture. Wrap egg in potato to make big round ball.

6. Coat it with flour, beaten egg, then bread crumbs.

7. Deep-fry in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

8. For sauce, mix ketchup with Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and butter in pan. Add diced tomato, and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Ready to eat!

3. Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs) Recipe [1.39 USD/serving]

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

・7 oz (200g) Ground chicken
・2.8 oz (80g) Onion
・0.7 oz (20g) White part of green onion
・2 tbsp Potato starch or Corn starch
・2 tsp Mayonnaise
・1 tsp Chicken stock powder
・1 tsp Sake
・1 tsp Grated ginger

・2 tbsp Sake
・2 tbsp Soy sauce
・2 tbsp Mirin
・1 tbsp Sugar

・Egg yolk
・Minced green onion


1. Mince onion and white part of green onion.

2. Put ground chicken in bowl. Add potato starch, mayonnaise, chicken stock powder, sake, and grated ginger. Knead well.

3. Add [1] to [2]. Mix well, and make flat oval meatballs.

4. Cook [3] over medium heat until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn it over. Cover and cook over low heat for 3 minutes.

5. Mix [★] in bowl, and pour it in pan. Simmer for a while, and toss with sauce.

Ready to eat!

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