6 Sushi Documentaries On Netflix To Explore Japanese Cuisine

Jiro Dreams of Sushi sushi movie Netflix

Sushi is the soul of Japanese cuisine. The dish is popular with fermented fish and rice preserved in salt. There is a cultural history to this food. Each of the sushi chefs has a story behind making sushi. Learning the sushi story via the sushi documentary Netflix movies is a chance to get closer to the food. 

Why watch the Sushi Documentary on Netflix?

Sushi is the most famous Japanese food in the world. It is defined as any dish that is made with vinegared sushi rice. You will notice that sushi is made with rice and seafood. However, you can make sushi without using any fish or raw fish. 

Due to its geography, Japan is an island surrounded by the ocean. Therefore, seafood is one of the main ingredients commonly consumed, as well as rice. Sushi has been a regular dish in Japan for thousands of years. In the 15th century, during the civil war, sushi was innovated by adding more weight to the rice and reducing the fermentation time of fish. Until now, sushi has been changed to adapt to the type of fast food. However, each of the chefs has a story about sushi to tell the diners. The sushi documentary Netflix show is an opportunity to see the sushi world from the chef’s view. Beside, you can explore Japanese cuisine through the list of Japanese food movies on Thecookingmovie.

Top 2 Sushi Documentary Netflix Movies

1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi sushi movie Netflix

An iconic sushi documentary on Netflix is Jiro Dreams of Sushi. The documentary credits an unremarkable subway station in Ginza with a particular sushi restaurant: Jiro Sukiyabashi, the first sushi restaurant to receive three Michelin stars. 

Jiro Dreams of Sushi introduces the world to the owner-chef, Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old man who opened his 10-places restaurant in 1965. Jiro has devoted his entire life to making sushi. He commits his skills to the traditional method. Instead of testing new flavors and unique dishes, he practices the same skills every day until he becomes a perfectionist. His obsession made him become a sushi chef who earned Michelin stars. He explains, “I do the same thing over and over, improving bit by bit.” 

This cooking movies is more than “food porn” shots that you need to run to a sushi store to grab a plate. It’s the art of shokunin (artisan) culture. The true shokunin is the person who dedicates their life to one craft and pushes their skill to go as far as possible. Shokunin is a significant part of Japanese culture. The documentary portrays the life of Shokunin and his daily life. 

If you’re in love with Japanese culture and sushi, Jiro Dream of Sushi is a “must-watch” Netflix sushi documentary

2. Washoku: Beyond Sushi

Washoku: Beyond Sushi sushi movie on Netflix

If there is an introduction to Sushi documentary Netflix movies and a presentation of Japanese cuisine, Washoku: Beyond Sushi is the answer. 

Washoku is Japan’s traditional dietary culture and is becoming more popular in the United States as the number of people toward a healthy lifestyle increases. This documentary about sushi begins with the story of Noritoshi Kanai, who introduced Washoku sushi to the United States in the 1960s. 

The documentary features celebrity chefs, including Nobu Matsuhisa, chef/owner of Nobu restaurants; Katsuya Uechi, chef/owner of Katsu-ya group; Tyson Cole, chef/owner of Uchi restaurant, world-renowned French chef Joël Robuchon; Yoshihiro Murata, chef/owner of Kyoto Kikunoi, and more, to portrait their lives to the standard of excellence of Japanese cultural cuisine. 

The film takes the viewers beyond sushi and sidebars to visit the fish market and discuss the animism of Shinto and the umami flavor. 

View more: The 10 best food documentaries on Netflix

Other sushi movies and documentaries

3. Dead sushi

Dead sushi sushi documentary Netflix

Unlike the other films, “Dead Sushi” received a warm response at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival and much madcap energy. 

Pretty Keiko has been trained by her strict father in the fine arts of sushi and karate. However, she runs away from her father due to the brutal manner he uses. She finds a waitress job at a remote rural inn and soon realizes that the inn’s sushi chef is not talented at preparing sushi. Therefore, she aims to test his skills in front of a party from a local pharmaceutical company. Yamada (Kentaro Shimazu), an ex-employee, arrives at the inn with a serum that turns the seafood into monsters and starts killing people. As the monsters kill off company workers, Keiko has to use her sushi and karate skills to save herself and the rest of the people. 

The movie shows viewers a new way to watch the sushi movie in a relaxed and funny way. Significantly, the low-budget and humorous low-brow make Dead Sushi appealing to some viewers. 

4. Street Food (Episode: Osaka)

Street Food (Episode: Osaka) documentary about sushi

Let’s take the sushi documentary Netflix shows from the view of street food. Japan creates a unique street food experience with the friendliness and humor of its owners. Toyo is the owner of a small restaurant located in Osaka. His store includes a kitchen and a few tables on one of the main streets in Osaka, but he refers to it as a “Japan kitchen” due to his street food etiquette. The guests enjoy his food not only for its delicious and excellent dishes but also for his sense of humor and his love of food. The guests love to listen to him and ultimately act as a facade over his difficult childhood. He wants the guests to experience the joy he never had as a child.

Following up with Toyo, the episode introduces Mr. Kita, the owner of one of the oldest Takoyaki stalls in Osaka. He kept his family’s stall running until it hit the 100th anniversary.

The third chef is Goshi, who runs his own Fue eatery with his father. The signature food of Osaka is Okonomiyaki.

Again, Street Food delivers an enjoyable episode with delicious-looking food on display. Three chefs with different food and stories keep this episode of Japanese cuisine from a fantastic introduction.

You also like: Top 10 Netflix Food Movies For Traveling Around The World

5. East Side Sushi (2014)

East Side Sushi (2014) best sushi documentary

Juana is a single Mexican American mother living in East Oakland, California. After doing several jobs, she joined a Japanese restaurant. As her interest in sushi grows, she develops her signature sushi and attends a sushi contest. The movie is a warm-hearted story of cross-cultural cuisine. East Side Sushi is also a sushi movie on Netflix you shouldn’t miss.

6. Tsukiji Wonderland (2016)

Tsukiji Wonderland (2016) sushi movie Netflix

The documentary gives audiences a view behind the sushi, the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. The movie illustrates how Tsukiji has become the center of fish culinary culture and has helped the Japanese food culture be recognizable worldwide.

Japanese cuisine is always a must-see movie for food lovers, especially the stories behind each restaurant and its owners, which is also a reason to immerse a day in the films. Have you found your favorite sushi documentary Netflix shows episode for your weekend? Get more movies and shows about food on Thecookingmovie.