Guys, take note: This is what you should cook to impress women


There is an expression in Japanese -- "Ryori-danshi" that refers to a man who likes to cook. More men are starting to brush up on their culinary skills as cooking becomes a popular pastime.

The website Sugoren recently conducted a survey of women, asking them what food cooked by men attracted them the most. Here are the nine most popular answers.

1. Homemade Pasta

"Anybody can boil pasta but it's impressive when a man can make pasta sauce." (woman around 20 years old)

Pasta with homemade pasta sauce is popular for women. Italian restaurant menus offer lots of tips on how different varieties of sauce can enhance a plate of pasta.

2. Fried rice

"It's attractive to see a guy holding a heavy wok, cooking fried rice." (teenage girl)

Apparently, cooking food that requires a bit of stamina leaves a good impression. It's even more manly if the guy is holding the wok or frypan over a strong fire.

3. Omelet with a filling of ketchup-seasoned fried rice

"I would love a man to make me a soft omelet with a filling of ketchup-seasoned fried rice like they serve in restaurants." (woman around 20 years old)

Making a good omelet with a filling of ketchup-seasoned fried rice is difficult, especially controlling the softness of the omelet, so it's impressive when men can nail it for women.

4. Curried rice or curry rice (if you prefer)

"It's easy to cook, but it feels like a man's specialty." (woman around 30 years old)

It's a common item on many menus, but women particularly like it if a man prepares curry rice not only at home but also at an outdoor camp, for example.

5. Hamburg steak

"Men who can cook foods which have many processes seem to be able to do even difficult things." (woman around 20 years old)

Ah, the good old "hamburg" steak. A guy will really score points with a woman with this one, especially if he starts from scratch by making the hamburger patty and then trying a few different recipes.

6. Niku-jaga (simmered meat and potatoes)

"Any guy who can make this cares about homey cooking." (woman around 20 years old)

One of Japan's traditional foods, niku-jaga (simmered meat and potatoes) has long been popular with women. There are many subtle touches that can be added to enhance the flavor, so if you want to impress your lady, create an original niku-jaga recipe.

7. Miso soup

"I'm really impressed when I see a guy make original 'dashi' (Japanese soup stock made from dried bonito and kelp) for miso soup." (woman around 30 years old)

Even something as simple as miso soup can win a woman -- as long as you make "dashi" and not rely on instant miso soup from the supermarket. Not many men know the base of miso soup, so it's a chance to learn something new.

8. Okonomiyaki (savoury pancake with various ingredients)

"It's really cool to see a man flip okonomiyaki easily." (teenage girl)

There is an art to flipping okonomiyaki and it is easy to make a mess if you do it wrong. A quick flip and the woman sitting opposite you will be in awe (either that or she'll have parts of okonomiyaki over her).

9. Sweets and Cake

"It's difficult to make a soft sponge cake, even for women, so if a guy can do it, wow." (teenage girl)

It's appealing to see men do precise things well. Desserts, especially cakes, are easy to get wrong. If you make a mistake with the amount of butter and sugar, or get the oven temperature wrong, the result will be very different. So be careful before you try a cake ... your chances of winning your woman's heart may depend on it.

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It sounds like any kind of food or dish that they themselves find difficult will be impressive as long as they also enjoy the dish.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can whip up a good and tasty tonkotsu ramen. Any ladies want to sample and be impressed?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wow, my hubby would be a big winner there since he masters 7 out of those 9 dishes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm happy whatever my man makes me so long as there are no animal parts in it and the kitchen doesn't look like a war zone when he's finished.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Cleo, the kitchen war zone is something you have to live with. I just close my eyes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is this a CNNGo article? Seems to follow that format but it isn't attributed.

I wish the author would have made up some name like "Japanese omelette" and then explained it once instead of using the crazy-sounding "omelet with a filling of ketchup-seasoned fried rice" three times in as many sentences.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If i made my wife one of those omlettes shhe would think i am making fun of her and treating her like a kid.

"It is not easy to make a soft cake,even for women" What!! baking and cake making is in womens DNA!!!

Only one that would take any effort would be to make pasta. Seems like these women are easily pleased. Is the average Japanese chap so poor in the kitchen?

-4 ( +3 / -6 )

She'd probably just prefer you take her to a nice restaurant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this may have been the dumbest article i've ever read on JT

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"But if he buys me a Louis Vuitton bag, I would be happy with a Big Mac" said the other 99% of young ladies questioned.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Surprisingly instant ramen didn't make the list. "It's sexy when a man rips open a packet of soy sauce seasoning and dumps it dynamically onto the boiling noodles."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just master a good breakfast - scrambled egg or omlette with a little worchester sauce, some bacon, bit of cheese...... never fails to impress when they wake up to that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

y3chome - You forgot the buttered toast and coffee, and muesli with fruit and yoghurt. Not impressed.


And dead pig on the plate.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

y3chome: As a woman I would not be impressed at all with your breakfast. We are in 2011 not 1981. Make me a healthy smoothie to impress me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Interesting choice of dishes by the ladies. Back home both sexes learn from an early age to cook, so most men can cook but might not choose to do so.

As for the kitchen being war-zone after cooking, got to say I seen the bad war-zones left behind by women.

IME, people that cook on a regular or semi-regular bases tend to be rather tidy and often wash dishes while cooking at the same time(I do).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder how a full on roast chicken or turkey would go down with all the trimmings, cauliflower, brocoli, cheese sauce, roast potatoes, carrots, peas, pumkin, with lashings of gravey and then the desert, all washed down with some nice wine.

I love cooking and am a great cook but I hate the cleaning up part so the women has to do that for her part in the deal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"it's impressive when a man can make pasta sauce"

Heh, I always have some Ragu Tradtional pasta sauce on hand and add some Italian herbs for an unforgettable pasta experience!


That's Mick Jagger's favorite Japanese dish! Ha!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"the good old hamburg steak"

That's like the easiest thing to make - just mix some ground beef or ground beef & pork with some chopped onion, a beaten egg or two and some bread crumbs, form it into patties and throw 'em in the toaster oven for 20-30 minutes.

Even better is to slice some green peppers in half, scoop out the seeds, fill 'em with the hamburg mix and throw 'em in the toaster oven! Stuffed peppers can't be beat, except by someone with an even better idea!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cut up some chicken thigh meat, smear it with Hunt's BBQ sauce, let it sit for awhile if you have the time, throw it in the toaster oven, ( unless you have a house with a yard and a grill ) and when it's done, smear some more Hunt's BBQ sauce on there and enjoy!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichi, the salmon pie sounds good, I slice up some onions, cover the salmon with them and some melted margarine ( or butter ) and, you guessed it, throw 'em in the toaster oven!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichi, please cook that for me too. I am impressed with that healthy meal. But where did you find the wild salmon?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing will impress a woman if she doesn't like you, and if she likes, you don't have to be a chef, and she still will be happy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo.... well there are already scrambled baby chickens on the plate, so i thought it better that their farm-yard friend joined them. I would be worried if it was alive pig on a plate though :)

Oh yeh i did forget to mention the blueberry n yoghurt part.. depends how much I like em. Blueberries are expensive over here, even frozen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

no toast though. uneccesary carbs in the morning..... :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Foxie ; The only remotely unhealthy thing in that is the bacon (which is usually grilled anyway, healthiest way to cook it)...... all healthy as part of a well balanced diet. Bacon only once a week, either sat or sun.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

if i could just get me hands on some goat cheese for a decent price; goats cheese and rosmary omlette- bootiful

0 ( +0 / -0 )

y3chome -

Animal parts on the plate and back-chat over the menu - definitely a one-night stand! :-)

The eggs are only (potential) baby chickens if you make a point of using fertilised eggs, and the unfertilised ones are from mommas guaranteed never to have seen a farmyard in their life. Then, neither has poor Porkie.

Blueberries are relatively cheap at the JA (assuming you have a grower locally). Better still, blackberries or raspberries from the garden, cost zero. Out of season, home-frozen is good. Yum.

And I want my toast! None of that shokupan rubbish though, which I agree is unnecessary simple carbs and barely even qualifies as food; good wholesome complex carbs from wholewheat/multigrain home-baked bread is what's needed. Provide that, and I'll consider it. But remind me not to stay over at the weekend. :-)

It takes time and effort to please a discerning woman.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ohhh I am already on thin ice over the back chat..... just adds to the excitement :) True true..... if i was back in the UK it would no doubt be free range organic make you live longer and all that jazz eggs... coz going organic and free range etc is very easy back home these days, and doesnt cost a bomb. Here in Japan it can be an expensive nightmare.... if you even believe the labels here. They just dont really do good bread here do they, cept in the expensive departos, and occasional bakery. Closest to a garden I have is Shinjuku Gyoen, which to get in would cost me more than the bberries :) And one thing i noticed here about local japanese, many dont even eat breakfast normally. I mean how could ya. Its only the extra special ones who get to stay the whole weekend. They would need to be extra special to put up with all my other s**t! :) Shokupan should be illegal. Have a breadmaker at home, but getting the timing right is difficult (ie bung it in in the morning..... or at night.... as it takes arnd 6hrs)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

going organic and free range etc is very easy back home these days, and doesnt cost a bomb. Here in Japan it can be an expensive nightmare....

So can pleasing an extra special, discerning woman.....

Using a breakmaker is cheating, really, but excusable if the only alternative is shokupan....but doesn't it have a timer?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You SHOULD be eating carbs for breakfast. A good breakfast should be about 60/40 protein/carbs. If you want to get technical, it should be good carbs, like from whole wheat or fruit like a banana, but still, if you're going to be eating carbs, breakfast is the best time of day to do it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


< trolling start >

You do realize that that toast is just a potential wheat straw that could have had a beautiful life nourishing all the little creatures on the field. Which I could then have hunted down and eaten? < /trolling end>

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just plain vanilla food. Today's young chicks are easy to impress.

and the kitchen doesn't look like a war zone when he's finished.

cleo, isn't this a prerequisite for any good cooking? Just as it is that she cleans up the mess?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gonemadOct. 01, 2011 - 12:05AM JST cleo, isn't this a prerequisite for any good cooking? Just as it is that she cleans up the mess?

Yeah, I cook, you clean. It is totally unfair to expect someone (male or female) to slave over a hot stove for an hour, and then at the end of the meal turn around and expect them to slave for another 30 minutes washing pots, pans and dishes.

Of course the cook should be considerate, like dumping a little water into a pan used to cook pasta so that the leftover strands of pasta don't stick to the sides, and avoiding unnecessary mess (clean up a little as you go to reduce the clutter and make cleaning easier), but to expect the cook to clean up from scratch... no.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I get to cook and do the cleaning up. :( But don't mind as I see it part of cooking.

Said that I get a lot of organic/natural foods from local stores or from "Natural Kitchen"(country-wide). Also supplies me with a lot of vegetarian foods as well as much without any additives.

As for impressing ladies with cooking, IME, not so much the dish but how you handle yourself in the kitchen, etc.

BTW, just got a good book "Moco's Kitchen" some good recipes in there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Desserts, especially cakes, are easy to get wrong"

You can say that again! On second thought, don't! If your proportions are off just an eensy-weensy bit, or if, God forbid, you mistake baking soda for baking powder, your cake will be a failure!

Perhaps women, being smarter than men in general, should do the cooking and the baking, and the men can do the cleaning up. The men can help with the cooking and baking under the close supervision of the women.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

T'ain't just a question of washing the pots and pans. I'm talking about seasonings and ingredients taken out and left out, especially stuff left out of the fridge on a hot summer's night; batter dripped around and left to harden; discarded packets, tins and bottles strewn over the floor; spillages cooked hard onto the hob top. And let's not even start on broken crockery!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Serrano; great points, Women are natural bakers. Men are better in the kitchen though as they can multi task without panicking. Seems like in Japan if a man has basic cooking skills a woman is impressed.When my wife tells her friends about some of the complicated foreign meals i cook, they think it is all rather queer.

-7 ( +0 / -6 )

Sorry, steve you are way off here.

If you can cook you can bake, just need to be able to follow a simple recipe. Know many japanese men here that can cook well and are not professional cooks.

Foreign meals will puzzle most people unless they seen the recipe. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Men are better in the kitchen though as they can multi task without panicking

lol Oh steve, no way are men good multi-taskers. Quite the opposite. The flip side might be that men are better at concentrating one one thing and giving it their whole attention...

I've yet to meet a man who can comfort a baby, answer the phone, stir the stew on the stove and watch telly all at the same time; if he's watching telly he doesn't hear the phone ring; if he answers the phone while cooking, odds are the stew will burn.

And yeah, baking is just one aspect of cooking. Like if you can drive a blue car, you can drive a red one.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

cleo; I can multi task far better than my wife. She cannot cope with having a few things cooking at the same time and not ruining something. Mind you i did spend a bit if time working in catering when younger and she always had her mum cooking for her. As for baking she does the very well as she can take as long as she likes preparing and having fluffy thoughts in her head as the oven finishes off her work.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

cleo; These polls are debateable. Why are most of the worlds top chefs males.?Women are good cooks but not many can survive in a busy working kitchen.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Why are most of the worlds top chefs males.?

A chef in a kitchen is concentrating on one thing - preparing a meal - not multi-tasking. A chef in a kitchen is not answering the phone, juggling a baby, overseeing homework, stopping the dog chewing the carpet, etc etc etc. It's a completely different situation.

While individual experiences do not negate the average, you as an individual may well be better at multi-tasking than Mrs steve, though it sounds to me like you're just saying she's not a very adept cook. And as you point out, you're coming from different backgrounds. If she's running a home, caring for her mother and doing the baking, and the house is still standing (!) believe me, she's multi-tasking.

If I were Mrs steve and my hubby claimed I had 'fluffy thoughts in my head' while baking he would soon find a wooden spoon putting dents in his head. :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo; Course chefs do multi tasking, they control the kitchen and have to run with military precision. My wife does a lot but these days i do most housework as she is so tired with looking after.mum and she does not have much time to bake sadly,a she loves trying new recipes.

All women have fluffy thoughts, mostly when thinking about cute animals. I can prove it as you often go on about your doggies here in a young girtly fashion.

Some here think i am a dinsoaur but my wife and most of her friends think i am a modern man at home as i do cooking and cleaning and sometimes other duties. She was most impressed with my culinary skills when we first were together because her father thought it was for girls.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

'young girly fashion' indeed...where's that wooden spoon? :-)

My dog isn't fluffy. Not very cute, either.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree with cleo. Hee Hee!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Course chefs do multi tasking, they control the kitchen and have to run with military precision

Nah, it's one coordinated job; all the separate little tasks are related. It's not multi-tasking except in the very strictest sense of the word - like typing this post while sitting, watching the screen and breathing is multi-tasking. Claiming that cooking is multi-tasking is like claiming that driving a car is multi-tasking; you have to watch the road, hold the steering-wheel, press the accelerator, - all part of the one job, namely, driving the car. Add in something completely unrelated, like talking on the phone, and people start to get distracted, which is why moshi-moshi unten is supposed to be illegal. Because lots of drivers can't handle multi-tasking.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Like many others, my husbands can do all of these however, the kitchen looks like a war zone - which is one reason why I prefer to cook. We have a rule, one cooks, the other cleans up. Cleaning up after him and a night of cooking actually takes longer than it would for me to prepare dinner - and not this precooked crap. Burnt pans, salt, pepper, poil everywhere, every dish used... I figure this is his way of getting out of cooking. Make the kitchen so messy I will do it. And he's right. I do. Though I detest it.

In terms of a chef, Cleo, have you worked in a cafe or restaurant? Chefs are freaken busy. Though I dare say, not as busy as a mom looking after the kids, the dog, answering the door, the phone, getting the washing done... Heck, I don't have kids had find me running around while cooking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, tmarie, I have worked in in a canteen way back when I was a penniless student and would do (almost) anything for a few quid. And it was, as you say, freaken busy. But it's all connected-busy; if you're cooking, you're cooking; if you're dishing up, you're dishing up. Granted you might have to stir a pan while watching stuff under the grill while waiting for stuff to brown in the oven, but I don't think that counts as multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is juggling different stuff simultaneously.

PS Don't let him get you with the old 'It's easier if I do it myself' routine!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know I shouldn't but it saves me from screaming. He's SOOOOOOO slow. Practise would help I know but I just can't deal with it. I blame his mother for not teaching him how to do anything!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can cook in more ways than one.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

oh man, this is too good. my gaijin equivalent to "omelet with a filling of ketchup-seasoned fried rice" is "spaghetti with ketchup", which is student - teenager's food in europe (outside italy), in plain words, the fastest and cheapest you can make. never thought this would make me a "desirable" gaijin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Men shouldn't bother worrying about impressing women. If you're rich and/or successful women will be falling over themselves to impress you.

So men should concentrate on their careers. (Seriously, that's how it works in Japan)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyway, the best thing to do is to clean up as you cook. I can cook and clean in such a way that after I eat all that's left to do is wash the dishes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For guys who can't cook but still want to impress their female partners -

Get some fresh shoga/ginger, scrape it on your grater, and sprinkle it on a slab of tofu with a little soy sauce. Simple, delicious and cheap! And good for you!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My kitchen is ALL MINE. If it's all about love then it's got to be lasagna. The ultimate labor of love.

I'm sorry Yasukuni that you think the only way is cash. Funny that you think Japanese men should focus only on their careers, it's like your compensating for something. Literally compensating for something.

Being a master in the kitchen doesn't make you feminine, you know. If anything, it make you THE MAN!!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I love a man that can cook!! So, I agree with the teenage girl who said okonomiyaki would be a good thing to cook. Its such a fun dish to make and the more decorative it looks A for effort on the guys part. Maybe I'm biased because this is actually my favorite dish.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My showstopper dishes are whole roast chicken, braided bread, lasagna and roasted vegetables.

Basically, oven-roasting is the way to impress Japanese, since they do so little of it. And make sure to use lots of herbs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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