Kidney Diet Tips

Dining Out Successfully at Matsuchen Japanese Restaurant

Matsuchan is an authentic Japanese restaurant located in Canton, Michigan. There may be a similar Japanese restaurant near you. I chose to explore the food at this restaurant because it is difficult to follow a kidney-friendly diet when eating out at Asian restaurants. Typical Japanese dishes consist of pork, fish or poultry combined with higher potassium vegetables and oftentimes, sauces that can add a lot of extra salt to the diet.

10 Best Choice Tips

Following these 10 tips will help you make kidney-friendlier choices, while getting the full enjoyment of dining at an authentic-style Japanese restaurant.

  1. Ask your server for your food to be cooked with low-sodium soy sauce or sauce on the side because many sauces in Asian dishes tend to have a lot of sodium. Watch out for traditional soy sauce, fish sauce or monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  2. Do not add extra soy sauce to the prepared dishes.
  3. Order plain brown or white rice as opposed to fried rice.
  4. Choose these lower-potassium vegetable options. These include green onions, mushrooms, baby corn, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, lily pods, napa cabbage, green beans, peas, water chestnuts and bok choy.
  5. In stir-fry dishes ask for light on the oil, and add vegetables from the lower potassium vegetables listed above.
  6. Order steamed rice or noodles instead of fried.
  7. Watch out for miso-based dressings and soups because they are very high in salt.
  8. Stick with dishes that are simmered (nimono), broiled (yaki), steamed (dim sum) and grilled (yakimono).
  9. Avoid the soups and ramen. Unfortunately, most soups on the menu are so high in sodium that they exceed your daily allowance, and there is really no way to make them healthier.
  10. If sushi rolls are ordered, play it safe and stick with cooked instead of raw seafood. Only eat half of the portion which is about 3 pieces if it contains avocado and seaweed, which can add to the potassium content.

One more tip–plan on taking half or more of your entrée home as the servings are generally large!

Menu Options

Here are some options to order at Matsuchan:


  • Tossed Salad
    Conch Salad


  • Shrimp or Meat dumplings
  • Rice ball
  • California Roll


  • Yakisoba (Ask to use light oil and sauces.
  • Brown Rice with Meat and Vegetables
  • Chicken and Egg Bowl
  • Pork and Egg Bowl
  • Eel Bowl
  • Beef Ginger Garlic with Brown Rice
  • Spicy Beef with Brown Rice
  • Pork Ginger with Brown Rice
  • Pork and Tofu with Brown Rice
  • Chicken Teriyaki (light on the sauce or on the side)
  • Broiled Mackerel

Here is a picture of what I ordered at Matsuchen. I chose the chicken yakisoba dish, and asked the server for light on oil/sauces used in the dish. In addition, I ordered extra vegetables of the lower potassium ones listed above. Since the portion can last for several days I asked for a to-go box with my meal.

Follow these suggestions to help make your next meal out at your favorite Japanese restaurant successful. For additional ideas take a copy of the menu to your dietitian and review the best choices together. Checkout the dining guide for Japanese and other cuisines in DaVita Diet Helper.

If you prefer preparing homemade meals check out DaVita’s favorite kidney-friendly Asian recipes.


Deanna Denny, RD

Deanna Denny, RD

Deanna Denny is currently a DaVita renal dietitian and has worked in the dietetics field for over 5 years. She is an avid foodie; loves exploring foods from all sorts of areas and cultures. She has a one year old Australian shepherd named Ace who means the world to her. She's a huge animal lover. She also enjoys traveling and spending time at home with her boyfriend and puppy.