Glossary


Ageh – Deep fried tofu

Aisukurimu – Ice cream

Ajinori – Seasoned dried seaweed

Akemashita Omedetou Gozaimasu – A customary Japanese saying, which means, Happy New Year!

Aku-nuki – The process of removing bitterness and undesirable residue from foods.

Ama-zu – Sweet vinegar marinade

Ama-zu Renkon – Lotus pickled in a sweet and vinegary solution

Anko – red bean paste

Aonori – Dried green seaweed flakes

Arigato – Thank you

Asari – Clam

Asari Miso Shiru – Miso soup with clams

Awase – Zu – A vinegar mix used to season sushi rice

Beni ebi – Baby shrimp or sakura shrimp

Bento – Home packed meal to go, usually consisting of rice, meat, and vegetables

Bonsai – Japanese art of growing woody plants in small containers into shapes of small trees

Botamochi – Sweet rice cake (mochi); also known as ohagi

Buta-Shabu – Pork shabu-shabu or hot pot

Cha-han – Fried rice

Chirashi Sushi – Mixed or scattered sushi rice

Chutoro – Fatty Blue Fin Tuna

Daidai – Bitter orange

Daikon – Japanese radish

Daikon no sunomono – Vinegared radish salad

Dashi Konbu – Dried kelp

Dashi Shoyu – Seasoned soy sauce

Datemaki – Sweet rolled omelette mixed with mashed fish or shrimp

Donburi – 1) bowl; 2) style of Japanese food where meat, vegetables or seafood lies over a bed of rice

Dote-Nabe – Miso broth hot pot with oysters, regionally specific to Hiroshima, Japan.

Ebi – Shrimp

Edamame – Fresh boiled soy beans

Furikake – Dried seasoning sprinkled over rice

Ganbaru – To try your hardest and put your best effort forward

Gari Shoga – Seasoned, pickled ginger

Gindara – Black cod

Gobo – Burdock root

Gogatsu-ningyo – “May Doll”, usually a samurai warrior wearing a kabuto (helmet); displayed on Boy’s Day

Gohan – Rice

Goma Abura – Sesame oil

Gomoku Gohan – 5 ingredient seasoned mixed rice

Gomoku Sushi – Typical of the Kansai region (Osaka, Kobe, Nara etc.) cooked or raw ingredients that are seasoned and mixed into the body of the sushi rice

Ha-gotai – Satisfying texture to the teeth; i.e. “hearty”

Hamaguri No Saka Mushi – Sake steamed clams

Hangiri Sushi Oke – A traditional large, round wooden dish that is deep and used for making sushi rice

Hinamatsuri – Japanese Girl’s Day or Doll Festival, celebrated annually on March 3

Hina-ningyo – Japanese Girl’s Day ornamental dolls

Hirame – Fluke / white fish

Hotate – Scallops

Hourensou – Spinach

Hourensou Tamagoyaki – Japanese spinach omelette

Ika – Squid

Ika-Furai – Fried squid, i.e. calamari

Ikebana – Japanese art of flower arrangement

Ikura – Salmon roe

Ikuradon – Donburi with salmon roe over a bed of sushi rice

Inari sushi – Sushi rice wrapped in sweet seasoned fried tofu

Itadakimasu – Japanese customary saying that translates to “bon appetite”

Itokonnyaku – Yam noodles

Izakaya – Japanese restaurant-bar that serves small dishes (tapas) to enjoy with alcohol

Jubako – Decorative, lacquered box for serving food. Typically used when serving osechi-ryori

Johin – Elegant

Kabu – Japanese turnip

Kagami mochi – New Year’s display of two different sized mochi (rice cake) stacked upon one another and topped with a daidai (bitter orange). It represents the coming and going years, celebrated on January 1st.

Kai – Clam

Kaiware – Radish sprout

Kaki (1) – Oyster

Kaki (2) – Persimmon

Kakiage – A type of tempura with mixed vegetables and seafood

Kakiagedon – Donburi dish with mixed vegetable tempura over a bed of rice

Kamaboko – Fish cake

Kani kamaboko – Imitation crab meat

Karashi – Spicy, hot mustard

Karashi mentaiko – Spicy cod roe

Kashiwamochi – Japanese wagashi (traditional confectionery), rice cake with sweet bean paste in the center and wrapped with maple leaf

Katsuobushi – Dried bonito flakes

Katsuo dashi – Dried bonito stock powder

Kazunoko – Herring roe, typically eaten as part of osechi-ryori, traditional New Year’s dish

Kewpie Mayonnaise – Japanese brand of mayonnaise that slightly resembles Miracle Whip

Kezuriko – Dried, ground mackerel

Kinako – Dried soybean flour

Kine – Traditional wooden mallet used to pound mochi during mochitsuki

Kinoko – Mushrooms

Kingyo sukui – Japanese Obon game scooping goldfish with a thin paper scooper

Kinkan Kanro-Ni | Kanroni or Kinkan No Kanroni – Kinkan is kumquat and kanroni refers to the method of cooking, specifically candied or sweet glazed

Kinshi Tamago – Very thin omelette (egg crepes) that are cut into thin shreds

Kizami nori – Cut, dried seaweed

Kodomonohi – Children’s Day / Boy’s Day

Koinobori – Colorful, carp-shaped streamers or wind socks displayed on Boy’s Day

Kona – Powder or dry mix

Konbu – Kelp

Konbu Dashi – Large piece of dried kelp that is used as a base (or dashi) for seasoning. It is often soaked in water to draw out flavor from the seaweed.

Konnyaku – Yam (Devil’s Tongue)

Korokke – Japanese croquette made with potatoes and various ingredients

Koya Tofu (Dofu) – Freeze dried tofu that is simmered with seasonings

Kuri kinton – Mashed sweet potato with sweetened chestnuts

Kuro – Black

Kurogoma – Black sesame seeds

Kurogoma Aisukurimu – Black sesame ice cream

Kuromame – Black soy beans

Kyuri – Cucumber

Kyuri No Tsukemono – Pickled cucumber

Maguro – Tuna

Maki sushi – Sushi rolled in seaweed and stuffed with a variety of vegetables and ingredients

Mame – bean

Masago – Capelin roe

Mentaiko – Pollock roe

Mirin – Sweet cooking sake

Miso – Fermented soybean paste

Misozuke – Soybean paste (miso) marinade

Mizuna – Japanese water green, mild yet slightly peppery in flavor

Mochi – Rice cake

Mochigome – Sweet rice or glutinous rice

Mochiko – Glutinous sweet rice flour

Mochitsuki – Annual end of the year custom (ceremony) of making homemade mochi from scratch and pounding it into rice cakes

Moyashi – Bean sprouts

Musubi – Rice ball

Myoga | Ginger – An edible flower bulb commonly eaten in Japan

Nabe – Large Japanese pot used for cooking hot pot dishes; also refers to dishes cooked in the nabe

Nagaimo – Japanese mountain yam

Nama-chirashi – sushi rice served beneath raw fish or sashimi

Nasu dengaku – Grilled eggplant with miso glaze

Nasu miso – Japanese eggplant, pan-fried dressed with a sweet and savory miso glaze

Natto – Fermented soy beans

Natto Konbu – Prepared, seasoned kelp

Negi – Green onion

Nigiri sushi – Sushi rice topped with raw fish

Niku Jyaga – Japanese simmered beef and potatoes

Nira – Garlic chives

Nishiki Tamago – Egg roulade where yolk and egg white are cooked separately to create a decorative roulade. Typically eaten on New Year’s as part of osechi-ryori.

Nori – Seasoned, dry seaweed

Nori Tamago Sumashijiru – Seaweed and egg drop clear soup

Obon – A Japanese Buddhist custom honoring the spirits of one’s ancestors during July through August

Obon-odori – Joyful dancing that takes place during a festival to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors (see this post for details)

Ochazuke – Rice “soup” where hot tea is poured over a bowl of hot rice

Ochazuke Furikake – Dried seasoning sprinkled over rice then either hot green tea or hot water is poured over the rice

Oden – Japanese hot-pot consisting of simmered fish cake, daikon, boiled egg, and other ingredients

Ogura-an – Sweet red beans

Ohagi – Sweet rice ball

Ohitashi – Japanese boiled spinach

Okazu – Side dish that accompanies rice

Okonomiyaki – Savory Japanese pancake made only with ingredients that one likes

Omusubi – Rice ball, also known as musubi (without the formal “o”) or onigiri (see below)

Onigiri – Rice ball

Osechi-ryori – Traditional Japanese New Year foods

Oshogatsu – Japanese New Year’s (January 1st)

Oyakodon | Oyako Donburi – Donburi dish with chicken and egg over a bed of rice

Ozoni – Japanese New Year soup, typically either clear soup or miso soup with vegetables and mochi (rice cake)

Ponzu – Japanese soy sauce and citrus seasoning

Rakkyo – Edible species of wild onion of the Amaryllis known as Japanese of Chinese scallion

Ra-yu – Chili oil

Renkon – Lotus root

Renkon no nimono – Simmered lotus root and vegetables

Sake – Cooking sake; also refers to alcoholic beverage

Sashimi – Raw fish

Satoimo – Taro

Satsuma Ageh – Fried fish cake

Satsuma Mikan – A type of citrus fruit (tangerine) commonly eaten in Japan; seedless and the peel is easily removed. Often associated with Japanese New Year

Shabu-shabu – Japanese hot pot

Sha-keh – Salmon

Sakura – Cherry blossom

Samurai – Japanese nobility warrior

Shamoji – Traditional wooden paddle used to scoop rice out of the rice cooker or for mixing rice

Shiba-ebi – A type of shrimp eaten on New Year’s

Shichimi Togarashi – Mixed chili pepper flakes

Shihobeni – Special display paper for kagami mochi New Year’s display, believed to ward off fires in the home

Shime Saba – Pickled mackerel

Shirasu – Dried whitefish or baby katakuchi anchovy

Shiratama Dango – Small, mochi balls made of glutinous rice flour (Mochiko)

Shiratama Zenzai – Sweet red bean soup with mini mochi

Shiro Miso – White miso (fermented soybean paste)

Shiso – Green perilla leaves which are used as an aromatic Japanese herb

Shokupan – Thick-sliced Japanese breakfast bread, usually white

Shoyu – Soy sauce

Shungiku – Garland Chrysanthemum, or crown daisy – edible leaves

Soba – Buckwheat noodle

Soboro Don – Ground chicken donburi (served over a bed of rice)

Somen – Very thin white noodle made of wheat flour and typically enjoyed cold

Sukiyaki – Japanese hot-pot style dish where beef and vegetables are cooked in a sweet and savory sauce, then dipped in raw egg

Sumashijiru – Japanese clear soup, contents of which vary

Sushi Nori – Large sheets of dried, unseasoned, roasted seaweed

Sushizu – Seasoned rice vinegar

Tai – Red sea bream (fish)

Takenoko – Bamboo shoot

Takikomi Gohan – Seasoned mixed steamed rice

Takoyaki – Baked round fritter with octopus

Takuan – Pickled radish (typically yellow or white in color)

Tamago – Egg

Tamagoyaki – Dashimaki or Japaense seasoned omlette

Tango-no Sekku – Boy’s Festival celebration in Japan prior to 1948

Tanindon – Donburi dish with beef and egg over a bed of rice

Tare – Sauce

Tazukuri – Dried sardine dish that is sweet and salty, part of osechi-ryori served on New Year’s day

Temaki Sushi – Hand roll sushi

Tekkadon – Donburi dish with tuna sashimi over a bed of rice

Teppanyaki – Japanese dish of grilled meat, seafood and vegetables on an open table top grill

Teriyaki – Sweet and savory sauce made of soy sauce, sugar and other ingredients

Tofu – Soft, white bean curd

Togarashi – Chili pepper flakes

Tororo – Grated Japanese mountain yam

Tsukemono – Pickled vegetables

Tsuyu – Dipping sauce for cold noodles

Udon – Thick wheat noodles, typically served in hot broth or cold with dipping sauce

Unagi – Fresh water eel

Unadon – Donburi dish with eel over a bed of rice

Uni – Sea urchin

Usu – Traditional motar used for pounding pounding glutinous rice into mochi during mochitsuki

Uzura Tamago – Quail Egg

Wagashi – Traditional Japanese confectionery

Wagiri Togarashi – Dried red chili pepper sliced into rings

Wakame – Kelp, seaweed

Washoku – Japanese cuisine

Yakiniku – Japanese style of cooking grilled bite-sized meat, usually refers to beef

Yaki Sake – Grilled salmon flakes, specifically in reference to salmon flakes in a jar

Yakisoba – Pan fried noodles with vegetables and meat

Yakitoriya – Restaurant that primarily serves skewered grilled chicken and chicken offal

Yamaimo – Japanese mountain yam, nagaimo, Chinese yam, Korean yam

Yasai-Itame – Stir fried vegetables

Yudofu – Tofu simmered in a simple dashi (soup stock)

Yuzu – Citrus fruit that looks similar to a lemon but has a fragrance all of it’s own; originated in East Asia