Glossary


Ageh - Deep fried tofu

Aisukurimu – Ice cream

Ajinori – Seasoned dried seaweed

Aka miso – Red miso; dark reddish brown in color and bold and salty in flavor. Contains more protein than shiro (white) miso. Fermented with lower ratio of rice or barley koji (fermenting enzyme) to soybeans and takes longer to ferment (a few months) than shiro (white) miso.

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 Miso – Mixed miso consisting of aka (red) and shiro (white) miso. Brown in color and medium sweet – salty in flavor.

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 sushi rice.

Hacho (Hatcho) Miso – Also known as the Miso of Emperors; very dark brown in color with a smoky flavor; highest levels of protein and fiber. Requires two years of fermentation.

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

Moromi Miso – Also known as Hishio Miso; chunky and thick in texture, and ranges from golden brown to dark reddish brown in color. It tends to be on the sweet side and is often used as a dip for raw vegetables but can also be used for marinades and soup.

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); light yellow golden in color and sweet in flavor. Made with high content of rice koji (fermenting agent), quick to ferment.

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