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Aji – horse mackerel
Ankake – a dish prepared with a starch-based sauce.
Ankou – monkfish
Amaebi – sweet shrimp
Amai – Japanese word for “sweet” (adjective)
Aonori – green seaweed usually used dry for sprinkling
Awabi – abalone
Azuki – red beans, frequently used in traditional Japanese sweets
Benishoga – red pickled ginger often garnished for Yakisoba
Benizake – red or sockeye salmon
Bento – meal in a box
Butabara – pork belly
Chashu – roast pork usually sliced thinly
Chanko Nabe – a hotpot traditionally eaten by sumo wrestlers
Choko – small cup for drinking sake
Dai Ginjo – the highest grade of sake, in which the rice has been polished to less than 50% of its original mass.
Daikon – long, white Japanese radish, served in a variety of ways year-round
Dango – small food balls that are often made from rice, flour or meat
Dashi (#dashi) – a stock made from dried fish, seaweed, vegetables or a combination of these, original to Japan
Daizu – soybeans
Debabocho – a type of cooking knife original to Japan
Dengaku – a dish with miso-sauce
Donburi – a bowl of rice topped with meat, seafood or vegetables. It is often shorten as “don” when combined with the ingredients. For example, Gyudon for beef bowl and Tendon for tempura bowl.
Ebi – Japanese name for shrimp or prawns
Edamame – immature soybeans often served as an appetizer
Ei – stingray
Ekiben – bento sold at train stations
Fu – dough made from wheat gluten
Fugu – blowfish or pufferfish most famous for being poisonous in liver
Fugusashi – fugu sashimi
Furikake – dried topping sprinkled on rice
Gari – sushi restaurant word for sliced ginger that has been soaked in sweetened vinegar
Gobo – burdock root
Gohan – rice or a meal
Gunkan maki – a type of sushi style made up of nori seaweed, rice and soft topping such as roe or sea urchin
Gyoza – fried or steamed dumplings, or potstickers.
Hakusai – napa cabbage
Hamo – pike eel commonly found on menus in Kyoto and Kansai Region
Harusame – clear noodles made from starch
Hirame – fluke or flounder
Hiyamugi – thin noodles made from wheat flour
Hocho – cooking knife
Ika – squid
Ikura – salmon roe
Imo – Japanese word for potato or root vegetables such as taro
Imo shochu – shochu made of Imo
Izakaya – Japanese pub
Jagaimo – Japanese word for potato
Jako – dried baby fish
Junmai – pure rice
Junmai ginｊo – high grade, pure rice sake, made only of rice polished to less than 60% of its original mass, koji and water.
Kabocha – type of Japanese pumpkin with a dark green outside and a slightly sweet orange inside.
Kaiseki – traditional multi-course Japanese dinner.
Kaitenzushi – revolving sushi
Kai – Japanese word for shellfish
Kaki 1 – Japanese word for oyster
Kaki 2 – Japanese persimmon
Kakiage – mixed vegetable tempura
Kamaboko – Japanese style fish cake
Kani – Japanese word for crab
Kanpyo – dried gourd strips
Kappou Ryori – high-end Japanese cuisine
Karai – Japanese word for hot or spicy
Katsuo – bonito
Katsuobushi – dried bonito flakes, a key ingredient in the preparation of dashi
Katsuramuki – technique of cutting thin, continuous sheets of daikon
Kewpie – Japan’s national mayonnaise brand
Kimchi – Korean style pickles fermented with spices, often red pepper
Kimo – liver
Kinoko – generic word for mushrooms.
Koji (#koji) – mold (Aspergillus oryzae) used in the brewing of sake, miso and other fermented food in Japan.
Kome – rice
Konbu – seaweed
Korokke – Japanese croquettes typically containing mashed potato, minced meat, or crab and white sauce.
Koromo – batter
Koshihikari – a variety of Japanese rice
Kura – a sake brewery
Kuri – chestnuts
Kushiage – skewers of crumbed meat, fish or fresh vegetables deep-fried and dipped in sauce.
Kushikatsu – skewered, deep-fried pork.
Kyo ryori – Kyoto-style cuisine
Kyo yasai – vegetables originating from Kyoto
Kyo kaiseki – Kyoto-style kaiseki
Kyuri – Japanese cucumber
Maguro – tuna
Makisu – a sheet of bamboo used for rolling sushi
Mame – Japanese word for bean
Masu – trout
Matcha (#matcha) – ground green tea powder
Matsutake – type of mushroom popular for its fragrance
Men – Japanese word for noodles
Mirin – a rice wine used in cooking
Miso (#miso) – salty soy bean paste seasoning
Misoshiru – miso soup
Mochi – sticky rice cakes made of steamed rice
Momoniku – a cut of chicken thigh or beef round
Moyashi – bean sprouts
Mugi – Japanese word for barley
Mugi shochu – barley shochu
Namazu – cat fish
Nabeyaki udon – udon served with various ingredients and soup in a Japanese hot pot
Nashi – Japanese pear, often referred to as Asian pear
Nasu – egg plant or aubergine
Natto – fermented soy beans
Negi – Japanese green onion or leek
Nigari – magnesium chloride, used for making tofu.
Nigiri – A type of sushi where a topping is placed on the top of rice
Nigai – Japanese word for bitter
Niboshi – dried baby sardines
Niku – Japanese word for “meat”
Nijujaga (#nikujaga) – Japanese style meat and potato stew seasoned with soy sauce
Nikuman – steamed meat bun
Nishin – herring
Nori – seaweed dried and formed in thin paper shape. Used for sushi
Nuka – rice bran
Nukamiso – salted rice bran paste
Nukazuke – Japanese vegetables pickled in rice bran paste
Obanzai – traditional Kyoto style cuisine
Ochazuke – rice in tea, usually topped with tiny fish or vegetables
Okazu – accompaniment or side dish. In Kyoto, it is referred to as obanzai.
Okonomiyaki – Japanese non-sweet pancake made of flour, water, and cabbage and usually including seafood and other vegetables
Omurice – derived from “omelet” and “rice”, usually a plain omelet over rice seasoned with ketchup
Oomori – large serving of food
Osechi – traditional meal eaten on New Years Day
Otoro – fatty tuna
Panko – Japanese breadcrumbs
Piiman – bell/sweet pepper
Ponzu – a mix of soy sauce and citrus juice
Rayu – spice-infused oil
Ramen (#ramen) – Chinese-style noodles in soup
Robata – type of Japanese grill.
Ryori – Japanese for a type of food, cooking style or cuisine
Ryotei – a high class Japanese restaurant providing private dining areas
Saba – mackerel
Sakana – Japanese word for fish
Sake (#sake) – Japanese word for alcohol
Sake or shake – salmon
Samsai – general word for edible wild plants
Sansho – Japanese pepper
Sashimi – raw meat (most often fish)
Satoimo – taro root
Shiitake – Japanese variety of mushroom known for its dark brown color
Shirako – fish milt
Shio – Japanese word for salt
Shio koji – seasoning
Shishito – Japanese green pepper
Shiso – Japanese mint or perilla
Shoga – Japanese word for ginger
Shochu – distilled spirit, usually made of sweet potato, wheat, brown sugar, or rice, but also made of a wide variety of other ingredients
Shokudou – cafeteria inside an office or university.
Shoppai – Japanese word for salty
Shoyu – soy sauce
Soba – buckwheat noodles
Somen – thin, cold noodles, often served in summer.
Souzai – Similar in meaning to okazu.
Su – Japanese word for vinegar
Suppai – Japanese word for “sour” (adjective)
Sushi (#sushi) – Originally standing for “rice flavored with vinegar,” the term sushi embraces many kinds of dishes using vinegar rice.
Sudachi – small, round, dark green citrus fruit that is almost unique to Japan
Sukiyaki – a type of hotpot with a sweet, soy-based soup
Sumeshi – vinegard rice
Tai – sea bream
Takikomi gohan – Japanese rice dish seasoned with dashi and cooked with vegetables, meat, or fish.
Tamago – egg
Tempura – deep fried fish or vegetables
Tenkasu – small, crunchy bits of deep-fried batter used as a topping for udon or okonomiyaki
Teppanyaki – meat, vegetables or noodles cooked on a large hotplate
Tonkatsu – breaded pork cutlet
Toshi – small dish provided as a starter in Japanese izakaya
Tsukemono – Japanese word for pickles
Tsumami – small dish served with drinks
Tsumire – ball of ground sardine, usually served with soup or in oden
Tsukudani – a sweet and salty preserve.
Udon – thick, white noodles made from wheat flour
Umami – one of the five basic tastes, sometimes described as “savoriness”
Ume – Japanese plum, which is actually a relative of the apricot
Umeboshi – ume that has been dried and salt-pickled. Red shiso leaves are often used to make it turn red.
Unagi – freshwater eel
Uni – sea urchin
Wagyu – Japanese beef
Washoku – Japanese cuisine
Wakame – seaweed often used in miso soup
Waribashi – wooden chopsticks
Wasabi (#wasabi) – Green relative of horseradish that is primarily used with sushi and sashimi.
Yaki – Japanese word for something grilled
Yakiniku – marinated grilled meat, often in barbeque style
Yakionigiri – a toasted rice ball often seasoned with soy sauce or miso
Yakisoba (#yakisoba) – fried Chinese noodles or Japanese version of chow mein
Yakitori – barbecued chicken cooked and served on a bamboo skewer
Yakumi – a condiment
Yatai – kiosk serving street food
Yuba – tofu skin
Yukke – raw ground beef dish similar to steak tartare
Yuzu – Japanese citrus fruit with a yellow rind
Zouni – mochi in soup