Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Japanese Food Glossary

I've prepared a Glossary of Japanese ingredients which I use in my Bento blog. I've linked the Japanese name of the item to a previous post in this blog. The post that is linked may not be specifically mentioning the ingredient but there is some indication of the Japanese ingredient in the mentioned post.

I will be adding on more items to this list as I use other Japanese ingredients. I hope this will be helpful to some of you who are new to Japanese ingredients. Enjoy!

1. Abura-age - fried tofu slices. (abura = oil, age = fried)
2. Azuki - Small red beans used to make an.

3. Bento - traditional boxed lunch.
4. O-cha - green tea.

5. Chawan - rice bowl.

6. Chawan mushi - egg custard with diced vegetables.

7. Daikon - white carrot shaped Japanese radish.

8. Dashi - Fish stock for cooking, generally made from kombu (a type of sea weed) and
katsuobushi (dried bonito fish shavings.)

9. Donburi -This is a traditional lunch dish referring to the ceramic bowl and matching lid the
contents of this dish are served in.
Below are the individual names of each donburi dish depending on the contents.

• Gyūdon - rice with a beef topping.

• Yakitori donburi - rice with a chicken topping.

• Tendon - rice with a tempura topping.

• Unadon - rice with an unagi (Eel) topping.

• Katsudon - rice with a pork topping.

• Oyako donburi - rice with a chicken and fried egg topping.

10. Gohan - formal word for rice, also meaning "meal".
11. Gyoza - Chinese style dumplings of meat or
12. Hijiki - a variety of seaweed.

13. Inari-zushi - sushi rice in fried tofu pockets.

14. Kombu - kelp - used in making dashi (soup stock).

15. Konnyaku - a gelatinous substance made from the
"devils-tongue" tuber.
16. Kyuri - long and thin, Japanese cucumber.

17. Mirin - sweetened cooking sake.

18. Miso - fermented soybean paste.

19. Mochi - Sweet glutinous rice cakes.

20. Mochiko - Sweet glutinous rice flour.

21. Natto - sticky fermented soybeans.

22. Nori - dried seaweed which comes in very thin sheets.
23. Oden - fish, fish cake and vegetables simmered in
24. Okonomiyaki - egg "pancakes" containing diced
seafood, vegetables, or meat, that are grilled and topped with a savory sauce.
25. Onigiri - rice ball.
26. Ramen - Chinese style egg noodles.
27. Saba - Mackerel. 
28. Sake - Salmon.
29. Shoyu - soy sauce.

30. Soba - buckwheat noodles. Can be served hot or cold.

31. Tamago - egg.

32. Tamagoyaki - Fried egg.

33. Teriyaki sauce - A sweetened soy sauce.

34. Tempura - Battered and deep-fried seafood or vegetables.

35. Tonkatsu - Breaded and fried pork cutlet.

36. Usukuchi shoyu - Light Japanese soy sauce.

37. Wakame - a variety of seaweed.

38. Wasabi – a pungent mustard, made from green Japanese horseradish.

39. Yaki - grilled.

40. Yosenabe - A fish, seafood and vegetable soup made in a clay pot.


#2 had a discussion with me after school about how she was putting on weight with all the food I was packing for her. Good gracious! I thought that I was already 'under packing' her food!

Apparently that is not the case. She insisted that she's putting on weight. She is declaring this week a "Fruit and Vegetable" Bento week!!

She's involved with a musical which will be launched next week end and she's already been measured for her costume since April. "Mum, I can't afford to be squeezing into the costume if I've put on weight"! She retorts with a grim face!

What the heck! She's taller than I am and certainly much thinner than many young girls her age. *Screams in my head but grins at #2* (Mum gets into this chilling mode again).
Okay, I'm not going to argue about weight issues with #2. I just need to deal with it more positively.

Sometimes, even #3 will pose in front of the mirror with her bulging belly and ask if she's considered FAT? *sigh*

decided to make #2 a fruit salad this morning. I cut up bananas, golden kiwi, apple, orange and strawberries. I squeezed the juice out of an orange, added some honey and some lime juice. It was a lovely and refreshing combination.

The citrus juice helps to keep the fruits from turning brown and gives it a light and refreshing taste.

The Bento box on the right is filled with a croissant cut into three pieces and slathered with Nutella. This is for #3. There is a pack of NIPs, just in case she wants to eat more.

I'm going shopping for salads later.
(My kid's diet has just turned into that of a COW! Moo!)


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