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UNIQUE JAPANESE FOOD


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Last update August 21, 2011




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Sightseeing in Japan
Hiragana and Katakana List
Japanese Word List
Japanese Proverbs


食べ物  Food Tabemono [tah-beh-moh-noh]
*: Kanji representation of the food name seldom used in modern day Japan.
  wasabi   わさび, 山葵
 Pronunciation  [wah・sah・bee]
Japanese Horseradish 

wasabi Featuring the stimulating nose-penetrating aroma and strong, spicy flavor, wasabi is the green condiment prepared by grating the root of Japanese horseradish (Wasabia japonica). It's served with sashimi, zaru soba (cold soba noodles served on a bamboo sieve), and nigiri zushi (sashimi topped sushi). Tubed wasabi paste products are available for ready-to-use convenience.

  yaki meshi   やきめし, 焼(き)飯
 Pronunciation  [yah・kee・meh・she]
Rice Sauté  or Chinese style rice sauté

Also called cha-han from the Chinese word chao fan, it's lightly fried rice together with ingredients such as minced vegetables, meat, scrambled egg, etc. and seasoned with salt, pepper, and sometimes soy sauce or Worcester sauce. At home, leftover rice is often cooked as one with remaining foods in the fridge as the ingredients. The dish may be referred to differently depending on the restaurant; in Chinese food restaurants, it's definitely cha-han, while western food restaurants may call it pirafu (pilaf).

  yaki soba   やきそば, 焼き蕎麦
 Pronunciation  [woo・she・oh・gee・roo]
Noodle Sauté  or lightly fried Chinese noodles

yakisoba Though the name suggests soba, the noodles used in the dish are not buckwheat noodles, but those dubbed chuka soba (Chinese style noodles). One of popular festival food items, just like tako yaki. Often cooked at home for lunch or snack meal. Typical ingredients fried with the noodles are cabbages and pork, and seasoned in the same way as okonomi yaki: brown sauce and mayonnaise, and garnished with beni shoga. Simple seasoning with salt and pepper is popular, too. There is also a dish called yaki udon or fried udon, usually seasoned with shoyu or usuta sosu (Worcester sauce).

  yaki tori   やきとり, 焼(き)鳥
 Pronunciation  [yah・kee・toh・ree]
Chicken Kebab  or grilled skewered chicken

yakitori The word tori means "birds" and yaki tori refers to chopped poultry pieces skewered and grilled, brushed with tare (soy sauce mixed sauce), or salt and pepper. Depending on the poultry body part or preparation process, various menus are available: Sasami denotes the soft, less fatty upper chest part; tebasaki is the wings; hatsu, the heart; zuri, gizzard; tsukune, a minced meat ball; nankotsu, cartilage; negima, chicken and negi blocks skewered alternately. There are many restaurants specialized in yaki tori.

  yokan   ようかん, 羊羹
 Pronunciation  [yoh・kah・n]
Bean Jam Jelly  or bean paste jelly

yokan Yokan is a jelly of an set using kanten. It's basically classified into two types: neri yokan (neri: kneaded) is a hard type containing a large amount of kanten, while mizu yokan (mizu: water), a soft kind with less amount of the ingredient. The traditional yokan is made by steaming added with wheat flour and kuzuko, which is specifically called mushi yokan (mushi: steamed). Decchi yokan is a local product in Kyoto and Shiga prefectures and refers to an inexpensive type, affordable even to a decchi (apprentice).

  yuba   ゆば, 湯葉/湯波
 Pronunciation  [you・bah]
Soymilk Skin 

yuba Yuba is a product made of a thin sheet formed on the surface of boiled tonyu. Raw and dried types are available. A famous local product of Kyoto, Shiga, and Nikko (Tochigi prefecture), and often used in shojin ryori (vegetarian diets for monks). Usually eaten like sashimi with wasabi joyu (soy sauce with wasabi) or added in suimono and miso shiru.
(Photo: A yuba topping on soup soba.)

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