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Last update July 26, 2011

Other Contents
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.
 dango   だんご, 団子
 Pronunciation  [dah・n・goh]
dango Dango refers to dumplings made by boiling or steaming kneaded dough of any cereal. It usually tastes sweet, seasoned by an or kinako. Often served with several pieces together on a skewer. Mitarashi dango, one of popular types, is rendered with sugar and soy sauce taste, after lightly roasted. Sanshoku dango (three color dangos) refers to a skewered three pieces of dango in three different colors: pink, white and green.
(Photo: Dango flavored with maccha or green tea.)

 dengaku   でんがく, 田楽
 Pronunciation  [deh・n・gah・coo]
Miso Baked Cake  or thick-cut miso baked food

Dengaku is any food such as tofu, konnyaku, or eggplant sliced into large pieces and baked with miso spread on their top surface. The term dengaku originally refers to rice-planting dancing and music performances people used to offer to deities of rice fields. The dish is named after this, because slices of food pierced with a skewer looked like a dancing figure.

 domburi   どんぶり, 丼
 Pronunciation  [doh・m・boo・ree]
Rice & Side Dish  a bowl of rice with special dish topping

The term donburi technically means a "bowl" in which cooked rice is served. However, when you say so-and-so donburi or donburi mono, it refers to a bowl of rice topped with side dish food. Gyu don (don: contracted form of donburi) is a bowl of rice with sweet, soy sauce-seasoned boiled beef; katsu don with bread-fried pork cutlets; ten don with tempura; and oyako don denotes rice with a sweet soy sauce-based egg and chicken topping.

 eda mame   えだまめ, 枝豆
 Pronunciation  [eh・dah・mah・meh]
Green Soybeans  young green soybeans in pods

edamame One of the most popular otsumami (side dish for alcoholic drinks) items for beer in Japan. Eda mame specifically refers to young green soybeans boiled (with pods) and served with some salt sprinkled. Nice served cold in summer, but it's also good to carefully pick up steam-hot eda mane while holding an icy cold mug of beer.

 fu   ふ, 麩*
 Pronunciation  [who]
Wheat Gluten 

fu The fu is made from wheat gluten kneaded into a dough and deprived of all the starch content. There are two types of fu depending on the production method: nama fu (nama: raw or fresh) ; boiled one and yaki fu (yaki: baked). The food is used in soup or other dishes such as sukiyaki (soy sauce-based beef and vegetable casserole).
(Photo: Fu added in miso soup.)

 fuki   ふき, 蕗*
 Pronunciation  [who・key]
Japanese Butterbur Stalks 

The stalks of the plant fuki (specifically, Petasites japonicus) are commonly eaten in Japan, with its aku (unwanted bitterness or pungency) removed by using ash or baking soda. It can be boiled alone or with other ingredients such as abura age or bamboo shoots. The juicy fibrous texture of the food gives refreshing sensation to the teeth. Often cooked into tsukudani that goes well with hot rice.

 fuki no to   ふきのとう, 蕗の薹*
 Pronunciation  [who・key・noh・toh]
Japanese Butterbur Shoots 

fukinoto Fuki no to specifically denotes the young plant of fuki including its flower bud, leaves and stalk, which has newly sprouted out of the ground. Its unique flavor and mildly bitter taste is a harbinger of a long-awaited spring. Can be enjoyed as tempura, or fuki miso (blended with miso).

 furikake   ふりかけ, 振りかけ
 Pronunciation  [who・ree・kah・keh]
Spinkles  or seasoned sprinkles for rice

The furikake (literal meaning: to sprinkle over) is a rice topping condiment composed of seasoned ingredients such as fish powder, nori, katsuo bushi flakes, sesami, as well as spices. A variety of furikake products are commercially available.