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Last update July 27, 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.
 katakuri ko   かたくりこ, 片栗粉
 Pronunciation  [kah・tah・coo・ree・koh]
Starch Powder  or a dogtooth violet (or potato) starch powder

katakuriko Katakuri ko is technically defined as the starch extracted from the plant named katakuri (Erythronium japonicum). However, it generally refers to the one made from potatoes, which is more widely available in the market. Mainly used to add thickness or viscosity to soup or sauce; or prevent rice cakes or dumplings stick together, spread around them.

 katsuo bushi/kezuri bushi   かつおぶし, 鰹節/けずりぶし, 削り節
 Pronunciation  [kah・two・oh・boo・she] / [keh・zoo・ree・boo・she]
Dried Bonito (Flakes) 

katsuo bushi katsuo bushi and Kezuri bushi basically refer to the same thing and used to prepare broth and made from katsuo (bonito) through boiling, curing and drying. Kezuri bushi especially denotes the flakes produced from a lump of dried bonito, while katsuo bushi refers to both the flakes and the entire lump. Besides the use as a broth ingredient, the flakes are used as topping, often blended with soy sauce, for ohitashi or plain gohan.

 kikurage   きくらげ, 木耳
 Pronunciation  [key・coo・rah・ghe]
Jew's Ears 

A species of edible fungus with gelatinous and elastic properties, often used for Chinese-style dishes including vegetable sauté and soup, as well as some types of ramen dishes. It has no specific taste and flavor, but its characteristic chewing sensation is somewhat stimulating (similar to edible jellyfish). It's interesting the hiragana name description suggests "wooden jellyfish" while the kanji literally means "wooden ear".

 kimpira   きんぴら, 金平
 Pronunciation  [key・n・pea・rah]
Root Vegetable Sauté 

kimpira Also called kimpira gobo, it's a typical dish using root vegetables such as gobo, carrots, or renkon as the ingredients. An easy and quick menu item prepared by cutting vegetables into threads or small pieces, sautéing and seasoning them with mirin (or sake and sugar), soy sauce and Japanese chili pepper.
(Photo: Kimpira of gobo with carrots, haricots, and chikuwa.)

 kinako   きなこ, 黄な粉
 Pronunciation  [key・nah・koh]
Soybean Powder (Flour) 

kinako Kinako, literally meaning "yellow powder", is made from roasted and ground soybeans and mixed with sugar for use. Together with an, it's an indispensable ingredient for Japanese sweets such as dango and mochi. A sweet dry feeling of fine particles on the tongue combined with a soft roasting aroma makes a pleasant eating experience. Also can be enjoyed as a topping on plain cooked rice.

 kiriboshi daikon   きりぼしだいこん, 切り干し大根
 Pronunciation  [key・ree・boh・she・dah・ee・koh・n]
Dried Radish Threads 

kiriboshi daikon As the name indicates, kiriboshi daikon (kiri: cut; boshi: dried) is produced by drying Japanese radishes cut into slices or threads. For cooking, just soak the threads in water until they become saturated, then, squeeze them to remove the water. Can be served with soy sauce and vinegar without further cooking; or boiled with other ingredients such as minutely-cut abura age and carrots.