Japanese Food Terms

By Gayot Editors


Ono: wahoo fish; a relative of the mackerel often compared in taste to albacore


Ramen: Chinese soup noodles


Saba: mackerel
Sake: salmon
Saké: traditional rice wine served hot or cold

Japanese food: tuna sashimi
Tuna sashimi

Sashimi: thinly sliced raw fish on rice, usually served with soy sauce and wasabi
Shabu shabu: similar to sukiyaki; beef and vegetables cooked tableside in a broth
Shiitake: prized cultivated mushroom, dark brown with a large cap
Shoya: soy sauce
Shiso: herb and spice, also known as Perilla; its whole green leaf is often used as a receptacle for wasabi
Soba: buckwheat noodles
Sukiyaki: braised beef and vegetable dish with broth added after cooking
Sunomono: vinegared dishes
Sushi: rounds of vinegared rice wrapped in dried seaweed with a center of raw fish or vegetables, served with wasabi and soy


Tai: snapper
Tako: octopus
Takoyaki: a round dumpling filled with octopus
Tamago: egg
Tamari: dark sauce similar in composition and taste to soy; often used for dipping
Tempura: deep-fried, batter-dipped fish or vegetables

chicken teriyaki
Chicken teriyaki

Teriyaki: a marinade of soy and sweet saké used on meats, fish and poultry
Tofu: bean curd, processed into a liquid and then molded into large cubes
Toro: fatty belly cut of tuna


Udon: wheat noodles
Unagi: freshwater eel
Uni: sea urchin roe


Wasabi: a hot, spicy condiment made from the roots of Japanese horseradish, chartreuse in color


Yakitori: a dish of pieces of chicken and vegetables, marinated in a spicy sauce, skewered and grilled