Food Glossary

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  Chinese     122 terms 
  Indian     116 terms 
  Italian     168 terms 
  Japanese     266 terms 
Aburage
   Deep-fried Bean Curd, or Tofu, cooked in sweet Sake, Soy Sauce, and water. A primary ingredient in Miso Soup.
Aemono
   A mixture of vegetables or meats topped with sauce.
Agar-Agar
   Japanese gelatin made from dried seaweed.
Agari
   The Japanese Sushi-bar term that refers to green tea.
Agemono
   A term that refers to deep-fried or pan-fried foods.
Aji
   Filleted and marinated Spanish horse mackerel.
Aji-no-moto
   Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).
Aji-no-tataki
   Filleted and marinated Spanish horse mackerel.
Aka Miso
   Red soy bean paste
Akagai
   Red clam
Akami
   Lean tuna
Ama Ebi
   Sweet shrimp. Usually served raw with deep-fried shrimp shells.
An
   Sweetened puree of cooked red beans
Ana-kyu-maki
   Conger eel and cucumber rolls
Anago
   Saltwater Conger eel that is boiled and grilled before serving.
Aoyagi
   Red round clam
Avocado Salad
   A green salad typically served with avocado and ginger dressing.
Ayu
   Sweet fish
Azuki
   Small red beans
Baigai
   Small water snails
Battera
   Oshi Sushi topped with mackerel
Beef Negimaki
   Sizzling, thin-sliced beef rolls wrapped around scallions and broiled with teriyaki sauce.
Beef Teriyaki
   Broiled beef served with Teriyaki sauce
Beni Shoga
   Red pickled ginger
Bento
   A boxed meal of rice, pickles, fish, poached egg, sausage, and beans.
Biiru
   Beer
Bonito
   A seasoning that is boiled, dried, and then shaved into fine strands of flakes to garnish salads and enhance flavor.
Boston Rolls
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around scallions, crab, and salmon.
Buri
   Adult yellowtail
Buri Toro
   The fatty, rich, buttery, belly strip of the yellowtail
Buta
   Pork
California Roll
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around crab meat, smelt or flying fish roe, avocado, and cucumber.
Chakin Sushi
   Vinegar rice wrapped in a thin egg crepe.
Chakin Zushi
   Vinegar rice wrapped in a thin egg crepe.
Chicken Tempura
   Chicken and vegetables lightly fried
Chikuwa
   Browned fish cake with a length-long gap.
Chirashi Sushi
   Literally "scattered Sushi"; an assortment of sliced raw fish and vegetables served on a bed of Sushi rice.
Chirashi Zushi
   Literally "scattered Sushi"; an assortment of sliced raw fish and vegetables served on a bed of Sushi rice.
Chutoro
   A marbled-tuna roll
Daikon
   A large white radish usually served grated as garnish for Sashimi, soups, and simmered dishes. This radish, which is rich in vitamin C and contains active enzymes, aids digestion.
Dango
   Balls of Mochi served on bamboo skewers.
Dashi
   A basic soup and cooking Stock made from fish and seaweed. Often topped with dried Bonito tuna flakes.
Donburi
   A large bowl used for noodle and rice dishes; dishes that are prefixed or suffixed with "don" are served in this type of bowl. These dishes typically feature a topping on a bed of rice.
Ebi
   Fresh boiled shrimp
Edaimame
   Boiled green soybeans
Edomae Sushi
   Small rice balls usually topped with fish and Wasabi. Although there are several varieties of Nigirizushi, the most common include tuna, shrimp, shellfish, eel, squid, and octopus.
Edomae Zushi
   Small rice balls usually topped with fish and Wasabi. Although there are several varieties of Nigirizushi, the most common include tuna, shrimp, shellfish, eel, squid, and octopus.
Egg Salad Roll
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around hard-cooked eggs, mayonnaise, and green onion strips.
Fugu
   A poisonous blowfish considered a delicacy. In Japan, only licensed Fugu chefs are allowed to prepare Fugu or puffer fish.
Fuki
   A Japanese fibrous butterbur vegetable often simmered in broth.
Futo Maki
   Large, oversized rolls
Futomaki
   Large, oversized rolls
Gari
   A Sushi-bar term that refers to pickled ginger
Geoduck
   A long-neck, slightly crunchy sweet clam
Geta
   The wooden block used as a plate for Gari, Wasabi, and smaller pieces of Sushi.
Gobo
   Long, slender burdock root
Gohan
   Plain boiled rice.
Goma
   Sesame seeds
Gomoku Sushi
   Literally "scattered Sushi"; an assortment of sliced raw fish and vegetables served on a bed of Sushi rice.
Green Tea
   An aromatic relaxing tea considered the most healthy and popular beverage among Japanese people. Research suggests that this tea, which is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, may help prevent cancer, high cholesterol, and other diseases.
Gundan Maki
   The battleship roll; often used for oysters, quail eggs, Ikura, and Tobiko.
Gyoza
   A pan-fried, sauteed, and/or steamed stuffed Wonton. Typically contains a pork dumpling.
Hamachi
   Young yellowtail tuna often served broiled.
Hamaguri
   Clam
Hamo
   A Pike Conger sea eel
Hanakatsuo
   Dried bonito fish that is usually shaved or flaked.
Harusame
   Thin, transparent bean gelatin noodles
Hashi
   Chopsticks
Hatahata
   Sandfish
Hichimi Togarashi
   Mixed hot spices for table use. The flavors consist of red pepper (Togarashi), ground sansho pepper pods, dried mandarin orange peel, black hemp seeds or white poppy seeds, Nori seaweed bits, and white sesame seeds.
Hijiki
   Black seaweed in tiny threads.
Hikari Mono
   A comprehensive term for "shiny" silver-skinned fish, such as mackerel.
Himo
   The fringe around the inside of an ark shell
Hirame
   Fluke, flounder, or halibut
Hocho
   The general Japanese term for knives.
Hokkigai
   A thorn-shaped red-sided surf clam.
Holiday Roll
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around cranberry salsa, turkey strips, and cream cheese strips.
Hotatagai
   Scallops
Ika
   Squid; the body is usually served raw and the tentacles are usually toasted on a bed of rice.
Ikura
   Large, orange, salty, salmon roe. Also means "How much?" in Japanese.
Inada
   Very young yellowtail
Inari
   A simple dish consisting of Aburage bags stuffed with vinegar rice.
Inari Sushi
   A simple dish consisting of Aburage bags stuffed with vinegar rice.
Inari Udon Soup
   Fried soybean curd with noodle soup
Inari Zushi
   A simple dish consisting of Aburage bags stuffed with vinegar rice.
Inarizushi
   A simple dish consisting of Aburage bags stuffed with vinegar rice.
Japanese Plum Wine
   A popular, sweet, alcoholic drink made from plums.
Ji
   A prefix usually meaning "locally made or caught"
Kaibashira
   Large scallops; the shellfish valve muscles
Kaiware
   A Daikon-radish sprout roll
Kajiki
   Swordfish
Kaki
   Oysters
Kakomi Sushi
   The battleship roll; often used for oysters, quail eggs, Ikura, and Tobiko.
Kamaboko
   Fish cake made from pounded whitefish that is mixed with cornstarch, formed into a sausage-shape, and cooked. Commonly used in California Rolls.
Kampyo
   Dried Gourd prepared as long, translucent-brown fettuccine-shaped strips.
Kani
   Cooked crab meat
Kanpachi
   Very young yellowtail
Kanpyo
   Dried Gourd prepared as long, translucent-brown fettuccine-shaped strips.
Kanpyo Maki
   Pickled-gourd rolls
Kappa Maki
   Cucumber-filled Sushi rolls
Kappa Sushi
   Cucumber-filled Sushi rolls
Kappa Zushi
   Cucumber-filled Sushi rolls
Karei
   Sole, flounder, or flatfish
Katsu
   A cutlet; katsu refers to fried foods coated with bread crumbs, as opposed to Tempura, which is fried foods coated with batter.
Katsu Don
   Deep-fried pork cutlet with cooked vegetables and egg served over a bed of rice.
Katsuo
   Bonito; also known as skipjack tuna.
Kazunoko
   Herring roe usually marinated in Sake, Broth, and Soy Sauce. Sometimes served raw.
Kinome
   Leaves of the Japanese prickly ash (Sanshoo) used to flavor soups and simmered foods.
Kobashiri
   Small scallops similar to Kaibashira
Kohada
   Japanese shad, gizzard shad, or young punctatus
Koi
   Saltwater carp
Kombu
   Kelp, or a large type of seaweed, which may be dried and prepared in a sheet form. Also used as a soup stock or in Nabe (hot pot) dishes.
Konbu
   Kelp, or a large type of seaweed, which may be dried and prepared in a sheet form. Also used as a soup stock or in Nabe (hot pot) dishes.
Kuro goma
   Black sesame seeds
Kurodai
   Snapper
Kuruma Ebi
   Prawn
Langostino
   A small 1-inch shellfish that has a strong shrimp flavor.
Maguro
   Tuna. Unlike Toro, which is the tuna belly (the fatty part), maguro is the leaner flesh from the sides of the fish.
Maguro Temaki
   Tuna Temaki
Makajiki
   Blue marlin or swordfish
Maki
   A Japanese dish of Sushi rice and raw vegetables wrapped in a seaweed sheet. While most Maki rolls have the Nori sheets wrapped around the outside, some Sushi rolls (such as California and Rainbow Rolls), place the rice on the outside.
Maki Sushi
   A Japanese dish of Sushi rice and raw vegetables wrapped in a seaweed sheet. While most Maki rolls have the Nori sheets wrapped around the outside, some Sushi rolls (such as California and Rainbow Rolls), place the rice on the outside.
Maki Zushi
   A Japanese dish of Sushi rice and raw vegetables wrapped in a seaweed sheet. While most Maki rolls have the Nori sheets wrapped around the outside, some Sushi rolls (such as California and Rainbow Rolls), place the rice on the outside.
Masago
   Grilled Capelin roe often served as an appetizer.
Meji
   Tuna. Unlike Toro, which is the tuna belly (the fatty part), maguro is the leaner flesh from the sides of the fish.
Mekajiki
   Blue marlin or swordfish
Meshimono
   Rice mixed with meat or vegetables
Mi Nei Salad
   Fresh green salad with house dressing
Mirin
   Sweet rice wine (Sake) traditionally used in cooking to enhance flavor.
Mirugai
   A long-neck, slightly crunchy sweet clam
Miso
   A salty fermented soy bean paste full of high-grade protein.
Mochi
   Steamed rice pounded into a sweet glutinous cake. Used as a staple ingredient in a variety of Japanese dishes, including desserts.
Mochigome
   Steamed rice pounded into a sweet glutinous cake. Used as a staple ingredient in a variety of Japanese dishes, including desserts.
Moyashi
   Bean sprouts
Murasaki
   The Japanese Sushi-bar term that refers to soy sauce.
Mushimono
   A Japanese term that describes steamed foods.
Nabeyakiudon
   Noodle soup with Tempura shrimp, chicken, and vegetables.
Nama
   A prefix usually meaning "raw".
Nama Tako
   Fresh or raw octopus
Nanami Togarashi
   Mixed hot spices for table use. The flavors consist of red pepper (Togarashi), ground sansho pepper pods, dried mandarin orange peel, black hemp seeds or white poppy seeds, Nori seaweed bits, and white sesame seeds.
Nasu
   Eggplant
Natto
   Fermented soy beans that have a strong smell and taste.
Negi
   A green Japanese onion that resembles a thin leek.
Negi Toro
   Chopped and mixed Negi-onion and Toro.
Negitoro Maki
   Scallion-and-tuna roll
Neta
   The Sushi-bar term that refers to the fish topping in Nigiri Sushi.
New York Roll
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around sliced apple, sliced avocado, and smoked salmon.
Ni Ika
   Squid simmered in a soy-flavored stock
Nigiri
   Small rice balls usually topped with fish and Wasabi. Although there are several varieties of Nigirizushi, the most common include tuna, shrimp, shellfish, eel, squid, and octopus.
Nigiri Sushi
   Small rice balls usually topped with fish and Wasabi. Although there are several varieties of Nigirizushi, the most common include tuna, shrimp, shellfish, eel, squid, and octopus.
Nigiri Zushi
   Small rice balls usually topped with fish and Wasabi. Although there are several varieties of Nigirizushi, the most common include tuna, shrimp, shellfish, eel, squid, and octopus.
Nihon Shu
   A Japanese wine, sauce, or marinade, made from fermented rice.
Nimono
   The Sushi-bar term that refers to simmered or boiled foods.
Nori
   Thin sheets of dried seaweed used in the Japanese cuisine to wrap Maki (Japanese Sushi rolls) and/or garnish dishes.
Nori Maki
   Sushi rice and seafood rolled in dried seaweed sheets.
Nori Tama
   Sweetened egg wrapped in dried seaweed
Norimaki
   Sushi rice and seafood rolled in dried seaweed sheets.
O-Sake
   A Japanese wine, sauce, or marinade, made from fermented rice.
Ocha
   Tea
Odori Ebi
   Live, "dancing" shrimp; living Ama Ebi.
Ohyo
   Halibut
Okonomi Sushi
   Small rice balls usually topped with fish and Wasabi. Although there are several varieties of Nigirizushi, the most common include tuna, shrimp, shellfish, eel, squid, and octopus.
Okonomi Zushi
   Small rice balls usually topped with fish and Wasabi. Although there are several varieties of Nigirizushi, the most common include tuna, shrimp, shellfish, eel, squid, and octopus.
Okonomiyaki
   A thick pancake usually served with meat or seafood.
Onigiri
   A sticky rice ball often wrapped in Nori seaweed and filled with fish or pickled plum.
Oshi Sushi
   Rice Sushi topped with fish. Made by pressing the rice with a box or mold.
Oshi Zushi
   Rice Sushi topped with fish. Made by pressing the rice with a box or mold.
Oshibori
   The wet towel that cleans one's hands before the meal.
Oshinko
   The general Japanese term usually referring to mixed pickles, mixed vegetables, Daikon rolls, or cucumbers.
Otoro Maki
   Fatty-tuna roll made from the lower belly
Oyako Don
   Cooked chicken, egg, and vegetables over rice
Pesto Roll
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around pesto, turkey or chicken strips, and cream cheese strips.
Philadelphia Roll
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around thin-sliced smoked salmon, cucumber strips, and cream cheese strips.
Ponzu
   Sauce made with Japanese citron.
Rainbow Roll
   A Maki roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around seafood with diagonal strips of fish across the top.
Roe
   The generic Japanese term that refers to fish eggs, flying fish, smelt, salmon, and other Sushi.
Saba
   Lightly salted and marinated mackerel
Sake
   A Japanese wine, sauce, or marinade, made from fermented rice.
Salmon Teriyaki
   Broiled salmon with teriyaki sauce
Sansho
   Japanese pepper made from the leaf of the prickly ash.
Sashimi
   Assorted slices of fresh raw fish traditionally served with pickled ginger, soy sauce, and Wasabi. Usually prepared without rice.
Sawara
   Spanish mackerel
Seafood Sunomono
   Assorted seafood and cucumber with vinegar sauce.
Seafood Tempura
   Assorted seafood and vegetables lightly deep-fried in batter.
Seafood Teriyaki
   Broiled shrimp, fish, and scallops with vegetables and teriyaki sauce.
Seaweed Salad
   Fresh green seaweed salad
Seigo
   Young sea bass
Senbei
   Thin, crisp, rice crackers flavored with soy sauce or other seasonings.
Shako
   Mantis shrimp
Shari
   A Sushi bar term for Sushi rice
Shichimi Togarashi
   Mixed hot spices for table use. The flavors consist of red pepper (Togarashi), ground sansho pepper pods, dried mandarin orange peel, black hemp seeds or white poppy seeds, Nori seaweed bits, and white sesame seeds.
Shima Aji
   Marinated mackerel
Shima Sab
   Marinated mackerel
Shima Saba
   Marinated mackerel
Shime Sab
   Marinated mackerel
Shiratake
   Translucent rubbery noodles
Shiro Goma
   White sesame seeds
Shiro Maguro
   Albacore tuna; white tuna.
Shiro miso
   White soy bean paste
Shiromi
   Seasonal "white meat" fish served as Sushi/sashimi which is relatively white in color, for example, Hirame and Karei.
Shirumono
   Generic Japanese term for soup.
Shiso
   Japanese mint; the leaf of the Perilla plant. Used frequently in Maki Sushi and Sashimi.
Shochu
   A distilled, clear alcoholic beverage made from a variety of different ingredients, including potatoes, rice, barley, buckwheat, and/or sugar.
Shoga
   Ginger root
Shoyu
   The Japanese Sushi-bar term that refers to soy sauce.
Shrimp Roll
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around shrimp and cream cheese strips.
Shrimp Tempura
   Shrimp and vegetables lightly fried and served with dipping sauce.
Shrimp Teriyaki
   Broiled shrimp with teriyaki sauce.
Smoked Salmon Roll
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around smoked salmon, cream cheese strips, and cucumber strips.
Soba
   Japanese buckwheat noodles served in a soy-flavored broth made from fish and seaweed stock.
Soft Shell Crab
   Fried, marinated soft shell crab served with dipping sauce.
Somen
   White, threadlike wheat noodles.
Su
   Rice vinegar
Sudare
   A mat made from bamboo strips to create Maki Sushi.
Suimono
   Clear soup
Sukiyaki
   Thin-sliced beef, Tofu, noodles, and vegetables cooked in sukiyaki sauce
Sumashi Soup
   Clear soup with mushroom and scallions
Summer Melon Roll
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around Prosciutto and melon strips.
Sushi
   The sweetened, sticky Japanese rice; the fish is Sashimi. However, when rice is wrapped around raw fish, restaurants refer to this roll as Sushi. It is important to understand that the term "sushi" refers to rice rolls, not fish fillings. These rolls are typically served with Wasabi, wrapped with thin Nori seaweed and a layer of rice on the outside, and filled with raw fish.
Suzuki
   Sea bass
Tai
   Porgy or red snapper
Tako
   Cooked octopus
Tamago
   Sweet egg custard wrapped in dried seaweed
Tamago yaki
   Sweet egg omelet
Tamari
   Thick and dark sauce made from soybeans.
Tataki
   A cooking term that describes a food grilled on the surface, then chopped or pounded.
Tazuna Sushi
   A Maki roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around seafood with diagonal strips of fish across the top.
Teapot Seafood Soup
   A Japanese soup consisting of shrimp, scallop, crabmeat, fish cake, and vegetables.
Tekka Don
   Fresh tuna served on a bed of Sushi rice
Tekka Maki
   Deep-fried Tempura vegetables and seafood.
Tekkappa
   A mixture of both tuna and cucumber rolls.
Temaki
   Literally "hand rolls"; cones made from dried Nori seaweed and most commonly wrapped around Sushi rice, seafood (salmon, Natto, Negi Toro, Ume Shiso,) and vegetables.
Temakizushi
   Literally "hand rolls"; cones made from dried Nori seaweed and most commonly wrapped around Sushi rice, seafood (salmon, Natto, Negi Toro, Ume Shiso,) and vegetables.
Tempura
   A popular Japanese dish consisting of seafood and vegetables deep fried in a light batter.
Teriyaki
   A Japanese dish that has been marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and seasonings before being grilled, broiled, or fried. The sugary marinade coats the cooked food with a slight glaze.
Teriyaki Chicken
   Broiled chicken served with sweet soy Teriyaki sauce.
Texas Roll
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around sliced cooked beef, cucumber strips, and spinach leaves.
Tobiko
   Flying fish roe. This red, crunchy fish is often served as part of Maki Sushi and Nigiri Sushi.
Tofu
   Soybean curd
Togarashi
   Hot, dried Japanese chili peppers
Tonkatsu
   A tasty pork cutlet that is breaded then fried. Usually served on a bed of rice.
Tori
   Chicken
Torigai
   Japanese cockle, or black and white shell fish.
Toro
   The fat belly of tuna.
Tsubugai
   Japanese shellfish
Tuna Salad Roll
   A Sushi roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around tuna salad and lettuce leaves.
Udon
   Long, thick, white, buckwheat Japanese noodles.
Ume Shu
   A popular, sweet, alcoholic drink made from plums.
Unagi
   Freshwater eel; grilled and brushed with a Teriyaki-flavored sauce.
Unaju
   Broiled eel on rice with pickles
Uni
   The sexual organs (gonads/ovaries) of the hermaphroditic sea urchin.
Usukuchi shoyu
   Light Japanese Soy Sauce.
Vegetable Tempura
   Vegetables lightly fried in Tempura batter and served with dipping sauce.
Vegetable Teriyaki
   Mixed vegetables with Teriyaki sauce
Veggie Roll
   A vegetarian roll, typically consisting of Nori seaweed and rice, wrapped around pesto, cucumber strips, tomato strips, and mushroom strips.
Wakame
   Dark green, dried, lobe-leafed strands of seaweed often used in Miso soup or Sunomono salads.
Wasabi
   Strong, hot, pungent, Japanese horseradish grated into green paste. This clay-like condiment complements and enhances the flavor of Sushi and Sashimi.
Washi
   Japanese rice paper
Washoku
   Literally meaning "Japanese-style food", this comprehensive term refers to any Japanese dish that reflects the uniqueness, creativity, and diversity of the cuisine.
Yakidofu
   Grilled Tofu
Yakisoba
   Sauteed Japanese noodles with shrimp and vegetables
Yakitori
   Charcoal-grilled chicken served on skewers and sauteed with Teriyaki sauce.
Yakiudon
   Sauteed Japanese noodles with shrimp and vegetables
Yakumi
   Strongly flavored seasonings, such as Shichimi Togarashi, grated Daikon, and fine chopped Negi. A typically substitute for Wasabi in Nigiri, Katsuo, and Aji dishes.
Yuzu
   Japanese citrus fruit that adds zest to many dishes.
Zushi
   The sweetened, sticky Japanese rice; the fish is Sashimi. However, when rice is wrapped around raw fish, restaurants refer to this roll as Sushi. It is important to understand that the term "sushi" refers to rice rolls, not fish fillings. These rolls are typically served with Wasabi, wrapped with thin Nori seaweed and a layer of rice on the outside, and filled with raw fish.
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