Japanese Food – Word List and Vocabulary

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Today you will learn how to pronounce food and write fruits, vegetables, meats, drinks, food and sweets in Japanese[日本語]. In this organized list you will learn several words and increase your vocabulary.

The Japanese language is quite complex, and he borrows several words from other languages and writes it using katakana (writing used for foreign words). We recommend having some knowledge of the language.

Kudamono[果物] – Japanese Fruits

JapaneseRomanizationTranslation
り ん ごringoApple
ぶ ど うbudougrape
な しnashiJapanese pear
よ う な しyounashiWait
か きkakipersimmon
オ レ ン ジorenjiorange
レ モ ンRemonlemon
ラ イ ムraimulime
グ レ ー プ フ ル ー ツgureepufuruutsugrapefruit
バ ナ ナbananabanana
い ち ごichigoStrawberry
ブ ル ー ベ リ ーburuuberiiblueberry
さ く ら ん ぼsakuranbocherry
メ ロ ンmerongreen melon (honeydew)
す い かSuikawatermelon

Trivia: Japanese apples are much larger than Western apples, while watermelons are quite small.

Japanese Food - Word List and Vocabulary

Yasai [やさい]- Vegetables in Japanese

JapaneseRomajiTranslation
に ん じ んninjincarrots
セ ロ リseroricelery
レ タ スRetasulettuce
キ ャ ベ ツkyabetsucabbage
ト マ トtomatotomato
ね ぎnegigreen onion (chives)
た ま ね ぎTamanegi(Round) onion
ポ テ トPotetopotatoes
ブ ロ ッ コ リ ーburokkoriibroccoli
ピ ー マ ンpiimanchili, green pepper
ま めmombeans (in general)
ピ ー スpiisupeas
コ ー ンkooncorn

Japanese cuisine uses a lot of vegetables, including many that are unknown in the West. An example of a Japanese vegetable is daikon, which is a giant white radish.

Japanese Food - Word List and Vocabulary

Japanese meat and fish

JapaneseRomajiTranslation
牛肉gyuunikubeef
豚 肉butanikupork
ハ ムhamuHam
鶏 肉torinikuchicken
tamagoegg
sakanafish
エ ビebishrimp, shrimp, lobster
カ ニkanicrab
た こtakooctopus

Tori “bird” is used to refer to chicken in the context of food products, since turkey and other birds are rare to find in Japan. Likewise, niku “meat” without other specifications generally refers to beef, although butaniku (pork) is cheaper and consumed in greater quantities.

Japanese Food - Word List and Vocabulary

Nyuuseihi[乳製品]n – Japanese dairy products

JapaneseRomajiTranslation
牛乳gyuunyuumilk
ミ ル クmirukumilk
チ ー ズchiizucheese
ヨ ー グ ル トyoogurutoyogurt
ア イ ス ク リ ー ムaisukuriimuice cream

Dairy products are not used in traditional Japanese cuisine, but they can still be found in Japanese supermarkets and Western foods. Both gyuunyuu and miruku are common words for milk.

NYUUSEIHIN[乳製品] - DAIRY PRODUCTS IN JAPANESE

GRAINS AND Pasta in Japanese

JapaneseRomajiTranslation
komerice (uncooked)
ご 飯gohancooked rice)
玄 米genmaibrown rice
う ど んudonWheat noodles
そ う め んsoumenThin noodles (noodles)
そ ばunder theBuckwheat noodles
ラ ー メ ンRaamenramen (chinese noodles)
パ ンPanbread, rolls, pies
菓子 パ ンkashipansweet bread, cakes
ピ ザpizzaPizza
Japanese Food - Word List and Vocabulary - yakisoba 1

Other observations:

Japanese rice is short-grain, unlike long-grain rice normally used in the West. Short grain rice is a little sticky and clumps together, making it easier to eat with chopsticks, but it is not papulous.

Japanese noodles – especially somen and soba, can be served hot or in a cold soup with a sauce. Macaroni is a popular dish of Japanese cuisine.

The real ramen is a style of Chinese noodle soup, which became popular in Japan and has a huge reputation. Pan in Japanese can refer to any type of bread or pasta.

Nomimono[飲み物] – Drinks in Japanese

JapaneseRomajiTranslation
mizuWater
お 茶the teagreen tea, tea in general
日本 茶nihonchaJapanese green tea
麦 茶muguJapanese iced barley tea
紅茶kouchablack tea (lit. “crimson tea”)
コ ー ヒ ーkoohiicoffee
ジ ュ ー スjuusujuice
オ レ ン ジ ジ ュ ー スorenjijuusuOrange juice
レ モ ネ ー ドremoneedoLemonade
ソ ー ダsoodasoda pop
お 酒Osakesake (rice) and alcohol in general
日本 酒nihonshuJapanese Sake
ワ イ ンWainwine
ビ ー ルbiirubeer
sake

Japanese Seasonings and Condiments

JapaneseRomajiTranslation
醤 油Shouyusoy sauce
aburaoil
suvinegar
味 醂mirincooking rice wine
shiosalt
コ シ ョ ウKoshouchili
砂糖satousugar
わ さ びwasabiwasabi (Japanese “horseradish”)
ご まGumsesame seeds
バ タ ーbeatbutter
ケ チ ャ ッ プkechappuketchup

The real wasabi is a grated root. The green paste found outside Japan is a cheaper substitute made from horseradish and mustard, two spicy plants. Also read our article on Japanese spices.

JAPANESE SPICES AND SPICES

Washoku[和食] – Japanese food in nihongo

JapaneseRomajiTranslation
寿司Sushirice wrapped in seaweed
刺身Sashimisliced raw fish
天 ぷ らtenpurabreaded and fried vegetables and seafood
焼 き 鳥yakitorichicken in stick
焼 肉yakinikuJapanese barbecue
焼 き 魚yakizakanagrilled fish
焼 き そ ばyakisobafried noodles with vegetables and meat
す き 焼 きSukiyakitraditional japanese stew
お 好 み 焼 きokonomiyakijapanese pancake
と ん か つtonkatsufried pork chop
カ レ ーkareecurry usually served with rice
コ ロ ッ ケkurokkefried kibble, usually puree potato
餃子GyouzaChinese pastry
味噌 汁misoshirumiso soup (soy based)
漬 物tsukemonoJapanese pickle salad

Yaki[焼き] can mean fried, grilled, roasted and the like. The word comes from the verb [焼く]yaku which means to fry, grill and roast. Although not strictly native to Japan, Japanese curry is totally different from Indian curry.

Japanese Food - Word List and Vocabulary - kare prato especialidade 2

Youshoku[養殖] – Western food in Japanese

KanaRomajiTranslation
ス ー プsuupusoup (any type)
サ ラ ダhealedsalad
サ ン ド イ ッ チsandoitchisandwich
ハ ン バ ー ガ ーhanbaagaahamburger
ホ ッ ト ド ッ グhottodogguhot dog
フ ラ イ ド ポ テ トfuraidopotetofrench fries, french fries
フ ラ イ ド チ キ ンfuraidochikinfried chicken
ス テ ー キsuteekisteak
ス パ ゲ ッ テ ィ ーsupgettiispaghetti

Note that despite similar names, Japanese versions of Western foods are usually adapted to Japanese tastes. We recommend reading our article on popular Japanese foods.

YOUSHOKU[養殖] - WESTERN FOOD IN JAPANESE

Japanese Snacks and Sweets

JapaneseRomajiTranslation
チ ッ プchippuchips
ポ ッ プ コ ー ンpoppukoonpopcorn
ク ッ キ ーkukkiicookies
ケ ー キkeekicake
パ イdadpie
ア イ ス ク リ ー ムaisukuriimuice cream
チ ョ コ レ ー トchokoreetochocolate
ゼ リ ーzeriijelly (gelatin and similar desserts)
わ が しwagashitraditional Japanese sweets (many are cookies)

Dessert is not traditionally served after meals in Japan (except fresh fruit), but sweet foods are eaten as snacks or the whole time lol.

I hope you enjoyed the article. We thank Japaneseprofessor for sharing some information from the article. I hope you enjoyed the article. If you liked it, share and leave your comments.

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