Japanese Food - Word List and Vocabulary

Today you will learn how to pronounce food and write fruits, vegetables, meat, 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] - Fruits in Japanese

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JapaneseRomanizationTranslation
りんごringoApple
ぶどうbudougrape
なしnashiJapanese pear
ようなしyounashiWait
かきkakikhaki
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
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Curiosities: 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

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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 the daikon, which is a giant white radish.

Japanese food - word list and vocabulary
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Japanese meat and fish

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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

Nyuuseihin [乳製品] - Japanese dairy products

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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] - Japanese dairy products
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GRAINS AND Pasta in Japanese

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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
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Japanese food - word list and vocabulary

Other observations:

Japanese rice it is short-grain, unlike the 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 only and under the, 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 it can refer to any type of bread or pasta.

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Nomimono [飲み物] - Drinks in Japanese

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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

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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 true wasabi it 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 seasonings and condiments

Washoku [和食] - Japanese food in nihongo

Below we will see how to write traditional and Japanese foods. Also quickly understand what each Japanese food.

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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 of potato puree
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 yaku [焼く] 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

Youshoku [養殖] - Western food in Japanese

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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 japan foods.

Youshoku [養殖] - western food in Japanese

Japanese Snacks and Sweets

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JapaneseRomajiTranslation
チップchippuFrench fries
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. Thanks to japaneseprofessor for sharing some information from the article. I hope you enjoyed the article. If you liked, share and leave your comments.