List of Japanese ingredients

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The following is a list of ingredients used in Japanese cuisine.

Plant sources[edit]

Cereal grain[edit]


  • katakuri starch - an alternative ingredient for potato starch
  • kinako - soybean flour/meal
  • kibi (millet) flour
  • konnyaku starch powder
  • kudzu starch
  • Rice flour (komeko)
    • joshinko[ja]
    • mochiko[ja]
    • shiratamako[ja]
    • dōmyōji ko[ja], semi-cooked rice dried and coarsely pulverized; used as alternate breading in domyoji age deep-fried dish, also used in Kansai-style sakuramochi confection. Medium fine ground types are called shinbikiko (新引粉,真挽粉) and used as breaded crust or for confection. Fine ground are jōnanko (上南粉)
    • mijinko[ja], kanbaiko (寒梅粉) powdery starch made from sticky rice.
    • Gyūhi flour
  • soba flour
  • warabi starch - substitutes are sold under this name, though authentic starch derives from fern roots. See warabimochi
  • wheat flour
    • tempura flour
    • kyōriki ko, chūriki ko, hakuriki ko (descending grades of protein content; all purpose, udon flour, cake flour)
    • uki ko - name for the starch of rice or wheat. Apparently used for wagashi to some extent. In Chinese cuisine, it is used to make the translucent skin of the shrimp har gow.

Japanese noodles[edit]


(fruit vegetables)
(Cabbage family or Brassica leafy vegetables)
  • komatsuna - (B. rapa var. perviridis)
  • mizuna - (B. rapa var. nipposinica)
  • napa cabbage (hakusai ) - (B. rapa var. glabra)
  • takana (Japanese vegetable) (タカナ) - (Brassica juncea var. integrifolia or var. of mustard)
  • Nozawana - (cultivar of B. rapa var. hakabura)
  • na-no-hana (rapeseed or coleseed flowering-stalks, used like broccoli rabe)
(Other leafy vegetables)
(onions or Allium spp. - negi)
(Root vegetables)
(Specialty vegetables)
(Pickled vegetables) - Tsukemono






(citrus fruits)

Soy products[edit]

Vegetable proteins[edit]

  • Fu (wheat gluten)
    • nama fu - fresh fu usually sold in sticks (long bars)
    • dry fu - variously shaped and colored. kuruma-bu is one
    • chikuwabu - somewhat more doughy (still has starches left)
  • Tofu

Animal sources[edit]



Aquatic creatures[edit]

Every type of seafood imaginable features in Japanese cuisine. Only some of the most common are in the list below. Includes freshwater varieties.

Finned fish[edit]

(Marine fishes)
(Of which are blue-backed fish ao zakana)
(white-fleshed fish or shiromi zakana)
  • flatfish (karei / hirame) - ribbons of flesh around the fins called engawa are also used. Roe is often stewed.
  • pike conger (hamo) - in Kyoto-style cuisine, also as high-end surimi.
  • pufferfish (fugu) - flesh, skin, soft roe eaten as sashimi and hot pot (tecchiri); organs, etc. poisonous; roe also contain tetradotoxin but a regional specialty food cures it in nuka until safe to eat.
  • tilefish (amadai) - in a Kyoto-style preparation, it is roasted to be eaten scales and all; used in high-end surimi.
  • red sea bream (madai) - used widely. the head stewed as kabuto-ni.
(Freshwater fish (incl. brackish and ocean-returning))

Marine mammals[edit]


(squid, cuttlefish (ika))
  • (aori ika)
  • (surume ika)
  • (kensaki ika)
  • (yari ika)
  • (hotaru ika)
  • (kō ika)
(octopus (tako))
  • scallop (hotate-gai)
  • littleneck clam (asari)
  • freshwater clam (shijimi)
  • oyster (kaki)
    • iwagaki (Crassostrea nippona), available during summer months.
  • clam (hamaguri)
  • (akagai)
  • (aoyagi)
  • Geoduck (mirugai)
  • (torigai)
(single shelled gastropods or conches)
  • horned turban (sazae)
  • abalone

Crustaceans (ebikani-rui, kokaku rui)[edit]

(crab (kani))
(lobsters, shrimps, prawns (ebi))




  • ankimo, or monkfish liver.
  • kawahagi[ja] (Thread-sail filefish) and abalone livers are used as is, or as kimo-ae, i.e., blended with the fish flesh or other ingredients as a type of aemono.
  • squid and katsuo (skipjack) livers and guts, used to make shiokara.

Processed seafood[edit]

  • anchovy (katakuchi-iwashi), dried to make Niboshi. The larvae are shirasu and made into Tatami iwashi
  • chikuwa
  • himono (non-salted dried fish) - some products are bone dry and stiff, incl. ei-hire (skate fins), surume (dried squid), but often refer to fish still supple and succulent.
  • kamaboko, satsuma age, etc., comprise a class of food called nerimono, and are listed under surimi products.
  • niboshi
  • shiokara of various kinds, made from the guts and other portions.


Some insects have been considered regional delicacies, though often categorized as getemono[ja] or bizarre food.

Bizarre foods[edit]

The mamushi viper are used to make an alcoholic medicinal beverage.

An imori no kuroyaki or "blackened broiled Japanese Fire Belly Newt has popularly been ascribed aphrodisiac properties, though this animal has been found to contain tetrodotoxin, the deadly fugu poison. On a related note, certain beetles of the Spanish fly family are used in Traditional Chinese medicine but are toxic, and in ninja fiction, the beetle's poison has been portrayed as being used in assassinations.

Use of not just raw, but living animals might be considered a novel use of ingredients: shirouwo (Ice goby) and hotaruika (Sparkling enope squid) are swallowed while still alive and wiggling (this is called odori-gui[ja]). This is also a unique culture of Japan.

See also[edit]