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Japanese Food Glossary E - F - G

Check back often for new additions to this growing list of Japanese foods!

E
Ebi powder (dried shrimp powder). Used to flavor or color rice and soups.
Edamame (soybeans). Whole soybeans. Fresh, frozen, roasted or dried, soybeans provide low-fat protein. They may be steamed or boiled either shelled or in their pods. Shelled beans are used in a variety of recipes while the soybeans in pods are eaten as a snack food. Soybeans are used to make tofu, soybean oil, soy milk, soy sauce, soy chips, soy noodles and health food products.
Eggplant (nasu). Japanese eggplant is smaller and more elongated than other varieties. It has a thinner skin and has a shorter shelf life, becoming fibrous or bitter if not prepared soon after harvesting. It is easy to grow so many Japanese home cooks grow one of the many varieties of nasu seeds available.
Egg (tamago). The Japanese frequently use eggs from duck, quail, chicken and fish in their cooking.
Enoki. Enokitake or Enokidake mushrooms are grown on the Enoki (Chinese hackberry) tree. They have long, needle-thin white stems with tiny white caps and often are added in salads, soups and donabe one-pot dishes.

F
Football sushi (inari). An American nickname for inarizushi, a type of sushi made of seasoned aburaage skins filled with sushi-flavored rice, because it looks like a little football. In Hawaii, it is called, "cone sushi" because it looks like a filled cone.
Fugu. A highly poisonous type of blowfish that is prized for the risk it poses to its partakers as much as for its delicate flesh. Only government-certified restaurants are allowed to serve fugu which sickens hundreds of diners each year, killing dozens.
Furikake. A favorite table condiment made of dried nori flakes and seasonings. It is sprinkled on rice, noodles or okonomiyaki. Different combinations of spices, seeds and other additions like dried fish flakes create flavorful variations.
Futomaki. Futomaki refers to a type of thick, rolled sushi. The inside ingredients vary but a popular version includes egg omelet, seasoned kanpyo (gourd strips) and flaked seasoned eel. The roll ends up thicker than its smaller version (teppo) that usually has only one inside ingredient.

G
Garlic. Garlic or ninniku, is used sparingly in Japanese cooking, unlike in other Asian cuisines.
Gen-mai cha. A tea made from green tea leaves and toasted brown rice. It was considered tea for peasants as the addition of toasted brown rice stretched the use of the more expensive green tea leaves.
Ginger root. Shouga is prized as a digestive and is pickled or added fresh into marinades and soups.
Gobo. See Burdock root.
Gohan. Japanese word for rice. Rice is so vital to the Japanese diet that the words for breakfast, lunch and dinner all include the word ggohanh as in asagohan (morning rice/breakfast), hirugohan (noon rice/lunch) and bangohan (evening rice/dinner).
Goma. Sesame seeds. Shiro (white) goma and kuro (black) goma are used for different dishes. Shiro goma can be purchased toasted or untoasted. The toasted variety is added onto a dish after it has been cooked while the untoasted version is included before cooking. In some recipes, goma is crushed in a mortar and pestle to release the aromatic oils and flavor.
Goma abura. Sesame oil Abura means fat. Goma means sesame seeds.
Gyoza. Potstickers or gyoza are dumplings filled with meat and vegetables. The true way to prepare potstickers is to fry the flat bottoms until golden brown and then steam the tops with some water under a closed lid. They are supposed to gstick to the poth with crispy bottom and soft tops.

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