Guest Author - Chidori Phillips
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Chazuke or ochazuke. An informal dish of rice and tea. Hot tea is poured over rice with or without toppings of all types. Ochazuke, as it is sometimes called, was a way to be sure to eat all the rice left in the bowl or pot or to use up cold leftover rice.
Chikuwa. Often called a fish cake, it is nothing like a cake or pastry. It is made from fish paste, formed and steamed or fried. Chikuwa comes in shapes from tubes to patties and may include grated vegetables. It may be eaten cold or hot, by itself or incorporated into a dish.
Chili oil (rayu oil). Different from other chili oils, yu oil has a glassy red-orange tint. Sold in small bottles, yu oil packs deceptively potent heat so it is used sparingly as a table condiment or seasoning for dipping sauces.
Chili powder. As there are many varieties of chili peppers, there are different types of chili powder. Japanese chile powder has a distinctive taste because it is made from dried Japanese red hot chilis (from the family of capsicum annuum). It is served as a table condiment as chili flakes or in spice blends called shichimi or togarashi that mixes ground chilis with other seasonings.
Chirashi sushi. Sushi rice, seasoned vinegared rice, that is layered with sashimi (raw fish) in a bowl.
Cone sushi (inarizushi). A nickname for inarizushi. Another nickname for this is "football" sushi because of its shape.
Curry powder. Curry powder is a blend of spices. Japanese curry is different from curries of other regions of Asia or the Pacific Islands as it does not include coconut milk or cumin.
Daidai (bitter orange.) Because this fruit is highly bitter, it is not eaten but used as a symbol of long life as a New Yearfs decoration on top of stack of white mochi (sweet rice) cakes. The name daidai means several generations and refers to the face that the fruit will stay on the branch for years if not picked.
Daikon (Japanese radish). A thick, long root vegetable that may be pickled, grated, sliced and eaten raw or cooked. It has a fresh licorice-like flavor.
Daikon sprouts. Fresh, young greens from daikon seeds that are eaten raw in sushi or salads.
Dashi (fish stock). Dashi is one of the basic stocks of Japanese cooking. It is made from seaweed (konbu) and/or fish bones or flakes (katsuobushi). Today, dashi powders and granules are readily available for instant dashi.
Donabe (ceramic pot). This is a thick ceramic pot with a lid. Food is cooked in a donabe that is placed in the center of the table atop a small cooking unit and guests eat from either a communal pot or from smaller individual donabe pots.
Donburi. Donburi refers to a number of one-bowl rice dishes. Steamed rice is placed in a bowl and topped with different combinations of meat, eggs, seafood or vegetables.