Decode the Japanese Menu

Thankfully, our menu has English words which help our diners to order effortlessly. However, if you are getting confused with English words on most Japanese menu without clear explanation of what the dish entails, fret not! Here, we help to decode some of the Japanese dishes for you. Let’s come and learn together, so we are all more equipped to know what to order the next round, in Japan, even without the help of some English words.


唐揚げ or 空揚げ or から揚げ

The food ending with Age is deep fried. Tori Karaage refers to chicken being deep fried. Or a Shake- Kawa- Age simply means that it is deep fried salmon skin.



The word “Chirashi” means “Scattered” in Japanese. Often, we see Chirashi- Zushi in Japanese menu. It is a bowl with “Scattered Sushi” or pieces of raw fishes and roes beautifully displayed on top of the vinegar rice.


Don is derived from the word “Donburi”, which means Rice- bowl. So, any dish ending with Don, means you will have rice that comes along with it.

An example would be Katsu Don, Steam Rice Topped with Pork Cutlet. It is very with popular with Japanese men.



When you see this word, it means assortment or combination in a platter. So, the portion is usually bigger.

Like our ever popular Sashimi Moriwase or Tempura Moriwase, bigger group of diners often like to order these dishes to share and eat together.



Mushi is steamed. In our restaurant, we offer Chawa-mushi. Chawa means cup in Japanese and hence, Chawa- mushi, is often eggs, steamed in a cup. It is generally loved by many, even children.

Dobinmushi, another in our menu, means Clear Seafood Soup in Tea Pot.


鍋物, なべ物

Nabe literally translated is "cooking pot". When you see this, it refers to Japanese hot pot dishes like our local steamboat.

We serve Kaisen Kami Nabe, which is Seafood Japanese Paper Steamboat. It is especially good for cool weather or for ladies who prefer more soupy food.


汁, しる

Shiru is Soup in Japanese. Japanese love miso bean paste in their soup with tofu and seaweed. We would recommend our Asari Miso Shiru, which is Bean Paste Soup with Clams.



“Te” means Hand in Japanese. “Maki” stands for Roll. So, together, it simply, it means a Hand-Roll. The finished product is often coned shape with meat and vegetables wrapped in seaweed.

One of our popular temaki: California Temaki Crab Meat Stick, Avocado and Cucumber



Tepan sounds like our Chinese character- “鉄板” which means hot plate. We serve Ebi Mayo Teppan- Prawns with Special Mayonaise Sauce. They are a favorite choice for seafood BBQ lovers.



Dishes with words ending with “yaki’ usually denote that that they are pan-fried or grilled. A number of Japanese dishes end with words like Yaki, such as Teppanyaki (鉄板焼き), yaki- niku and Yaki- soba. So, Yaki- niku is fried meat and yaki- soba is fried noodle.

In Shin Minori, we serve “Shishamo Yaki”. It is a dish of Grilled Pregnant Capelin. It is tasty and filled with Calcium, which is good for your bones and teeth.

Hope the above helps you to learn some Japanese and some of their cooking techniques. So, when you next step into our any Japanese dining places, you are more confident to order and know what kind of food will turn up on your dining tables.

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