Japanese Prefixes and Suffixes that stand for Cooking Methods

In the Japanese language, there are several prefixes and suffixes that stand for cooking methods. 

For example, the cooking method for Tempura is mainly to “deep-fry”, but the food name doesn’t include the prefix or suffix for “deep-fry”. 

As this case indicates, many Japanese food names don’t include such prefixes or suffixes.

Nonetheless, if you remember the following, in some cases, from the prefix or suffix included in the food name, you can know the cooking method used for the dish.

Therefore, today I will talk about 4 typical Japanese prefixes and suffixes that represent cooking methods.

Age (揚げ): used as a prefix or suffix

Kara-Age (唐揚げ)

Age (揚げ)” is the Japanese word for “Deep-fry“, which is used as a prefix or suffix.

Word Examples

Kara-Age (唐揚げ), Tatsuta-Age (竜田揚げ), Age-Senbei (揚げせんべい)

Yaki (焼き): used as a prefix or suffix

Yaki-Imo (焼き芋)

Yaki (焼き)” is the Japanese word for “Grill“, “Broil“, “Bake“, “Roast“, or “Toast“, which is used as a prefix or suffix.

Yaki (焼き)” usually stands for the cooking method using heat or an open fire.

Word Examples

Yaki-Imo (焼き芋), Yaki-Onigiri (焼きおにぎり), Yaki-Zakana (焼魚), Kaba-Yaki (蒲焼)

Mushi (蒸し): used as a prefix or suffix

Chawan-Mushi (茶碗蒸し)

Mushi (蒸し)” is the Japanese word for “Steam“, which is used as a prefix or suffix. 

Word Examples

Chawan-Mushi (茶碗蒸し), Saka-Mushi (酒蒸し), Mushi-Yokan (蒸し羊羹)

Itame (炒め): used mostly as a suffix

Yasai-Itame (野菜炒め)

Itame (炒め)” is the Japanese word for “Fry” or “Sauté“, which is used mostly as a suffix.

Itame (炒め)” usually stands for the cooking method using a small amount of oil as compared to “Age (揚げ: Deep-Fry)” using plenty of oil.

Word Examples

Yasai-Itame (野菜炒め), Moyashi-Itame (もやし炒め), Itame-Mono (炒め物)


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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