5 Typical Japanese Prefixes that Mean the Flavor of Foods

The other day I talked about 4 typical Japanese prefixes and suffixes that stand for cooking methods.On the other hand, there are several typical Japanese prefixes that mean the flavor of foods as well.

Have you ever heard of 4 major flavors of Japanese ramen noodles? They are miso (味噌 : soybean paste), shoyu (醤油), shio (塩), and tonkotsu (豚骨 : pork bone).It can be said that these are Japanese prefixes that stand for the flavor of foods.

5 Typical Japanese Prefixes that Mean the Flavor of Foods

In addition, there are some other Japanese prefixes used for food names that mean the flavor, so today let me introduce 5 typical Japanese prefixes in the food name that mean the flavor of foods.

Ama (甘 : Sweet)

Amanatto (甘納豆)

The Japanese prefix, “Ama (甘)” means “sweet”.Hence, if the name of Japanese foods includes the word, the food has a sweet taste.

Examples : Amanatto (甘納豆), Amazake (甘酒), Amaguri (甘栗)

Shoyu (醤油 : Soy sauce)

Shoyu Dango (醤油だんご), or Mitarashi Dango (みたらし団子)

If you are a ramen lover, you must know the meaning of this Japanese prefix.Yes, the word, “Shoyu (醤油)” means “soy sauce”.Therefore if the Japanese food name includes the word, the food has a soy-sauce-based flavor.

Examples : Shoyu ramen (醤油ラーメン), Shoyu dango (醤油だんご), Shoyu Koji (醤油麹)

Kara (辛 : spicy and hot) and Karashi (辛子 : spicy and hot)

Karashi Mentaiko (辛子明太子)

The 2 Japanese prefixes, “Kara (辛)” and “Karashi (辛子)” have the same meaning, “spicy and hot”.Thus if the name of Japanese foods includes either “Kara (辛)” or “Karashi (辛子)”, the food has a spicy and hot flavor.

Examples : Karashi Mentaiko (辛子明太子), Kara-miso ramen (辛味噌ラーメン), Karakarauo (辛辛魚)

Shio (塩 : salt)

Shio Koji (塩麹)

The Japanese word, “Shio” means “salt”.Hence if the Japanese food name includes the word, “Shio (塩)”, the food contains some salt and has a little salty taste.

Examples : Shio ame (塩飴), Shio kombu (塩こんぶ), Shio koji (塩麹) (Amazon.com)

Su (酢 : vinegar)

Subuta (酢豚)

The Japanese word, “Su (酢)”means “vinegar”, so if the Japanese food name includes the prefix, “Su (酢)”, the food contains vinegar and is vinegary.

Examples : Su no Mono (酢の物 : vinegared dishes), Sumeshi (酢飯 : vinegared rice), Subuta (酢豚 : sweet-and-sour pork)

Tomo

I'm Japanese living in Niigata Prefecture,Japan.I want to introduce things about Japan,especially unique Japanese products,sightseeing places,my daily life and Japanese culture.

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