What are Sunomono, Agemono, Nimono, and Itamemono?

If you have enjoyed a Japanese meal several times before, you may know Japanese food whose name includes the word “Mono (物 or もの)”.

“Mono (物 or もの)” literally means “thing” or “stuff”, and in Japanese cuisine, some dish categories are represented with the word as a suffix.

Meaning: Sunomono vs. Agemono vs. Nimono vs. Itamemono

Representative examples of such generic names for Japanese dishes are “Sunomono (酢の物)”, “Agemono (揚げ物)”, “Nimono (煮物)”, and “Itamemono (炒め物)”.

But what dish category does each of these Japanese terms stand for?

Sunomono (酢の物)

Sunomono Mozukusu

First, “Sunomono (酢の物)” is the word for Japanese vinegared dishes.

Sunomono is often made with seafood and seaweed and typically dressed with Sanbaizu vinegar sauce.

For example, the combinations of wakame and cucumber, and octopus and cucumber, are often seen in Sunomono dishes.

Also, “Mozukusu (もずく酢)” is a popular Sunomono widely enjoyed in Japan.

Agemono (揚げ物)

Agemono Tempura

Next, “Agemono (揚げ物)” is the word for Japanese deep-fried foods. As shown above, Tempura is a representative of this category.

In addition to Tempura, Karaage, Tonkatsu, and Furai are also Japanese dishes that represent the category of Agemono.

Nimono (煮物)

Nimono Oden Hot-Pot

“Nimono (煮物)” is the word for Japanese simmered foods.

Ingredients for the Nimono dish are simmered in a pot of water or dashi soup stock and seasoned mainly with soy sauce or miso. 

Representative Japanese Nimono dishes include Oden, Niku-Jaga, and Furofuki Daikon.

Itamemono (炒め物)

Itamemono Moyashi Itame

Lastly, “Itamemono (炒め物)” is the word for Japanese stir-fried foods.

The combination of meat and vegetables is typically used for the Japanese Itamemono dish. 

For example, “Moyashi-Itame (もやし炒め)” is made with pork belly and bean sprouts, while the main ingredients of “Rebanira-Itame (レバニラ炒め)” are pork liver and Chinese chives.

In addition, Yakisoba noodles are also categorized as Itamemono.


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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