What is Tororo in Japanese Food Culture?

Seen in Washoku or Japanese cuisine, Tororo (とろろ) is a food familiar to every Japanese person.

Tororo is the word for grated yam, and the Japanese yams, Yamaimo (Yamato Imo), Nagaimo, or Jinenjo, can be the ingredient.

Tororo (とろろ: Grated Japanese Yam)

Tororo in Suribachi

For Tororo, those root vegetables are grated raw with a flat fine-mesh grater or crushed and ground in a mortar called Suri-Bachi (すり鉢) until smooth paste consistency.

In general, Tororo is more or less sticky and viscous. The grated yam contains a calcium salt of oxalic acid called calcium oxalate, causing itching in the body of some people.

Nonetheless, Tororo is known as a healthy, nutritious food and is rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B1, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.

Tororo Jiru (とろろ汁: Grated Yam Soup)

Tororo Jiru and Mugi Meshi

When Japanese people hear Tororo, the first thing that comes to many people’s minds is probably Tororo Jiru (とろろ汁) or grated yam soup.

Tororo Jiru consists of grated yam that’s been further ground in a mortar and mixed with dashi stock and soy sauce or miso (fermented soybean seasoning).

You can enjoy the soup on its own, but many people like to eat it with Mugi-Meshi (麦飯: rice mixed with barley grains), pouring the broth into the bowl.

By the way, the former soup dish has the name of Sui-Toro (吸いとろ), while the latter rice bowl dish is generally known as Mugi-Toro (麦トロ).

Other Uses

Yamakake Soba

Unseasoned Tororo can be a thickener in the batter of Okonomiyaki pancake.

It is also used in udon and soba noodle soups and goes well on tuna sashimi slices.

And such usage, pouring Tororo onto something, is generally called Yamakake (山かけ).

(Reference Page: Wikipedia とろろ )


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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