What is Tororo in Japanese Cuisine?

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

Tororo is actually the word for grated yam, and the Japanese yams I introduced the other day, Yamaimo (Yamato Imo), Nagaimo, or Jinenjo is often prepared to make Tororo.

Tororo (とろろ: Grated Japanese Yam)

Tororo in Suribachi

For Tororo, those root vegetables are grated raw using a fine-mesh flat 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. In the grated yam, a substance called calcium oxalate is contained, which causes 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 mind is probably “Tororo Jiru (とろろ汁)”, literally grated yam soup.

Tororo Jiru is made of Tororo grated yam that has been further ground in a mortar and mixed with dashi stock and soy sauce or miso.

The yam soup is eaten on its own, but many people like to eat it with “Mugi-Meshi (麦飯: rice mixed with barley grains)”, pouring the yam broth into a bowl of the barley rice.

By the way, the former soup dish is called “Sui-Toro (吸いとろ)”, while the latter rice bowl dish is known as “Mugi-Toro (麦トロ)”.

Other Uses

Yamakake Soba

Unseasoned Tororo is often used as a thickener in the batter of Okonomiyaki pancake. It is also used in udon and soba noodle soup, as well as being eaten with tuna sashimi slices.

And such usage, pouring Tororo into something is 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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