What is Yakumi in Japanese Cuisine?

Yakumi (薬味), literally meaning medicine (薬) taste (味), is the Japanese generic term for natural condiments, including flavoring vegetables/fruits, herbs, and spices.

Yakumi (薬味)

Zaru Soba Noodles with Yakumi Condiments

We typically add a small amount of a Yakumi condiment to the dish to accentuate its taste, give it a contrasting touch of color, or enhance the appetite.

As its name suggests, some Yakumi acts like medicine with effects like detoxifying, recovering stamina, improving immunity, or promoting digestion.

Yakumi often comes with dishes such as udon and soba (noodle soups), Hiyayakko (tofu), or Nabemono (hot pots), and varieties used in Japanese cuisine include the following.


Yakumi Varieties

The Variety of Yakumi Condiment
Vegetables Green onion, Chinese chive, Onion, Daikon radish, Japanese parsley (Seri, Mitsuba), Water pepper, Bud of the Japanese pepper (Konome), Ginger, Myoga, Garlic, Wasabi, Horseradish, Watercress, Parsley, Celery, Coriander, Mint, Doku-Dami, Fennel, Caper, Basil, Arugula, Lemongrass, Chrysanthemum, White radish sprout
Seaweeds Nori, Aonori, Aosa, Hitoegusa, Tororo kombu
Spices Chili pepper (Togarashi), Pepper (Kosho), Mustard (Karashi), Sansho pepper, Sichuan pepper, Cumin, Paprika, Cardamon, Anise, Star anise, Nutmeg, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Bay leaf, Mandarine orange peel
Citrus Lemon, Lime, Yuzu, Kabosu, Sudachi, Shekwasha, Daidai
Seeds Sesame, Peanut, Walnut, Pine nut, Macadamia nut
Fruits Umeboshi, Raisin, Goji berry 
Animal Foods Dried fish shavings, Sakura shrimp, Chirimen-Jako, Fish powder
Others Tenkasu, Aburaage

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 薬味 )


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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