Agar Agar A gelatin processed from a sea vegetable used in making
kanten and vegetable aspics.
Amasake A sweet, creamy beverage or sweetener made
from fermented sweet rice.
Arame A thin, wiry black sea vegetable.
Azuki Bean A small, dark red bean originally from
Japan but now grown in the West.
|Bancha Tea The twigs,
stems and leaves from mature Japanese tea bushes, also known as
Barley A whole cereal grain; the traditional staple
of the Middle East and Southern Europe.
Boiled Salad A salad whose ingredients are lightly
boiled or dipped (blanched) in hot water before serving.
Bok Choy A leafy green and white vegetable popular
in Chinese cooking.
Bonito Flakes Flakes shaved from dried bonito fish.
Used in soup stocks or as a garnish.
Brown Rice Whole unpolished rice. Come in three main
varieties: short, medium and long grain. Brown rice contains an
ideal balance of nutrients and is the principal staple in macrobiotic
Burdock A hardy wild plant that grows throughout
the United States and abroad. The long, dark root is valued in cooking
for its strengthening qualities.
|Daikon A long white radish that
is used in vegetable cooking, condiments and pickling.
|Flame Deflector A round metal
disc that is placed under a pot or pressure cooker to distribute heat
evenly and prevent burning.
|Ginger A spicy, pungent golden
colored root used in cooking and for medicinal purposes.
Gomashio Sesame seed salt made from dry roasting and grinding
sea salt and sesame seeds and crushing in a mortar.
|Hato Mugi or Pearl Barley This
is not the so called pearled barley, a kind of refined
barley. It is not really a barley at all. It is a pearl shaped seed
of wild grass, also known as Jobs tears.
Hiziki A dark brown sea vegetable that turns black
Hokkaido Pumpkin A round dark green or orange squash that is
very sweet and harvested in the fall. Native to New England, it was
introduced to Japan and named after the island of Hokkaido.
|Kanten A jelled fruit dessert
made from agar agar.
Kinpira A style of cooking root vegetables first
by sautéing, then adding a little water, and seasoning with
tamari/soy sauce at the end of cooking.
Kombu A wide, thick, dark green sea vegetable.
Kuzu A white starch made from the root of a prolific vine.
Used as a thickener for soups, stews, desserts. Also known as kudzu.
|Lotus Root Root of the water
lily. Brown-skinned with a hollow, chambered off-white inside. Lotus
root is used in many dishes and for medicinal preparations.
|Millet A small yellow grain that
can be prepared whole, added to soups, salads and vegetable dishes,
or baked. A staple in China and Africa.
Mirin A sweet cooking wine made from sweet rice.
Miso A fermented pate made from soybeans, sea salt
and usually rice or barley. Used in soup, stews and as seasoning.
Mochi A cake made from cooked, pounded sweet rice.
|Nabe A traditional Japanese one-dish
meal, prepared and served in colorful casserole dishes and accompanied
with a dipping sauce or broth made of tamari/soy sauce or miso and
Natto Soybeans that have been cooked and mixed with
beneficial enzymes and fermented for 24 hours. A sticky dish with
long strands and a strong odor. Good for improving digestion.
Nishime Long, slow style of boiling in which vegetables
or other ingredients cook primarily in their own juices. Gives strong,
Nori Thin sheets of dried sea vegetable. Black or dark purple,
they turn green when roasted over a flame. Used as a garnish, to wrap
rice balls, in making sushi, or cooked with tamari/soy sauce as a
|Pressed Salad Salad prepared
by pressing sliced vegetables and sea salt in a small pickle press
or with an improvised weight.
Pressure cooker An airtight metal pot that cooks food quickly
by steaming under pressure at a high temperature. Used primarily in
macrobiotic cooking for whole grains and occasionally for beans and
|Rice Syrup A natural sweetener
made from malted brown rice.
|Sea Salt Unrefined salt obtained
from the ocean.
Seitan A whole wheat product cooked in shoyu, kombu
and water. Used for stews, croquettes, etc. Also known as wheat
gluten or wheat meat.
Shiitake A mushroom native to Japan but now cultivated
in the United States as well. Used widely, dried or fresh, in cooking,
for soups and stews and in medicinal preparations.
Shoyu Naturally made soy sauce.
Soba Noodles made from buckwheat flour or buckwheat
combined with whole wheat.
Suribachi A serrated, glazed clay bowl or mortar. Used with
a pestle, called a surikogi, for grinding and pureeing food.
|Tamari Genuine or
real tamari is a soy sauce like seasoning that is a by-product
of the miso making process. It is stronger than regular shoyu or natural
soy sauce, which is sometimes confusingly labelled tamari soy
Tempeh A high protein soy product made from split
soybeans, water and a special bacteria. Used in soups, stews, sandwiches
and many other dishes.
Tekka Condiment made from matcho miso, sesame oil,
burdock, lotus root, carrot and ginger root. It cooks down to a
black powder when sautéed on a low heat for several hours.
Tofu Soybean curd made from soybeans and nigari (crystallized
residue from sea salt). High in protein and usually prepared in the
form of cakes that may be sliced and cooked in soups, vegetable dishes,
salads, sauces, dressings and other styles.
|Udon Japanese style whole wheat
Umeboshi A salted pickled plum usually aged for several
years. Used as a seasoning, in sauces, and as a condiment.
Umeboshi Vinegar Also known as ume-su. The liquid that umeboshi
plums are aged in. Used for sauces, dressings, seasoning and making
|Wakame A long, thin green sea
vegetable used in making miso soup, salads and vegetable dishes.