From Japanese Farm Food

Illustrations by Mary Brown


Bocho knife: a general purpose knife, for cutting fish, meat, and vegetables


Yukihira pot: general use saucepan made of hammered aluminum


The heavy-duty cast iron Yamaga Nabe is perfect for cooking and serving soups or noodles. Commonly used in Japan for dishes such as nabeyaki udon.


Bamboo steamer


The Hida Konro is a small tabletop grill made from Keisodo clay, a porous material found in several regions in Japan.

Binchotan: traditional Japanese charcoal. It’s chemical-free, nearly smoke-free, and burns much hotter and longer than American charcoal, making for an excellent sear.

Dashi: broth made from konbu (an edible kelp) and katsuobushi. In her book, Nancy Singleton Hachisu calls dashi “probably the most important building block in Japanese cooking.”

Hiyayakko: a dish of cold tofu set in soy sauce and often topped with chopped spring onions and katsuobushi, or options like ume plum paste, grated ginger, sliced okra, or yuzu rind

Izakaya: like a tavern, a Japanese drinking establishment that also serves food.  “I” means “to stay” and “sakaya” means “sake shop.”

Karaage: bite-size morsels of fried chicken

Katsuobushi: skipjack tuna that has been dried, fermented, and smoked

Kondu: Japanese variety of kombu seaweed

Manju: buns filled with sweet bean paste

Mitsuba: a parsley-like herb used as garnish. Native to North America and Asia

Mochi: rice cake made from short-grain glutinous rice

Myoga: native to Japan and Korea, myoga is a ginger grown for its edible buds and shoots and used as a garnish or topping for foods

Negi: a large, perennial green onion, used like a scallion

Nukadoko: the rice bran mash used to make pickles

Shochu: a distilled beverage typically made from barley, sweet potatoes, or rice

Shottsuru: a pungent fish sauce usually made from sandfish

Shidashi: hot, delivered meals

Shiso: an herb of the mint family

Yakitori: chicken grilled on skewers

Yuzu: A sour and highly aromatic citrus fruit that looks like a small grapefruit with uneven skin


The square tamago pan is used for cooking egg omelet.


Otama ladle

Kamado,” in Japanese, means “stove” or “range.” For millenia, in many parts of the world, earthen vessels, such as the traditional Japanese kamado above, have served as wood-fired or charcoal-fired stoves or ovens.

The Big Green Egg is a popular modern version that’s marketed primarily as a grill.

Glazed bowl