While in Japan, we will have to buy kitchenware and use them for your personal needs. Have you ever wondered what the Japanese words for these kitchenwares are? It will be really useful if you happen to go to a Japanese friend’s house or will buy some Japanese ceramics or cutlery in the shops. Learning these essential words will increase your confidence!
The crockery items including everything like plates, bowls, cups and etc. that we use in the kitchen are called Setomono.
In Japan, you may notice that rice(gohan) is always served in small and medium bowls. These bowls are called Chawan.
Plates or the dishes used for serving food are called Sara, which are often said as O-Sara in polite Japanese. Small plates are called Kozara(小皿), meaning little plates.
The utensil with perforated bottom, often made of steel or aluminium are called colander and are used for draining. In Japanese it is called Mizukiri (directly translated into getting rid of water) as it is used to drain out water(mizu). We can find beautiful and colourful cheap mizukiris made of plastic in 100 yen and other shops. Japanese traditional mizukiris made of dried bamboo are also available for sale.
The items including kitchen knives and fish-slicing or vegetable cutting knives which are used for serving, preparing and eating food(especially western-style), or the cutlery, is called Hamonorui in Japanese.
Chopsticks or Hashi, often called Ohashi in polite Japanese, is an inevitable tool when you are in Japan. It’s a bit difficult for a person to make use of the chopsticks for the first times. Also Japanese have special rules and manners regarding chopsticks and we should be careful while using them in Japan.
Spoon sounds the same as English word and is written in katakana. The exact Japanese word for spoon is saji (匙), but it isn’t used frequently anymore.
Fork is also spelled in Katakana and is called fo-ku.
The kitchen knife is often called Naifu and is written in katakana. But the actual Japanese word is “ho-cho-“, although you won’t hear people use it often.
Saucers are called ukesara. Uke means accompanying and sara means plate.
Jug is Mizusashi, literally translates into the thing that spits(Sashi) out water(Mizu).
The Japanese teapot, usually ceramic in a cute shape and used to serve green tea, the most common Japanese drink. It is also called Chabin (茶瓶).
Used for daily food preparation, the cutting boards make the housewives’ job safer and easier, and hence, it is an inevitable kitchen tool. They are available in different shapes, colours and such. And are called Manaita in Japanese.
The pots that are used to make udon and other noodle dishes are called Nabe. Nabe often refers to all kinds of utensils used for hotpots.
Frying pan, a utensil used for frying food as well as making various dishes like Yakisoba, is called the Furaipan and is spelled in Katakana.
In Japan, everyone uses electronic rice cookers. If we load it with rice and enough water, the rice will be ready in a number of set minutes on the timer. And the name of this great friend of your daily life is Suihanki.
Not only for serving rice, we often use bowls for mixing, beating eggs or other purposes. They are called as bo-ru and spelled in Katakana.
Kettle is a utensil often used for heating water up. Since the Japanese love hot teas, Yakan are also quite common.
Grater is often used in grating vegetables and is a very user friendly item that helps us to save time and effort during everyday cooking .The Japanese name for this magical item is Oroshiki.
Whisk is not at all used frequently, but times come when beating an egg is inevitable, Awadateki is the Japanese for a whisk. There are traditional bamboo whisks for tea in Japan. But those made of steel and plastic are used a lot more frequently.
A can opener is called Kankiri and literally means the instrument used to cut or open(Kiru or Akeru) a Can(Kan).
Spatula that we use for mixing and in frying is called Hera.
The inevitable and most important item in any kitchen is a cooking stove, or Suto-bu in Japanese. It’s easy to remember as it is similar to English.
Oven is called O-bun and is written in Katakana. Using an oven in Japan is a little bit difficult as the settings are all in Japanese only, and you might need some help from somebody who speaks Japanese to understand how it works.
Microwave oven or Denshirenji in Japan also needs to be operated in Japanese and similar to the oven, you need someone’s help in learning it.