Glossary - Ingredients

Kamaboko/Fish cake


Fish paste pressed onto a board and steamed. Comes in red or white


"Kamaboko" (fish cake) is minced fish paste with starch or seasoning kneaded in then heated up. Can be eaten as is, or used as an ingredient in nabe hot pot or with udon noodles. ”Osechi-ryori”, the japanese traditional auspicious foods served during the New Year usually have red-and-white kamaboko ("kohaku kamaboko"), with red standing for warding off evil and white standing for purity.


White fish meat is high in protein and low in fat. Do note that kamaboko is somewhat high in sodium and sugar, so be careful not to overeat if monitoring salt or sugar levels.


Store in the refrigerator. Kamaboko's texture will change in the freezer, so it is not a recommended method of storage.


In the past, kamaboko was formed into tubes with bamboo skewers just like modern chikuwa. The name kamaboko comes from the fact that it looks like the head ("ho") of a cattail plant ("gama"). Modern kamaboko made on a board started in the Momoyama period (1568-1600). Kamaboko with popular anime characters or floral designs are sold in Japan.

Related Recipes

Related Contents