Quick: think of as many foods as you can that start with the letter Y. If you’re like us, you immediately thought of “yogurt,” and then drew a blank. Well, get ready, because this article is going to blow your mind with a list of 41 Y-letter foods that will get you inspired in the kitchen. Y not try a few?
The List: 41 Foods That Start With Y
Yabra is a famous bite-sized Syrian dinner dish usually served during parties and special occasions.
This delicious finger-like food is made with grape leaves, short-grain white rice, ground beef, water, salt, pepper, broth made of lemon juice, garlic, fatty meat on the bone, yogurt, and olive oil.
All you need to do is wrap the filling inside the grape leaves and eat.
Yacons are edible tuberous root vegetables under the family Asteraceae native to the northern and central Andes from Colombia to northern Argentina.
These sweet, crunchy roots are also known as the Peruvian ground apple.
If you are looking for an excellent source of vitamins such as Vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and niacin, yacons are an excellent source.
They’re famous for weight loss and for regulating blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
The Japanese grilled rice-based cake called yaki mochi is a traditional ingredient in Japanese cuisine made with soy seasoned grilled mochi wrapped in seaweed.
This food that starts with Y is an excellent source of carbohydrates. Yaki mochi is either grilled in a charcoal or gas grill and can be enjoyed with sake, afternoon tea, or sweet sesame miso.
Yakiniku is a famous grilled meat from Japanese cuisine that uses non-marinated cuts of beef. Some versions of yakiniku are lightly marinated meat with salt, lemon, or dipping sauce.
This flavorful grilled beef is an excellent source of protein and fat and is usually served in multiple Japanese restaurants worldwide.
Yakisoba is stir-fried noodles flavored with sweet, savory umami-rich sauce, which is a mixture of soy sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
Yakisoba is a famous noodle dish often cooked with pork, chicken, shrimp, calamari or tofu, or shiitake mushrooms for its vegetarian alternative.
Yakisoba noodle is an excellent source of protein but should be eaten in moderation due to its high carbohydrate content.
Yakitori is one of the most famous inexpensive foods in Japanese cuisine. It is basically a grilled bite-sized chicken skewer that mainly uses chicken breasts, thighs, skin, and innards like liver.
This protein-rich grilled meat is usually served with a glass of beer in restaurants, and even on festival food stands.
This Y-letter food has multiple variants, including negima, a yakitori with pieces of leek in between, and tsukune, which is minced chicken, egg, vegetables, and spices made into meatballs and grilled.
The species of Dioscorea alata, commonly known as purple yam or greater yam, originated in temperate and tropical regions such as West Africa, South America, Asia, and Oceana.
This Y-letter food is an edible root that has been eaten as a snack by itself, the main ingredient for jam, or as a side dish for meat.
It is said that many people have confused the yam with the sweet potato because they are similar in taste and looks. Yam is an excellent high-calorie food rich in vitamin A, iron, calcium, and vitamin C.
8. Yam Khai Dao
Thai cuisine is not complete without the fried egg salad yam khai do which is composed of fried eggs mixed with spicy and fruity chilies, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, and herbs.
This easy-to-prepare dish can be served as a side dish or as a main.
9. Yangnyeom Chicken
This Korean seasoned chicken is popular and widely consumed in Korea. Yangnyeom is a chicken with a thin crackly crust with soy garlic or red spicy sauce glaze.
Also called “the other KFC,” yangnyeom chicken is also trendy outside of Korea.
Its yummy sauce is made of various ingredients, including gochujang, ketchup, hot sauce, and strawberry jam.
Yantok, also known as rattan, belongs to the Calamoideae subfamily with a Southeast Asian origin. They are widely cultivated in countries including the Philippines, Malaysia, and China.
The fruit of rattan usually has a sour taste like citrus.
Its scaly skin has to be carefully removed when eaten. However, rattan fruit is usually cultivated for its red resin instead of its edible fruit.
It is rich in calcium, phosphate, and fiber which aids in your health journey.
11. Yao Choy
Yao choy is a delicious sweet-tasting savory Chinese leaf that is traditionally blanched and mixed with an oyster and light soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper.
Yao choy is often served in dim sum houses and is an excellent palate-cleansing dish between noodles, meats, buns, and dumplings.
Yarrow is a flowering plant that is not only an ornament, but it is also popularly used for centuries as traditional herbal medicine.
Commonly known as bloodwort or devil’s nettle, its petals are often used for inflammation, wound healing, and anxiety, but can also be used as an aromatic flavor to salads with its peppery, bitter leaves and flowers.
You have to be really cautious to avoid overdose: a maximum of 4.5 g per day is recommended.
Africa is known for its good food, and yassa takes pride in placing itself under the umbrella of West African cuisine despite originating from Senegal.
This dish is meat marinated in caramelized onions, lemon, and mustard.
Traditionally chicken was used to prepare this dish. However, lamb or fish have become popular. You cook the meat in various ways: grilling on charcoal or a grill pan or cast-iron skillet.
Xanthosoma sagittifolium or yautia is a popular plant cooked as a side dish, either boiled and mashed, added to soups, or fried as chips. Its fruit has hairy, rough, and brown skin like potatoes and has an earthy taste.
This Y-letter food is native to the northern part of South America and is an excellent source of fiber and potassium.
Yautia is also known as taro, a famous ingredient in drinks such as milk tea and food such as the Philippines’ halo-halo.
15. Yay Mont
This rice flour-based Myanmar dish is a popular breakfast meal or afternoon snack.
Yay mont used to be typical in urban areas, but, unfortunately, it is slowly disappearing. Still, it continues to be enjoyed in rural areas in the early morning or afternoon.
This traditional snack is often called the pancake of Myanmar and is filled with beans and coriander leaves.
16. Yellow Granadilla
Yellow Granadilla, scientifically known as Passiflora ligularis, can be mainly found in tropical America. Its edible fruit has a smooth yellow-orange exterior skin and yellow gelatinous tart pulp on the inside.
This is a sweet and healthy fruit that is frequently eaten by itself or as an ingredient in meals.
Due to its high fiber content, it helps keep your bowels healthy and makes you feel fuller for longer.
17. Yellow Mombin
Yellow mombin or hog plum has a southern Mexico to Peru and Brazil origin and is currently cultivated in tropical Americas. It tastes like plum and mango with a hint of green apple but can also taste tangy when unripe.
Amongst its many benefits, this fruit is rich in vitamins B1 and C and often used as a diuretic to help your bladder and aid in fevers.
Unfortunately, pregnant women should not eat this fruit as it causes complications.
18. Yellow Passion fruit
Yellow passion fruit or Passiflora flavicarpa is closely related to the yellow granadilla. However, yellow passion fruits are deep purple or bright yellow on the outside. Aside from the color, one notable difference is that yellow passion fruit is much smaller in size when compared to yellow granadilla.
It’s generally sweet and has a bit of floral scent.
This tart fruit is usually available during late winter and in the summer and is an excellent source of riboflavin, niacin, and amino acid.
19. Yellow Perch
This delicious healthy dish is a freshwater perciform fish known as Perca flavescens in the scientific community, native to the waters of North America.
You can bake, pan-fry, poach, sauté, grill, or smoke this cholesterol and calorie-rich fish.
However, yellow perch does not need much seasoning because it has a wonderfully sweet flavor. This fish is also quite distinct with its bright-colored body.
20. Yellow Plum
Yellow plums are known for their small, round, and yellow oval bodies. Also known as Ximenia Americana, yellow plums are produced annually worldwide. They can be found in multiple areas such as the United States, Asia, Europe (France), and South America.
One of its most famous varieties is the French Mirabelle plum which is only grown in Lorraine, France and is banned from being cultivated in the US because of strict importation laws.
Yellow plums can be served as smoothies and added to salads. Yellow plums have high sugar content, making them an excellent sweet fruit.
This classic Greek dish is made of vegetables stuffed with rice and kefalograviera cheese. Kefalograviera is a hard yellow cheese with a nutty flavor.
The yemista is often made using tomatoes and peppers, which are excellent antioxidants and vitamin C sources, making it a healthy food option.
This stuffed vegetable is often served with a simple green salad and bread. Also known as gemista, yemista has a Greek origin and is said to have gained popularity after WW1.
Turkish cuisine, which includes stuffed dishes such as sarma and dolma, greatly influenced this dish and the Greeks who escaped from Turkey at the end of the Greek-Turkish war.
Yeot is a sweet traditional Korean confectionery commonly made from steamed rice or glutinous rice and sorghum, corn, sweet potatoes, or mixed grains.
There are various ways to cook this popular dessert, but it is usually made in either a liquid or syrup form or solid or candy form.
23. Yiaourti Me Meli
Yiaourti me meli is a no-bake treat that is perfect for breakfast or dessert. This low-calorie dish is honey and nuts mixed into Greek yogurt and is a great way to start your morning.
Honey is an excellent addition to a meal due to its antioxidants to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation and antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Yin yang fish, or dead-and-alive fish, was a dish that cooked the fish in oil and then served the entire fish, with the head still being alive! Fortunately, due to public backlash, the dish was pulled from the menu in 2007.
Yogurt is eaten all over the world—it’s a favorite Y-letter food resulting from fermenting milk with a yogurt culture and has a semi-sweet taste.
Some types contain healthy bacteria, and probiotics, which are great for getting your gut healthy which can boost your immune system.
Yogurt is also rich in calcium and protein, which is why it’s considered a healthy food and is used in so many versatile ways: In dips and toppings, in soups, in smoothies, baked and creamed dishes, as a to-go snack, and as a classic breakfast with granola and fruit.
25. Yong Tau Foo
Yong tau foo is Chinese cuisine and can be eaten in soup or dry versions.
This food is a fish or meat paste stuffed tofu and is fried or served in a soup with sweet bean sauce.
There is another version of youtiao called curros, a sweet Mexican snack cooked the same way as but composed of different dough.
The youngberry has three berry origins, including raspberry, blackberry, and dewberry, all from the genus Rubus, giving it the botanical name of Rubus caesius.
This fruit tastes sweet and with a bit of sourness, it can be eaten raw or used as the main ingredient for different beverages.
This fruit is an excellent addition to your diet when you are trying to lower your cholesterol level due to the presence of the fruit pectin and multiple vitamins such as vitamins A, B1, and C.
This deep-fried Southern Chinese dish is made from wheat flour dough strips and is now popular in East and Southeast Asian countries.
Youtiao is often served with porridge, soy milk, and Shao bing or flatbread.
Similar to doughnut sticks, a lightly salted youtiao is great to eat for breakfast or as a snack.
Yuca is a mixture of potato and sweet potato.
Also known as Cassava, this tuber plant originated in the southern border of the Amazon basin based on genetic evidence.
But it is now cultivated in tropical climates of Costa Rica, Central and South America, and even Asia.
This starchy edible tuber has a sweet earthy flavor like potatoes. With high fiber and complex carbs, yuca is a healthy choice of food and is usually eaten by itself and sometimes made as a cake in the Philippines.
A yufka is also known as a Turkish flatbread. Made with all-purpose flour, salt, and olive oil, the versatile yufka is eaten with both savory and sweet dishes.
Because of its popularity, it is considered one of the most important Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine food items.
30. Yuja Cheong
Originating in Korea, yuja cheong is a Korean citron tea made with exotic yuja fruit and is perfect for drinking in winter. The taste is very interesting because it is a combination of very sharp but with a sweet and sour touch.
The citrus fruit yuja has a Chinese and Tibet origin but is now cultivated in China, Korea, and Japan. Yuja cheong is a famous way to help heal respiratory issues such as coughs and sore throat.
31. Yuk Sung
Dubbed the Chinese lettuce wrap, yuk sung is a great dish to serve during a dinner party as an appetizer or side dish.
Ground pork and diced veggies are stir-fried in a sweet soy sauce mixture before being wrapped in lettuce leaves. This recipe can be made using a variety of veggies.
Yukgaejang is one of the most famous foods in Korean cuisine.
It is basically a spicy protein-rich beef and vegetable soup mixed with shredded beef, scallions, and other vegetables for a complete hearty meal and perfect for those aiming to lose weight.
Yukgaejang is usually served with rice, kimchi, and other side dishes. This Y-letter food has multiple variants depending on how you want your soup to be. An addition of beef bones can thicken the soup and anchovy broth can add extra flavors.
Yukhoe is a Korean raw meat dish that uses various kinds and cuts of meat. The meat is usually seasoned with multiple flavors such as sesame oil, salt, and pepper and served with a spicy mustard sauce. With meat as the main ingredient, yukhoe is an excellent source of protein.
Similar to beef jerky, yukpo is a traditional Korean food commonly served as a snack on traditional occasions such as pyebaek or formal greetings to newlyweds after the ceremony of ancestral rite.
Yukpo is an excellent source of protein but should be eaten in moderation due to its high sodium content.
Beef is known to be expensive in Korea, making this dried dish a precious food. Sun drying is the traditional method to dry out the soy sauce marinated beef, but nowadays, a food dehydrator is used.
35. Yule Log
A French and Belgian Christmas is not complete without a yule log, a popular Christmas dessert or pudding made of cream and sponge layers.
This traditional Christmas food represents the Yule log that families would burn on Christmas evening, symbolizing the new year, and bringing good fortune to the family.
Resembling a log, the typical recipe for this traditional Christmas cake includes a rolled sponge cake filled with chocolate or cocoa hazelnut cream and topped with chocolate ganache.
There are a variety of fun ways to decorate the log, such as mushroom-shaped meringues or sugared cranberries.
36. Yum Sen Lon
This Southeast Asian traditional noodle salad is made with cellophane noodles mixed with pork belly and fresh vegetables. It is essential to mix aromatic, spicy, and savory dressings which contain garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and salt to the noodles to make them flavorful.
Yum sen lon is a popular dish in Thailand despite originating in Laos.
37. Yun Dou Juan
Yun dou juan is a dish that falls under the umbrella of Beijing cuisine.
This Y-letter dish uses kidney bean rolls that are crushed, soaked overnight, boiled, and crushed again to create a paste that is rolled and cut into smaller pieces before serving.
Vitamin and mineral-rich kidney beans are healthy types of beans that help improve your heart and reduce cholesterol.
This Tibetan dish is made from wheat flour and butter cooked into a paste.
Yurla is popular in the northern Tibet area, particularly in Nyarong County, and it can be eaten alongside soup.
Wheat flour is an excellent source of protein and fiber, while vitamin D-rich butter aids in bone health.
This Cantonese dish, meaning “raw fish”, is prepared with shredded vegetables, sauces, and condiments. With fish as the main ingredient, Yusheng is an excellent source of protein. It’s often consumed during the Chinese New Year as it symbolizes abundance, prosperity, and vigor.
This prosperity dish originated in China, but its modern version started in Malaysia and Singapore.
However, yusheng contains a lot of calories per 387g serving and should be eaten in moderation.
Originating from the Mandarin word “yuxiang,” which means fish fragrance or fish flavor, yuxiangrousi is a traditional dish made from shredded pork and garlic sauce usually served in Sichuan cuisine.
This flavorful food is a mixture of tangy, spicy, sweet, and sour tastes, which takes your palate to another level of foodie experience.
Mainly cultivated in East Asia, yuzu is an aromatic citrus fruit that tastes like lemon and is served with sushi, fish, and vegetable dishes in Japan.
However, this flexible fruit can also be used in cocktails and drinks, and it pairs well with gin and honey.
This Japanese citrus fruit is now cultivated in the US, although scarce and expensive because there is a law banning its import to the USA, to preserve the American crops from Asian crop diseases.