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Sushi Dictionary & Glossary

Sushi Dictionary & Glossary
Sushi Dictionary & Glossary

Sushi is any dish made with vinegar rice, and is usually topped or filled with ingredients like raw fish, shrimp, mollusks, fish eggs or vegetables. When dining at a sushi restaurant, many Japanese terms are likely to come up. Here is a list of sushi terms and their definitions.

Pronounciation Guide

To pronounce Japanese words, put equal emphasis on every syllable. Consonants are pronounced as they are in English (g’s are hard, j’s are soft). Each vowel should be pronounced as a new syllable.

a ä (as the “o” in bop)
e a (as the “ay” in way)
i e (as the “ee” in beep)
o o (as the “o” in go)
u ü (as the “oo” in food)
Term Definition
Abura-age Fried tofu pouches used for inari sushi
Aji Spanish mackerel
Akagi Red clam
Amaebi no tama Raw shrimp
Anago Salt water eel
Anakiumaki A sushi roll filled with monkfish liver and vinegar rice
Arai A method of preparing sashimi where the cut flesh is washed in lukewarm water, then shocked in a bowl of ice water
Awabi Abalone
Bara sushi A form of chirashi sushi where the ingredients are mixed in with the rice. Also known as gomoku sushi
Binjo Fatty albacore
Buri Yellowtail
California roll A sushi roll filled with avacado, cucumber and crab meat, usually rolled with the rice on the outside
Caterpillar roll A sushi roll covered in avacado for the outer layer
Chirashi Sushi Sushi where the ingredients are loose and mixed on top of the sushi rice, served in a sushi bowl
Cone sushi The Hawaiian version of inari sushi, but larger and sweeter than its Japanese counterpart
Chutoromaki A hosomaki roll filled with marbled raw tuna
Daikon A large Japanese radish
Dynamite Roll A hosomaki sushi roll filled with raw tuna
Ebi Cooked shrimp
Engawa Halibut fin muscle
Futomaki A fat roll of sushi wrapped with dried seaweed on the outside, usually cut into seven or eight pieces
Gari Pickled ginger, often used to cleanse the palette when eating sushi
Gomoku sushi A "sushi salad" where all of the sushi ingredients are mixed in with rice and served in a bowl. Also known as Bara sushi
Gunkan Nigiri sushi that is wrapped in a strip of dried seaweed
Hamachi Japanese amberback - a type of yellowtail
Hand roll A cone-shaped sushi roll that is always eaten with the hands. Also known as "temaki"
Hashi oki A chopstick rest
Hawaiian Roll A sushi roll filled with canned tuna, pickled gourd, white fish, egg and shrimp powder
Hirami Halibut
Hokkigai The surf clam
Hosomaki A thin sushi roll that usually only contains one type of filling
Hotate Scallop
Handai A giant shallow bowl where sushi rice is mixed
Ika Squid or cuttlefish
Ikura Salmon caviar
Inari Sushi Vinegar rice in fried tofu pouch
Itamae A sushi chef
Iwashi Sardine
Kabayaki Sauce A sauce, also known as eel sauce, made of soy sauce, rice wine, sugar and sometimes eel extract, served over eel
Ka-Kani Hairy crab
Kampachi® Brand of Hawaiian yellow tail from the Kona Blue farms
Kampyomaki A hosomaki roll filled with pickled gourd
Kani Crab
Kanpai "Cheers" in Japanese
Kappamaki A hosomaki sushi roll filled with cucumber and vinegar rice
Katsuo Bonito tuna
Kobashira The mactra clam
Kohada Gizzard shad fish
Konbu An edible Japanese kelp
Kuki wasabi Fresh, chopped wasabi leaves
Maguro Blue fin tuna
Magurotemaki A temaki roll filled with blue fin tuna
Matsugawa tsukuri Style of serving red snapper where the skin is cooked but the flesh remains raw
Maki Sushi A sushi roll
Masago Capelin caviar
Mentaiko Pollock caviar
Mirin Sweet rice wine, often used as a condiment
Mirugai Long neck white clam
Na hotate Grilled scallop
Nare Sushi The first form of sushi, usually considered the anscestor of modern-day sushi. Salted fish, sometimes stuffed with rice, that is fermented over several weeks
Nattomaki A hsomaki roll filled with fermented soybeans
Negi Japanese green onion
Negitoromaki A hosomaki roll filled with green onions and tuna
Negitorotemaki A temaki roll filled with green onions and tuna
Nigiri An onlong shape of sushi rice topped with raw or cooked fish, fish roe or vegetables
Nori Dried seaweed
Oke A sushi bowl, used to serve chirashi, bara or gomoku sushi
Omasake A style of dining where the chef chooses dishes for the diner and decides in what order those dishes will be served
Omusubi A rice ball, also known as "onigiri"
Onigiri A rice ball, also known as "omusubi"
Oshi Sushi A style of sushi from the city of Osaka, where the sushi is pressed into a rectangular shape. It is also called "battera" sushi or hako sushi
Oshibako A sushi press or sushi mold
Oshinko Pickled roots or vegetables, especially daikon radish or cucumber
Oshinkomaki A hosomaki sushi roll filled with pickled radish and vinegar rice
Otoromaki A hosomaki roll filled with fatty tuna and vinegar rice
Philadelphia Roll A sushi roll filled with salmon, cream cheese and cucumbers
Ponzu A citrus sauce made of konbu kelp, rice vinegar, rice wine, sugar, tuna flakes and Japanese citrus fruits
Rainbow roll A California Roll made with raw fish on top
Saba Mackerel
Sashimi Raw fish or shellfish sliced very thin
Sayori Needle fish
Sawagani Fried fresh-water crab
Shake Fresh salmon
Shime saba Cured mackerel
Shinko A baby gizzard shad fish
Shiokara Fermented seafood
Shoga Strips of ginger pickled in a solution with perilla mint
Spider roll An uramaki sushi roll filled with soft-shell crab
Sushiya A sushi restaurant or sushi bar
Suke maguro Seared, marinated blue fin tuna
Sukemaguro don Chirashi sushi consisting of marinated red tuna on top of vinegar rice
Suzuki Japanese sea bass
Tai Red snapper
Tai kobujime Red snapper with skin, flavored with seaweed
Takko Octopus
Tamago Omelette made of hen egg
Tekkeamaki A hosomaki sushi roll filled with raw tuna and vinegar rice
Tekkappamaki A sushi roll filled with tuna, cucumber and vinegar rice
Temaki A type of sushi roll where the roll is cone-shaped with the ingredients tight at the narrow end and loose at the winder end. Also known as a hand roll
Tempura roll A hosomaki sushi roll filled with tempura, usually shrimp tempura, and vinegar rice
Tobiko Roe of the flying fish
Tobiwo Flying fish
Toro Fatty tuna
Ume Japanese plum, often called "umeboshi"
Umejisomaki A sushi roll filled with Japanese basil and plum
Umekyu A sushi roll filled with plum paste, cucumber and vinegar rice
Unagi Fresh-water eel
Uramaki A sushi roll where the fillings are wrapped in dried seaweed surrounded by rice on the outside
Unakyu A hosomaki sushi roll filled with fresh-water eel and rice
Uni Sea urchin
Vinegar rice A type of rice mixed with vinegar and used to make sushi
Waloo Hawaiian angelfish
Wasabi A Japanese plant, which is in the same family as mustard and horseradish and has a thick green root, or the spicy condiment make of this root. Can also refer to an imitation condiment make with horseradish and green dye
Wu ika Body of a squid
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