The World Wide Sushi Reference Glossary

This page contains a list of some sushi-related words and phrases which you might find on this site or in a sushi bar.

General sushi vocabulary

• Bara sushi. Sushi rice and ingredients mixed together, as a rice salad.
• Chirashi sushi (Iso-don, gomoku sushi). Sushi rice bed under other ingredients.
• Funamori (Gunkan maki, kakomi sushi). Nigiri sushi wrapped to hold in less solid ingredients.
• Futomaki. Large roll.
• Fukusa sushi. A type of sushi which is wrapped in a crepe.
• Inari sushi. Aburage stuffed with sushi rice.
• Make sushi. Nori seaweed and a layer of rice around a core of fillings.
• Norimake. A roll with nori seaweed on the outside.
• California roll. Crab meat, smelt or flying fish roe, avocado.
• Philidelphia roll. Salmon, cream cheese and some sort of vegetable.
• Nigiri sushi. A slice of fish or other topping atop vinegared rice.
• Okonomi-zushi. Home-style nigiri sushi.
• Onigiri. Balls made with plain steamed rice with various stuffings.
• Oshizushi. Sushi rice and other ingredients pressed into a box or mold. .
• Sashimi. Sliced or prepared raw fish.
• Sushi. Anything made with vinegared rice.
• Tazuna sushi (Rainbow roll). A roll with diagonal strips of food across the top.
• Temaki. Hand rolls, usually cone-shaped.

Fish

• Aji. Spanish mackerel, horse mackerel.
• Aji-no-tataki. Fresh Spanish mackerel.
• Akagai. Red clam.
• Tarako. Cod roe.
• Akami. Lean tuna, cut from the back of the fish.
• Ama-ebi. Sweet shrimp, usually served raw.
• Odori-ebi. “Dancing shrimp,” ama ebi served living.
• Anago. Conger eel (saltwater).
• Ankimo. Monkfish liver.
• Aoyagi. Yellow clam.
• Awabi. Abalone.
• Ayu. Sweetfish.
• Baigai. Small water snails.
• Bonito. English word, for the Japanese katsuo.
• Botan-ebi.
• Buri. Adult yellowtail.
• Chikuwa. Browned fish cake with a hole running through its length.
• Chutoro. Medium fatty tuna, from the upper belly.
• Ebi. Shrimp.
• Engawa. (1) Halibut fin muscle; (2) meat surrounding the scallop muscle.
• Fugu. Blowfish, toxic if improperly prepared!.
• Geoduck. Mirugai, in the American Pacific northwest.
• Hamachi. Yellowtail.
• Hamachi-kama. Yellowtail collars.
• Hamo. Pike conger.
• Hatahata. Sandfish.
• Hirame. Halibut.
• Hokkigai. Surf clam.
• Hotatagai. Scallops.
• Ika. Squid.
• Ika-geso. Squid’s tentacles.
• Ikura. Salmon roe.
• Iwana. Char.
• Iwashi. Sardine.
• Kajiki. Swordfish.
• Kamaboko. Fish cake.
• Kani. Crab meat.
• Kani-kamaboko. Fake crab meat.
• Kanimiso. Green contents of a crab’s head.
• Kanpachi. Very young yellowtail.
• Karei. Flounder, flatfish.
• Katsuo. Bonito fish.
• Katsuo-boshi. Dried bonito fish.
• Kimachi. A small fish from the yellowtail family.
• Kohada. Gizzard shad.
• Koi. Saltwater carp.
• Kurodai. Snapper.
• Langostino. A small shellfish.
• Madai. Red seabream.
• Maguro. Tuna.
• Masu. Trout.
• Mekajiki. Blue marlin.
• Mirugai. Long neck clam.
• Niika. Cooked Monterey squid.
• Nijimasu. Rainbow trout.
• Otoro. Fattest tuna.
• Saba. Mackeral.
• Sake. Salmon.
• Sanma. Japanese mackeral.
• Sawagani. Small crabs.
• Sayori. (Springtime) halfbeak.
• Seigo. Young sea bass.
• Shako. Mantis shrimp.
• Shira-uo. Whitebait, icefish or salangid.
• Shiro maguro. Albacore tuna.
• Shirako. Sperms sacs of the cod fish.
• Suzuki. Striped bass, rockfish.
• Tai. Sea bream, porgy, snapper.
• Tairagai. Razor-shell clam.
• Tako. Octopus.
• Nama-tako. Fresh or raw octopus.
• Tekka. Tuna, especially in a roll.
• Kazunoko. Herring roe.
• Tobiko. Flying fish roe.
• Torigai. Cockle clam.
• Sazae. Conch.
• Toro. Fatty tuna.
• Negitoro. Chopped and mixed negi-onion and toro.
• Unagi. Freshwater eel.
• Unagi maki. Eel roll.
• Unagi no kimo. Eel innards.
• Una-don. Grilled eel, served on rice.
• Uni. Sea urchin.
• Kanikama. Imitation crab.
• Mentaiko. Spicy, marinated cod roe.

Terms about fish

• Hikari-mono. Fish sliced for serving with the silver fish skin left on.
• Neta. The fish topping in nigiri sushi.
• Shiromi no sakana. Sushi/sashimi fish which are relatively white in color.
• Sukimi. Bits of fish scraped from the bones, used in rolls.

Fruit, vegetables & seaweed

• Bamboo shoots. Bought sliced or whole.
• Daikon. Giant, long white radish.
• Buri-daikon.
• Edamame. Soybeans, served in the pod as an appetizer.
• Fuki. A fibrous vegetable often simmered in broth.
• Gobo. Long, slender burdock root.
• Hijiki. Black seaweed in tiny threads.
• Kampyo. Dried gourd strips.
• Kappa. Cucumber, when used in a roll.
• Kombu. Kelp, possibly dried.
• Konnyaku. Gelatinous, rubbery oblong cake made from snake palm.
• Nasu. Eggplant.
• Negi. A Japanese onion.
• Nori. Purple laver seaweed pressed into thin sheets.
• Oshinko. Pickled vegetables, usually cucumber.
• Sumitomo. A kind of cucumber salad.
• Takenoko. Bamboo shoots.
• Takuwan. Pickled daikon.
• Tsukemono. Pickles.
• Umeboshi. Small, bitter, pickled Japanese plum.
• Wakame. Lobe-leaf seaweed, possibly dried, in strands.

Spices & seeds

• Aji-no-moto. Monosodium glutamate (MSG).
• Beni shoga. Red pickled ginger.
• Gari. Pickled ginger.
• Goma. Sesame seeds.
• Hichimi togarashi. A western dialect rendering of shichimi togarashi.
• Kinome. Leaves of the Japanese prickly ash.
• Kuro goma. Black sesame seeds.
• Nanami togarashi. Mixed hot spices.
• Ohba. Japanese beefsteak plant.
• Sansho. Japanese pepper.
• Shichimi togarashi. Mixed hot spices.
• Shiro goma. White sesame seeds.
• Shiso. Japanese mint.
• Togarashi. Whole dried hot red peppers.
• Wasabi. Green, very hot Japanese horseradish.
• Renkon. Lotus roots.
• Sato-imo. Taro root.
• Shoga. Ginger root.

Noodles & grains

• Gyoza. Stuffed wonton, pan-fried, sautéed and/or steamed.
• Harusame. Thin, transparent bean gelatin noodles.
• Ramen. Thin noodles, often used in fast-prepare packets.
• Shari. A sushi bar term for sushi rice.
• Shiratake. Translucent rubbery noodles.
• Soba. Buckwheat noodles.
• Soba-zushi. Sushi made with soba rather than rice.
• Toshi-koshi soba. Japanese custom of eating soba at the end of the year.
• Somen. White, threadlike wheat noodles.
• Sushimeshi. Rice for preparing sushi.
• Udon. Thick, wide wheat noodles.

Mushrooms & other fungi

• Cloud ears. Alternate name for Kikurage.
• Kikurage. A dried fungus.
• Matsutake. Very rare pine mushroom.
• Shiitake. A type of Japanese mushroom.
• Wood ears. Alternate name for kikurage.

Beans & bean products (including tofu)

• Aburage. Puffy, brown fried tofu.
• Aka miso. Red soy bean paste.
• An. Sweetened puree of cooked red beans.
• Azuki. Small red beans used to make an.
• Koyadofu. Freeze-dried tofu.
• Miso. Soy bean paste.
• Momen tofu. “Cottony” bean curd.
• Moyashi. Bean sprouts.
• Natto. Fermented soy bean.
• Shiro miso. White soy bean paste.
• Sweet bean paste. Red azuki beans boiled with sugar.
• Tofu. Soybean curd.
• Yamakaki. Grated mountain potato with chunks of maguro.
• Yakidofu. Broiled or grilled soy bean curd.

Soups

• Anko-nabe. Monkfish stew.
• Fugu-chiri. Blowfish soup.
• Ishikari-nabe. Salmon stew with sake.

Other food & preparations

• Aemono. Vegetables or meats mixed with a dressing or sauce.
• Agemono. Fried foods.
• Basashi. Horse sashimi.
• Bulgogi. A Korean marinated beef dish.
• Buta. Pork.
• Cha kaiseki. Small meal served with as part of a tea ceremony.
• Dashi. Basic fish stock.
• Gohan. Plain boiled rice.
• Gyu Tataki. Beef tataki.
• Horenso No Ohitashi. A spinach dish.
• Ji-. Prefix: locally made or caught.
• Kaiseki-bento. Smaller, less expensive version of kaiseki-ryori, often eaten at lunch.
• Kaiseki-ryori. A multi-course meal of many small, simple, and typically seasonal dishes..
• Kareh katsu. Curry sauce poured over deep-fried pork cutlet.
• Katsu. A cutlet.
• Katsudon. Deep-fried pork cutlet served with sauce over rice.
• Kim chee. Korean spicy marinated cabbage.
• Manju. Sweet bun filled with an.
• Meshimono. Rice mixed with meat or vegetables.
• Mitzutaki. Cooked in liquid.
• Mochi. Sweet glutinous rice cakes.
• Mochigome. Mochi rice.
• Mochiko. Sweet glutinous rice flour.
• Murasaki. Sushi bar term for soy sauce.
• Mushimono. Steamed foods.
• Nabemono. One-pot meals.
• Nama-. Prefix: (food) raw, (beer) draught.
• Nimono. Simmered or boiled foods.
• Pan-joon. Very light Korean scallion pancake.
• Ponzu. Sauce made with Japanese citron.
• Robata-Yaki. Fresh ingrediants cooked over a wood fire.
• Sakamushi. Steamed over sake.
• Senbei. Thin, crisp rice crackers.
• Shabu-shabu. Food blanched at the table; served with sauce.
• Shirumono. Generic Japanese term for soup.
• Shoyu. Japanese soy sauce.
• Shu-mei. Stuffed wontons, served steamed or deep-fried.
• Soy sauce. Salty sauce made from fermented soybeans.
• Spicy Mayonnaise. A common condiment with some kinds of sushi rolls.
• Su. Rice vinegar.
• Suimono. Clear soup.
• Sukiyaki. Thinly sliced beef and raw vegetables cooked at the table.
• Sunomono. Vinegared foods.
• Tamago yaki. Fried egg.
• Tamago. Eggs.
• Tare. Any thick sauce, usually soy-based and slightly sweetened.
• Tataki. Finely chopped.
• Tataki. Grilled on the surface, then chopped.
• Tempura. Seafood or vegetables, battered and deep-fried.
• Teriyaki sauce. A sweetened soy sauce.
• Teriyaki. Broiled foods marinated in a sweet soy sauce.
• Tonkatsu. Pork cutlet, breaded then fried.
• Tori. Chicken.
• Ume-shiso. Plum paste and shiso leaf mixture.
• Usukuchi shoyu. Light Japanese soy sauce.
• Yaki. Grilled, toasted.
• Yakimono. Broiled foods.
• Yakinori. Toasted seaweed.
• Yakitori. Skewer-grilled foods.
• Yakumi. One of several strongly flavored seasonings.
• Yosenabe. A fish, seafood and vegetable soup.

Other cooking related items

• Donburi. Large bowl for noodle and rice dishes.
• Geta. Wooden block used at a sushi bar as a plate.
• Hashi. Chopsticks.
• Hocho. General term for knives.
• Makisu. Mat made of bamboo strips for making roll sushi.
• Mirin. Sweet rice wine for cooking.
• Ohitsu. A special bowl to keep rice warm.
• Oshibori. Moistened heated towel.
• Oshiwaku. Wooden box with top.
• Shamoji. Flat rice-serving spoon.
• Sudare. Floor- or window-sized bamboo mat.
• Suribachi. A bowl with corrugations on the inside, used as a mortar.
• Surikogi. A wooden pestle shaped like a big cucumber.
• Tatami. A rush mat used as a floor covering.

Useful phrases

• Domo. Thank you.
• Domo arigato. Thank you very much.
• Dozo. Please.
• Gaijin. Outsiders, foreigners.
• Gochiso-sama [deshita]. Traditional phrase closing a meal.
• Hai. Yes.
• Itadakimasu. Traditional phrase opening a meal.
• Itamae. The sushi (or other Japanese) chef.
• Konichiwa. A greeting, roughly `how are you’.
• Omakase. Chef’s choice.
• Okonomi. The practice of ordering sushi a few pieces at a time.
• Sabinuki. `No wasabi, please.’.