Sushi Glossary

The sushi glossary was created because memorizing the hundreds of Japanese terms that are used in the sushi industry can be hard.  On all of my web pages, Japanese terms will be italicized.  If you see a term that you don’t recognize, feel free to hop over to this page to reference its unique meaning.

Don’t see the term you are looking for?  Maybe you heard a term used elsewhere and you wanted to know if it was used for sushi?

Feel free to use the Contact Page to ask any questions about the term(s) you’re looking for. You don’t need to know the term itself, as long as you can give me an accurate description of what the object (or technique) is.

Sushi Glossary - Fish and other seafood

Sushi glossary - fish and other seafood

Aji  Spanish mackerel

Akaga . Red clam

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 Saltwater Conger eel

Aoyagi Yellow clam

Awabi Abalone

Ayu Sweetfish

Bonito English word for the Japanese katsuo

Buri Adult yellowtail

Chu-toro Medium fatty tuna, from the upper belly

Ebi Shrimp

Fugu Blowfish (potentially lethal)

Hamachi Yellowtail

Hamachi-kama – Yellowtail collars

Hamo Pike conger

Hatahata Sandfish

Hirame Halibut

Hokkigai Surf clam

Hotategai Scallops

Ika Squid

Ikura Salmon roe

Iwana Char

Iwashi Sardine

Kajiki Swordfish

Kamaboko Fish cake

Kani Crab meat

Kani-kama – Fake crab meat

Kanimiso Green contents of a crab’s head

Karei Flounder, flatfish

Katsuo Bonito fish

Katsuo-boshi – Dried bonito fish

Kazunoko Herring roe

Kimachi A small fish from the yellowtail family

Kohada Gizzard shad

Kurodai Snapper

Maguro Tuna

Masu Trout

Mekajiki Blue marlin

Mentaiko Spicy, marinated cod roe

Mirugai Long neck clam

Niika Cooked Monterey squid

Nijimasu Rainbow trout

O-toro Fattiest tuna

Saba Mackerel

Sake Salmon

Sanma Japanese mackerel

Sawagan . Small crabs

Seigo Young sea bass

Shiro maguro Albacore tuna

Suzuki Striped bass or rockfish

Tai Red Snapper

Tairagai Razor-shell clam

Tako Octopus

Nama-tako – Fresh or raw octopus

Tarako Cod roe

Tobiko Flying fish roe

Torigai. – Cockle clam

Toro Fatty tuna

Negitoro – Chopped and mixed negi-onion and toro

Unagi Freshwater eel

Unagi maki – Eel roll

Uni Sea urchin

Sushi Glossary: Equipment

Geta – Wooden sushi plate

Hocho – General term for knife

Hangiri – Large, wooden basin used for cooling rice

Hashi – Chopsticks

Makisu – Bamboo rolling mat

Oshitsu – Japanese container to keep sushi rice warm

Shamoji – Wooden or bamboo rice paddle

Sushi Glossary: Ingredients

Daikon – Giant, long white radish.

Dashi – Fish stock.

Edamame – Soybeans, served in the pod as an appetizer.

Fuki – A fibrous vegetable often simmered in broth.

Gari Pickled ginger.

Gobo – Long, slender burdock root.

Goma Sesame seeds.

Hijiki – Black seaweed in tiny threads.

Kampyo – Dried gourd strips.

Kappa – Cucumber, when used in a roll.

Kombu – Kelp, possibly dried.

Murasaki – Sushi term for soy sauce.

Nasu – Eggplant.

Negi – A Japanese onion.

Nori – Purple laver seaweed pressed into thin sheets.

Oshinko – Pickled vegetables, usually cucumber.

Ponzu – Citrus/Soy sauce made with Yuzu

Shoyu – Japanese soy sauce.

Su – Seasoned rice wine vinegar.

Sumitomo – A kind of cucumber salad.

Sunomono – Pickled foods.

Tamago – Egg!

Takenoko – Bamboo shoots.

Takuan – Pickled daikon radish.

Tsukemono – Pickles.

Umeboshi – Small, bitter, pickled Japanese plum.

Wakame – Lobe-leaf seaweed in strands.

Yuzu – Japanese lemon.

Sushi Glossary: General Terms

Agemono – Fried foods.

Futomaki Fat roll.

Fukusa sushi A type of sushi that is wrapped in a crepe.

Inari sushi Aburage stuffed with sushi rice.

Maki sushi  A sushi roll with rice on the outside.

Norimaki – A roll with nori on the outside.

Nigiri sushi A slice of fish or other toppings on a ball of rice.

Okonomi-zushi Home-style nigiri sushi.

Onigiri Rice balls with various stuffings.

Oshi-zushi Sushi rice and other ingredients pressed into a box or mold.

Sashimi Sliced or prepared raw fish.

Sushi Anything made with vinegar rice.

Tataki – Finely chopped or pan-seared, then finely chopped.

Tazuna sushi A roll with diagonal strips of food across the top.

Tempura – Deep-fried vegetables or seafood.

Temaki Hand rolls, usually cone-shaped.