There are thousands of outstanding sushi restaurant in the United States serving millions of foodies each year. Yet many people remain intimidated by the sushi-dining process, and never allow themselves to enjoy one of the healthiest, more delicious cuisine styles on the planet.
To help beginning sushi lovers-to-be, we present the follow glossary of basic sushi terms and definitions. This information will help introduce to the world of sushi and provide the knowledge to enter any Japanese restaurant and order with confidence.
Basic Sushi Glossary
Aburage – Fried pouches made of tofu, cooked in water, sake and soy sauce.
Agari – A delicious type of green tea.
Aji – A type of mackerel (also known as “Spanish Mackerel).
Akami – The leanest part of the tuna, Akami is cut from the very back of the fish.
Anago – A conger eel found in salt water.
Anko-nabe – A popular variation of monkfish stew.
Baigai – Small water snails
Bara Sushi – A unique type of sushi in which sushi rice and seafood ingredients are all mixed together and served.
California Roll – One of the most popular sushi dishes in the United States. Includes crab meat, flying fish or smelt and avocado.
Chutoro-maki – A marbled tuna roll
Ebi – Boiled shrimp (plain and simple!).
Engawa – The delicious meat that surrounds the muscle of the scallop (can also refer to the muscle that controls a halibut’s fin).
Fugu – One of the most infamous types of sushi, fugu is a blowfish that can be toxic if prepared incorrectly.
Futo-maki – A roll filled with cooked egg (sweetened), rice, pickled gourd and vegetables.
Ika – Squid
Inada – A young yellowtail fish
Iso-don – A bed of sushi rice served beneath fish, vegetables or a mixture of other items.
Kamaboko – This is a fish cake with pounded whitefish and a mixture of cornstarch.
Kani – Crab meat
Kanpachi – A young yellowtail fish.
Katsu – Not technically sushi, Katsu refers to foods fried using bread crumbs. The most popular type of Katsu is Chicken Katsu.
Koi. Saltwater carp
Kombu and Konbu – These terms refer to kelp or dried seaweed.
Kurodai – A dish using snapper.
Make Sushi – A sushi roll made using seaweed, rice and vegetables at the core of the roll.
Maki-mono – Rice and fish rolled together and wrapped in seaweed
Mochi – Sweet rice cakes
Mushimono – Refers to any steamed dish.
Philadelphia Roll – Another American favorite, a Philadelphia Roll is a roll made with salmon, cream cheese and vegetables.
Sake. A strong wine made from rice. An essential at most sushi restaurants around the world.
Sashimi – This popular dish includes chilled raw fish served without rice. (Fish is sliced)
Senbei – These thin rice crackers are usually served with soy sauce or a variety of other seasonings.
Shirumono – The Japanese term for soup
Shoyu – Soy sauce
Suimono – A clear, but flavorful soup
Tako – Octopus
Tekka-don – A selection of raw tuna served over rice.
Wasabi – A spicy Japanese horseradish. If you’ve never used Wasabi before, be careful your first time!
Yosenabe – A Japanese fish and vegetable stew.