Having trouble with the menu? Ever wondered what certain Japanese words or terms mean?
This glossary will expand your knowledge of Japanese terms.
General Sushi Vocabulary
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 less solid ingredients.
A type of sushi which is wrapped in a crepe.
Aburage stuffed with sushi rice.
Nori seaweed and a layer of rice around a core of fillings.
A roll with nori seaweed on the outside.
Crab meat, smelt or flying fish roe, avocado.
Salmon, cream cheese and some sort of vegetable.
A slice of fish or other topping atop vinegared rice.
Balls made with plain steamed rice with various stuffings.
Sushi rice and other ingredients pressed into a box or mold.
Sliced or prepared raw fish.
Anything made with vinegared rice.
Tazuna sushi (Rainbow roll)
A roll with diagonal strips of food across the top.
Hand rolls, usually cone-shaped.
Spanish mackerel, horse mackerel.
Fresh Spanish mackerel.
Lean tuna, cut from the back of the fish.
Sweet shrimp, usually served raw.
Conger eel (saltwater).
Small water snails.
English word, for the Japanese katsuo.
Browned fish cake with a hole running through its length.
Medium fatty tuna, from the upper belly.
(1) Halibut fin muscle; (2) meat surrounding the scallop muscle.
Blowfish, toxic if improperly prepared!.
Mirugai, in the American Pacific northwest.
Fake crab meat.
Green contents of a crab's head.
Very young yellowtail.
Dried bonito fish.
A small fish from the yellowtail family.
A small shellfish.
Long neck clam.
Cooked Monterey squid.
Young sea bass.
Whitebait, icefish or salangid.
Sperms sacs of the cod fish.
Striped bass, rockfish.
Sea bream, porgy, snapper.
Fresh or raw octopus.
Tuna, especially in a roll.
Flying fish roe.
Chopped and mixed negi-onion and toro.
Unagi no kimo
Grilled eel, served on rice.
Spicy, marinated cod roe.
Terms about Fish
Fish sliced for serving with the silver fish skin left on.
The fish topping in nigiri sushi.
Shiromi no sakana
Sushi/sashimi fish which are relatively white in color.
Bits of fish scraped from the bones, used in rolls.
Fruit, Vegetables & Seaweed
Bought sliced or whole.
Giant, long white radish.
Soybeans, served in the pod as an appetizer.
A fibrous vegetable often simmered in broth.
Long, slender burdock root.
Black seaweed in tiny threads.
Dried gourd strips.
Cucumber, when used in a roll.
Kelp, possibly dried.
Gelatinous, rubbery oblong cake made from snake palm.
A Japanese onion.
Purple laver seaweed pressed into thin sheets.
Pickled vegetables, usually cucumber.
A kind of cucumber salad.
Small, bitter, pickled Japanese plum.
Lobe-leaf seaweed, possibly dried, in strands.
Spices & Seeds
Monosodium glutamate (MSG).
shoga Red pickled ginger.
A western dialect rendering of shichimi togarashi.
Leaves of the Japanese prickly ash.
Black sesame seeds.
Mixed hot spices.
Japanese beefsteak plant.
Mixed hot spices.
White sesame seeds.
Whole dried hot red peppers.
Green, very hot Japanese horseradish.
Noodles & Grains
Stuffed wonton, pan-fried, sautéed and/or steamed.
Thin, transparent bean gelatin noodles.
A sushi bar term for sushi rice.
Translucent rubbery noodles.
Sushi made with soba rather than rice.
Japanese custom of eating soba at the end of the year.
White, threadlike wheat noodles.
Rice for preparing sushi.
Thick, wide wheat noodles.
Mushrooms & Other Fungi
Alternate name for Kikurage.
A dried fungus.
Very rare pine mushroom.
A type of Japanese mushroom.
Beans & Bean Products (including tofu)
Puffy, brown fried tofu.
Small red beans used to make an.
Soy bean paste.
"Cottony" bean curd.
Fermented soy bean.
Red soy bean paste
Sweetened puree of cooked red beans.
White soy bean paste.
Sweet bean paste
Red azuki beans boiled with sugar.
Grated mountain potato with chunks of maguro.
Broiled or grilled soy bean curd.
Salmon stew with sake.
Other Food & Preparations
Vegetables or meats mixed with a dressing or sauce.
A Korean marinated beef dish.
Basic fish stock.
Plain boiled rice.
Prefix: locally made or caught.
Deep-fried pork cutlet served with sauce over rice.
Curry sauce poured over deep-fried pork cutlet.
Spicy marinated cabbage.
Sweet bun filled with an.
Rice mixed with meat or vegetables.
Cooked in liquid.
Sweet glutinous rice cakes.
Sweet glutinous rice flour.
Sushi bar term for soy sauce.
Prefix: (food) raw, (beer) draught.
Simmered or boiled foods.
Very light Korean scallion pancake.
Sauce made with Japanese citron.
Fresh ingrediants cooked over a wood fire.
Steamed over sake.
Thin, crisp rice crackers.
Generic Japanese term for soup.
Japanese soy sauce.
Stuffed wontons, served steamed or deep-fried.
sauce Salty sauce made from fermented soybeans.
A common condiment with some kinds of sushi rolls.
A sweetened soy sauce.
Any thick sauce, usually soy-based and slightly sweetened.
Seafood or vegetables, battered and deep-fried.
Broiled foods marinated in a sweet soy sauce.
Pork cutlet, breaded then fried.
Plum paste and shiso leaf mixture.
Light Japanese soy sauce.
One of several strongly flavored seasonings.
A fish, seafood and vegetable soup.
Horenso No Ohitashi
A spinach dish.
A multi-course meal of many small, simple, and typically seasonal dishes..
Small meal served with as part of a tea ceremony.
Smaller, less expensive version of kaiseki-ryori, often eaten at lunch.
Food blanched at the table; served with sauce.
Thinly sliced beef and raw vegetables cooked at the table.
Sort of a thick, soupy sake.
A sake, rice wine.
25-40% spirit made from potatoes or rice.
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