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Sushi Glossary

Learn these Japanese words, useful when ordering at a restaurant or shopping for ingredients.

Anago: conger eel broiled and brushed with a sweet sauce

Bonito: a type of tuna with a strong flavor; often dried and used as the base for soups

Ebi: shrimp

Futomaki: thick sushi rolls, often made with pickled vegetables

Gari: pickled ginger root that is used to cleanse the palate between bites of different sushi

Gyoku: rolled egg omelette

Hasomaki: thin sushi rolls

Hirame: flounder

Ika: squid

Ikura: salmon roe

Kani: crab

Kappa: cucumber

Maguro: tuna

Maki: sushi that is rolled in nori

Masago: crab roe

Miso: fermented soybean paste that is a basic flavoring in many Japanese dishes

Nigiri: slices of raw or cooked seafood served on a layer of rice

Nori: toasted seaweed sheets used to hold sushi rolls together

Otoro: fatty tuna

Saba: mackerel

Sake: salmon

Sashimi: slices of raw seafood

Short-grain rice: grains stick together, unlike long-grain rice that fluffs, making it ideal for sushi

Shoyu: Soy sauce

Sushi: refers to seasoned rice, not raw fish

Tako: octopus

Temaki: a.k.a. "hand rolls;" sushi that is wrapped in nori in a cone shape

Unagi: eel

Uni: sea urchin roe

Wasabi: a potent Japanese horseradish that is served as a condiment for sushi and can be mixed with soy sauce to make a dipping sauce