- A -
Aburi - neta that is lightly torched or grilled on top.
Ainame - fat greenling.
Akagai - ark shell.
Akami - can refer to either red flesh fish in general, or to the leaner part of tuna.
Akamutsu - rosy seabass.
Akasu - traditional Edomae style red sake lees vinegar used by some chefs to flavor sushi rice.
Aji - Japanese jack mackerel, also called horse mackerel. Aji can also mean "taste" in Japanese.
Amadai - tilefish.
Amaebi - deep water shrimp.
Amai - sweetness.
Anago - sea eel.
Anakyu maki - anago and cucumber hosomaki.
Ankimo - monkfish liver.
Aori ika - bigfin reef squid.
Aoyagi - surf clam.
Ara - perch.
Awabi - abalone.
- B -
Bafun uni - "horse dung" sea urchin, with dark orange color and rich taste.
Binnaga maguro - albacore.
Botan ebi - botan shrimp.
Buri - adult yellowtail, also called Japanese amberjack.
- C -
Chawan-mushi - steamed egg custard.
Chu-toro - medium fatty tuna.
- E -
Ebi - prawn.
Edo - the former name of Tokyo.
Edomae - literally meaning "in front of Edo" as a reference to Tokyo Bay - used to indicate traditonal Tokyo-style nigiri sushi.
Ezo bafun uni - prized varietal of bafun uni.
- F -
Futomaki - a thick roll that contains multiple cooked ingredients. An Osaka regional specialty.
- G -
Gari - ginger.
Gezakana - throwaway, cheap fish.
Gunkanmaki - warship or battleship roll.
- H -
Hagotai - an "al dente", or “toothy” consistency; considered a desirable attribute of shari.
Hamaguri - common hard clam.
Hashi - chopsticks.
Hikarimono - refers to blue / silver, shiny fish.
Himokyu maki - akagai and cucumber hosomaki.
Hiramasa - summer yellowtail.
Hirame - halibut / flounder.
Hirasuzuki - blackfin sea bass.
Hobo - red gurnard.
Hokkigai - surf clam.
Hon-maguro - literally "real tuna", refers to pacific bluefin tuna.
Hoshigarei - spotted halibut.
Hosomaki - Edo-style thin sushi roll.
Hotate - scallop.
- I -
Ika - squid.
Ika no shiokara - squid guts fermented in salt and malted rice.
Ikura - salmon roe.
Inada - young yellowtail about 1 year in age and 1 foot in length.
Isaki - chicken grunt.
Itamae - literally meaning "in front of the board", refers to a chef or cook.
Iwana - arctic shar.
Iwashi - sardine.
- K -
Kamasu - barracuda.
Kan - one piece of nigiri sushi rice.
Kanpachi - great amberjack.
Kanpyo - gourd.
Kanpyomaki - gourd roll.
Kappamaki - cucumber roll.
Karasumi - dried mullet roe.
Karei - flat fish / flounder.
Kasugo - young Japanese sea bream.
Katsuo - bonito.
Kawahagi - thread-sail filefish.
Kawashimozukuri - a sushi preparation method that involves splashing fish skin with boiling water to tenderize it, then quickly chilling it with ice.
Kazunoko - herring roe.
Kegani - horsehair crab.
Kihada maguro - yellowfin tuna.
Kinmedai - splendid alfonsino.
Kisetsukan - attention to the four seasons in Japanese culture.
Kisu - sillago / sand whiting.
Kobashira - ligament of surf clam.
Kobujime - cured with kelp. Can also refer to neta placed between strips of kombu.
Kochi - flathead.
Kohada - gizzard shad.
Koikuchi shoyu - type of soy sauce often used to prepare sushi.
Komai - rice that has been aged six months to a year or more.
Komé - rice.
Komézu - rice vinegar.
Konbu - kelp.
Konoshiro - actual Japanese name of the fish typically called kohada.
Konowata - salted sea cucumber entrails.
Koshu - aged sake.
Kuromaguro - bluefin tuna.
Kuromutsu - gnomefish.
Kuruma ebi - Japanese tiger prawn.
- M -
Madai - Japanese sea bream.
Madara - pacific cod.
Magochi - flathead, also called kochi.
Maguro - pacific bluefin tuna.
Maguro bocho - large knife used by fishmongers to slice tuna.
Makajiki - striped marlin.
Maki - sushi made as a roll with rice, toasted nori, and filling.
Makisu- bamboo mat used to make maki.
Makiyakinabe - rectangular cooking pan.
Makogarei - marbled flounder.
Mebachi maguro - bigeye tuna.
Mirin - a type of rice wine used in cooking. Similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content.
Mirugai - giant clam, also called geoduck.
Miso shiru - miso soup.
Murasaki uni - "purple" uni which has yellow color and sweet taste.
Mushi-awabi - steamed abalone.
- N -
Nakaoroshi gyosha - an intermediate wholesaler in the seafood trade. A nakaoroshi gyosha at Tsukiji market buys product at auction and sells to sushi chefs or retail stores.
Nama - meaning fresh, unpasteurized or raw, depending on the context.
Narezushi - a sushi preparation method involving salting fish and wrapping it in fermented rice for several months to preserve it.
Nebari - a sticky consistency and texture; considred a desirable attribute of shari.
Negitoro maki - fatty tuna and green onion hosomaki.
Neta - anything placed on top of the shari in nigiri. Also called tane.
Nigiri - vinegared rice combined with neta served as a bite sized piece.
Nihonshu - literally "Japanese liquor", an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice that has been polished. Often called "sake".
Ni-ika - simmered squid stuffed with rice.
Nikiri - a sauce lightly brushed on top of neta just before serving to the customer. Usually comprised of soy sauce, dashi, mirin, and sake.
Nimono - refers to any simmered or boiled fish.
Nishin - herring.
Nitsume - a sauce made when anago broth is combined with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce, then reduced.
Nodoguro - rosy seabass.
Nori - toasted seaweed.
- O -
Oboro - sweet ground shrimp.
Okimari - a set course.
Okonomi - selecting what to eat à la carte.
Omakase - leaving what food to eat up to the chef, aka "chef's choice".
Oshibori - wet towel used to clean hands at beginning of meal, and between nigiri pieces.
O-toro - very fatty tuna.
Otoshi - small appetizer.
Otsumami - a small dish, usually served with alcohol and / or at the beginning of a meal.
- S -
Saba - mackerel.
Sake - liquor, can refer to any alcoholic beverage, but often refers to nihonshu.
Sakura-dai - cherry blossom sea bream.
Sanma - pacific saury.
Sawara - Spanish mackerel.
Sayori - Japanese halfbeak.
Shako - squilla / mantis shrimp.
Shari - sushi rice that has been formed into a small piece (kan) to create nigiri.
Shigoto - the process of carrying out an extra step (such as brushing fish with nikiri) to prepare the sushi.
Shima aji - stripped jack.
Shima ebi - morotoge shrimp.
Shin ika - young cuttlefish.
Shinko - young kohada.
Shirako - cod sperm sac.
Shirauo - Japanese ice fish.
Shiromi - category of fish with white flesh.
Shoyu - soy sauce.
Shun - the peak season for a particular ingredient.
Sudachi - Japanese citrus fruit.
Sujiko - fish eggs still enclosed in the ovarian sack.
Sujime - marinated with vinegar.
Sumeshi - vinegared rice.
Sumiika - Japanese spineless cuttlefish.
Suppai - sourness.
Sushi - cooked vinegared rice combined with neta.
Sushi-meshi - sushi rice.
Sushiya - sushi shop.
Sushi-yasan - sushi shop.
Suzuki - Japanese sea bass.
Shusse-uo - a fish that is called differently depending on its age or stage of development.
- T -
Tai - Japanese sea bream.
Taishō - sushi master.
Tairagai - razor clam.
Tako - octopus.
Takuan - pickled daikon radish.
Tamago - grilled egg.
Tane - anything placed on top of the shari in nigiri. Also called neta.
Teate - any prep work such as marinating and curing.
Tekkamaki - tuna roll.
Temaki - hand roll.
Tobi-uo - flying fish.
Tofu - bean curd.
Torigai - cockle.
Toro - fatty tuna.
Tsukemono - pickled items.
Tsuke-dai - wooden serving platter on which nigiri is placed.
Tsukiji - world famous seafood and vegetable market in Tokyo. Most high quality sushi neta are sourced from this market.
Tsume - a reduction sauce made when anago broth is combined with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce, then reduced. Brushed on top of some neta such as anago, shako, and tako.
Tsuya - a visible luster and sheen, which is considered a desirable attribute of shari.
- U -
Umami - the fifth taste category which corresponds to the flavor of glutamates.
Unagi - fresh water eel, it is not served as Edomae sushi.
Uni - sea urchin.
- W -
Wakashi - young yellowtail.
Warasa - yellowtail that is about 3 years of age.
Wasabi - Japanese horseradish.
- Y -
Yakimono - grilled item.
Yari ika - spear squid.
- Z -
Zuke - marinated in soy sauce.