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Food Summaries
Japanese Food

Sushi Guide -
Common Sushi Terms List

by Vaughn Aubuchon

The following list summarizes the most common Japanese sushi terms. The difference between sushi and sashimi is defined.

This is a mini sushi refresher course, translating common Japanese sushi terms into English.


     Sushi Refresher

      The Short List of Raw-Fish Terms

Sushi -

Sweetened, pickled rice plus fish - the fish is sashimi.


Sashimi -

Raw fish fillets without rice



Aji -

Spanish mackerel or sometimes called horse mackerel.

Akagai -

Pepitona clam, which is red in color

Ama Ebi -

Sweet shrimp

Anago -

Salt water or conger eel. It is precooked (boiled)

Aoyagi -

Red clam, or sometimes known as round clam

Awabi -



Hamachi -

Young yellowtail tuna, or amberjack

Hamaguri -


Hirame -

Fluke or flounder

Hokkigai -

Surf clam, which is thorn-shaped piece with red coloring on one side

Hotategai -


Ika -

Squid - The body of the Ika is eaten raw, tentacles are usually toasted

Ikura -

Salmon roe


Kajiki -


Kaki -


Kamaboko -

Imitation crab meat. Generally used in California rolls

Kani -

Real crab meat. It is always served cooked

Kazunoko -

Herring roe, sometimes served raw (kazunoko konbu)

Kobashiri -

Small scallops

Kohada -

Japanese shad, gizzard shad, or young punctatus

Kujira -



Maguro -

Tuna, red meat, which is not to be confused with Toro white meat

Mekajiki -


Mirugai -

Surf, geoduck, or horseneck clam

Ohyo -


Saba -

Mackerel, which is almost always served lightly salted and marinated

Sake -

Salmon, but pronounced differently


Tairagai -

Razor-shell clam

Tako -

Cooked octopus

Tamago -

Sweet egg custard wrapped in dried seaweed

Tobiko -

Flying-fish roe, red and crunchy, often served with quail egg yolk

Torigai -

Japanese cockle, which is a black and white shell fish

Toro -

Fatty tuna. O-Toro is considered to be the finest

Unagi -

Freshwater eel that is grilled

Uni -

Sea urchin, usually quite expensive


Futo-Maki -

Large, oversized rolls

Gari -

Pickled ginger root that comes with sushi

Miso -

Soy bean paste

Maki-mono -

Vinegared rice and fish (or other ingredients) rolled in nori seaweed

Maki-sushi -

Rice and seaweed rolls with fish and/or vegetables.

Sake -

Rice wine that can be served both hot and cold

Tempura -

Seafood or vegetables dipped in batter and deep fried

Wasabi -

Japanese horseradish. This is the small lump of very spicy stuff.


200 - 450


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This Vaughns Sushi Guide
was last updated on 2019-03-09.