A Glossary of Sushibar words.


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ABURAGE - Fried tofu pouches prepared by cooking in sweet cooking sake, soy sauce, and water.

AEMONO - Vegetables or meats mixed with a dressing or sauce.

AGARI - A Japanese sushi-bar term for green tea.

AGEMONO - Fried foods either deep-fat fried or pan-fried.

AJI - Spanish mackerel, horse mackerel.

AJI-NO-MOTO - Monosodium glutamate(MSG).

AJI-NO-TATAKI - Fresh Spanish mackerel.

AKAGAI - Red clam or ark shell.

AKAMI - Lean tuna, cut from the back of the fish. See also maguro.

AMA-EBI - Sweet shrimp, usually served raw.

AMAZAKE - A sweetener or refreshing drink made from cooked sweet rice and koji starter that has fermented into a thick liquid. Also spelled amasake.

ANA-KYU-MAKI - Conger eel-and-cucumber rolls.

ANAGO - Conger eel (saltwater). See also unagi.

ANKIMO - Monkfish liver.

ANKO-NABE - Monkfish stew.

AOYAGI - Yellow round clam.

ARAME - A mild tasting sea vegetable that is similar to hijiki. Arame is a brown algae that grows in deep waters. Rich in iron, calcium, and other minerals, arame is often cooked with sweet root vegetables and served as a side dish.

ARIGATO GOZAIMASHITA - "Thank you very much" (end of the evening).

ASPERGILLUS - A specific group of molds used to inoculate beans and grains to make koji, Aspergillus is the starter for many Japanese fermented foods.

AWABI - Abalone.

AYU - Sweetfish.

AZUKI BEANS - Small, dark red beans. Especially good when cooked with kombu and winter squash. This bean is also spelled adzuki or aduki.


BAIGAI - Small water snails.

BAMBOO SHOOTS - Bought sliced in supermarkets or whole in Japanese markets.

BANCHA TEA - Japan's coarse summer tea leaves that are sold as lower quality green tea.

BARAN - A green, plastic garnish cut into intricate leaf shapes.

BARA SUSHI - Sushi Rice and ingredients mixed together, as a rice salad. Regional to Kansai.

BASASHI - Horse sashimi.

BATTERA ZUSHI - Oshi-zushi topped with mackerel

BENI SHOGA - Red pickled ginger.

BENTO - Meal served in a compartmentalized, lacquered wooden box.

BIFUN NOODLES - Light, transparent noodles made from rice flour and potato starch.

BIRU - Beer.

BIIRU - Beer.

BONITO - English word for the Japanese Katsuo.

BULLDOG SAUCE - The leading brand of tonkatsu sauce.

BURDOCK - A hardy plant that grows wild and is cultivated throughout the United States as well as Japan. The long, dark burdock root is delicious in soups, stews, and vegetable dishes. It is highly valued in macrobiotic diets for its strengthening qualities. Burdock's Japanese name is Gobo.

BURI - Adult yellowtail.

BUTA - Pork.


CALIFORNIA ROLL - Crab meat (or fake crab meat sticks), smelt or flying fish roe, avocado.

CALPIS - A sweet soft drink derived from milk, that's similar in taste to barley water, dilute to taste and serve ice-cold.

CHA - The japanese word for tea.

CHAKIN ZUSHI - Vinegared rice wrapped in a thin egg crepe.

CHA-NO-YU - The Zen Buddhist tea ceremony.

CHAWAN-MUSHI - A savory egg custard served in a tea tumbler (chawan).

CHIKUWA - Browned fish cake with a hole running through its length.

CHIRASHI SUSHI - Sushi format, raw sliced fish scattered on top of the rice.

CHIRASHI ZUSHI - Bed of sushi rice with other ingredients mixed on top. Also Chirashi zushi.

CHUTORO - Medium fatty tuna, from the upper belly. See also toro and otoro.

CHUTORO MAKI - marbled-tuna roll.


DAIKON - A long, white radish, sweeter than round, red radishes, often grated or cut into fine strips. Daikon helps dissolve stagnant fat deposits that have accumulated in the body. Freshly grated raw daikon is especially helpful in the digestion of oily foods.

DASHI - An all-purpose stock for soups and simmered dishes usually made with kombu (a type of seaweed) and flavored with dried shiitake or katsuoboshi (bonito flakes).

DOBIN-MUSHI - A variety of morsels (prawn, fish, chicken, shiitake, gingko nuts) in a gently flavored fish-stock based soup, steamed (mushi) and served in a clay tea-pot (dobin).

DOBUROKU - Sort of a thick, soupy sake.

DONBURI - A large bowl for noodle and rice dishes.

DONBURI - A bowl of boiled rice with various toppings, such as beef, chicken, egg.

DOMO - "Thank you."

EBI - Boiled Shrimp. See also Ama Ebi

EDOMAE ZUSHI - Same as nigiri-zushi.

ENGAWA - The muscle that controls the fin on halibut or the meat surrounding the muscle in a scallop.

ERITADENINE - A substance found in shiitake that lowers blood cholesterol.


FU - A dried wheat-gluten product. Available in thin sheets or thick round cakes, fu is a satisfying high-protein food used in soups, stews and vegetable dishes.

FUGU - Blowfish. Toxic if improperly prepared.

FUGU CHIRI - Cooked, sliced raw fugu meat in a stewpan.Blowfish soup.

FUKI - A fibrous vegetable often simmered in broth.

FUKI - Bog rhubarb.

FUKUSA SUSHI - A type of sushi which is wrapped in a crepe.

FUNAMORI - Boat wrap, an alternate name for Kakomi sushi.

FUTOMAKI - A large roll filled with rice, sweetened cooked egg, pickled gourd, and bits of vegetables and rolled in nori.


GARI - Pickled ginger, usually pink and thinly sliced. Served with sushi to cleanse the palate between courses.

GEODUCK - Mirugai, long neck clam.

GETA - The wooden block used at a sushi bar as a plate for gari, wasabi and smaller pieces of sushi.

GOBO - Long, slender burdock root.

GOHAN - Plain boiled rice.

GOMA - Sesame seeds.

GOMOKU SUSHI - Alternate name for chirashi-sushi.

GUNKAN MAKI - Battleship roll, an alternate name for kakomi sushi.

GYOKURO - Japan's rarest, most expensive tea, Gyokuro is made from the tender first tea leaves of spring.

GYU TATAKI - Beef tataki.

GYOZA - Soft pastry cases stuffed with spiced pork and herbs, broadly similar to ravioli, or some types of chinese dim sum. Akin to potstickers, they are cooked by a combination of frying and steaming, and usually eaten as an accompaniment to ramen noodle dishes.


HAJIMAKI - The knotted headband that samurai wear.

HAMACHI - Young yellowtail.

HAMACHI KAMA - Yellowtail collars, often served broiled.


HAMO - Pike conger. Usually cooked.

HARUSAME - Thin, transparent bean gelatin noodles.

HASHI - Chopsticks.

HATAHATA - Sandfish.

HICHIMI TOGARASHI - Mixed hot spices for table use. The seven flavors: red pepper (togarashi), ground sansho, pepper pods, dried mandarin orangepeel, black hemp seeds or white poppy seeds, nori seaweed bits, and white sesame seeds.

HIJIKI - A dark, brown sea vegetable that turns black when dried, hijiki has a spaghetti-like consistency. It is stronger-tasting than arame. and is very high in protein, calcium and iron. Also spelled hiziki.

HIKARI MONO - Fish sliced for serving with the silver fish skin left on. Typical of iwashi, aji, sayori, sanma, kohada.

HIMO - "Fringe" around an ark shell.

HIRAME - Halibut. See engawa.

HOCHO - General Japanese term for knives.

HOJICHA TEA - A Japanese tea made from roasted coarse leaves and stems.

HOKKIGAI - Surf clam.

HOTATAGAI - Scallops.


IKA - Squid.

IKA GESO - Squid's tentacles.

IKKYU - Highly enjoyable, first-grade sake.

IKURA - Salmon roe.

INADA - Very young yellowtail.

INARI ZUSHI - Vinegared rice and vegetables wrapped in a bag of fried tofu

ISHIKARI NABE - Salmon stew with sake.

IISO DON - Bed of sushi rice with other ingredients mixed on top.

ITAMAE - The sushi (or other Japanese) chef.

IWASHI - Sardine.


JI - Prefix: locally made or caught


KAIBASHIRA - Eye of scallop or shellfish valve muscles.

KAISEKI  - A traditional Japanese meal consisting of a series of small, seasonal dishes, each resembling an appetizer both in size and beauty of presentation. Natural, hand-crafted serving-ware is carefully chosen to complement the season, the food, and the food's arrangement. Like the tea ceremony, kaiseki was initially a formal, highly refined, spiritual discipline marked by the Zen ideals of simplicity, harmony, and restraint.

KAIWARE - Daikon-radish sprouts.

KAIWARE MAKI - Daikon-sprout roll.

KAJIKI - Swordfish. See mekajiki.

KAKOMI SUSHI  - Nigiri sushi wrapped to hold in less solid ingredients. Also called Gunkan maki (battleshiproll) and Funamori (boat wrap).

KAMABOKO - Fish cake made from pounded whitefish mixed with cornstarch, formed into a sausage shape and cooked.

KAMPYO - Dried gourd that comes prepared in long, translucent brown strips like fettuccine.

KANI - Crab meat.

KANI KAMABOKO - Fake crab meat.

KANIMISO - Green contents of a crab's head.

KANPACHI - Very young yellowtail.

KANPYO - Dried gourd strips.

KANPYO MAKI - Pickled-gourd rolls.

KAPPA - Cucumber, when used in a roll.

KAPPA MAKI - Cucumber-filled maki-zushi.

KAREI - Flounder, flatfish.

KATA DOFU - A firm, coarse type of tofu.

KATSU - A cutlet. Breaded and deep-fried meat, hence tonkatsu (pork katsu) and katsu curry (tonkatsu or chicken katsu with rice in a curry sauce). Katsu refers to fried foods made coated with bread crumbs, as opposed to tempura, fried foods coated with batter.

KATSUO - Bonito fish. Bonito is actually an English word for a fish related to the skipjack.

KATSUO BOSHI -  Dried bonito fish.

KAZUNOKO - Herring roe.

KIMACHI - A small fish from the yellowtail family.

KINOME - Leaves of the Japanese prickly ash (sanshoo), used in soups and to flavor simmered foods.

KOHADA - Gizzard shad.

KOI - Freshwater carp.

KOJI - Grains or beans inoculated with Aspergillus mold and used as a starter for most Japanese fermented foods, including miso, tamari, shoyu, amazake, mirin and rice vinegar.

KOMBU - Kelp, 

KOMBU - A wide, thick, dark green sea vegetable that is rich in mineral, possibly dried; a kind of seaweed, in sheet form. Kombu is often cooked with beans and vegetables. A single piece may be used two or three times to flavor a soup stock.

KONBU - Kelp, possibly dried; a kind of seaweed, in sheet form.

KONNYAKU - Gelatinous, rubbery oblong cake made from the snake palm plant.

KORI DOFU - Tofu that has been dehydrated by a natural freezing and drying process. Also called snow-dried dofu.

KOYA DOFU - A form of snow-dried tofu that has been dehydrated in a heated shed.

KUKICHA TEA - A Japanese tea made from roasted tea twigs and stems.

KURO GOMA - Black sesame seeds.

KURODAI - Snapper.

KURO-SU - The Japanese name for brown rice-vinegar. Kuro-su is valued for its high concentration of essential amino acids, its medicinal qualities, and its mellow taste.


KUZU - A white starch made from the root of the wild kazu plant. It is used in making soups, sauces, desserts, and medicinal beverages.


LANGOSTINO  - A small shellfish about 1 inch long that have a strong shrimp flavor.


MAGURO - Tuna. See also Akami, Tekka, Toro.

MAGURO TEMAKI - Tuna temaki.

MAKAJIKI - Blue marlin.

MAKI SUSHI  -  A roll made with nori seaweed on the outside, a layer of rice, and a core of vegetables or other fillings.

MAKI - Sushi format, rolled piece of rice filled with raw fish (tekka maki - tuna, sake maki - salmon) or vegetables like cucumber (kappa maki), wrapped in nori and cut into four to six handsome pieces.

MAKI MONO - Vinegared rice and fish (or other ingredients) rolled in nori seaweed.

MAKI ZUSHI  - Vinegared rice with insertions, rolled up in Japanese seaweed. Most maki places the nori on the outside, but some, like the California roll, place the rice on the outside.

MAKISU - Mat made of bamboo strips to roll up maki sushi or norimake sushi.

MANAITA - the cutting board used by the sushi chef.

MANJU - Sweet bun filled with an.

MASU - Trout. See nijimasu, rainbow trout.

MATCHA - The jade green powdered tea used in the Japanese tea ceremony.

MEJI (MAGURO) - Young tuna.

MEKAJIKI - Blue marlin / swordfish.

MESHIMONO - Rice mixed with meat or vegetables.

MIRIN - Sweet rice wine traditionally made by a complex distillation and double-fermentation process. Used in cooking as a high-quality sweetener and seasoning.

MIRUGAI - Long neck clam. Sometimes called Geoduck.

MISO - A protein-rich, fermented bean paste made from soybeans, usually with the addition of barley or brown or white rice. Miso is used in soup stocks and as a seasoning. It comes in a wide variety of styles from white to red, from slightly sweet to very salty and earthy, and crunchy or smooth.

MISOSHIRU - Classic miso soup with pieces of beancurd. Drink it from the bowl, and eat the beancurd with chopsticks.

MITZUTAKI - Cooked in liquid. Usually, mizutaki includes tofu and vegetables cooked in water.

MIZU AME - Rice malt.

MOCHI - Sweet glutinous rice cakes.

MOCHI - A heavy rice cake or dumpling made from cooked, pounded sweet rice.  Mochi can be made at home or purchased ready-made.

MOCHI GOME - Mochi rice.

MOCHIKO - Sweet glutinous rice flour.

MOROMI - The thick slurry of fermenting koji and other ingredients that forms during the brewing process of soy sauce, sake, and mirin.

MUGWORT - A mineral-rich herb that is dried and used a medicinal tea. Dried ground mugwort is also added to mochi and soba noodles.

MURASAKI - Sushi bar term for soy sauce.

MURO - A uniquely constructed room used to incubate koji.

MUSHIMONO - Steamed food, such as chawan-mushi, a savory egg custard served in a tea tumbler (Chawan).


NABEMONO - One-pot meals.

NAMA - Prefix: (food) raw, (beer) draught.

NAMA TAKO  - Fresh or raw octopus.

NANAMI TOGARASHI  - Mixed hot spices for table use. The seven flavors: red pepper (togarashi), ground sansho pepper pods, dried mandarin orange peel, black hemp seeds or white poppy seeds, nori seaweed bits, and white sesame seeds.

NASU - Eggplant.

NATTO - Fermented soy beans, it has a stringy, mucous consistency.

NATTO MAKI - Sticky, strong-tasting fermented-soybean rolls.

NEGI - A Japanese onion, resembling a leek, but thinner.

NEGI TORO - Chopped and mixed negi-onion and toro.

NEGITORO MAKI - scallion-and-tuna roll.

NETA - Sushi bar term for the fish topping in nigiri sushi.

NIGARI - The traditional Japanese tofu coagulant, nigari is extracted from dehydrated sea water.

NIGIRI SUSHI - Sushi format, hand-shaped piece of rice with any sort of sliced raw fish on top. Pieces of fish, shellfish, or fish roe over vinegared rice balls.

NIGIRI ZUSHI  - pieces of fish, shellfish, or fish roe over vinegared rice balls.

NIHON SHU - Sake, rice wine.

NIIKA - Cooked Monterey squid.

NI-IKA - squid simmered in a soy-flavored stock.

NIJI MASU - Rainbow trout. Usually cooked sushi.

NIKYU - Very enjoyable, yet less expensive grade of sake.

NIMONO - Simmered or boiled foods.

NOODLES - Second only to rice as Japan's favorite staple. See ramen, udon, soba. Noodles are served hot or cold, dry or in soup and sometimes fried.

NORI - Thin sheets of dried sea vegetable. Nori is often roasted over a flame until its color turns from black or purple to green. It is used as a garnish, wrapped around rice balls or other foods, cooked with tamari as a condiment, as a garnish or to make norimake sushi.

NORI MAKI - Same as kanpyo-maki; in Osaka, same as futo-maki.

NORI TAMA - Sweetened egg wrapped in dried seaweed.


OCHA - Green tea.

O-CHA - Green Tea. The Japanese word for tea, o-cha is also used to designate a tea break.

ODORI EBI - Dancing shrimp, Ama Ebi served alive.

O-HAGI - Mochi that has been formed into small flat cakes or balls, then coated with puréed azuki beans or chestnuts, roasted and ground nuts or sesame seeds, or soybean flour.

OHBA - Japanese beefsteak plant.

OHITSU - A special bowl to keep rice warm.

OKEYASAN - Name for Japanese carpenters who specialize in making and repairing traditional wooden vats and barrels.

OKONOMI-YAKI - Japanese pizza, in fact more like an overstuffed omelet, usually cooked in front of you on a teppan-yaki grill.

OKONOMI ZUSHI - Home-style Nigiri sushi.

ONIGIRI - Balls made with plain steamed rice with various stuffings, possibly wrapped in nori.

OSHI ZUSHI - Osaka-style sushi: squares of pressed rice topped with vinegared/cooked fish.

OSHIBORI - Rolled up hot towel served to sushi bar customers.

OSHINKO - Pickled vegetables, usually cucumber.

OSHINKO MAKI - Pickled-daikon (radish) rolls.

OSHIWAKU - Wooden box with top.

OSHIZUSHI - Sushi rice and other ingredients pressed into a box or mold.

OTORO - Fattest tuna, from the lower belly. See toro and chutoro.

OTORO MAKI - Fatty-tuna roll.

O-TOSO - A medicinal drink made by infusing a combination of herbs in mirin. O-Toso is traditional drunk on New Year's day.

PAN JOON - Very light scallion Korean pancake with spicy dipping sauce.

PHILADELPHIA ROLL - Salmon (sometimes fresh, sometimes smoked), cream cheese, and some sort of vegetable filler.

PONZU - A citrus flavored soy sauce often made from lemon juice or Japanese citron.

RAINBOW ROLL - Alternate name for Tazuna sushi.

RAMEN - Chinese-style egg noodles.

RENKON - Lotus roots.

RICE MALT - A natural, high-quality sweetener made from malted barley or koji, rice, and water.


SABA - Mackerel.

SAKE - Smoked salmon (different accent).

SAKE - Fermented rice wine made from koji and rice (between 15% and 16% alcohol). Sake is usually served warm in small cups but can be served at room temperature or chilled in small wooden boxes with salt at the rim.

SAKAZUKI - Small cups into which sake is poured.

SANMA - A Japanese mackerel.

SANSAI - 'Wild mountain vegetables', a mix of very young shoots that might include warabi (bracken), Zemmai (flowering fern), Fuki (bog rhubarb) and seri (dropwort).

SANSHO - Japanese pepper, made from the leaf of the prickly ash. Very good with cooked green beans.

SASHIMI - raw fish served chilled, sliced, and arranged without rice.

SASHIMI - Raw, slivered fish, usually served with a dip made of shoyu and wasabi. The different styles of filleting are highly ritualized, different fish are cut in different ways.

SATO IMO - Taro root.

SAWAGANI - Small crabs, about as big as the first joint of your thumb, served grilled and whole.

SAWARA - Spanish mackerel.

SAYORI - Springtime halfbeak.

SEIGO - Young sea bass.

SENBEI - Thin, crisp rice crackers flavored with soy sauce or other seasonings.

SENCHA - High-quality Japanese green tea made from young, tender leaves.

SERI - Dropwort.

SHABU SHABU - Originally a traditional peasant dish designed to capture all possible nourishment from the little food available. A pan of stock is heated at the table and plates of thinly-sliced raw beef and vegetables are cooked piece by piece in it. The broth is then portioned out and drunk.

SHAKO - Mantis shrimp.

SHAMOJI - Plastic or wooden flat spoon or spatula to serve rice.

SHARI - A sushi bar term for sushi rice.

SHICHIMI TOGARASHI - Mixed hot spices for table use. The seven flavors: red pepper (togarashi), ground sansho, pepper pods, dried mandarin orange peel, black hemp seeds or white poppy seeds, nori seaweed bits, and white sesame seeds

SHIITAKE - Cultivated mushrooms grown on hardwood logs or enriched sawdust.

SHIMA AJI - Shima Aji is a yellowjack. This sciaenoid is closely related to hiramasa or kingfish. It has a prominent yellow lateral line and hard scales or zengo on its lateral line near its tail, just like aji (horse mackerel).. (Thank you sushidog).

SHIME SABA - Marinated mackerel.

SHIRA UO - Whitebait, icefish or salangid.

SHIRAKO - Sperm sacs of the cod fish.

SHIRATAKE - Translucent rubbery noodles.

SHRIO GOMA - White sesame seeds.

SHIRO MAGURO - Albacore tuna. Literally, white tuna.

SHIROMI - Seasonal "white meat" fish served as sushi/sashimi which are relatively white in color, for example, tai, hirame, karei.

SHIRUMONO - Generic Japanese term for soup. Also refers to thick soup.

SHISO - Japanese (or Asian) mint. Red or green. May be used as a wrapper.

SHOCHU - Spirit made from potatoes or rice, usually around 25-40% alcohol.
A concentrated distilled alcoholic drink.

SHOGA - Ginger root.

SHOKUNIN - A master sushi chef.

SHOYU - Fermented soy sauce made with cultured wheat and soybeans, water and sea salt.

SHU MEI - Typical of Chinese dim sum. Small filled dumplings with a won-ton like skin, served steamed or deep-fried.

SOBA  - Noodles made from buckwheat flour or a combination of buckwheat and wheat flour. Some varieties contain other ingredients such as dried mugwort powder, mountain yam flour, or powdered green tea.

SOBA ZUSHI - Sushi made with soba rather than rice.

SOMEN - Very thin Japanese wheat noodles.

SU - Unseasoned rice vinegar.

SUDARE - Floor- or window-sized bamboo mat.

SUIMONO - Clear soup.

SUKIMI - Bits of fish scraped from the bones, used in rolls. Often refers to tuna (maguro).

SUKIYAKI - Pieces of thinly-sliced beef and vegetables are boiled at table on a portable stove then taken out and dipped in raw egg, which cooks on the hot food.

SUMIMASEN - "Excuse me."

SUNOMONO - Vinegared foods, as distinguished from aemono or oshinko.

SURIBACHI - A bowl with corrugations on the inside, used with a surikogi to grind nuts, spices, and other foods.

SURIKOGI - A wooden pestle shaped like a big cucumber.

SURIBACHI - A special serrated, glazed clay bowl. Used with a pestle called a surikogi- the suribachi is used for grinding and puréeing foods. The suribachi can be used in a variety of ways to make condiments, spreads, dressings, baby foods, nut butters and medicinal preparations.

SUSHI - Nowadays sushi is commonly known as raw fish on a piece of rice. But actually sushi means vinegared rice that is rolled with vegetables, fish or pickles, then wrapped in nori, and sliced into rounds (Norimaki). There are different sushi formats: Nigiri (hand-shaped), futo (thick), maki (rolled), temaki (hand-rolled), chirashi (scattered on top of the rice).

SUZUKI - Striped sea bass, rockfish.

TAI - -Sea bream, porgy, snapper.

TAIRAGAI - Razor-shell clam.

TAKENOKO - Bamboo shoots.

TAKO - Octopus.

TAKUWAN - Pickled daikon.

TAMAGO - Egg omelet sushi.

TAMAGO-SU (EGG VINEGAR) - A medicinal tonic made by dissolving an egg in rice vinegar.

TAMAGO YAKI - Fried egg.

TAMARI - A  fermented soy sauce made with cultured soybeans, water, and sea salt.

TATAKI - Grilled on the surface, then chopped or pounded

TATAMI - A heavy straw mat, the traditional Japanese flooring. A tatami room in a restaurant is a private room where you are required to remove your shoes and sit on the floor, Japanese-style, to eat.

TARE - Any thick sauce, usually soy-based and slightly sweetened

TAZUNA SUSHI - A maki roll with diagonal strips of food across the top, often called a rainbow roll.

TEA - Black tea is fermented, while green tea is heat-treated by steam to prevent the leaves fermenting. Bancha tea is the coarsest grade of green tea which has ben roasted, it contains stems or twigs as well as leaves, and is usually served free of charge with a meal.

TEISHOKU - Japanese for set meal.

TEKKA - Tuna, especially in a roll. See Maguro, Toro.

TEKKA MAKI - Tuna-filled maki-zushi.

TEKKA DON - Pieces of raw tuna over rice.

TEKKAPPA MAKI - selection of both tuna and cucumber rolls.

TEMAKI - Sushi format, rolled nori like a cylinder filled with rice and raw fish and vegetables.

TEMAKI ZUSHI - Hand rolled cones of sushi rice and/or vegetables wrapped in seaweed.

TEMPURA - A method of cooking in which vegetables, fish or seafood are coated with batter and deep-fried in vegetable oil. Served with a shoyu-based dipping sauce, to which you add finely-grated daikon. Tempura is often served with soup, rice or noodles, and pickles. Tempura refers to fried foods coated
with batter, as opposed to katsu, fried foods coated with bread crumbs

TEPPAN-YAKI - 'Grilled on an iron plate', or originally 'grilled on a plough share'. In modern Japanese restaurants a chef standing at a hot plate (teppan) is surrounded by six to eight diners. Slivers of beef, fish and vegetables are cooked with a dazzling display of knifework, and deposited onto your plate. Most famous restaurants are the Daitokai chain.

TERIYAKI - A sauce made of a thick reduction of shoyu, sake, sugar and spice. It is also the name of the cooking method in which meat is marinated in shoyu and a wine (mirin or sake), then grilled and served in this sauce.

TE-UCHI - Hand-made Japanese noodles.

TOBIKO - Flying fish roe.

TOFU - Soybean curd made from soybeans and nigari. Used in soups, vegetable dishes, dressings. Tofu is high in protein, low in fat, and cholesterol-free.

TOGARASHI - Whole dried hot red peppers.

TOKKURI - Vase-like sake flask.  Small, porcelain bottle in which sake is brought to the table.

TOKKYU - Premium-grade sake, usually served only on special occasions.

TONKATSU - Loin of pork, covered in bread crumbs and deep-fried, served with a tonkatsu sauce and shredded cabbage, served on a bed of rice. It is very popular for lunch - it is quick and tasty.

TORI - Chicken.

TORIGAI - Cockle clam.

TORO - Fatty tuna, distinguishable as Otoro-fattest, and Chutoro-fatty. See also Maguro, Tekka.

TSUBUGAI - Japanese shellfish.

TSUKEMONO - Vegetables pickled in salt, usually an accompaniment to rice.


UDON - Japanese noodles made from wheat, whole wheat, or whole wheat and unbleached flour (like soft spaghetti).

UMEBOSHI - Tart, salty Japanese pickled plums, which stimulate the appetite and digestion. Shiso leaves impart a reddish color and natural flavoring to the plums during pickling. Umeboshi can be used whole or in form of paste.

UME SHISO - Plum paste and shiso leaf mixture most commonly served in maki form, rather sweet.

UMEJISO MAKI - Japanese ume plum and perilla-leaf roll.

UNA JU - Grilled eel, served on rice. See also anago.

UNAGI - Freshwater eel.

UNAGI MAKI - Eel roll.

UNAGI NO KIMO - eel innards.

UNI - Sea urchin roe.

USUKUCHI SHOYU - Light Japanese soy sauce


WAKAME - Lobe-leaf seaweed, possibly dried, in long, dark green strands. Used in a variety of dishes, wakame has a sweet taste and a delicate texture. It is especially good in miso soup.

WARABI - Bracken.

WASABI - Japanese horseradish. A light green Japanese root that has been dried, powdered, and made into a paste. It is traditionally used as a seasoning in sushi, sashimi, and in dipping sauces. Wasabi is very hot.


YAKI - Grilled, toasted.

YAKIDOFU - Broiled or grilled soy bean curd.

YAKIMONO - Broiled foods.

YAKINORI - Toasted seaweed.

YAKITORI - Barbecued chicken with strips of leek and bacon served on skewers.

YAKUMI - Strongly flavored seasonings such as shichimi togarashi, grated daikon (daikon oroshi) and finely chopped negi. Typically used instead of wasabi in such nigiri as katsuo, iwashi, aji and sanma.

YASAI - Vegetables.

YOSENABE - The Japanese equivalent of bouillaibaise, a fish, seafood and vegetable soup/stew.


ZEMMAI - Flowering fern.

ZENSAI - Small appetizers.




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