Glossary of basic sushi terms

7 December 2010  


Chopsticks: traditional Asian eating utensil; two wooden sticks held in one hand, used to dip and lift all types of sushi (maki, nigiri or sashimi) to the mouth.

California roll: a type of maki sushi; a nori-wrap with rice on the outside, rolled in sesame seeds, with cucumber, avocado, and tuna or salmon on the inside (see Rainbow roll).

Fashion sandwich: type of Westernised sushi, with the rice outside, cut in the manner of triangular finger sandwiches.

Ginger: 'sushi ginger’ or ‘gari’ is strips of sweet, sliced young ginger that has been marinated in sugar and vinegar; refreshes the palate after each mouthful of sushi.

Maki: a type of sushi rolled in seaweed (see nori). Plain maki has rice inside the nori wrap, te maki is a hand roll, and ura maki has the rice outside the seaweed wrap.

Nigiri: like sashimi, nigiri is a type of sushi that consists of a slice of raw fish, or sometimes a prawn, that has been draped over a ball of vinegar rice.

Nori: a sheet of seaweed wrap used in the preparation and rolling of sushi, most commonly used when making maki, but never sashimi.

Rainbow roll: a type of Westernised maki sushi; a nori-wrap with rice and strips of salmon, tuna and avocado on the outside, and avocado and cucumber on the inside.

Sashimi: a type of sushi that consists of sliced, bite-size raw fish such as tuna or salmon. Sashimi matsu is sashimi that is graded the very best in quality. More exotic types of sashimi include Puffer Fish (tessa).

Soy sauce: a salty sauce commonly served with sushi, made from fermented soy beans.

Sushi: a Japanese dish made with vinegar rice that includes thin slices of raw vegetables and/or fish, often rolled in seaweed wrap (see maki). Also: sliced, raw fish served alone (see sashimi).

Wasabi: a green paste also commonly served with sushi, with a fiery taste similar to horseradish.