A Beginner’s Guide to Sushi Names
You cannot go back to your country without eating authentic sushi in Japan. But, have you ever had such an experience, confused with all the different sushi names? Here is a perfect guide for you to check out with a list of must-eat sushi restaurants too!
Dec 15 2015 (Sep 09 2020)
One of Japan’s major symbols, sushi is one the best-loved meals in Japan and extremely popular in many places abroad. However, due to the natural absence of many ingredients overseas, traditional Japanese sushi is not often found in western restaurants. Foreigners who come to Japan for the first time are surprised when looking at a sushi menu and stumbling upon the unfamiliar items. There are so many different types of sushi so it is easy to get confused!
Well, if you did not grow up in Japan, choosing the right item can be a little bit complicated. This beginner’s guide will help you to learn the Japanese names for various sushi toppings and avoid typical mistakes when ordering sushi in a restaurant.
Names for Fish Toppings
Trying to choose the sushi item at the restaurant often resembles taking part in a quiz game "Name That Fish". For example, there are more than five Japanese terms for the young yellowtail, depending on its age. Here are some popular names for sushi that contains fish!
Saba (鯖) – mackerel
Aji (鯵) – horse mackerel
Toro (とろ) - fatty tuna
Katsuo (鰹) - bonito
Okoze (おこぜ) - stingfish
Iwashi (鰯) – sardine
Suzuki (鱸) – sea bass
Unagi (鰻) – freshwater eel
Sake (鮭) – salmon
Names for Shellfish and Inkfish
The seas around Japan offer a rich array of shellfish and inkfish often eaten with sushi. If you want a protein-rich and delicious meal, do not hesitate to order items mentioned below!
Awabi (鮑) - abalone
Ebi (海老) – boiled or raw shrimp
Kaki (貝) – oyster
Akagai (赤貝) – ark shell
Kani (蟹) – crab
Ika (烏賊) – calamari
Names for Other Toppings
Ikura (イクラ) – salmon roe
Kombu (昆布) – seaweed
Kappa (かっぱ) – cucumber
Tamagoyaki (玉子焼) – omelet
Sushi, it is the first food coming up to Japanese minds in many situations. Since there are hundreds of thousands sushi restaurants, finding the best one is excessively difficult. We, this time, present the most popular 3 sushi restaurants in November, hoping to help your selection.
In Kaminoge residential area, Sushi Ichikawa, hidden among foodies’ rumours, is there. Chef Ichikawa, who trained at a well-known Kyoto cuisine restaurant, presents a traditional Edo-mae sushi and Kyoto style dishes originating in his training. Tuna, the chef has the keenest interest in it, is included in "Chef's selection" (¥20,000). You can leave the drink up to the chef, and he will choose the optimal drinks that match the food, so as your talk can go through smoothly.
Address： Kaminoge ritorutaun.1F, 4-27-1, Nakamachi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Sushi MASUDA in south Aoyama is run by chef Masuda, who completed training at Japanese representative sushi restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro. His management over rice and fish covers all the bases under the belief that the preparation of ingredients is key of sushi. "Chef's choice Nigiri menu" (¥20,500) consists of fine seafoods, delicate rice and elegant vinegar, harmonizing in your mouth.
Address：BC minamiaoyama PROPERTY.B1F, 5-8-11, Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
At the counter consisting of a large board of cypress that creates a clean and luxurious atmosphere, you can enjoy Edo-mae sushi fostered by history and tradition. Vinegar as a keen interested of chef, combination of red and white ones adds elegance to sushi. Not only vinegars, seafoods, and rice, chef pays much attention to water boiled in a "Nanbu" iron kettle and charcoal to grill foods. You can enjoy genuine sushi of Japan from its taste and also from whole space.
A sushi bar that is located beyond the hustle and bustle of Ebisu, Shibuya. While respecting the basics of the Edomae-style, the innovative dishes, full of playfulness, are not trapped by the expectations of a sushi bar. As the dishes are numerous and offered in small portions, one is able to thoroughly enjoy the tastes of the season. Moreover, it is possible to choose between a meal focused on small plates or one focused on nigiri.
Address： B1F, Hillside Residence, 4-23-10 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hope this guide will help you to navigate through the pages of menu in sushi restaurants like a native Japanese. Get a firm grasp on what does sushi names mean and enjoy your culinary experiences in Japan!
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.