Common Sushi Terms You Should Know

Common Sushi Terms You Should Know

Sometimes you wish you had a sushi dictionary when ordering new dishes. What are all these ingredients? Knowing some of the more useful sushi terms on the sushi menu will enhance your experience. At BFF Asian Grill, we’ve made it simple to know exactly what you’re getting when you order our sushi with exact descriptions. However, it’s always fun to learn new things; expand your knowledge of sushi with these terms.


Sushi Terms to Know

Nori: Dried, black-and-green seaweed used in sheets to create sushi

Roe: Fish eggs put on top of sushi to add color, texture, and saltiness

Maguro: Tuna

Toro: The fattiest part of a fish, often from bluefin tuna

Katsuo: Skipjack tuna (the most widely available and sustainable type of tuna)

Hamachi: Yellowtail fish

Kurodai: Snapper

Hata: Grouper

Ohyou: Halibut

Saba: Mackerel (usually sliced with some skin on one side and served as sashimi)

Sake: Salmon. (It is the same word for the fermented rice spirit but pronounced slightly differently, sometimes as “sha-keh”)

Unagi: Freshwater eel; anago is sea eel. Unagi is usually grilled and drizzled with a sweet sauce rather than eaten raw

Tako: Octopus

Ika: Squid

Ebi: Shrimp

Kani: Crab (real crab, not surimi which is made from fish meat to imitate crab)

Hotate: Scallop

Kaki: Oyster

Uni: Sea Urchin

Mirugai: Clam (one kind of many)

Awabi: Abalone

Tamago: Sweet egg; tamagoyaki is used to refer to the sweet, square omelettes

Surimi: Imitation crab or lobster meat made with fish paste (often pollock or cod)

Kani kama: Imitation crab meat

Futo-Maki: Big, oversized rolls

Tempura: Seafood or vegetables dipped in batter and deep fried

Togarashi: A Japanese spice mixture consisting of mandarin orange peel, sesame seed, poppy seed, hemp seed, nori or aonori, and ground sansho

Masago: Capelin (smelt) roe, orange in colour, not as common as tobiko in North America


If you’re new to sushi, start here. Learn more about sushi here.

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