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Sushi Recipes

Sushi in Atlanta

Sushi Terminology

  Sushi Terminology

Aburage - Fried tofu pouches prepared by cooking in sweet cooking sake, shoyu, 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 - Horse mackerel (less fishy tasting than Spanish mackerel). Purportedly this is not actually a mackerel, but some other kind of fish. It is small - about 6" in length - and they fillet it and serve marinated in vinegar.

Aji-no-moto - Monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Aka miso - Red soy bean paste.

Akagai - Pepitona clam, red in color, not always available.

Ama Ebi - Sweet Shrimp. Sometimes served with the deep-fried shells of the shrimp. Eat the shells like you would crayfish.

An - Sweetened puree of cooked red beans.

Anago - Salt water eel, pre-cooked (boiled) and then grilled before serving, less rich than unagi (fresh water eel).

Aoyagi - Red clam.

Awabi - abalone.

Ayu - sweetfish.

Azuki - Small red beans used to make an.

Beni shoga - Red pickled ginger.

Bonito - Also known as skipjack tuna. See Katsuo.

Buri - Yellowtail. Hamachi refers to the young yellowtail and Buri are the older ones.

Buri Toro - Fatty Yellowtail. The belly strip of the yellowtail. Incredibly rich with a nice buttery flavour.

Buta - Pork.

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

Chirashi-zushi - translates as "scattered sushi", a bowl or box of sushi rice topped with a variety (usually nine, nine is the Japanese lucky number) of sashimi.

Chutoro - The belly area of the tuna.

Daikon - giant white radish, usually served grated as garnish for sashimi.

Dashi - Basic soup and cooking stock made with kombu and katsuoboshi.

Donburi - A large bowl for noodle and rice dishes.

Ebi - Shrimp. Not the same as Sweet Shrimp, as Ebi is cooked, while Ami Ebi is prepared by "curing" in a mixture of juices.

Fugu - Fugu is puffer fish which is a delicacy, though its innards and blood contain extremely poisonous tetrodotoxin. In Japan only licensed fugu chefs are allowed to prepare fugu or puffer fish.

Fuki - Fuki is a Japanese butterbur plant which contains a bitter substance called "fukinon" (a kind of ketone compound), but upon blanching fukinon is easily washed out from its petioles (edible parts) and is prepared for an excellent Japanese vegetable dish.

Futo-Maki - Big, oversized rolls.

Gari - Pickled ginger (the pink or off-white stuff) that comes along with Sushi.

Gobo - Long, slender burdock root.

Gohan - Plain boiled rice.

Goma - Sesame seeds.

Gundan-maki - Battleship roll. This is where the maki is rolled to form a container for the liquid neta. Used for oysters, uni, quail eggs, ikura, tobiko, etc...

Hamachi - Young Yellowtail tuna, or amberjack, worth asking for if not on menu.

Hamaguri - Clam.

Hamo - Pike Conger.

Hanakatsuo - Dried bonito fish, shaved or flaked.

Harusame - Thin, transparent bean gelatin noodles.

Hashi - Chopsticks.

Hatahata - Sandfish.

Hawara – Mackerel (domestic fish from United States waters). Tends to be less fishy that Saba.

Hijiki - Black seaweed in tiny threads.

Hirame - Fluke or flounder.

Hikari-mono - A comprehensive term for all the shiny fish.

Himo - The fringe around the inside of the ark shell.

Hocho - General Japanese term for knives.

Hokagai - Surf Clam. Sort of a thorn-shaped piece, with red coloring on one side.

Hotate-Gai - Scallops.

Ikea - Squid. The body is eaten raw and the tentacles are usually served toasted on a bed of rice.

Inada - Very young yellowtail.

Indri-Zushi - Aburage stuffed with sushi rice.

Kaibashira - large scallops, actually giant clam adductor muscle, though often scallops are served, much like cooked scallops but more tender and sweeter. Kobashiri are small scallops and like kaibashira may or may not come from scallops or other bivalves.

Kajiki - Swordfish.

Kaki - Oysters.

Kampyo - Dried gourd. Unprepared is a light tan color. Prepared it’s a translucent brown. It comes in long strips, shaped like fettuccine.

Karei - Sole.

Katsuo - Bonito, also knows as skipjack tuna. It is usually found in sushi bars on the West Coast because it lives in the Pacific Ocean, and doesn't freeze very well. [Note: You can get it in Denver, Colorado usually.]

Kamaboko - Imitation crab meat. Generally used in California rolls and other maki, it's not the same thing as "soft shell crab."

Kani - Crab meat. The real stuff. Always served cooked, much better if cooked fresh but usually cooked and then frozen.

Kohada - Japanese shad (or young punctatus, it's Latin species name).

Kuro goma - Black sesame seeds.

Maguro - Tuna. Not Toro. Toro is the tuna belly (i.e. the fatty part) and maguro is the leaner flesh from the "sides" of the fish.

Maki-zushi - The rice and seaweed rolls with fish and/or vegetables. Most maki places the nori on the outside, but some, like the California and rainbow rolls, place the rice on the outside.

Mirin - Sweet rice wine for cooking.

Mirugai - geoduck or horseneck clam, slightly crunchy and sweet.

Miso - Soy bean paste.

Moyashi - Bean sprouts.

Nasu - Eggplant.

Natto - Fermented soy beans. (Not just for breakfast anymore) Very strong smell and taste, also slimy. Most people don't like it. Order it once, if for no other reason that to see the confused look of the chef.

Negi - Onion.

Neta - The piece of fish that is placed on top of the sushi rice for nigiri.

Nigiri-zushi - The little fingers of rice topped with wasabi and a filet of raw or cooked fish or shellfish. Generally the most common form of sushi you will see.

Nori - Sheets of dried seaweed used in maki.

Oshibori - The wet towel one cleans one's hands with before the meal.

Ocha - Tea.

Ohyo - Halibut.

Oshiwaku - Wooden box with top.

Oshi-zushi - Sushi made from rice pressed in a box or mold.

Ponzu - Sauce made with Japanese citron.

Roe - Fish eggs. Generally, flying fish, smelt, and salmon roe are available in all sushi restaurants. "Roe" is a generic name. The roes are:

Ikura - salmon roe. (FYI, Ikura means ‘How much?’ in Japanese)

Kazunoko - herring roe, usually served marinated in sake, broth, and soy sauce, sometimes served raw, kazunoko konbu.

Tobiko - flying-fish roe, red and crunchy, often served as part of maki-zushi but also as nigiri-zushi commonly with quail egg yolk (uzura no tamago) on top uncooked.

Masago - capelin roe, very similar to tobiko but slightly more orange in colour, not as common as tobiko in North America (though often caught here). Capelin, shishamo, is also served grilled (after being lightly salted) whole with the roe in it as an appetizer.

Uni - sea urchin (see below)

Saba - mackerel, almost always served after being lightly salted and marinated for a few days, so really cooked. Raw mackerel is sometimes served but it must be extremely fresh as it goes off quickly.

Sake - Rice wine. Served both hot and cold depending on the quality. Some people love it, some people hate it.

Sake - Salmon. Pronounced differently.

Sashimi - Raw fish fillets sans the sushi rice.

Sansho - Japanese pepper.

Shiokara - A dish made of the pickled and salted internal organs of various aquatic creatures. It comes in many form such as 'Ika no Shiokara' (squid shiokara), shrimp, or fish.

Shiro maguro - Albacore tuna, white tuna, doesn't handle as well and can change colour (though doesn't change taste or quality) so not as common as other tunas. It will probably not be on the menu, ask for.

Shiratake - Translucent rubbery noodles.

Shiro goma - White sesame seeds.

Shiro miso - White soy bean paste.

Shiso - The leaf of the Perilla plant. Used frequently with in makizushi and with sashimi.

Shitake - A type of Japanese mushroom, usually available dried.

Shoga - Ginger root.

Shoyu - Japanese soy sauce.

Soba - Buckwheat noodles.

Somen - White, threadlike wheat noodles.

Spam - yes SPAM, a sushi you can get in Hawaii (maybe Japan too), an acquired taste, perhaps.

Su - Rice vinegar.

Sudare - Mat made of bamboo strips to create make-zushi.

Suimono - Clear soup.

Sushi - The sweetened, pickled rice. The fish is sashimi. Wrap the two together in portions and sell it as sushi, and the name still refers to the rice, not the fish. Sushi is indeed the term for the special rice but it is modified, in Japanese, to zushi when coupled with modifiers that describe the different styles of this most popular dish.

Suzuki - sea bass (of one species or another, often quite different).

Tai - porgy or red snapper (substitutes, though good), real, Japanese, tai is also sometimes available.

Tako - Octopus, cooked.

Tamago yaki - egg omelet, sweet and, hopefully light, a good test of a new sushi restaurant, if its overcooked and chewy, go somewhere else. In Japan it is the trademark of each chef. Often potential customers in Japan will ask for a taste of the Tamago in order to judge the chef's proficiency.

Temaki-zushi - Hand rolled cones of sushi rice, fish and vegetables wrapped in seaweed. Very similar to maki.

Tempura - Seafood or vegetables dipped in batter and deep fried.

Tofu - Soybean curd.

Tori - Chicken.

Torigai - Japanese cockle, black and white shell fish, better fresh but usually frozen (and chewier as a result).

Toro - Fatty Tuna. There are several different types of tuna you can order in a sushi restaurant. It comes in many different grades, O-Toro considered the finest.

Unagi - Eel (Freshwater) - grilled, and brushed with a teriyaki-like sauce, richer than salt water eel.

Uni - Sea Urchin. If you are lucky you won't like it, if not you have just developed an expensive habit. The most expensive (start saving now) is red in color, the least is yellow, luckily they taste the same. Lobsters eat sea urchin as a mainstay of their diet.

Usukuchi shoyu - Light Japanese soy sauce.

Wakame - Dried lobe-leaf seaweed in long, dark green strands.

Wasabi - Japanese 'Horseradish.' This is the small lump of green stuff that looks sort of like clay. Best done in extremely small doses. The actual rhizome is not related to American Horseradish except by name, but unfortunately, the 'wasabi' most often served (the clay-like mound) is not real wasabi, but powdered and reconstituted American Horseradish with food coloring. Real wasabi is difficult to find in most restaurants, but is sometimes available upon request (and worth it, even with a surcharge, in my opinion). It is quite different in appearance (slightly more vegetal in color and obviously a ground up lump of rhizome, not powder) as well as taste. Real wasabi has a hotness that does not linger, and compliments and enhances the flavor of sushi rather well.