The A to Z of Sushi, Sashimi & Japanese Bento
A IS FOR AVOCADO アボカド
Avocado was only first used in sushi by a Japanese chef in Canada, to replace raw toro (fatty tuna) for a similar ‘melty’ taste in the 70s. Subsequently, many visitors came from Los Angeles to patronage and hence the name California roll was coined and it became popularized globally.
B IS FOR BAMBOO SUSHI MAT 巻き簾
It is a mat woven from bamboo, that is used to roll and form the sushi by wrapping the rice with seaweed.
C IS FOR CHIRASHI ちらし
Literally it means “scattered Sushi”. Usually served in a bowl with assorted fish, chopped eggs and fish roes over rice.
D IS FOR DAIKON 大根
Daikon is a large, long white radish, usually served shredded as garnish and eaten with sashimi.
E IS FOR EBI 海老
Ebi means Shrimp in Japanese. Ebi sushi is one of the popular Nigiri worldwide.
F IS FOR FUTOMAKI 太巻き
Futomaki is a large and thicker version of makizushi that contains various ingredients, such as cucumber, omelette, and pickled daikon radish. As it usually turns out to be a colourful roll, it is often made for festivity events and holidays.
G IS FOR GINGER 生姜
Eat ginger is used to cleanse the palette, so one consumes between pieces of sushi, in order to appreciate the taste of the next sushi.
H IS FOR HASHI 箸
Hashi means chopsticks in Japanese. Chopsticks are utensils used to pick the sushi, dip it into soy sauce and consume it. For honorific, Japanese refer them as o-hashi.
I IS FOR ITAMAE
I is for Itamae- san, the All Important Sushi Chef 板前 –
Literally translated, Itamae means “in front of the Chopping board”. He has an important role in the creation of your sushi or Japanese meals.
J IS FOR JUBAKO 重箱
Jubako is tiered lacquered boxes, which are mostly used to serve Osechi Ryori (お節料理)- the traditional Japanese New Year delicacies. They are often stacked before and after eating.
K IS FOR KOME米
An essential component to sushi is the rice blended well with vinegar. It is more commonly referred to as o-kome.
L IS FOR LIVE SHRIMP 躍り海老
Live shrimp sushi or sashimi are a delicacy in Japan. These shrimp are taken from an aquarium, peeled and immediately dunked into sake, then dipped into a special sauce for consumption.
M IS MORIAWASE 盛り合わせ
It is a usually a platter where there is a combination of assortment of sushi, sashimi or tempura.
N IS FOR NORI 海苔
It is the Japanese word for Seaweed and it is used to wrap and hold the vinegar rice, fishes and other fillings.
O IS FOR O-CHAお茶
O-cha mean Japanese tea in general. Cha means tea, but “O” is a prefix of respect and hence the term “O-cha”. They are often taken together with sushi and Japanese meal to complement
P IS FOR PHILADELPHIA ROLL フィラデルフィアロール
A roll which is created in America. Made of cream cheese (hence the “Philadelphia” brand reference) and raw or smoked salmon.
Q IS FOR QUAIL EGG ウズラの卵
Raw quail egg which are put on top of gunkanmaki sushi. They are used on top of roe and sea urchin sushi as well as other soft or slippery toppings, so that these quail eggs give a firm grip to hold the sushi and prevent the diner to consume, without making a mess.
R IS FOR ROE 卵
Fish eggs or roes are usually generously spread over sushi and Chirashi.
It adds some saltiness and crunchy texture to the food and is favoured by many. Japanese use many types of roes in their cuisine, ranging from ikura (from Salmon), tobiko (from flying fish), masago (from Capelin) and ebiko (from prawn) just to name a few.
S IS FOR SHOYU 醤油
Shoyu is the soy sauce that you dip your sushi into, to add saltiness or flavor to it
T IS FOR TEMAKI テマキ
“Te” stands for hand while “Maki” simply means “Rolls” (rice rolled by bamboo sheets). It is rolled into a cone shape for easy holding.
U IS FOR UNI ウニ
Uni means sea urchin in Japanese. It has a soft, creamy texture and has a briny sea taste which some describe like foie gras of the sea. It is often one of the most expensive sushi as it is not easy to raise or harvest. Plus, if not consume as fresh as possible, the quality plunges drastically.
V IS FOR VINEGAR お酢
The rice in sushi is always seasoned with Vinegar and some salt and sugar. Traditionally, vinegar was first added to the rice to preserve the rice and preventing the food from harmful bacteria such as Bacillus Cereus that can cause food positioning.
W IS FOR WASABI わさび
It is Japanese Horse Radish, the green paste often placed beside sashimi or sushi. Wasabi is eaten with the sashimi or sushi as its primary function is to kill the bacteria in these raw fishes.
Y IS FOR YANAGI BOCHO
Yanagi Bocho is a type of fish knife with long slender blade, typically used for cutting and slicing sashimi and sushi
Y IS FOR YUBA SUSHI ユバ
Yuba is tofu skin or bean curd skin, which is a thin pale yellowish film derived from boiling soybeans. They are gathered to wrap around the rice to create Yuba Sushi and have a chewier texture.
Z IS FOR ZAIRYO 材料
Zairyo in Japanese means materials or ingredients. What kind of zairyo or ingredient to make a sushi…