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An American invention, the California Roll was designed “urumaki”—rice on the outside—to conceal the nori from people who were resistant to eating seaweed. Photo courtesy UmamiInfo.com.

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July 2007
Last Updated April 2013

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Fish, Seafood & Caviar

Types Of Sushi Rolls

And A Glossary Of Sushi & Sashimi Terms

Page 2: California Roll, Chirashi, Dragon Roll & Other Terms With C, D & E

 

Types of sushi rolls (maki), nigiri sushi and other sushi types. If you enjoy this Sushi Glossary, we have a food glossary for almost every category of food. Check out the Seafood Glossary, too.

Click on a letter to get to a the appropriate glossary page.

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

This glossary is protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced in whole or part.
You are welcome to link to it.

 

CALIFORNIA ROLL
An American invention, the original California Roll was made by Ichiro Manashita, a sushi chef at Tokyo Kaikan restaurant in Los Angeles, around 1973. He incorporated avocado, cucumber and fish cake into a roll; he hid the seaweed, which many Americans did not like, inside a layer of rice—today known as an “inside out roll.” The California roll was an instant hit and helped to make sushi part of the 1970s health food movement. Ultimately, crab stick (imitation crab meat) replaced the fish cake. Some chefs decorate the outside rice with tobiko, flying fish roe; some use sesame seeds (as shown in the photo above); most leave it plain. Other variations include substituting carrot or spinach for the cucumber. Read our California Roll recipe.

 

California Roll
A California Roll is always made as a reverse role or inside out roll (urumaki), and is typically coated in sesame seed (photo above left) or masago, smelt roe (above. Photo courtesy Sushi Connection.

CHAKIN-ZUSHI
Vinegared rice wrapped in a thin egg crêpe. Also called fukasa-sushi. The rice can be seasoned with nori flakes, sesame seeds or other Japanese ingredients, such as caviar pearls. In addition to the style in the photo, it is also gathered up into beggar’s purse-type pockets. It is not found at most sushi bars in the U.S. because of the delicate nature of the wrap. See also inari-sushi, which is vinegared rice stuffed in a tofu pocket.

 
Chirashi sushi. Photo courtesy TheSushiMan.Tumblr.com.

CHIRASHI-SUSHI
A bowl of sushi rice topped (“scattered”) with assorted raw fish and vegetables; the rice has more vinegar and less sugar than the rice used for nigiri sushi. The toppings are called gu, and can consist of almost anything, raw or cooked. Chirashi is different from “sashimi with a bowl of rice” because sashimi is fish only, not vegetables (except for daikon and carrots and shiso leaf typically used as garnish), and sashimi is served with a separate bowl of plain boiled rice, not set atop seasoned sushi rice. The most common form of chirashi in Japan is vegetable chirashi; the dish is easy to make, and often served at home. Chirashi-sushi originated as bara-sushi in the Kansai region of Japan, where it was largely eels on rice.

  Chirashi Sushi
Chirashi sushi: fish layered over rice. Photo | Dreamstime.

Later, sushi chefs in the Kanto region scattered sashimi atop rice, the beginning of chirashi as we know it. Today, each restaurant has its own creative chirashi recipe. In addition to sashimi selections, toppings can include ikura, kanpyo, nori, shiitaki mushrooms and tamago. See tekka-don.

CHU-TORO
Medium fatty tuna, from the upper belly of the fish.

CRAB STICK
See kanikama.

CRUNCHY ROLL
See panko.

  Chu Toro
Chu-toro. Photo courtesy Sushi Connection.

CUCUMBER ROLL or KAPPA MAKI
Kappa maki, a roll of rice, cucumber, and usually, white sesame seeds.

 

CUCUMBER WRAP

A naruto roll (maki), where the rice and other ingredients are wrapped in a thin wrapping of cucumber instead of seaweed.

 
Cucumber roll. Photo courtesy Sushi Connection.

DAIKON
A large, long white radish (often called giant white radish), usually served shredded as an edible garnish with sashimi.

 

DASHI
The basic Japanese cooking stock made with kombu seaweed and bonito flakes.

  Soup
Dashi. Photo courtesy UmamiInfo.com.

DRAGON ROLL
An American invention, the Dragon Roll is an inside-out roll with a center of eel (and sometimes, cucumber). Sliced avocado is applied to the surface, to resemble the scales of a dragon.

EBI
Shrimp. While boiled ebi are often served on a sushi combination plate, they are not considered a delicacy. The way to enjoy shrimp is via ama-ebi, raw shrimp, sashimi-style. Ama-ebi is a different species of shrimp.

 
Dragon roll. Photo courtesy SushiConnection.com.

EDAMAME
Soybeans steamed in the pod and salted, a popular starter at sushi bars. Learn more about edamame in our review of Seapoint Edamame.

EDOMAE-ZUSHI or EDO-STYLE
SUSHI

An old term for nigiri-sushi, based on the Japanese word for Edo, as Tokyo was previously called, where the style was created.

  Edamame
Edamame. Photo by Hilary Brodey | IST.

EEL ROLL
Broiled eel (unagi), often combined with avocado or cucumber, and garnished with “eel sauce” (see kabayaki tare).

EEL SAUCE
See kabayaki tare.

ENGAWA
Fluke fin. This portion of flesh, near the tail end of the fish, has more a feathery texture, and is popular with connoisseur.

 
An eel avocado roll. Photo courtesy Ten Zan | New York City.

ESCOLAR
Escolar, Lepidocybium flavobrunneum, is a fish found in tropical and temperate waters around the world. It is also known as snake mackerel, and is sometimes fraudulently marketed as “butterfish” or “white tuna,” a controversial practice due to potential health problems related with consumption of the fish. It has a high wax ester that can can cause keriorrhea, a condition similar to diarrhea, only the body will expel yellowish-orange drops of oil (the ester from the fish). Headaches and stomach cramps can accompany the keriorrhea. Portions of six ounces or less seem to limit the negative effects, so a few pieces of mislabeled escolar at the sushi bar may not be harmful.

 
Escolar. Photo courtesy Catalina Offshore Products.

Continue To Page 3: Definitions F To G

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