Naruto Roll - Cucumber
A naruto roll is one that uses thinly-sliced cucumber instead of toasted seaweed (nori) to hold the roll together. Photo courtesy Kabuki Restaurants.





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July 2007
Last Updated April 2018

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 go to the appropriate glossary section.

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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.


This sushi specialty is not found at most sushi bars in the U.S. because of the delicate nature of the wrap and the time required to make it.


See also inari-sushi, which is vinegared rice stuffed in a tofu pocket.

Chaikin-zushi. Photo courtesy

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.


Medium fatty tuna, from the upper belly of the fish.


See kanikama.


Chinese bread crumbs, panko, are added for crunch.


  Chu Toro
Chu-toro. Photo courtesy Sushi Connection.

Kappa maki, a roll of rice, cucumber, and usually, white sesame seeds.



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


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


  Kappa Maki, Cucumber Roll
Cucumber roll. Photo courtesy Sushi Connection.

Dashi is the basic Japanese cooking stock made with kombu seaweed and bonito flakes. It is the base of miso soup, clear broth, noodle broth, and many simmering liquids. Different recipes flavor the dashi with kelp, shiitake mushrooms or the heads of sardines.

As with stock in the U.S., time-strapped home cooks use dranulated or liquid instant dashi instead of the [superior] homemade stock.


Dashi is also mixed into flour base to make the batter for some grilled foods like okonomiyaki, Japanese pancakes, and takoyaki, snacks filled with minced octopus and other ingredients.


  Dashi Soup
Dashi. Photo courtesy

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 (or more eel can be the topper). In the photo at right, the sushi chef has used a slice of eel and carrots to create the head of a dragon.


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
Dragon roll. Photo courtesy

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




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


Edamame. Photo by Hilary Brodey | IST.

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


See kabayaki tare.


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


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

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.


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