What to Order Japanese sushi

Japanese sushi

What to Order Japanese sushi

Nigiri Sushi

Shake (SHA-kay)

Fresh salmon

Some restaurants use smoked salmon; others offer it fresh and smoked. Eat it fresh if they have it.


Fatty tuna

Delicious but expensive; expect to pay up from $10 per piece


Japanese yellowtail

A bit hard to find; not every restaurant offers it


Hawaiian angel fish

Incredible, melt-in-your-mouth texture and complex flavor; an excellent choice to try if you’re new to sushi


Red snapper

May appear in some menus as pargo or huachinango (Mexican names)

Binjo or Shiromaguro

Fatty albacore

Delicious when eaten with ponzu sauce and some green onion



Delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture and flavor; the itamae will usually deep fry the sardine’s skeleton and serve it alongside the iwaashi


Cooked shrimp

Masago Capelin caviar Tiny, tiny fish eggs; do not confuse with tobiko, though the flavour is similar; tobiko eggs are larger


Flying fish caviar

Masago and tobiko are brighg orange and delicious


Spicy cod caviar

Bright red, spicy with added pepper; originally from Korea, now part of every well-stocked sushiya



A special kind of migrating tuna; delicious and a bit expensive, and available only in a few place throughout the summer



Don’t eat hirame from the San Francisco Bay; rumor has it that you get your yearly dosage of mercury out of a couple of nigiri pieces


Fresh water eel

One of the most delicious fish you ever tasted; served grilled, with a bit of teriyaki sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds


Sea water eel

Similar to unagi; eat only if unagi isn’t available



Hard to find and expensive; if possible, eat in sashimi instead of nigiri



Eat it only if it’s fresh; ask the itamae


Hairy crab

Exotic and expensive; hard to find outside of Japan


Hen egg omelette

Eat only if made in-premises; you’ll give your itamae a chance to show off; sushi chefs pride themselves on making good tamago, and each has his own “special recipe”

Amaebi no tama

Raw fresh shrimp (fresh = alive just seconds before being served) and its caviar

Seldom found; the roe is raw, unlike ikura or tobiko which always undergo some preparation


Halibut fin muscle

Very hard to find. One of the most delicious fish you can order; some people find it a bit on the chewy side, although it’s not as chewy as takko (octopus)


All ingredients are listed from the inside out.


Tuna, rice, nori

Originally invented as a snack eaten at gambling parlors (tekka); think of it as a distant Japanese cousin of the sandwich


Fresh cucumber, rice, nori

Named after Kappa, a water goblin in the Japanese mythology; Kappa is very fond of cucumbers


Cucumber, plum paste, rice, nori

Eat it as the last entree because of the pungent flavour of the plum taste


Maguro, shake, suppo, hamachi wrapped in fresh turnip

Simple, delicious roll found in the last place on Earth where you’d expect to find amazing sushi

Special roll

Unagi, mango, avocado, rice, goma (sesame seeds), shake/maguro/hamachi, tobiko, two kinds of chef-made mayonnaise, a few bacon bits on the plate; shoyu and mayonnaise make the splash pattern on the plate
Nobody knows for sure what goes into this one; found at Sushi House in San Bruno, CA; one of the most delicious rolls ever; careful if you find it, though: it’s a meal in itself so don’t plan on eating much else if you order it

California roll

Crab, mayonnaise, avocado (some times), nori, rice, sesame seeds, tobiko

It’s okay if there are no other choices from this list

Rainbow rolls

All kinds of ingredients

Each itamae has his own recipe

Caterpillar or dragon roll

Similar to rainbow roll but the ingredients are on the outside

Both of these rolls usually involve avocado; avocados, not tomatoes, became part of the sushi tradition via its California newfound roots; avocados are now used on both sides of the Pacific Ocean

Spicy spider roll

Soft shell crag, organic multi-grain rice, nori, ink soy paper, and a fried river crab as decoration

Specialty from Juni in San Francisco – not found elsewhere

Tempura roll

Shrimp tempura, rice, nori

The wimpy version of the spider roll; order only if the spider roll isn’t available

Related post

  1. Learn to Slice Raw Fish like a Pro

    Japanese sushi

    Learn to Slice Raw Fish like a Pro

    Every true fan of Japanese cuisine …

Recent post

  1. Yu Kurosaki's Mastery in Metal: The Art and Craft of Sashimi Knives
  2. Unveiling the Mastery of Yu Kurosaki: The Santoku Knife Redefined
  3. Japanese Knife: TOJIRO (FUJITORA) Knives: Merging Tradition and Modernity
  4. Japanese Knife: Yu Kurosaki Knives: Merging Tradition and Modernity
  5. The Unique Features of the Japanese Sujihiki Knife
  1. Japanese Knife : Sakai Takayuki Knives : Merging Tradition and Modernity

    Japanese Knives

    Japanese Knife : Sakai Takayuki Knives :…
  2. What to Order Japanese sushi

    Japanese sushi

    What to Order Japanese sushi
  3. Sakai Takayuki Honyaki VG10 Stainless Dragon VS Sakai Takayuki Honyaki Water Quench Aogami 2 Steel

    Japanese Knives

    Sakai Takayuki Honyaki VG10 Stainless Dr…
  4. Chefs and their Knives


    Chefs and their Knives
  5. Japanese Kitchen Knife

    History of kitchen knives

    Japanese Kitchen Knife