Sushi & sashimi: The Basics 3-Ingredients

Botan ebi/Botan Shrimp and its eggs at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

I already have wrtitten a lot in bits and pieces on Sushi and Sashimi, including in my other blog, Shizuoka Sushi, but I felt it was time to post an article that could be used as general reference by my blogging friends.
The Basic 1: Definitions
The Basics 2: Questions & Answers

One encounters the general misconception that sushi ingredients include only fish and pre-determined seafood as neta/topping.
Fortunately, sushi offers a greater variety to please everyone, even vegetarians and vegans!

The following description is not exhaustive as possibilities are almost limitless according to avaibility, country and geography, but I hope it will help gastronomes and good food lovers to gain access to a larger scope on which they can expand at will!

Katsuo/Bonito sashimi at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City


The Japanese traditionally differentiate fish into the following kinds:

a) White-flesh fish:
Hirame/Sole, Makogarei or Ishigarei/Turbot or Halibut or Flounder, Sayori/Japanese Half Beak, Shirogisu/Sillago, Suzuki/Seabass, Kawahagi/Leatherback, Tobiuo/Flying fish, Yagara/Trumpet Fish, Houbo/Bluefin Robin, Funa/Crucian Carp, Koi/Carp, Tara-Madara/Cod
Seabreams: Tai, Madai, Ishidai, Amadai, Hanadai

b) Red-fleshed fish:
Maguro/Tuna = Kuro Maguro or Hon Maguro/Bluefin Tuna, Mebachi/Big-eyed Tuna, Kihada/Yellowfin Tuna, Minmamimaguro/Southern Seas Tuna, Binnaga/Albacore Tuna, Mekajiki/Big-eye Marlin.
Buri/Yellowtail,Kampachi/Amberjack, Katsuo/Bonito, Sanma/mackerel Pike, sawara/Spanish Mackerel, Iwashi/Sardine, Shimaaji/Stripe Horsemackerel, Tobiuo/Flying fish

c) Other fish: Unagi/eel, Anago/Conger eel, Noresore/Conger Eel Whitebait, Shirasu/Sardine whitebait, Nishin/Herring, Sake-Shake/Salmon, Benimasu/Salmon Trout

d) Fish related ingredients: Ankimo/Monkfish/Frogfish liver, Ikura/salmon Roe, Kazu no Ko/herring Roe, Tobikko/Flying Fish Roe, Uroko/Scales (deep-fried)

Shako/Mantis Shrimp


There are many indeed, and many found only around Japan:
Shiro Ebi,White Shrimp, Botan Ebi/Large Prawn, Shako/Squilla,Amaebi/Alaskan Pink Shrimp/Pink Shrimp、Kuruma Ebi/Japanese Imperial Prawn、Ise Ebi/Japanese Spiny Lobster, Sakuraebi/Cherry shrimp, Budoebi/”Grape shrimp”
Snow Crab/Zuwagani, Red King Crab/Tarabagani, Japanese Spider Crab/Takaashigani, Japanese Mitten Crab/Mokuzugani

Crustacean-related ingredients:
Ebiko: egss from mainly of Amaebi and Botan Ebi. The only blue-colour sea ingredient in sushi?
Kani Sarada: Crab salad



Shellfish are very popular raw, cooked, grilled, marinated or salted:
Abalone/Awabi, Scallops/Hotategai, Oysters/Kaki, Surf Clam/Torigai, Gaper/Mirugai, Turbo Shells/Sazae, Clam/Hamaguri, Pen Shell/Tairagi, Round Clam-Hen Clam/Bakagai, Scallops/Hotate

Ika Geso/ Squid legs


The Japanese are very fond of squids and octopus, be they raw, boiled, pickled or ciiked/grilled:
Aori Ika/Bigfin Reef Squid, Surume Ika/Japanese Common Squid-Pacific Flying Squid, Hotaru Ika/Firefly Squid-Sparkling Enope Squid, Common calamari/Yari Ika, Kensaki Ika
Madako/True Octopus, Mizudako/Shiodako/Oodako, Iidako/Komochhidako, Ishidako, Chihirodako

Hoya/Common Sea Squirt


These include some creatures relatively unknown outside Japan!
-Sea slug/beche de mer/Sea cusumber or namako in Japanese, as well as its insides/innards called konowata in Japanese
-Common Sea Squirt: Hoya/mahoya in Japanese
-Sea Urchi/Uni

Sakura/Horsemeat as served in Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City


Meat goes very well as sushi, completely raw, slightly grilled or completely cooked!
Basashi:Uma no Niku/Sakura: Horsemeat
Shika no Niku: Venison, deer meat
Gyuniku/Gyusashi: Beef
Kujira: Whalemeat

Tamagoyaki served at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City


Chicken eggs are used for tamagoyaki,japab\nese omelette wihich is cut in various shapes according to volume and trend.
Uzura Tamago/Quail eggs are often used additionally

Vegan Sushi at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City


Now, here is a really “open section”!
I might say it’s all up to you and your priorities.
I will just cite the most popular varieties encountered in Japan:
Kanpyo/gourd shavings first dried then marinated in rice vinegar, soy sauce and sugar.
Gobo/Burdock Root, Kooyaku/Devil’s Tongue tuber, Shiitake, Kyuuri/Cucumber, Mitsuba/Trefoil, Negi/Leek, Daikon, Radish, Shiso/Perilla, Natto, Tomato, Satsumaimo/Sweet potato, Kaiware daikon/Daikon shoots, Takenoko/Bamboo shoots, Myoga Ginger, Shooga/Ginger, Wasabi (chooped roots), Okra, Pimento, Nasu/Aubergine-Eg plant, Yamaimo/Glutinous Yam

To these you have to add the “sea vegetables”:
Konbu/Kaiso/Nori= Seaweed
Umibudo/Sea Grapes
Yuba/Tofu sheets


Fruit sushi has recently become popular abroad but has not caught yet in Japan!”
Foie gras (extravagant), tempura and tonkatsu may also be served as sushi!

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