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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome back to JapanesePod101.com. I’m Eric.
In this lesson we will talk about the ​"Top 5 words you should know before going to sushi restaurants”.
The first topic on the list is green tea served at sushi restaurants. In sushi vocabulary, this is called (J: agari).
In general, this word is used by sushi chefs when they offer hot tea as customers finish their meal. You might see some customers also using this word when they’re asking for hot tea.
But keep in mind that some chefs don’t appreciate their customers using their professional jargon so it’s better to say “green tea please”. (J: o-cha onegai shimasu).
The next topic on the list is about a course menu that allows the chef to serve you the best he has to offer. This “trust-the-chef” style is called (J: o-makase).
This “chef’s selection” menu normally starts out with light-flavored white fish, then more full-flavored red fish, followed by egg sushi, or rolled sushi.
This style of dining brings out the real skills of sushi chefs, so we recommend you try this. But it is also a good idea to let your chef know your budget in advance.
The next topic is a thin slice of pickled ginger called (J: gari).
This sweet and pink-colored pickled ginger is usually meant to be eaten between bites of sushi to refresh the inside of your mouth.
The pickles also have an antiseptic action and it is considered to help prevent any negative effects of bad fish, as well as warm up our bodies.
The next topic is the rice specifically cooked for sushi. This rice, seasoned with vinegar, sugar and salt, is called (J: shari).
It is said that people started cooking rice with vinegar for its bacteria killing properties because sushi was originally served at stalls outside.
The word (J: shari) actually means “Buddha’s bones” in Sanskrit because white rice grains bear some resemblance to Buddha’s mortal remains. This also explains why rice is considered sacred to Japanese.
By the way, slices of fish and other toppings on the rice are called (J: neta).
The last topic is soy sauce. In sushi professional jargon, it is called (J: murasaki). Literally, the word means purple.
There are a few theories about this word’s origin. But the most common one is the color of soy sauce which appears dark purple.
This name has also become common because purple is regarded as a luxurious color for Japanese, and soy used to be valuable in the old days.
That’s all we have for this lesson. Most of these professional words are not normally used by customers, but it is still helpful if you know them. Have you ever seen professionals using these words in a cool way? Leave us a comment and let us know! Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time. Until then, bye!


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