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Different Types of Sushi Explained: Sashimi, Nigiri & More

Sushi names give you a glimpse of the type of sushi you order when you visit a restaurant. It’s daunting to place an order when you don’t know what you’re getting or whether you’ll enjoy it. Today we’ll look at the various sushi available so you can feel more prepared when visiting a sushi restaurant.

sushi names

Types of Sushi

Sushi would be a good competitor if the perfect food existed. It’s healthy and convenient, and there are an infinite number of flavor combinations to experiment with.

Sushi is also as lovely to look at and delicious to eat. It’s no surprise that sushi is one of the most popular global dishes. If you want to open your own sushi restaurant or add sushi to your current menu, keep reading to learn about various sushi names.

What is Sushi?

Sushi is a Japanese dish that comprises medium-grained vinegar-cooked rice served with cooked or raw seafood and a range of garnishes or fillings.

Contrary to belief, rice, not sashimi, is the primary component of sushi. You’ve probably seen rolled sushi chopped into fantastic bite-sized pieces, however not all sushi is rolled.

Sushi Vinegar

Sushi requires that the rice be prepared with a specific type of vinegar. A combination of rice vinegar, salt, and sugar is used to make sushi vinegar. This imparts the rice’s distinct flavor and a sticky texture which keeps its shape when molded.

Sushi vs Zushi 

Sushi may be spelled differently on some sushi menus, beginning with a “z.” When relating to specific types of sushi, sushi would become zushi in Japanese.

Maki-sushi, for instance, becomes maki-zushi. The only distinction between sushi and zushi is pronunciation.

Sushi Types

One of the best aspects of sushi is that there is something for everyone. You don’t even need to like raw fish to appreciate the perfection of an avocado roll.

Continue reading to learn about various sushi names and popular ingredients.

1. Sashimi

Sashimi

Because it does not contain rice, sashimi is not technically a type of sushi. It’s included in this sushi guide because of its importance in Japanese cuisine.

This is finely diced fish or meat that is frequently served raw and may include any type of meat, but the most common are fish and seafood.

Sashimi could also be cooked, as seen with unagi (grilled eel). Sashimi is commonly served on a bed of daikon radish with just a side of soy sauce.

Since sashimi is meant to showcase the fresh flavors of the fish, no other condiments or fillings are added. When serving raw seafood, it is crucial to get your fish from reputable sources.

Sashimi Types

  • Ebi – Cooked shrimp
  • Ahi – Raw tuna
  • Hamachi – Raw yellowtail
  • Tako – Raw octopus
  • Sake – Raw salmon
  • Uni – Raw sea urchin
  • Unagi – Cooked freshwater eel

2. Nigiri Sushi

sushi names

When serving raw seafood, it is critical to source your fish from reputable sources. Nigiri is a kind of sushi that comprises a pillow of vinegar rice topped with either raw or cooked seafood.

These two ingredients are all that is required to create the perfect blend of flavors and textures. In Japan, nigiri sushi is regarded as a simple delicacy, in contrast to the complex sushi rolls popular in the West.

Sushi vs Nigiri 

Nigiri and sushi (maki) differ in that the rice in nigiri is squeezed into a bite-sized mound, whereas maki sushi is rolled into tubes and cut into rolls.

Nigiri has a single piece of fish finely placed on top, whereas maki rolls have fillings on the inside.

Types of Nigiri

  • Maguro Nigiri – Raw tuna
  • Tamago Nigiri – Cooked egg omelet
  • Sake Nigiri – Raw salmon
  • Unagi Nigiri – Grilled freshwater eel
  • Ebi Nigiri – Cooked shrimp

3. Maki

Maki 

A sheet of seaweed is layered with vinegar rice and fillings to make maki sushi. It’s tightly spun into thin tubes before being sliced into bite-size pieces. A slice of maki sushi have fillings inside, a layer of sticky rice, and a wrapping of thin seaweed paper (nori).

Hand Roll vs Maki Roll

The difference between a maki roll and a hand roll (temaki) is that maki sushi is firmly rolled and sliced into several bite-sized pieces.

A hand roll is loosely rolled into a tube or cone shape and meant to be eaten whole as an individual serving.

Types of Maki Rolls

  • Hosomaki
  • Tekka Maki
  • Futomaki
  • Kappa Maki

4. Uramaki

sushi names 

Rolling sushi with rice on the outside and nori inside is known as uramaki. A sushi chef in Los Angeles created this “inside-out” roll in order to appeal to American customers.

Machita Ichiro observed Americans disliked the seaweed wrapping on typical maki sushi, so he concealed the seaweed on the inside. Traditional maki is still popular in Japan, while uramaki is the most common form of sushi in the United States.

Most of the sushi rolls labeled “Special Rolls” on a sushi menu are uramaki. Sesame seeds cling to the sticky rice and are commonly sprinkled on uramaki.

Types Sushi Rolls

  • Dragon Roll
  • Rainbow Roll
  • Spicy Tuna Roll
  • California Roll

5. Temaki

Temaki  

Temaki sushi is distinct from other sushi on our menu. A temaki hand roll is a large seaweed cone filled with rice, fish, and other types of sushi fillings.

Unlike maki rolls, temaki is not rolled precisely to make uniform pieces of sushi. A temaki hand roll is more deconstructed and designed to be eaten by hand as a single serving.

Sushi Burrito

The sushi burrito, also known as a sushirrito, is a mix of temaki sushi and the common overstuffed burritos. A sushi burrito is much bigger than a temaki roll, which can be held in one hand.

Sushirittos are enclosed in a large nori sheet in place of a flour tortilla and contain traditional sushi fillings such as rice, fish, and vegetables.

6. Chirashi

sushi names

Chirashi is a not-so-known type of sushi that comprises a bed of sushi rice topped with various toppings.

The term chirashi, which means “scattered,” refers to the toppings that are placed on the sushi rice. But don’t be misled by the phrase. The toppings on this sushi dish are “scattered” with neatness and precision.

Types of Chirashi

There are many types of chirashi sushi, but the most common is from Tokyo and Osaka in Japan.

  • Osaka Style (Gomoku Chirashi)
  • Tokyo Style (Edomae Chirashi)

Sushi Glossary

Since there are various kinds of sushi ingredients and fillings, remembering all names could be difficult. Here are some popular sushi names and their definitions:

  • Awabi – abalone
  • Natto – fermented soybeans
  • Masago – capelin fish roe (eggs)
  • Nori – seaweed paper
  • Ama Ebi – the sweet shrimp, often served raw
  • Shoyu – soy sauce
  • Gari – pickled ginger
  • Kani-kama – imitation crab meat
  • Gobo – burdock root
  • Tobiko – flying fish roe (eggs)
  • Daikon – white radish
  • Inari – deep-fried tofu pouch stuffed with sushi rice

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Rainbow roll.
  • Shrimp tempura roll.
  • Spicy tuna roll.
  • Dragon roll.
  • Spider roll.
  • King crab roll.
  • Boston roll.
  • California roll.

Sashimi
Chirashi
Oshizushi
Temaki
Uramaki

Narezushi

Maki

Nigiri sushi

Nigiri Sushi

  • Shiitake Mushroom Nigiri.
  • Tamagoyaki Nigiri.
  • Nasu Nigiri.
  • Avocado Nigiri.
  • Kampyo Maki.
  • Shinko Maki/ Takuan Maki.
  • Ume, Cucumber Shiso Makizushi.
  • Kappa Maki.

Real sushi comprises rice vinegar, cooked rice, seaweed, and fresh raw fish or vegetables


Sushi is a Japanese dish, but its earliest form is thought to have begun in China, where rice cooked with salt and vinegar was used to preserve fish. The modern style of  prepping sushi is a Japanese invention.

You will not be disappointed with the sushi on your menu! It’s a dish with an artistic feel and fresh ingredients. Each piece contains the ideal combination of textures and flavors all wrapped up in a bite-sized.

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