9 Types Of Sushi – A Detailed Look

Over the last century or so, sushi has quickly become one of the most popular worldwide cuisines, and it’s simple to locate a sushi restaurant everywhere in the globe – notably in the United States, where there are over 4,000 sushi restaurants.

Sushi may be made in a variety of ways, but it always involves rice—and while the term sushi is commonly linked with raw fish, it’s not incorrect to argue that the key component in sushi is vinegared rice.

The name “sushi” is really a combination of the Japanese phrases for vinegar and rice. Sushi always includes rice, regardless of the toppings or contents.

Here are nine of the most common types of sushi that you should try if you haven’t already!

1. Nigiri

Nigiri sushi is a popular type of sushi that consists of an oval-shaped pile of rice topped with a slice of (typically) raw fish. The term nigiri is derived from the Japanese nigirizushi, which means “hand-pressed sushi.”

The rice is shaped by hand, and the fish or other topping is pushed atop the rice by hand. And it’s the sticky rice, along with the wetness from the topping, that holds the raw fish strip to the mound of rice below.

Nigiri sushi can be made with or without nori seaweed, depending on your preferences. Wrap a tiny strip of nori around each nigiri piece.

This gives your sushi a more conventional appearance, and the nori keeps the topping and rice together.

Nigiri is frequently cooked using bluefin tuna, salmon, and, on occasion, halibut.

These fish are quite hard and have a high fat content that melts in your tongue, providing a wonderful contrast to the flavor of the rice and eliminating the need for prolonged chewing. It’s simple to drink.

2. Sashimi

Sashimi is a type of sushi which includes thinly sliced shellfish and raw fish, but also other meats from time to time.

Sashimi is typically served as the first course in a traditional Japanese meal, although it can also be served as the main dish, accompanied with miso soup and rice in separate bowls.

Sashimi is considered the greatest dish in Japanese formal dining and is recommended to be consumed before other strong flavors impair the palette.

Sashimi can be sliced into a variety of shapes depending on the ingredient, such as flat slices, thin strips, cubes, or diagonal slices.

Sashimi is made with a sharp knife and expert knife skills to ensure that the slices are smooth, consistent, and aesthetically pleasing.

Sashimi is served on a tray or dish, sometimes with shaved daikon radish or shiso leaves on top, and can be paired with soy sauce, wasabi, ginger, and citrus. It is usually served with a dipping sauce of ponzu or soy sauce.

Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, mollusks like abalone, clams, and scallops, and other seafoods like squid are the most frequent fish for sashimi in Japan. Ideally, the fish species must live in cold, deep water or in places free of fish parasites.

3. Maki

Maki is a type of sushi (see also ‘14 Best Sushi Rolls Ranked By How Popular They Are‘) in which vegetables or fish is rolled up in a sheet of toasted seaweed with sushi rice – rice cooked with sushiu (sushi vinegar). Maki is  one of the most well-known types of sushi (see also ‘How To Serve Tobiko And What It Tastes Like?‘).

Maki is also a catch-all term for all rolls of sushi. There are four distinct maki styles.

Hosomaki are thin rolls with one filling, such as tuna, whereas futomaki have two or three fillings, such as fish and veggies. Both styles are also known simply as maki.

There are also uramaki (maki from the inside out) and temaki (sushi cones).

Sushi was traditionally eaten with one’s fingers in Japan, which makes sense given that it was initially a street meal. This is still occasionally the case in high-end sushi places, although many Japanese prefer to eat using chopsticks.

Dip the roll in soy sauce and pop it in your mouth.

4. Gunkan

Gunkan means warship and is also known as gunkan maki. It is a type of nigirizushi that is hand-shaped, just like nigiri. Gunkan are sushi rice cubes wrapped in a tall strip of seaweed to form a bowl that may be filled with a topping.

Gunkan is ideal for nigiri toppings such as salmon eggs , crab (see also ‘Want Crab? Here Are 11 Of The Tastiest Crabs You Can Eat!‘), sea urchin, or seaweed.

Gunkan was born in 1941 in the famed sushiya (sushi restaurant) Kyubey in Tokyo’s Ginza area. Since then, the variety of nigirizushi toppings has grown significantly.

Hand-formed sushi rice cylinders are wrapped in a four-centimetre-high strip of nori (seaweed) approximately an inch taller than the rice.

This forms a container on top of the rice into which the desired topping may be spooned.

5. Uramaki

Uramaki is a Japanese delicacy that is maki flipped inside out. Sushi rice, two or three varieties of filling, and a sheet of seaweed are the same components as for futomaki.

However, in uramaki, the roll is rolled such that the seaweed is on the inside and the rice is on the outside.

Uramaki is a Japanese dish that originated in the late 1960s, when seaweed (nori) was considered a foreign and exotic ingredient.

The nori was hidden on the inside of the roll to avoid scaring customers.

A well-known example of uramaki is the California roll, which is filled with crab, avocado, and cucumber.

The Japanese are not very thrilled with this American variation and prefer conventional maki rolls.

Sushi may be eaten with your fingers in the traditional Japanese manner or with chopsticks in the contemporary manner.

To counteract the flavor of the snacks, place a piece of pickled ginger between them.

6. Temaki

Temaki, often known as hand-rolled sushi, is a popular fast-food option in Japan.

Temaki is a cone-shaped dish made of rice, specially prepared seaweed known as nori, and a variety of fillings called neta.

While Temaki is uncommon in formal restaurants, it is popular in informal eateries and at home, particularly for roll your own sushi parties.

Temaki is made from a sheet of nori that has been split in half to make it more workable.

The chef spoons a little bit of sushi rice on top of the nori, then tops it with neta of choice before wrapping it tightly into a cone that can be grasped in one hand and dipped into sauces.

Temaki sushi is made by hand (no bamboo mat), generally in the shape of a cone or occasionally in the shape of a conventional roll.

Maki sushi is always prepared on a bamboo mat and is often chopped and served in bite-size pieces.

Maki sushi is more often seen in restaurants and shops, whereas temaki sushi is much more casual and is typically offered at sushi gatherings or parties with family or friends.

7. Temari

Temari, which translates to “handball,” is a traditional Japanese embroidered ball that people used to play with. Temari balls are now more commonly used as ornamental ornaments in the home rather than as children’s toys.

These are simple sushi that are ideal for gatherings.

The nicest aspect about preparing temari sushi at home is that, unlike nigiri and maki, no special skills are required other than an eye for color and design.

Your imagination is the only limit. It will serve as a guideline because you will be using plastic wrap to create your circular sushi balls.

Temari Sushi is fun because you can use virtually anything! If you don’t like raw fish, you may substitute cooked meat or veggies.

Because it is a celebratory dish, vivid and complementary colors are typically advised. Colorful and textural garnishes like ikura or nori can also be used to create interest.

Topping choices include tuna and avocado, egg and nori, and shrimp and lemon.

8. Inari

Inari sushi is a pocket of fried and seasoned tofu packed with sushi rice.

It’s casual Japanese cuisine at its best. Inari is frequently served in sushi restaurants and izakaya. It’s also a common ingredient in bento boxes.

Inari has a sweet, savory, and salty flavor.

It also has a moderate vinegary taste and a somewhat sticky texture. There are no societal rules against eating inari sushi with your hands.

The Japanese term for fried tofu pockets is abura-age.

They are widely accessible in Japanese stores and on the internet.

Because inari sushi only includes two components, it is less costly than other forms of sushi and is also not difficult to create from scratch.

Inari sushi has a unique backstory that explains its appeal. It takes its name from the god who guards the crops.

Some people bring deep-fried tofu pockets to Inari shrines in Japan as offerings and set them in front of the fox sculptures on the shrine grounds.

Foxes are thought to be the Inari god’s messengers, and to show appreciation to the Inari deity for excellent crops, fresh rice was eventually put as a filler to the fried tofu pockets.

9. Chirashizushi

Chirashizushi, which translates to “scattered sushi,” is a sushi bowl that has rice which has been vinegared on the bottom with raw fish and other additions placed on top.

The raw fish used varies, but the most common are salmon and tuna.

It is frequently topped with nori, shredded egg, and salmon roe for a delectable and colorful finishing touch.

This dish is simple to make and popular as a party snack since it can be cooked on a large plate and easily divided.

Chirashizushi is popular for special events because of its neatly sliced, high quality ingredients.

“Barazushi,” on the other hand, is a more modest meal composed of cooked vegetables and less appealing, end pieces of sashimi. Barazushi is widely used in home cooking and at fish markets.

Chirashizushi is eaten similarly to sushi. Traditionally, it is eaten with chopsticks and a tiny bowl of soy sauce to delicately dip your portions into.

If desired, season your soy sauce dip with wasabi to taste.

Because of the diverse treatment and flavors in the bowl, it is advisable to dip your nibbles into the soy sauce as you go rather than pouring soy all over the bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Most Popular Type of Sushi?

There is no most popular sort of sushi because there is such a wide variety that may be served at Japanese restaurants or produced at home.

Inari, nigiri, sashimi, and maki rolls are all popular types of sushi that are consumed all around the world.

Why Is Ginger Served With Sushi?

It was once used to protect raw seafood from infection. It’s also recommended to take it before or after sushi as a palette cleanser.

A mouthful of ginger in between pieces of sushi helps you to taste the various tastes of each fish.

Is All Sushi Made With Raw Fish?

Sushi can be made using raw fish, but many varieties include cooked seafood, such as crab meat or tempura shrimp (which is never raw).

Because of this tradition, raw fish is one of the most popular ingredients.

Sushi, like other cuisines, has developed, and there are several variations that do not include raw fish, or any fish at all.

Vegetarian sushi has no seafood. These sushi rolls often include vinegar, rice, and seaweed, as well as veggies such as cucumber and/or avocado.

However, cross-contamination may occur in establishments that also create sushi with fish.

Is Sushi Healthy?

In general, one piece of traditional maki roll has between 20 and 28 calories.

A piece of vegetable maki, for example, contains 20 calories, but a piece of tuna maki has 29 calories.

A piece of salmon nigiri has 37 calories, whereas a slice of salmon sashimi contains 36 calories.

If you prefer eating fish, sushi is a terrific way to get your lean protein servings, but if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can also enjoy sushi made with plant-based proteins, such as tofu, to fulfill your required daily protein consumption.

If you order maki or temaki hand rolls, you will additionally get a piece of blackish-purple dried seaweed wrapped around the rice and filling.

You might be shocked to hear that this type of seaweed includes iodine, a vital vitamin for the production of thyroid hormones, which regulate the body’s metabolism.

However, rolls with a crunch, such as tempura rolls, which consist of contents coated in a tempura batter before being deep-fried; and spider rolls, which feature fried soft-shelled crab meat, are higher in calories and fat since they are produced with fried components.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to sushi, there are literally hundreds of possibilities. This is one of the reasons why this dish is so famous around the world.

Nigiri, inari, sashimi, maki rolls, and inside-out rolls are the most popular varieties of sushi, accounting for the majority of the menu items in every sushi restaurant.

Sushi is always a tasty, pleasurable experience, whether you want classic American sushi rolls or more genuine sashimi and nigiri.

However, if you haven’t eaten much sushi in your life, you may be puzzled about what you’re meant to do when eating it – and you may be scared and unsure how to eat it properly.

This is a common worry with those who are new to sushi, but something that you should remember is that sushi is to be enjoyed, and if that means that you eat it with a fork or with a blob of ketchup on top then that’s up to you!

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