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The Difference Between Sushi and Sashimi

Updated on November 1, 2014

How to Tell the Difference Between Sushi, Sashimi and Nigiri -The Finest Japanese Cuisine

I often go to the local Japanese Restaurant to order Sushi. As I sit down to order I realize that I cannot recall the difference between sushi, sashimi, and nigiri. This is your quick go-to guide for discerning between the three.


Vinegar Rice and Fish

All Sushi is part vinegared rice (shari) and part fish (neta). There are several different types of sushi, but what Americans typically think of are Nigiri and Western-style sushi (rolls). The question is not whether to eat sushi or sashimi, but more than likely you have to chose between nigiri, sashimi or western-style sushi rolls.



Just the Fish

It's as simple as it gets. Sashimi is just raw fish served with a dipping sauce. There is nothing finer.



Fish on Top of Vinegar Rice

Nigiri is fish (neta) that is laid on top of the vinegared rice (shari). It tends to be held together with wasabi. Wasabi can be thought of as Japanese horseradish.

western-style sushi
western-style sushi

Western Style Sushi

Sushi Rolls - For Newbies

Most neophites tend to eat western-style sushi or more commonly knonw as sushi rolls. There are several different types of suhsi rolls. The possibilities are endless. They tend to combine the shari, neta, and nora. Nori is the black seeweed wrap that holds the role together.

Comments Are Welcome

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    • katemiya profile image


      7 years ago

      Um...this information is incorrect. Sushi just refers to rice prepared in the vinegar. It often does involve fish or other seafood, but that is NOT required to make it sushi. Sashimi, on the other hand, is always raw seafood.

    • Recession Proof2 profile image

      Recession Proof2 

      7 years ago

      I had to find this out the hard way. I still get uncomfortable when people start throwing out sushi lingo.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Well, I love sushi but didn't realize the differences in these three. Thanks! (tapping chopsticks)


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