The different varieties of sushi

For this reason, I have prepared this small manual so that you learn to distinguish from each other or know what they mean when they are named in a restaurant.

As I said in the post in which I taught you how to prepare rice to make homemade sushi, ” Sushi, comes from short for two Japanese words, Su, which means vinegar and Meshi, which means rice, so sushi is everything dish made with Japanese-style vinegar rice. ” Strictly speaking, sushi is any combination of rice with foods such as seafood, vegetables or fish, presented in different forms. Today I will try to teach you to distinguish them.

Sashimi is not a type of sushi

We go back to the beginning. Sushi comes from “vinegar rice” so a dish that is only raw fish with a special cut, is a wonderful recipe of Japanese cuisine, but strictly speaking, it is not a type of sushi.

The confusion comes because in many presentations of Japanese dishes the classic rolls or makis made with nori seaweed, vinegar rice, and fish are combined with portions of sashimi and are sold under the generic name of an assorted sushi plate.

Forms or varieties of sushi


They are perhaps the best known. They consist of a cylinder that is made by putting the rice on the nori seaweed sheet, adding a little wasabi and placing the main ingredient in the center. Then it is rolled and cut into portions, or makis.

By sizes, it is usually distinguished between normal maki rolls, futomaki that are thicker, with more rice and fish stuffing, and hosomaki that are thinner and lighter makis.

Uramaki or California Rolls

The uramakis, whose name comes from the prefix Ara that means backward are makis or rolls rolled upside down, that is, leaving out the rice and not the nori seaweed. They are also called California Rolls. They are usually served with rice covered with small seeds, or with extra layers of fish or vegetables on the outside.


Nigiris are oval-shaped portions of rice and covered by a sheet of fish. If they are protected with a strip of nori seaweed to attach the rice to the fish, then they are called Nigiri Gunkan or battleships.


With the same name as Gunkan, other cylinders of rice wrapped in nori seaweed and normally crowned with fish roe are also prepared, such as those seen in the image above.


This is another very popular sushi variety consisting of a square-shaped portion of nori seaweed that is filled with rice, vegetables, and fish. Then it is tapered when rolled with this shape called temaki. They are usually large, so they fill up a lot.

Oshi Sushi

Normally this variety of sushi consists of a kind of pressed brick of rice covered with the rest of the ingredients. It is very comfortable to eat and is heavier than other lighter types of sushi such as makis and nigiris.


It is an abundant portion of rice with the filling inside, which is shaped like a triangular prism and wrapped with a portion of nori seaweed to grab it. Sometimes they are used to make ornaments or cartoon characters are shaped like dolls. They are also known by the name of Omusubi sushi.

With this small classification of the different varieties of sushi, surely when you go to a Japanese restaurant you can already get an idea of ​​the dishes offered in your menu and you can ask them knowing what they are going to bring you.

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