Skip to content


Sushi vs Sashimi: What is the difference between them?

Sushi vs Sashimi: What is the difference between them?

Looking at the menu of a Japanese restaurant, you will see diversity with both Sushi vs Sashimi. Many people easily confuse them and think that Sashimi is just a variation of Sushi. However, for the full culinary experience, we will clearly explain the difference between Sushi and Sashimi. This helps you enjoy the unique flavors and textures of each dish. Even though they are different, they are both worth trying and they are both amazing!

1. General introduction to Sushi vs Sashimi

When you are faced with the menu of a Japanese restaurant, you will probably be faced with an abundance of delicacies such as udon noodles, soba, Sushi, and Sashimi. However, for those unfamiliar with this cuisine, the choice can become difficult. One of the biggest misunderstandings often comes from Sushi. Despite being one of the most popular dishes in Japan, Sushi is often misunderstood and misused. Did you know that there are many types of Sushi? And Sashimi, although often found with Sushi, is actually a completely independent dish? Don't worry, we'll help you understand Sushi or Sashimi better, helping you order like a pro.

Sushi features vinegared rice while sashimi highlights raw seafood slices

Sushi features vinegared rice while sashimi highlights raw seafood slices

Starting from the similarities, both Sushi vs Sashimi are Japanese delicacies, suitable for use as appetizers or main dishes. They are a great combination for family meals, or even romantic evenings. Nowadays, you can easily find delicious Sushi or Sashimi at a variety of locations, from restaurants to grocery stores. However, despite their similarities, its offer different experiences. If you order both Sushi vs Sashimi, the difference of Sushi and Sashimi will be immediately apparent - Sushi usually comes with rice, while Sashimi does not. This is just one of the differences, and to understand more about Sushi vs Sashimi, keep reading!

Sometimes, when entering the world of Japanese cuisine, making choices can be a challenge. But don't worry, we'll guide you through the variety of Sushi and Sashimi, helping you make the right decision and enjoy each of their unique flavors! And the following information will answer the question: What's the difference between Sushi and Sashimi.

2. What is Sushi and Sashimi?

2.1. What is Sushi?

Sushi is not just a dish, but also an art of combining delicate flavors and forms. Most fundamentally, Sushi cannot exist without one important ingredient: rice. This refers not only to the type of rice but also to the way the rice is prepared. Sushi rice is short-grain rice soaked in rice wine vinegar, creating its characteristic flavor.

Sushi is not limited to raw fish as its main ingredient, although it is often associated with it that way. In fact, you can make use of many different ingredients, including cucumbers, avocados, mangoes, fried shrimp, tofu, and even eggs. Sushi is classified into many different forms, such as:

Maki: Traditional rolled Sushi, made from seaweed wrapped in rice and filled inside. There are "inside-out" rolls (uramaki) with rice on the outside, and options like vegetable rolls or California rolls that are suitable for beginners.

Maki rolls, a popular type of sushi, are filled with ingredients and wrapped in seaweed
Maki rolls, a popular type of sushi, are filled with ingredients and wrapped in seaweed

Nigiri: Different from maki, nigiri is not rolled in seaweed. Instead, a medium-sized ball of Sushi rice is covered with a layer of raw or cooked fish. Nigiri may have a bit of wasabi between the two pieces or a strip of seaweed to link them.

2.2. What is Sashimi?

Sashimi is a truly minimalist art, focusing only on the main ingredient - raw fish sliced into thin slices. Without rice or seasoning, Sashimi focuses on preserving the delicate taste of the freshest fish. Usually served on a bed of sliced Japanese radish (daikon), Sashimi is often made from saltwater fish such as salmon, tuna, and yellowtail, providing a pure and fresh flavor.

Choosing soft, delicately sliced Sashimi is the key to enjoying the true flavor of fish. Sashimi is not just a dish, but an exquisite experience, often accompanied by wasabi and soy sauce to highlight the natural flavors of the fish.

Sashimi is a traditional Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced raw fish
Sashimi is a traditional Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced raw fish

4. Famous types of Sushi vs Sashimi

Sushi and Sashimi are Japanese dishes famous around the world, offering delicate and unique flavors. In the Sushi series, nigiri is a popular variety, with Sushi rice and pieces of seafood, such as salmon, creating a symbol of Japanese cuisine. Sushi also comes in rolls, called maki, which can have rice inside or out, depending on the type of Sushi. Another form of Sushi is temaki, rolled into a cone shape, creating a fresh feeling when eaten.

And Sashimi, a dish without rice, focuses mainly on expressing the natural flavors of seafood. Maguro Sashimi, which is Sashimi from tuna, is often popular for its delicious taste and dark pink meat. Sake Sashimi, from salmon, brings the characteristic flavor of salmon and soft fat. For those who love unique seafood, uni Sashimi from scallop offal can be a great choice.

In addition, there is chirashi, a form of Sushi with rice underneath and covered with a variety of seafood, fish eggs and raw vegetables, creating a unique blend of flavors. These types of Sushi and Sashimi are not only delicious dishes but also culinary art, demonstrating the creativity and sophistication of Japanese culinary culture.

Sushi vs sashimi present a tantalizing array of raw seafood masterpieces, each unique and flavorful
Sushi vs sashimi present a tantalizing array of raw seafood masterpieces, each unique and flavorful

5. Common Questions about Sushi vs Sashimi

5.1. Can Both Be Cooked?

No, Sashimi is a Japanese culinary dish made with raw fish or meat, thinly sliced and eaten without rice, while Sushi focuses on using rice and often comes with raw or cooked ingredients. This creates diversity in culinary experiences. When enjoying Sashimi, people often use chopsticks to lift and enjoy each thin layer, while Sushi can be eaten easily with fingers. Sashimi is often accompanied by soy sauce to enjoy the delicate flavor of fish or meat.

5.2. Which Provides Better Nutrition? Sashimi or Sushi?

Both Sushi vs Sashimi offer a lot of nutritional value. Both are rich sources of protein and low in fat and calories. Sushi contains rice, which is a source of carbohydrates. If you want to reduce your carbohydrate intake, Sashimi may be a more suitable choice. Sushi, although it may contain more calories and carbohydrates due to the use of ingredients such as mayonnaise and cream cheese, is also part of a healthy diet, providing energy to the body.

Both Sushi vs Sashimi are healthy dishes when made with high-quality ingredients. Fish Sushi or Sashimi can provide important omega-3 fatty acids for body health. Both retain their vitamin content and require no preservatives, making them a healthy and delicious culinary choice.

Sushi or sashimi, both are exquisite, but it's a matter of preference
Sushi or sashimi, both are exquisite, but it's a matter of preference

5.3. Which Is Safer To Eat? Sashimi or Sushi?

Both Sashimi and Sushi are safe to eat, as long as they are prepared properly. However, raw fish foods can carry harmful bacteria, so it's important to only choose to eat Sushi vs Sashimi from trusted places. For those who are pregnant or have a weakened immune system, you should avoid eating Sushi or Sashimi from raw fish completely to ensure absolute safety.

6. How to make traditional Sushi vs Sashimi

6.1. Traditional way of making Sushi

*Ingredients for Great Sushi:

- Japanese rice (or regular sticky rice if Japanese rice is not available)

- Roasted sesame, sesame oil, sugar, salt, vinegar

- Small bamboo blinds or clean A4 paper

- Sushi filling: Eggs, carrots, sausage, fresh seafood, cucumber

*Steps to Make Japanese Sushi at Home:

Step 1: Cook Rice and Prepare Vegetables:

- Wash Japanese rice or sticky rice, then cook according to instructions.

- When the rice is cooked, stir the rice and scoop it into a bowl. Let the rice cool for about 10 minutes.

- Mix vinegar with a little sugar and salt in a small bowl, stir well and pour over rice. Mix the rice well with the vinegar mixture so that the rice is soft and not crushed. Let the rice cool for the Sushi rolling process.

- Wash carrots and cucumbers, then slice lengthwise.

Step 2: Prepare Sushi Filling:

- Crack the eggs into a bowl, beat the yolks well and fry the eggs in a non-stick pan.

- Fry eggs over low heat until golden brown and just cooked.

Step 3: Prepare Seaweed Leaves and Rice:

- Steam the seaweed leaves over fire to soften the seaweed and make it easier to stick to the rice.

- Spread the seaweed leaves on a bamboo mat or white paper sheet, use a spoon to spread the rice into a thin layer on the seaweed leaves. Do not spread the rice all the way along the seaweed so that during the rolling process the rice will be pushed down.

Step 4: Roll Sushi:

- Roll down (outside is seaweed): Layer eggs and Sushi filling ingredients on top of rice, roll tightly and evenly to make the Sushi round, firm and beautiful.

- Roll upside down (outside is rice): Stick the rice tightly onto the seaweed, turn the rice upside down, spread the Sushi filling ingredients on top of the seaweed and roll up tightly.

The art of rolling sushi involves skillfully wrapping ingredients in seaweed
The art of rolling sushi involves skillfully wrapping ingredients in seaweed

Step 5: Cut and Enjoy:

- Use a sharp knife to cut Sushi into beautiful pieces.

- Arrange Sushi on a plate and enjoy with soy sauce mixed with sugar, vinegar and chili powder.

6.2. How to make Sashimi

*Ingredients for Traditional Sashimi:

- Fresh seafood (salmon, tuna, scallops, shrimp...)

- Wasabi

- Gari (sour cabbage)

- Soy sauce and ponzu sauce (if desired)

*Steps to Make Traditional Sashimi:

Step 1: Prepare Seafood:

- Choose fresh and high quality seafood from a reputable source.

- If seafood has been frozen, leave it on ice or soak it in cold water to maintain its shape and freshness.

Step 2: Prepare Soy Sauce and Wasabi:

- Mix soy sauce in a small dish.

- Prepare wasabi and place it in a small portion on a plate.

- If you want, you can mix the ponzu sauce and put it on a separate plate.

Step 3: Cut Seafood:

- Use a sharp knife to cut seafood into thin slices. Make sure your knife is sharp and cooled to preserve the quality of the seafood.

- Cut the fish into long and thin slices, keeping the natural shape of the seafood intact.

Mastering the art of fish slicing is crucial for sashimi perfection
Mastering the art of fish slicing is crucial for sashimi perfection

Step 4: Decorate and Enjoy:

- Present Sashimi on a plate in a delicate and attractive way.

- Place wasabi and gari at both ends of the plate to easily accompany them when eating.

Step 5: Accompany and Enjoy:

- When eating, use chopsticks to dip Sashimi slices in soy sauce or ponzu sauce (if any). Try different flavor combinations.

- Serve with a small amount of wasabi to add flavor, and gari to help clean your mouth between bites.

*Important Note:

- Choose fresh seafood and make sure it has been processed to be safe to eat raw.

- The sharpness of the knife is important to ensure that the cutting is done smoothly and that the shape of the seafood is maintained.


Now that you understand the important difference between Sushi and Sashimi, you can be more confident when ordering at your favorite Japanese restaurant! Simply remember, if you want to enjoy raw fish without rice, choose Sashimi. If you want to combine rice with raw fish or raw vegetables, Sushi is the right choice. And if you're still in doubt, don't hesitate to ask your waiter or waitress for their opinion, they'll be more than happy to help you choose the right dish!

Visit Kiichin for more useful information for your life!

Previous article New Year, New Kitchen: Dive into Kiichin's Celebration Sale!