With so many different types of sushi on offer, it can be daunting for newcomers to know where to start. This blog post is your one-stop guide to the most common types of sushi you’ll find in restaurants, so you can order with confidence!
Nigiri is the classic sushi dish, featuring hand-pressed mounds of vinegared rice topped with a single slice of fresh seafood. The toppings can range from melt-in-your-mouth tuna and salmon to delicate shrimp and eel. Nigiri is all about showcasing the pure flavor and texture of the fish, so savor it slowly and appreciate its delicate balance.
Maki, or rolled sushi, is probably the most familiar type of sushi to Westerners. It’s made with a sheet of nori (seaweed) wrapped around a filling of rice, seafood, and vegetables. Maki comes in a variety of sizes and styles, from the thin and delicate hosomaki to the thick and hearty futomaki. Popular maki fillings include tuna, salmon, cucumber, and avocado, but there are endless possibilities! You can even make vegetarian sushi rolls.
Uramaki, also known as inside-out roll, is a variation of maki where the rice is on the outside and the nori is on the inside. This gives uramaki a more colorful and visually appealing appearance, making it a popular choice for special occasions. Common uramaki fillings include tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, and California rolls.
Temaki, or hand rolls, are like deconstructed maki. They’re made with a cone-shaped nori sheet filled with rice and toppings, and then eaten like a taco. Temaki are fun and interactive, and they’re perfect for sharing with friends. Fillings for temaki can be anything you like, from classic tuna and salmon to more adventurous options like uni (sea urchin) and natto (fermented soybeans).
Chirashi, or scattered sushi, is a bowl of vinegared rice topped with a variety of sashimi, vegetables, and tamago (egg omelet). It’s a great option for those who want to try a little bit of everything, and it’s also perfect for a light lunch or dinner.
Technically not sushi (because it doesn’t contain rice), sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish served with soy sauce and wasabi. It’s the ultimate way to experience the fresh flavor of seafood, and it’s a must-try for any sushi lover.
Inari is a type of sushi made with pouches of fried tofu filled with vinegared rice and sometimes other ingredients like vegetables or seafood. It’s a great vegetarian-friendly option.
Tips for Ordering Sushi
- If you’re new to sushi, start with nigiri or maki with simple fillings like tuna or salmon.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your server for recommendations. They can help you choose sushi that suits your taste and budget.
- It’s acceptable to eat sushi with your hands or chopsticks.
- Looking for some sides that go with sushi? Here’s 15+ sushi side dishes to try out.
- Wondering what wine to pair with your sushi? I’ve got a full guide here!
7+ Types of Sushi to Try Out!
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Using a paring knife, score a small X through the skin on the bottom of each tomato.
- Add the tomatoes to the boiling water and cook until the skin starts to peel (about 3 minutes). Immediately transfer the tomatoes to a bowl of ice water to chill and stop the cooking process.
- Once cool enough to handle, use your hands to peel the tomatoes then cut them in half, remove the seeds, and cut them into bite sized pieces.
- Combine the marinade mixture in a medium bowl.
- Add the tomatoes to the marinade. Toss to coat, and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Bring rice and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, covered. Remove from heat and let rest while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Whisk vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves; drizzle over the rice and stir to combine.
Spicy “Tuna” Sauce:
- Stir together sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Lay down a sheet of nori on a sushi mat or piece of saran wrap. Spread about ⅔ cup of the sushi rice over the nori, leaving about 1-inch clean on one end.
- Spread the sriracha mayo across the rice, then top with cucumber, tomatoes and 2 slices of avocado.
- Roll starting at the bottom and stop when you reach the bare strip at the top. Wet your fingers and run them along the bare edge, then continue rolling until sealed.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into even pieces, about ¾ inch thick. Serve with additional spicy mayo and soy sauce on the side.