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Monday, April 21, 2014

Different Types of Sushi Got You Stumped? No More Excuses - Learn Them Now!

If you are new to sushi and don't know what the different types of sushi are yet, then hang on to your hat...
You're about to find out!
But first let's clear up a couple of little terms that sometimes can cause confusion for those trying to learn the distinction between the different types of sushi.
First, let's define exactly...
What is Sushi?

Sushi quite simply is "Anything that is made with vinegared sushi rice". Well, that's pretty easy to understand, huh?
So, What is Sashimi then?
People sometimes think that Sashimi is Sushi but it is not. And that is because it is not made or served with "vinegared sushi rice". Sashimi is just the meat all by itself. Well, it may have some side items like shredded daikon (japanese radish) and ponzu sauce served with it, but normally that's pretty much it.
Definitely no sushi rice.
So now that we know what sushi is and what it is not, we are ready to dig into the different types.
The Different Types of Sushi
The different types of sushi (in no particular order) are: Makizushi, Nigirizushi, Inarizushi, Chirashizushi and Oshizushi.
Let's talk about each one, one at a time.
Makizushi is the type of sushi that is rolled. Typically in nori, but can also be rolled in other things like a thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber and shiso (perilla) leaves. Further defined, makizushi comes in 5 different kinds of rolls:
  1. Hosomaki ("thin roll"). Has rice on the inside and nori on the outside. Typically it contains 1 ingredient and is about 1 inch in diameter.
  2. Chumaki ("medium roll"). Has rice on the inside and nori on the outside. Usually 2 to 3 ingredients and about 1 ½ inches in diameter.
  3. Futomaki ("thick roll"). Has rice on the inside and nori on the outside. Comes in at 2 to 2 ½ inches in diameter with 4 or more ingredients.
  4. Uramaki ("inside-out roll"). Has rice on the outside and nori on the inside. The most popular example of this roll is the California Roll.
  5. Temaki ("hand-roll"). Which is a cone-shaped roll with nori on the outside and rice on the inside.
This form of sushi is the one with a slice of meat laying on a little oval pad of sushi rice.
Inarizushi is a personal favorite of mine. And it's too bad that many Americans, even those who consider themselves pretty well versed in sushi, have never had it.
This type of sushi is made by stuffing sushi rice into a seasoned, double-fried tofu pouch (called abura-age). It has a slightly salty-sweet flavor that is hard to describe but is delicious.
Chirashizushi ("scattered sushi") is a type of sushi that is served in a bowl. It normally consists of sushi rice that is covered with various toppings, commonly totaling 9. It is popular in Japanese homes because it is simple to make and is ideal for using up leftovers.
This type of sushi is made by layering sushi rice, toppings and condiments in a specially made box called an "Oshibako" and pressing the ingredients together to form a firm rectangular box of sushi. This rectangular box of sushi is then normally sliced into bite sized pieces before serving.
Now that you are armed with this knowledge, you should be able to walk into any sushi bar and order confidently, knowing exactly what type of sushi you'll be getting.
For more information on the different types of sushi and a detailed discussion of each type, visit
David Guthrie is a B2B copywriter, marketer and owner of a website on sushi. His freelance B2B copywriting website is

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