Everything You Should Know About Japanese Sushi

When being asked the most famous example of Japanese cuisine, the vast majority of respondents will answer ‘sushi’. Westerners have regarded vinegared rice topped with various ingredients as one of the most recognized symbols of the Land of the Rising Sun. Needless to say, many first-time visitors think Japanese people eat sushi daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even those who do not raw fish meat it have at least tried it at local sushi restaurant than can be easily found around the world. As for me, I also fall into the ‘let me devour sushi every day’ category to the dismay of my family and friends.

Originally, the term ‘sushi’ was used for describing fermented fish with rice preserved in salt. The history of sushi dates to fourteenth century, several centuries back until the Edo period. However, their look and taste scarcely reminded of modern sushi invented in eighteenth century by Hanaya Yohei. Since then, sushi became one of the most favorite dishes adored by Japanese and non-Japanese as well.

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Author: Avital Pinnick


If you did not grow up eating sushi, it may be challenging to look through a sushi menu without descriptions.  This extensive list of sushi types contains many varieties unfamiliar to the foreigners. Naturally, tourists are bound to miss a few types due to the lack of Japanese language skills. In order to expand your choice, I have made the small guide on various sushi types so you what you are ordering at the sushi restaurant.

Types of Sushi You Should Try


The term ‘nigirizushi’ means hand-pressed sushi consisted of vinegared rice upon which a cut of raw fish or other topping is placed. This type of sushi was introduced in the beginning of nineteenth century as a popular dish found at the Tokyo food stalls. It is often cooked of a hand-formed rectangle of rice topped with a piece of wasabi and fish (preferably, tuna and salmon), egg, vegetables or other ingredient.

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Author: Wally Gobetz



If you happen to visit Osaka, do not hesitate to try the local kind of sushi called oshizushi. The chefs prepare it by pressing blocks of rice in a special rectangle-shaped mould and topping with a cooked or vinegared fish. The sushi topped with mackerel and cut into rectangles/squares are known as battera, while hazushi are layered with plant leaves.

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Author: Alpha



Chirashizushi or ‘scattered sushi’ are typically served in a rice bowl and topped with colorful ingredients called ‘gu’. You can often see them prepared for special occasions such as birthday parties or festivals. Actually, it is very easy to cook and many Japanese housewives make it as an excuse to eliminate leftovers.

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Author: teaoka



Inarizushi are my favs! The main ingredient except sushi rice is fried tofu called abura age in Japanese. It is made by cutting tofu into slices and frying at small and medium fire. I have often bought ready abura age in supermarkets to cook it by myself and adjust the sweetness to my liking.

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Author: Lacey Elaine Dillard




Though they do not look like regular rice-and-fish sushi, Temakizushi are quite popular for dinner parties as visitors can make it within several minutes. A small quantity of vinegared rice is placed on a square piece of nori with a fillings added, then rolled into a cone shape. Help yourself and enjoy the taste!

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Author: baron valium



Translating from Japanese as ‘battleship roll’, the term ‘gunkanmaki’ usually refers to the type of sushi consisted of a vinegared rice surrounded by the piece of nori. Toppings such as fish roe in most cases are located on top without falling off. Looks like real battleship for some food lovers with a good imagination skills!

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Author: takaokun


Most Popular Toppings

Perhaps you have heard about mayonnaise sushi topped with a ham and chicken. Perhaps, you have even tried it getting a clue that ‘this is real sushi, wow’. Sushi hybrid inventions such as roll filled with bacon strips or avocado slices have been delighting mostly foreigners in the overseas restaurants.  However, as Japan is surrounded by water from all the sides, it comes naturally that most popular topping used for making sushi in Japan include raw fish and seafood.

According to the surveys conducted in Japan, most popular topping is salmon. It goes well with sliced onion and variety of toppings. When the salmon is fresh, it tastes better than you can even imagine. Check it out at the legendary Japanese fish market Tsukiji!

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Author: alobos Life


Different varieties of tuna are named as one of the most adored sushi toppings, including big-eye and yellow fin tuna. The fatter content is the more expensive meat goes with a toro (belly meat of the Bluefin tuna) hitting the score. Delicious tuna meat is brought to the market shelves in various shades of pink along with a rich, nearly buttery flavor.

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Author: Toshihiro Gamo


Another popular sushi ingredient, shrimp, is generally poached before it is prepared. During the old times, shrimp sushi was cooked with now expensive kuruma shrimp famous for its sweet aroma and juicy taste. However, due to its high cost modern chefs prefer using small bay shrimps that make the dish rather ordinary. If you want to have a lighter taste and quality, opt for The Black Tiger shrimps that is the good alternative to the kuruma shrimp.

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Author: Calgary Reviews


Squid as a topping is slightly stiffer compared to fish meat with chewing taking longer time. If the squid is extremely fresh, it looks translucent so rice and wasabi can be actually seen underneath the flesh. In order to prevent the squid from falling off the rice, Japanese chefs use vertical flip method called tategaeshi.

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Author: Chris Chen


Those who wish to skip high-calorized fish meat are highly recommend to eat sushi topped with tamago. It is a specially made omelet prepared by forming a dense, inch-thick layer of thin slices of eggs. Fastened to a square of rice with a nori strip, it makes one of the healthiest choices for sushi lover.

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Author: Raelene Gutierrez


How to Eat Sushi Right Way?

Do you have to use chopsticks or fingers? Put wasabi or leave it alone? There are plenty of questions for tourists who have never eaten sushi before. The taste and flavor of sushi is influenced not only by the way it cooked but also by the accuracy of sushi-eating ritual. These advices will guide you through your first sushi adventure. Itadakimasu!

Step First: Wash Your Hands

It is compulsory to clean your hands before eating. Use a hot, moist towel provided by restaurant staff prior to serving meal. Personally me prefer devouring sushi with chopsticks, though many people find it correct to eat sushi with hands only, so it is better to wash your hands before the food arrives.

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Author: Ippel Ogiwara


Step Second: Make Soy Sauce

Time to pour a small quantity of soy sauce into the special bowl! I have seen some people like mixing it with wasabi, while others find it disrespectful to traditional etiquette. If you are not sure what to do, better ask your Japanese friend.

Step Third: Enjoy!

Try to east sushi in one bite paying attention to both texture and flavor. If the slice is too big, better eat it two bites. Refresh your mouth receptors with a ginger slice and get ready for the next meal. Have a fun!

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Author: Roger Walch


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