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Types of sushi

Although there are a number of sushi types that most people order, in reality, you can choose any combination of fish and vegetables you like. Therefore, in addition to some of the better-known sushi types, you can be as imaginative as you like and create your own sushi variety. This list includes some of the most common ways in which sushi is made:

Nigiri sushi

Nigiri means something like "hand pressed". This type of sushi is the most common type at the sushi bar: A small oval made with rice, with an expertly cut slice of fish on top, and with a dab of wasabi on it. Most types of nigirisushi are meant to be dipped in soy sauce, and must be eaten in one bite, slowly. Close your eyes and feel the different textures in your mouth while you eat every piece.

Albacore Amaebi Anago
Albacore Amaebi (sweet shrimp) Anago (sea eel)
picture not available Ebi Hamachi
Avocado Ebi (shrimp) Hamachi (yellow tail)
Hirame picture not available Hotategai
Hirame (halibut) Hokigai (surf clam) Hotategai (scallop)
Ika Ikura Inari
Ika (squid) Ikura (salmon roe) Inari (fried bean curd)
picture not available Kampachi Kani
Iwashi (sardine) Kampachi (amberjack) Kani (crab)
picture not available Kazunoko picture not available
Karei (flownder) Kazunoko (herring roe) Kohada (shad)
Maguro picture not available Saba
Maguro (tuna) Migurai (long neck clam) Saba (mackerel)
Sake picture not available picture not available
Sake (salmon) Shiromaguro (butter fish) Shitake (mushroom)
Smoked salmon picture not available Tai
Smoked salmon Suzuki (sea bass) Tai (red snapper)
Tako Tamago Tobiko
Tako (octopus) Tamago (egg) Tobiko (flying fish roe)
picture not available Unagi Uni
Torigai (cockle) Unagi (freshwater eel) Uni (sea urchin)
Maki sushi

Maki means "rolled". This kind of sushi consists of fish (or crab) and vegetables rolled in a sheet of nori (roasted seaweed) and rice. Makisushi is usually served sliced into bite-size portions. In some restaurants it will be listed as norimaki (seaweed roll) in the menu. Makisushi is an excellent choice for those venturing into the sushi bar for the first time, particularly if they are squimish about eating raw fish. The taste and crackling texture of the the seaweed, the visual delight from its appearance, and the combination of salty seaweed, sweet rice, and delicate fish and vegetables soon win even the most reluctant experimenters.


Raw seafood served chilled and sliced, and elegantly arranged. It's usually prepared with fish fresh from the water, refrigerated but never frozen. How to slice the fish for sashimi is one of the most rigorous skills to learn during the itamae's training. Fish cut too thick or too thin make a different impression on the taste buds, and different fish require applying different techniques. Depending on what was served, you will be handed soy sauce, ponzu, or red pepper to dress it.


Te = hand. Temaki describes the hand rolls, something like a Japanese nori taco, that you bite into. Many of the ingredients you'll find in makisushi also exist in temaki.