Sushi Vs. Sashimi: What's The Difference?

by Krystina Quintana

You may be overwhelmed by the available options when entering a Japanese restaurant. Sushi and sashimi are always listed on the menu; yes, they're different dishes! If you're wondering what sashimi vs. sushi is, you'll be happy to know that there are distinct differences that are easy to tell apart.

Sashimi includes thinly sliced raw fish or cooked fish that is thinly sliced and added to a plain plate. Sushi must include rice and some topping or filling (not necessarily fish). Still curious to learn more about sashimi vs. sushi? Dive into the below article to become a sashimi vs. sushi expert!

What Is Sashimi Vs. Sushi?

Sashimi translates to "pierced body," and it consists of a dish of thinly sliced fish or meat. This delicious dish does not typically arrive with any sides or additional ingredients. Sashimi has a variety of fresh raw fish options, such as salmon sashimi, yellowtail sashimi and tuna sashimi. Sashimi-grade fish allows you to just simply enjoy a high-quality protein. You'll likely also be served soy sauce on the side, which is a dipping sauce that still lets you taste the flavor of the sashimi.

Is Sashimi Better Than Sushi?

This is one question where we plead the fifth! Sashimi and sushi are both delicious options, and ultimately, it depends on your preference. Sashimi is a great choice if you're a fish lover who wants to enjoy the flavor of each piece of fresh fish. It's also a great option, and when comparing sushi vs. sashimi calories, you'll find that sashimi is usually much lower (depending on how much you eat).

Sashimi History

Sashimi was developed later after the fermentation process for sushi changed. It quickly became popular to eat sashimi in Japan around the 17th century. While sushi has been around longer, sashimi is the more popular option in Japan.

What Is Sushi?

Sushi, on the other hand, has a broader description. Anything that is bite-sized and has vinegared rice falls under the category of sushi (like maki and nigiri sushi). It does not need to include raw fish to be considered sushi, but it can include raw fish.

A sushi dish has a more subtle flavor with a slight tang from the vinegar in the rice. It’s much more filling than sashimi as well. It's customary to enjoy sushi with soy sauce, though it's best to dip the fish side first so the rice doesn't soak up too much soy sauce.

Sushi History

Sushi has been around for many years, as it was originally a way to preserve fish. Due to the original fermentation process, sushi rice could not be eaten. Eventually, the fermentation of the rice was updated so that the rice and fish could be eaten together.

What Is The Difference Between Nigiri Vs. Sushi Vs. Sashimi?

Nigiri is a type of sushi usually served as 1-2 pieces at a time. Whenever you order nigiri, you’ll see it served as a rounded ball of sushi rice topped with raw fish, egg, meat, or other seafood.

Sushi is the broad category of any dish, including vinegared rice. Sashimi is sliced fish or seafood without rice.

Is Sashimi A Type Of Sushi?

Sushi must have rice prepared with vinegar for it to be considered sushi. Since sashimi doesn't have rice, it does not fall under the category of a sushi dish.

Sushi Vs. Sashimi Vs. Roll

Now that we’ve covered sushi vs. sashimi, you’re likely wondering about rolls. These typically include rice, seafood, or other fillings and an exterior layer of seaweed. A typical Western sushi restaurant has sushi roll options like California rolls, tuna rolls, and more. You'll see rolls listed as maki on menus.

Looking for a fun way to enjoy your sushi at home? Explore our Japanese kitchenware and find items like chopsticks, ornate plates, and more to enjoy your sashimi. This plate is shaped like onigiri (another type of sushi that is triangular), making for an adorable sashimi plate. The best part is, once you add your soy sauce, the plate looks similar to real-life onigiri.

Feeling hungry after reading this blog?

Time to feast your eyes on the world's smallest sushi!

@bokksu Smallest sushi in the world! Would you order it? #sushi #japan #japanesefood ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

Featured Blog Products



Author Bio

Krystina Quintana is a 29-year-old copywriter living outside of Chicago, IL. Her passion for Asian culture began at a young age as she learned to create Asian-inspired recipes like homemade sushi with her family. This interest in Asian culture continues today with time spent in the kitchen and copywriting pursuits. Krystina has worked with customers ranging from small businesses to food Youtubers with 70,000+ subscribers. With a passion for food and travel, she seeks to help businesses bring traffic to their page by writing blog posts that are engaging, informative, and fun to read.