Types of Sushi and Their Names Explained

Elevate your sushi knowledge. From classic nigiri to trendy rolls, explore the diverse types of sushi and unravel the stories behind their names.

Must Try

Sonia Dadhich is Content Writer at All Eat Online Takeaway platform with more than 2 years of professional writing experience. She has helped us achieve our goals and connect with our audience. As a passionate foodie, Sonia Dadhich loves to share food-related content, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and insights with others through platforms such as Instagram, Quora and Medium.

Japanese cuisine is making a mark in the world with its unique taste and flavours. The iconic Japanese dish, Sushi, has taken the culinary world by storm. Its artful presentation, delicate flavours, and unique textures have captivated foodies worldwide. There are so many kinds of sushi available that it can be quite overwhelming to remeber their names. Whether you’re opening a sushi restaurant or are a foodie who wants to explore the sushi world, this blog encapsulates the different types of sushi available to eat and explore.

What is Sushi?

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish that consists of vinegared rice combined with various ingredients, including seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits. It is typically served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger and is known for its artistic presentation and exquisite flavours. 

Typically, sushi tastes like umami flavour which is savoury and slightly salted. This umami comes from ingredients like soy sauce, seaweed (nori), and certain types of fish, especially those that are aged or marinated.

Most common and popular sushi types

1. Nigiri Sushi

Nigiri sushi is perhaps the most recognizable form of sushi. It consists of vinegared rice topped with a slice of fresh seafood, typically secured with a small strip of seaweed or a dab of wasabi. The term “nigiri” means “hand-pressed,” highlighting the skill required to create this elegant dish.

Common Nigiri Varieties:

  • Maguro – Tuna: Tuna nigiri is often categorised by its colour and fat content. Akamai (red tuna) is leaner, while toro (fatty tuna) melts in your mouth.
  • Sake – Salmon: Salmon nigiri offers a buttery texture and a subtle, delicate flavour.
  • Ebi – Shrimp: Cooked shrimp nigiri features a sweet taste and firm texture.
  • Unagi – Eel: Grilled eel nigiri is glazed with a sweet soy-based sauce for a savoury-sweet combination.
  • Hamachi – Yellowtail: Yellowtail nigiri is prized for its rich flavour and smooth, buttery texture.

2. Sashimi

While not technically sushi, sashimi deserves a mention for its close association with the cuisine. Sashimi consists of thinly sliced, raw seafood served without rice. It showcases the pure flavours of the seafood, making it a popular choice among sushi aficionados.

Common Sashimi Varieties:

  • Maguro – Tuna: Tuna sashimi is often served as a ruby-red, translucent slice, allowing you to appreciate its freshness.
  • Tai – Red Snapper: Tai sashimi boasts a clean, delicate taste with a slightly sweet undertone.
  • Saba – Mackerel: Mackerel sashimi offers a robust, oily flavor and is often marinated in vinegar.
  • Hotate – Scallop: Scallop sashimi is prized for its sweet, tender meat and is sometimes garnished with yuzu zest.
  • Amaebi – Sweet Shrimp: Amaebi sashimi is served raw and boasts a sweet, succulent taste.

3. Maki Sushi

Maki sushi, or sushi rolls, are popular for their creative combinations of ingredients. They consist of vinegared rice, seaweed (nori), and a variety of fillings, all rolled into a cylindrical shape and sliced into bite-sized pieces.

Common Maki Varieties:

  • California Roll: This American invention features avocado, cucumber, and imitation crab, often rolled inside-out with sesame seeds.
  • Spicy Tuna Roll: Spicy tuna, cucumber, and sometimes avocado make up this fiery roll, usually drizzled with spicy mayo.
  • Dragon Roll: The dragon roll typically contains eel, cucumber, and avocado, with thinly sliced avocado arranged on top to resemble dragon scales.
  • Rainbow Roll: A colourful roll featuring a variety of sashimi slices on top of a California roll, creating a visually stunning dish.
  • Philadelphia Roll: Smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber characterise this creamy and indulgent roll.

4. Temaki Sushi

Temaki sushi, often referred to as hand rolls, are made by wrapping nori, rice, and various fillings into a cone shape. They are designed to be eaten with your hands and are known for their freshness and portability.

Common Temaki Varieties:

  • Negitoro Temaki: A temaki filled with chopped fatty tuna (negitoro) and green onions.
  • Ebi Avocado Temaki: Shrimp and creamy avocado are combined for a delightful contrast of textures.
  • Spicy Scallop Temaki: Scallops marinated in spicy mayo and wrapped in a nori cone provide a burst of flavour.
  • Unagi Temaki: Grilled eel, cucumber, and a drizzle of sweet sauce make this hand roll a fan favourite.
  • Tamago Temaki: A sweet omelette (tamago) rolled with nori and rice creates a unique and comforting temaki.

5. Inari Sushi

Inari sushi consists of vinegared rice packed into pockets of sweet, marinated tofu skin, known as inari-zushi-no-moto. These sushi pouches are both sweet and savoury, offering a delightful contrast of flavours and textures.

Common Inari Varieties:

   a. Classic Inari Sushi: The traditional inari sushi features seasoned rice inside the tofu pocket, often garnished with sesame seeds.

   b. Vegetarian Inari Sushi: Various vegetables, such as carrots and cucumber, are added to the rice for a refreshing twist.

   c. Ebi Inari Sushi: Cooked shrimp is a popular addition to inari sushi, providing a savoury element to the sweetness of the tofu pouch.

6. Chirashi Sushi

Chirashi sushi, also known as scattered sushi, is a colourful and visually appealing dish. It consists of a bowl of vinegared rice topped with a variety of sashimi, vegetables, and garnishes.

Common Chirashi Varieties:

  • Tekkadon: A chirashi bowl featuring thinly sliced tuna sashimi atop a bed of sushi rice.
  • Unadon: Grilled eel (unagi) and eel sauce served on a bed of rice.
  • Ebi Chirashi: Chirashi topped with cooked shrimp, shredded egg omelette (tamago), and a medley of colourful vegetables.
  • Gomokuzushi: A mixed chirashi bowl with a variety of seafood, vegetables, and pickled ingredients.

There are so many types of sushi, you will definitely find your favourite flavour. You can also get vegetarian and vegan versions of sushi. Why not try them all? Order sushi takeaway now on All Eat App and relish the umami flavour of this unique Japanese delicacy. 

recipe image
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Types of Sushi and Their Names Explained
Author Rating
Recipe Name
Sushi and Their Names Explained


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Recipes

More Blogs Like This