Types of Sushi

Sushi Variations


Different types of sushi have emerged from the traditional recipe of vinegar rice and fermented fish. Many associate sushi with raw fish, but the term refers to the rice and sashimi refers to raw fish. Varieties of sushi develop from different ingredients and their arrangements.



Chirashi is sushi rice topped with any number of toppings, and surprisingly, the most common toppings are vegetables. Fish may or may not be used in this type of sushi and it takes different forms:

  • Bara is a sushi rice salad.
  • Kanto uses nine ingredients.
  • Mushi is a warm sushi dish.
  • Ombre is layers of rice and fish covered with an omelet.
  • Sake combines vegetables, fish and rice.
  • Token is a sushi kneaded by hand.



Fried tofu pouches stuffed with sushi rice is called "inarizushi". The tofu is typically seasoned with teriyaki, and this sushi recipe tends to be on the sweeter side.



Makizushi is rolled sushi. The rice is typically wrapped in nori (edible seaweed), but you can find variations that use a thin omelette or soy paper. A chef uses makius (bamboo mat) to form ingredients into a roll.



Narezushi is a traditional type of sushi that uses fermented fish, called funazushi. This is the oldest form of sushi.

  • Clean and skin the fish
  • Stuff the fish with salt
  • Put the fish in wooden barrels
  • Cover with salt
  • Weigh it down with a pickling stone
  • Allow to ferment for 6 to 12 months



Nigirizushi is sushi rice formed by hand and topped with wasabi and seafood. You may find this form of sushi bound with a thin strip of nori. Typical toppings for the hand formed rice include:

  • Tuna
  • Eel
  • Octopus
  • Shrimp
  • Snapper



Oshizushi is sushi rice pressed into a block shape using an oshibako (wooden mold). A chef prepares the sushi by putting the toppings in the bottom of the mold, followed by the rice, and presses the lid of the mold to create rectangular blocks.

New Types of Sushi


The possibilities are practically limitless when it comes to creating new sushi recipes. Western variations of sushi begin with the popular California roll; made of imitation crab meat, avocado, cucumber and fish eggs. Many other types of sushi have since emerged as well.

If the idea of eating raw fish isn't appealing, don't scratch sushi off your list of foods to try. Create sushi rice recipes using cooked salmon or other prepared seafood.

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Types of Sushi