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18 Different Types of Sushi

Sushi is a unique type of food. Many people are not willing to try it because of their misconceptions. If may be missing out on a great new food. Check out this article to find out all about the different types of sushi available to try.

A close look at various types of sushi on display.

Sushi is an acquired taste. It is rare that you are going to like it the first time you try it. However, it is definitely worth trying a second time. I was not a huge fan of sushi the first time I tasted it.

It took a few tries before I found sushi that I really liked. Once I found that I had an affinity for a certain kind of sushi, it gave me the confidence to try other types of sushi. If you enjoy sushi, then you already know how many unique aspects there are to it.

If you are new to sushi, then you probably do not know much about it. Continue reading this article to find out about all different types of sushi and sushi ingredient options. 

Related: Types of Rice | Types of Food | Types of Condiments | How to Store Sushi | What Goes with Sushi | How to Wash Sushi Rice | Sushi vs. Sashimi | Sushi Rice Substitutes

What is Sushi?

A close look at a platter of sushi.

Sushi is a delicate type of food that is common in Japanese cuisine. It is considered artistic, and one must be highly skilled to prepare it. Sushi has become so commonplace that you can find it in your local supermarket.

Sushi includes fish, which can be raw or cooked sushi, vegetables, sushi rice seasoned with vinegar. On the side, you will find wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger. There is a difference in sushi-style. You will find that Western-style sushi is different from Japanese sushi style.

The traditional style of sushi is simple and focuses on fresh fish. The American version is more focused on rolls with sauce and garnish. There are many different sushi topping options available based on your tastes. In this article, you will find the items you can find at your local sushi bar.

Different Types of Sushi

Chirashi Sushi

A close look at a bowl of chirashi sushi.

Chirashi also means scattered, which is ideal because it is a bowl of seasoned vinegar rice that has been topped with raw fish. Usually, the chef chooses which fish to use. As a result, chirashi is an easy-to-eat bowl. In Japan, the toppings are dependent on where and when it is served. 

Gunkan Maki Sushi

A platter of Gunkan Maki Sushi on a dark platter.

Gunkanmaki is a type of maki roll, which is also called wrapped or rolled sushi. This sushi roll includes a wide strip of nori wrapped around a ball of rice. When this is made, space is left of the top to fill in with other ingredients.

The name gunkan maki means battleship, and this type of sushi looks like a small ship. Some of the common ingredients to top the gunkan maki are squid, salmon roe, uni sea urchin, potato salad, and negritoro, a blended fatty belly of tuna, and green onion. 

Kakinoha-zushi Sushi

A close look at Kakinoha-zushi Sushi on a dark plate.

Kakinoha-zushi comes from a western region of Japan called the Nara region. This dish is wrapped in a persimmon leaf. The dish that is wrapped in the leaves is typically fresh seafood.

Persimmon has antibacterial properties along with an inviting smell. Kakinoha-zushi typically includes mackerel or salmon on rice but may also find it with eel or prawns. 

Makizushi Sushi

A close look at a piece of Makizushi Sushi.

Makizushi is also known as norimaki. Maki is a shoterned term for Makizushi. Maki means this type of sushi has rice and other ingredients rolled up in a sheet of nori seaweed.

Then, the chef cuts into smaller pieces. Maki is the traditional cut rolled style of sushi. It is usually cut into six to eight pieces. Within the makizushi style, there are some additional options. 

Hosomaki is when there are thin, long rolls that have only one ingredient. Hosomaki is a smaller roll. This ingredient can include a strip of tuna, cucumber, or pickled daikon radish. 

Futomaki is a thick version of makizushi and contains ingredients that complement each other. You can often find this style in bento boxes. 

Temaki is sushi that you can eat with your hands. However, it is too big to eat with a chopstick. It is talked about in more detail later in this article. 

Uramaki sushi is often referred to as inside-out sushi. This sushi has rice first, then a sheet of nori followed by the other ingredients. Next, the chef rolls sesame seeds around the Uramkai, which sticks to the rice.

Narezushi Sushi

A batch of Narezushi Sushi on a plate with tea on the side.

Narezushi uses preserved fish in it. The fish preservation process takes months to years and includes salt and rice. Narezushi is the original type of sushi.

When Narezushi was originally consumed years ago, they threw the rice away before eating it. As time went on, much shorter the preservation or fermentation period to eat the rice with the fish. Narezushi is not a popular version of sushi because it has a strong scent. 

Nigiri Sushi

A close look at various Nigiri Sushi on a dark platter.

Nigiri is sushi that includes vinegared rice molded by hand into a ball. Nigiri is a slice of raw fish is placed on top of the rice ball. It usually has two pieces of fish and can be eaten with your hands.

Nigiri is considered to be the fast-food type of sushi. The topping for the vinegared sushi rice can be vegetables, meat, tofu, possible fried tofu, or even an omelet. 

Oshizushi Sushi

A piece of Oshizushi Sushi on a slender platter.

Oshizushi is known as pressed sushi. It may also be called hakozushi, also known as boxed sushi. All of the ingredients in this are pressed in a box and layered with all the toppings.

It is then cut into rectangular or triangle shapes. It is topped with some style of fish. The toppings are placed on top of the food in a unique way to give it a pleasant design. 

Sasazushi Sushi

This is a pair of Sasazushi Sushi on banana leaves.

Sasazushi is when sushi rice and other ingredients and toppings are wrapped in bamboo. This dish originated because the locals of Nagano were trying to impress a safari warlord. This dish may be topped with vegetables, including walnuts, mushrooms, miso, bamboo shoots, and salmon.


A set of salmon sahimi on a dark plate.

Sashimi is not traditional sushi because it is just fish. Instead, sushi is sushi rice with vegetables and fish, along with other ingredients. The sashimi is sliced raw fish in long slices that are called hirazukuri. It may have wasabi, ginger, and soy sauce with it. 

Temaki Sushi

A single Salmon Temaki Sushi with pickled ginger and wasabi.

Temaki is a type of sushi that looks like an ice cream cone. The rice and other ingredients are in a sheet of nori that is wrapped in a cone shape. It is simple to make and incredibly popular as a result. It can have various fillings, including pickled plum (umeboshi) and shiso leaf paste, negitoro, and squid. 

Temari Sushi

A set of Temarizushi Sushi on a dark platter.

Temari is a lesser-known version of sushi and is not as common in Japan. It is a simple dish. It is usually decorative and full of color. Temari is a popular food at a picnic or party. It is made from rice pressed in a ball with a thin layer of fish or other items on top of the rice. 

Types of Sushi Rolls

California Roll

A set of California roll with shrimp and avocado.

The California roll looks like a typical sushi roll but inside out. The rice is on the outside of the California roll, and the sheet of nori is on the outside. It often includes imitation crab meat, cucumber, avocado, and sometimes tobiko, which is also called flying fish roe. 

Dragon Roll

A close look at a dragon roll sushi on a dark surface.

The Dragon Roll uses shrimp tempura, cucumber, avocado with rice on the outside of the roll. This sushi roll also has a sprinkling of a sesame seed. They have thin slices of avocado on top of the Dragon Roll. It also includes tobiko, spicy mayo drizzle, and unagi sauce. 

Philly Roll

A set of Philadelphia sushi roll on a white platter.

The Philly Roll is a popular sushi option that you can find just about everywhere. It has items such as cream cheese, cucumbers, and salmon but may also contain ingredients like onion, avocado, and sesame seeds. Its name comes from having cream cheese as an ingredient. 

Spicy Tuna Roll

A set of Spicy Tuna Roll on a dark platter.

The Spicy Tuna Roll has nori on the inside and rice on the outside. Both of these are wrapped around raw tuna once the chef mixes it with spicy mayonnaise. 

Spider Roll

A Soft Shell Crab Spider Roll on a white plate.

A Spider Roll is a soft shell crab that has been deep-fried. It has a filling inside that may include avocado, cucumber, lettuce or daikon sprouts, roe, and spicy mayonnaise. 

Tempura Roll

A set of deep fried tempura roll on banana leaf.

The Tempura Roll is similar to a California roll in that it has rice wrapped around a sheet of nori. It usually has tempura fried shrimp and vegetables such as cucumber and avocado inside. 

Vegetarian Roll

This is a close look at a vegetarian roll platter.

A vegetarian roll is ideal for those who do not eat fish. It has rice on the outside and nori on the inside and then further contains items like cucumber and avocado.