Sushi is probably high up on the list of most controversial foods. There are endless debates on how to eat it, what to order with it, and even if American sushi should be considered sushi. Basically, we love a problematic dish. However, we're not talking about your basic California roll. Have you ever tried nigiri? Did you even know sashimi, maki, and sushi rolls are all completely different? Let's break it down.

Sushi Rolls

Sushi rolls are probably what come to mind when you think of sushi, and you're not wrong to think that! However, sushi rolls can be categorized into sushi maki. Maki, which means to wrap, is sushi wrapped in seaweed. A prime example of a sushi maki roll is a California roll. Maki can even then be categorized into temaki, which is a cone-shaped wrapped roll.


Nigiri is the roll that can be topped in an array of seafood slices. Nigiri rolls consist of a slender block of rice topped with thinly sliced salmon, octopus, or tuna. Nobu Matsuhisa, a renowned Japanese chef, and owner of Nobu restaurants and hotels explains that the right way to eat nigiri is to dip the fish side in the soy sauce, not the rice.


Sashimi is what comes in literal boatloads at some Japanese restaurants. Sashimi is actually the same slices of fish from nigiri rolls just without the rice. Sashimi can be topped with wasabi, flakes of nori, which is seaweed, and even caviar. 

Your spicy tuna roll can wait. Invite your friends to dinner and impress them all with your knowledge about all the different kinds of sushi rolls the restaurant offers. Sashimi boats and platters are a great way to socialize and have a sort of potluck feel to a relaxed dinner with friends. Then, next week, you can go back and order a spicy tuna roll with a side of eel sauce, I won't judge.