How Many Types of Sushi Are There?


(Image by Milada Vigerova from Pixabay)


Until someone asked me the question, it never occurred to me to count how many types of sushi are there. I grew up in Japan, and like most of the Japanese, I knew Nigiri, rolls, oshi (pressed), chirashi and other types of sushi. I have eaten them. I know how they look and what they taste like.


I took it for granted. I paused and thought about the question for a minute or two and realized it was a great opportunity for me to learn. Indeed, there were some sushi I did not know existed before I started my research.


The following is a list I put together. It is nothing “official.” As always, I welcome your feedback. Please let me know by leaving a comment on this article or sending me an email (you will find it at the bottom of this article).


(Writer’s Note: When the word “sushi” is used with other words like Nigiri, the “su” sound becomes “zu” in Japanese. That is why it’s called Nigiri•Zushi instead of Nigiri•Sushi, as they are called in the US and some parts of the world.)


1. Nigiri•Zushi, 握り寿司


(Photo by Rajesh TP from Pexels)


A piece of fish, vegetable, or meat on top of sushi rice — invented initially as bite-sized finger food served at a Sushi Stand about 200 years ago in Tokyo. It’s what the Japanese think of when they say sushi.


2. Maki•Zushi/Rolls、巻き寿司



(Photo by Elli, VisionPic .net, Valeria Boltneva from Pexels, Wikimedia)


Sushi rice and ingredients are wrapped with Nori Seaweed. Contrary to Nigiri, Rolls are what most Americans think when they say sushi.

The following variations are available:

Hoso•Maki/Thin Roll, Nori Out

Chu•Maki/Medium Roll, Nori Out

Futo•Maki/Thick Roll, Nori Out

Ura•Maki/Rice Out, Inside Out Roll such as California Roll and Rainbow Roll

Te•Maki/Hand Roll, ice cream cone-shaped roll, Nori outside

Date•Maki伊達巻寿司, Nori Seaweed out roll wrapped with Egg


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