Everyone knows sushi. If you asked anyone in the world to name Japan’s most famous dish, most people would respond with sushi without any hesitation. You may consider yourself to be a sushi connoisseur, but did you know about all of these different types of sushi the world has to offer?
It’s classic. It’s simple. It’s delicious. Nigiri Sushi is the purest form of sushi there is, consisting solely of sushi rice topped by a piece of fish, shellfish, or other common topping. Don’t let that fool you though, despite its lack of complexity, Nigiri is still a favorite of sushi lovers–even without sauces, fillings, or any of the features of other types of sushi, Nigiri still reigns supreme. The dish’s simplicity, rather than causing it to be relatively plain, actually accentuates the flavor of both the fish and the rice through their combination. Nigiri is a favorite for a reason–is it yours?
Maki Sushi is the Japanese name for what is commonly referred to as a sushi roll in English, and it is a close second for the most famous form of sushi there is. Maki Sushi is categorized by having various ingredients rolled up in sushi rice and nori (seaweed) and cut into individual pieces. The nori is usually on the outside of the rice, but it is becoming increasingly more common to find Maki Sushi with the rice on the outside, with the nori in between the rice and fillings. Maki Sushi is a convenient, delicious way to include multiple ingredients in one roll, most commonly the fish or shellfish and vegetables (sometimes there is even a sauce poured over the pieces!), but you can also make Maki Sushi with just the rice, nori, and fish if you wish.
Translating directly to “hand-rolled sushi,” Temaki Sushi is a variant of Maki Sushi that is the most common homemade variety of sushi, since it’s super easy to make. The main difference between the two is that Temaki Sushi is rolled out into a large cone and eaten as is, rather than cut into bite-sized pieces. Additionally, the process of making Temaki Sushi at home is a ton of fun since everyone picks their favorite ingredients to include in their own hand-rolled sushi! The key factors of Temaki Sushi are how easy it is to make, and how highly customizable it is, so you should definitely try to make some for yourself at home!
Definitely the most unorthodox variety so far, Chirashi Sushi (literally “scattered sushi”) is a dish made by putting a lot of sushi rice in a circular box (bento style or otherwise) and “scattering” sushi ingredients over the top of it. I personally like to compare this to the western “potluck” (although it’s not exactly the same, since it’s only one dish) since everyone chooses their favorite sushi ingredients to include in the dish, which is then shared communally as people pick out pieces and rice for themselves. It most likely originated in the Meiji Period (which took place from the late 1860s until around 1912), so it’s definitely not a recent invention, but Chirashi Sushi is the perfect dish to bring to your next Sushi Party!
So did you know all of these varieties of Sushi? Which is your favorite? Are you going to go eat some Sushi now that you’ve finished reading this post? I know I sure am!