Most people around the world have heard of sushi, and probably even of sashimi. You can really go to town on these Japanese delicacies in all of Japan, and especially Tokyo. You can even have sashimi for breakfast, if you like!
Sushi is vinegared rice topped with other ingredients (mostly raw fish), or shaped into rolls, often with nori (seaweed) or thin omelet on the outside or inside.
Sashimi is simply the raw fish, and does not come with rice.
But those are just the very basic terms, there are hundreds of varieties of what we known as ‘sushi’ in the western world. These are the most popular ones in Japanese restaurants:
- Hosomaki – very thin rolls, generally with only one ingredient and rice, and nori on the outside
- Futomaki – thicker rolls, with several ingredients and rice, and nori on the outside
- Temaki – cone-shaped roll with ingredients coming out the open end, and nori on the outside
- Nigirizushi – an oblong shape of rice with a topping draped over the top
When you order sushi, you’ll get a set of condiments, for example: wasabi (horseradish), ginger, radish, soy sauce and rice vinegar, but there are other sauces too.
Some sushi in Japan is served with other raw meats, such as chicken. This might not suit all western stomachs!