Nigiri vs Sashimi: What Are the Differences & Similarities?

Bara chirashi, Nigiri, and sashimi are three of the most popular types of sushi that are often confused with each other. But in reality, they’re quite different. Even though Nigiri and sashimi both consist of fish on top of rice, they’re quite different with their ingredients and preparation.

If you love Japanese food, then you probably know what Nigiri and sashimi are, but do you know the difference between them? You may also have some questions about this one-bite sushi, so today we’re going to try to answer those questions for you. Here’s what exactly is Nigiri, Nigiri vs sashimi, and all about bara chirashi, and how these dishes differ from each other.

What Exactly Is Nigiri?

Nigiri is a type of sushi that consists of bite-sized pieces of raw fish placed on top of small blocks (or Nigiri) of sticky rice. Nigiri differs from other forms of sushi in that it doesn’t use nori seaweed or wasabi only some varieties include these and have very minimal toppings. The meat of choice can be tuna, salmon, surf clam, squid, or roe and sesame seeds are often sprinkled over the rice. While there is no specific rule when making Nigiri each piece should be uniform in size; you don’t want to eat something that looks like a random pile of chopped-up fish.

The most important thing to remember when creating your Nigiri is texture contrast—the texture between raw fish and cooked rice should be as different as possible. Choosing which type of fish is best depends on personal preference and availability; if you’re going for a cheaper option albacore tuna, squid or salmon are all good choices.

Each piece of Nigiri should be bite-sized, small enough so that you can eat it in one bite without any risk of overdoing it! Nigiri that’s too big will likely fall apart while eating it but also leave an awkward amount of wasabi on the side of your mouth afterward.

What Is Nigiri in Japanese?

If you’re unfamiliar with Nigiri, it’s a traditional Japanese delicacy that translates literally to two fingers. Despite its seemingly simplistic structure, there is much more to Nigiri than meets the eye. In Japan, sushi is called Nigirizushi—making a clear distinction between Nigiri and other forms of sushi. Nigiri in Japanese means squeezed-in pieces of fish on top of rice; as opposed to sashimi, which refers to thinly sliced fish without rice.

Originally, Nigiri sushi was considered a low-class food because it’s made with raw fish. It only gained popularity after mass production started in Tokyo. But even now that Nigiri has become a staple in Japanese cuisine, most people consider sashimi to be of higher quality than Nigiri. The reason for this comes down to how each dish is prepared; sashimi tends to be more carefully sliced while Nigiri is often thrown together roughly before serving.

The name Nigiri comes from how it’s prepared. Translated, it means squeezed-in or jammed-in pieces of fish on top of rice. Even though sushi became a widespread delicacy in Japan, traditionalists still consider sashimi to be of higher quality than Nigiri due to how it’s made; each piece is meticulously sliced before being served.

What Is Nigiri Vs Sashimi?

It’s important to understand Nigiri vs sashimi because you can get confused easily by what different names are used for.

Nigiri sushi consists of a small ball or nugget of rice on top of which seafood, such as fish or shrimp, has been placed. The most common type is tuna Nigiri sushi, with tuna on top of rice. Nigiri is typically served with soy sauce or other dipping sauces. You can also find other types of Nigiri sushi, such as eel Nigiri sushi.

On the other hand, sashimi refers to slices of raw seafood without any rice at all. For example, you could have sliced tuna sashimi or salmon sashimi; there would be no rice included in these dishes. Whereas it’s traditional to include pickled ginger along with Nigiri sushi, it’s not customary to serve ginger alongside sashimi.

What makes people get confused with Nigiri sushi and sashimi is that they are served in a similar style. However, there are a few differences if you take a closer look. What you’re eating when you order a bowl of miso soup at your favorite sushi restaurant might be described as Nigiri sushi or sashimi depending on what it’s topped with.

If you have an authentic Japanese meal at a sushi restaurant, then it’s likely that most of what you eat will be Nigiri sushi. It’s also quite common to come across small bowls of miso soup with small fish dishes in them, which are usually labeled as sashimi.

History of Nigiri and Sashimi

The history of Nigiri and Sashimi can be traced back to several centuries ago. In Japan, Nigiri was first eaten in the early 1600s, while sashimi was invented much later on in 1810 when Tokyo restaurants started serving it with shredded daikon radish and green shiso leaves wrapped around it. During that time, both fish and meat were typically served raw. Today, although Japanese cuisine does have its fair share of cooked meals, about 80% are still served as either sashimi or Nigiri sushi.

The history of sushi dates back over a thousand years ago when it was first introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks. The fish used for sushi at that time was fermented with rice vinegar to preserve it, hence why it was called sushi in Japanese. It wasn’t until much later on in 1810 that sashimi was invented.

Today, Nigiri comes in two forms – tamago and shari. Tamago refers to a type of omelet that’s used as an ingredient for sushi rolls or topping for Nigiri sushi, while shari refers to cooked vinegared rice.

Sashimi on the other hand usually consists of thinly sliced fish or meat that’s served with a dipping sauce. Because it’s almost always made from raw seafood, sashimi tends to be more delicate than Nigiri sushi.

The future outlook Both Nigiri sushi and sashimi have subtle differences that make them stand out from each other. Nigiri, for example, is made with rice that’s pressed into rectangular molds, while sashimi slices are cut as thin as possible. The two dishes also differ in serving styles – Nigiri is served on small trays while sashimi comes in individual portions on a plate.

In the future, both Nigiri sushi and sashimi will likely continue to be popular in Japan, especially for formal events. Additionally, different parts of Japan will likely continue to offer their variation of these dishes. However, there’s a chance that both dishes could eventually become more commonplace across other countries as well.

What Is the Difference Between Sushi and Nigiri?

The most basic difference between sushi and Nigiri can be described in two words: fish and rice. Nigiri is a type of sushi that’s made with a slice of raw fish on top of a ball of vinegared rice. Though it’s quite common to think that Nigiri simply refers to any piece of sushi served on top of rice, many types of Nigiri don’t include any fish at all.

So, it’s clear that sushi and Nigiri are different, but what exactly are they? Well, let’s start with Nigiri. Nigiri simply refers to any sushi made with a slice of raw fish on top of a ball of vinegared rice. It can also be used to describe anything served in that fashion, even if it isn’t sushi at all! The word Nigiri comes from a verb meaning to grasp something between two hands. The best way to understand what Nigiri means is by thinking about hand-formed sushi.

If you go into a restaurant and see sushi chefs forming balls of rice with their hands or molds before topping them with freshly sliced pieces of fish or other seafood, you’re probably looking at Nigiri. Since many types of sushi don’t include any fish at all, you may find yourself wondering how people tell them apart from one another when there are no slices of raw tuna insight.

That’s where sushi rolls come in. Unlike Nigiri, sushi rolls can include any combination of raw or cooked fish, vegetables, egg, or other fillings. And unlike Nigiri, which must be eaten with chopsticks due to their shape, most types of sushi rolls are quite versatile.

They’re often cut into smaller pieces before being served so they can be eaten using regular silverware. Some common types of Nigiri include maguro (tuna), Ebi (shrimp), sake (salmon), Tamago (egg), and tako (octopus). The word Nigiri can also be used to describe makizushi rolls that contain no fish at all! Popular types of non-fishy maki rolls include kappa maki (cucumber roll) and natto maki fermented soybean roll.

Therefore, when someone describes a dish as Nigiri, it isn’t necessarily going to be made of raw fish; instead, it could just be anything formed into a ball and topped with some type of fresh seafood. Another important difference between Nigiri and sashimi is how each one is consumed.

Nigiri is normally eaten with chopsticks because its shape makes it difficult to hold with your hands like other types of sushi. Also, since Nigiri usually contains more toppings than sashimi does, it tends to have a stronger taste and smell than typical sashimi varieties do—hence why there’s no wasabi included on top. On the flip side, sushi rolls tend to include much less food than Nigiri dishes do, making them much easier to pick up and eat using your hands. These are the main differences between Nigiri and sashimi.

Both types of sushi can be found in restaurants throughout Japan, though Nigiri tends to appear more frequently on menus than sashimi does. Next time you visit a Japanese restaurant, remember these differences to make sure you end up ordering something you enjoy.

What Does Chirashi Mean?

Chirashizushi is a type of sushi. It is typically a bowl of vinegared rice topped with assorted raw fish, vegetables, egg, and other ingredients. The ingredients are arranged on top of or mixed into rice in such a way that they do not fall off when picked up with chopsticks.

Chirashi means scattered rice, reflecting its original conception as something on which to place small portions of various favorite foods. Traditionally, only seafood was used in chirashizushi; however, in recent years many variations have evolved using cooked meats or vegetables as well.

The exact origin of chirashizushi is not known. However, it was already known during Japan’s Edo period, which ran from 1603 to 1868. It became popular among commoners during that time because seafood was more widely available then than now. Chirashizushi eventually spread outside of Japan to other parts of Asia. Nowadays, you can find chirashizushi at many sushi restaurants around the world.

Chirashi and Nigiri have a visual distinction. While chirashi is served in a bowl, Nigiri is traditionally served on a rectangular plate or a Hanko. The rice used for chirashi has more vinegar added than that used for Nigiri sushi, which gives it its characteristic white color. There is also less wasabi served with chirashi.  However, contrary to popular belief, there is no difference between sashimi and chirashi; they are both types of sushi.

A common misconception arises because chirashizushi typically contains cooked ingredients while traditional Nigiri and maki contain raw fish. However, all sushi types can contain any kind of ingredient as long as they are topped with vinegared rice.

What Is Masago?

Masago is a Japanese term used to describe fish eggs, which is why Masago sushi looks just like salmon roe. While they share a common name, there’s more to Nigiri vs sashimi than appearance. Masago refers to flying fish egg, while masu refers to smelt egg. In both cases, these terms refer to tiny little orange orbs that pop on top of your Nigiri or in your sashimi. So what exactly is Masago/Masu then? Are they even different from each other at all? Let’s find out!

Both types of eggs are typically found in Japanese cuisine and aren’t necessarily exclusive to sushi; any dish using fresh raw seafood will likely have Masago/Masu integrated into it. The ingredients themselves aren’t so difficult to obtain—most East Asian grocery stores carry them for reasonable prices—but as far as identifying goes, not many local shops put effort into packaging their products properly.

So, in a nutshell, Masago is simply fish eggs. And if you’re wondering what Masago sushi is made out of, it’s Masago fish eggs with rice on top. Nigiri has different toppings. In both cases though, these names refer to orange dots that sit atop your Nigiri or sashimi dish.

What Does Bara Chirashi Mean?

Bara chirashi means scattered sushi, referring to how Nigiri sushi (fish on rice) is served. Typically, multiple kinds of Nigiri sushi are placed side by side on a rectangular platter called a chirashizushi, and sometimes a layer of fish eggs or roe is spread over them. However, bara chirashi can be quite complex depending on its ingredients.

There are three types: makizushi – rolled sushi, kappa maki – cucumber rolls, and oshizushi – pressed sushi. Each type has its unique characteristics, but all three have one thing in common—the ingredients will be arranged beautifully to look like an art piece.

In addition to being delicious, bara chirashi is an interesting way to serve a wide variety of sushi, so if you love sushi but don’t want to limit yourself to one type of it, then bara chirashi is just what you need. There are all kinds of different Nigiri sushi included in bara chirashi, so eating Nigiri style doesn’t have to be boring. And because it’s made with thin slices of sashimi instead of cooked fish, your body will thank you for having eaten sashimi over raw tuna or salmon when you get sick.

How to Eat Both Nigiri and Sashimi

Both Nigiri sushi and sashimi are Japanese delicacies that have been enjoyed for centuries. Both also have a variety of differences, which can make it difficult to know which one is which or how you should eat them. We’ll dive into what makes Nigiri different from sashimi, as well as show you how to enjoy both types of these delicious dishes.

It may seem like there’s a lot of overlap between Nigiri sushi and sashimi, but they’re very different. One is made with a piece of fish over rice, while the other doesn’t have any rice at all. The differences between these dishes are more pronounced than they might seem at first glance. Eating them requires similar utensils—and also some precautions. Nigiri is eaten using chopsticks; sashimi can be eaten using either chopsticks or your hands though only one of those options will leave you feeling satisfied.

If you look at a Japanese menu, you’ll find that it usually has a chart with pictures of sushi next to one with pictures of sashimi. The chart shows what each type of fish looks like, as well as its serving size, which is much larger than in western countries. However, despite those differences in servings sizes, both Nigiri sushi and sashimi make up just a small part of an entire meal.

Nigiri is served with a small mound of rice on top of a slice of fish; sashimi, on the other hand, has no rice at all. While both dishes can be made using various types of seafood, Nigiri sushi always features raw fish. The fish that is used in Nigiri sushi comes from a long list of edible species none with bones or skin including salmon, squid, mackerel, red snapper, and tuna.

Preparation of Both Nigiri and Sashimi

Both Nigiri sushi and sashimi are types of sushi. Both share similarities as well as differences in preparation, presentation, serving style, taste, texture, and even history. The main difference between Nigiri sushi vs sashimi is that Nigiri sushi is served over rice while sashimi is a slice of raw fish with no rice on top. More technically, both consist of slices of raw seafood on top of rice but they have a different appearance.

Nigiri sushi is generally smaller than sashimi. The two share similar preparation, which involves slicing fish into thin slices (sashimi) or small bite-sized balls of fish that sit on top of rice (Nigiri). The main difference between Nigiri sushi vs sashimi is that Nigiri sushi is served over rice while sashimi is a slice of raw fish with no rice on top.

They also have a different appearance. Nigiri sushi has an oblong shape with a rounded top, while sashimi is typically served in rectangular slices. While Nigiri sushi is served by wrapping fish around balls of rice, sashimi usually has no rice on top.

Bottom Line

There isn’t a huge difference between Nigiri and sashimi. The main difference is in how each food is prepared: When it comes to making Nigiri, chefs use raw fish. For sashimi, on the other hand, they use fish that has been sliced into bite-sized pieces.

Both dishes serve as popular sushi options for many Japanese restaurants around the world; if you have a favorite sushi restaurant, you can likely order either one of these delicacies at some point during your dining experience.

Both types of sushi are an excellent source of protein. Sashimi is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, vitamin D, folate, and selenium. Nigiri also packs plenty of nutrients, with about 5 grams of protein per serving as well as several other important minerals like selenium.

It is therefore worth mentioning that these two sushi dishes provide you with many essential nutrients that can help keep your body healthy. You can try out both of them next time you’re at a Japanese restaurant.

Categories: Food

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I’ve been writing articles for more than 10 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I’m currently writing for many websites and newspaper. All my ideas come from my very active lifestyle. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. In all my years as computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. I believe that any information should be free, we want to know more every day because we learn everyday. You can contact me on our forum or by email at: [email protected].