What’s the Difference Between Sushi and Sashimi?

Sushi and sashimi
Photo by Riccardo Bergamini on Unsplash

Ordering from a Japanese restaurant can be overwhelming with all of the options, especially when it comes to sushi. For instance, have you ever wondered what the difference between sushi and sashimi was? While the two are similar, they’re definitely not the same thing. So what’s the difference between the two forms of raw fish?


All sushi has one thing in common—sushi rice. When sushi rice is paired with vegetables or fish, it’s considered to be sushi. There are two types of sushi—maki and nigiri. Maki is classic rolled sushi, filled with ingredients that are bite-sized. They can be wrapped in seaweed with rice and fillings inside or served “inside-out” where the rice is on the outside.

Nigiri isn’t rolled in seaweed and the sushi rice is topped with a piece of raw or cooked fish. To hold the rice and fish together, nigiri sometimes has wasabi or a small strip of seaweed.


Sashimi is a thinly sliced piece of raw fish without rice or seasoning. It’s usually served plain on a bed of fresh radishes. It’s usually made with tuna, yellowtail, or salmon. You can pair it with the same sauces you would for sushi.