Issaquah Sushi Restaurant: Know Sushi Basics

The Different Types of Sushi

Most people think that eating sushi is eating raw fish. It is not so all the time: not all sushi is raw and not all are fish. Sushi was then fermented fish with rice preserved in salt, a staple Japanese dish for a thousand years until the Edo Period, from early 1600s to about 1868. Then contemporary sushi was developed. The word “sushi” means “it’s sour,” which reflects back to sushi’s origins of being preserved in salt.

It is not really difficult to distinguish one sushi from another. There are five main types of sushi.

Nigiri is sushi rice with a topping, usually raw fish but it can also be cooked shellfish, a vegetable, egg, or some other ingredient. It may have a little bit of wasabi on top. Eaten with fingers upside down, the fish part is dipped in soy sauce (not the rice part) and that touches the tongue. It is a great way to appreciate the topping’s flavor.

When you are having Maki, both the rice and filling are wrapped in seaweed. The seaweed wrap is on the outside. Maki, meaning roll, are cylindrical pieces of vinegared rice and other ingredients wrapped around nori sheets, with thin slices of cucumber, soy paper, or thin omelette skin. Rolling the ingredients with a bamboo sushi mat and slicing the roll into cylindrical pieces, these are eaten with the fingers, too.

Uramaki is similar to maki but the seaweed is on the inside and rice is on the outside. The rice also wraps around the other fillings, like fat belly tuna or avocado or other. Hence, it is also called an inside-out sushi roll. Uramaki tend to use lots of sauces and toppings, either cooked or raw.

Temaki is sushi that has been hand-rolled into a cone shape. Nori is on the outside and vinegared rice with ingredients on the inside. Eaten with the fingers. The cones are not as easy to share, though, as the rolls.

Sashimi is fish or shellfish served alone, without rice. It’s preferred by those who really love to taste the fish or shellfish since it comes with nothing else. Sashimi is not referred to as sushi because of this. While most sashimi is raw fish, some sashimi is not raw and some sashimi is not fish. If the sashimi is raw tuna, it’s called Ahi; if deep-fried saltwater eel it is called Anago; Ebi if cooked tiger shrimp; Hamachi if raw yellow tail; Kani if crab meat, and so many other varieties.

Love My Sushi in Issaquah

So when you’re in Issaquah and ready for your exploration into sushiland, drop by Aji Sushi and you will know more about the wonderful, diverse world of sushi and sashimi.