Sushi vs. Sashimi: How They’re Different (With Pictures)

Nigiri sushi on a plate

Sushi vs. Sashimi: How They’re Different (With Pictures)

When you hear the word sushi, chances are you automatically think of raw fish. Sushi is a common food that ignites recognition in many households, yet sashimi doesn't quite have the same effect. While they sound similar, did you know there is an important difference between sushi and sashimi? That difference involves the ingredients, how someone eats them, and rice. Yes, you read that right. For those not fully acquainted with the delicacy of uncooked fish, it may feel jarring to hear that sushi is more than just raw fish. In fact, for a dish to be sushi, the dish must include rice. 

Sashimi, on the other hand, is simply a raw fish dish in thin slices.

Fresh traditional japanese sushi with salmon and sesame between chopsticks, isolated on white background
There are many different ways to enjoy sushi!


Sushi vs. Sashimi: How They're Different (With Pictures) 

Sushi and Sashimi are both Japanese dishes. They involve eating raw fish and are a delicacy. Although they involve one similar ingredient, raw fish, they are actually different. 

Sushi vs Sashimi

How Should Someone Eat Sushi and Sashimi?

For those new to sashimi, there is a specific way to eat this Japanese delicacy. For starters, many who eat this dish use chopsticks. Doing so is the typical way. However, eating sashimi with your hands is acceptable if you haven't mastered the chopsticks. 

Another important factor to remember when eating sashimi is that while soy sauce is an excellent addition to the dish, you shouldn't pour it over the fish. Instead, dip your sashimi into the soy sauce and eat it in one bite. After the bite, chase the sashimi with pickled ginger

There is also a correct way to eat sushi, just like sashimi. The right way to eat sushi is similar to sashimi. First, using chopsticks is ideal, although it is also okay to eat with your hands. One difference between the eating process is that while sashimi is expected to be eaten in one bite, eating more significant pieces of sushi in smaller bites is okay. When you are done with the sushi, chase it with pickled ginger as well. 

Asian man eating a sashimi salmon. Man using chopstick to pick raw fish sashimi from white bowl. Man using chopsticks sliced raw salmon, Japanese food in a japanese restaurant.
There is a correct way to eat both sushi and sashimi.


Wait, Which One Always Has Rice? 

When people hear the word sushi, they often think of raw fish. However, sushi is more than just uncooked seafood. 

In fact, the main ingredient in sushi is rice. The rice is a form of vinegar rice with various flavorings like sugar and salt. Other main ingredients in sushi are, in fact, raw fish and vegetables. 

There are many different recipes for sushi. 

Sashimi, on the other hand, has no additional ingredients. It is simply thin slices of raw meat. Most of the time, it is seafood like fish. However, sashimi can also be other types of raw meat. 

Eating Sushi with chopsticks. Sushi roll japanese food in restaurant. California Sushi roll set with salmon, vegetables, flying fish roe and caviar closeup. Japan restaurant menu
Sushi always contains some type of rice.

©Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock.com

They Contain Different Ingredients

As discussed above, sashimi and sushi contain different ingredients. Sushi ingredients are rice and raw seafood. It can also contain vegetables. Sometimes, the seafood is cooked. However, the most common way to eat sushi is with the seafood raw.

Sashimi is thin slices of meat or seafood with no sauces or additional ingredients. 

Salmon Sashimi in Japanese buffet restaurant menu. Fresh Sashimi fillet on black plate salmon slices. Salmon sashimi. Asian Food Menu. Seafood sashimi. focus on salmon sliced in the middle.
Sashimi is raw meat or seafood with no extra sauce or ingredients.


The Nutritional Profile of Sushi and Sashimi

The calories and nutritional profile of sashimi will vary depending on which type of raw meat you are eating. However, since sashimi is just raw meat, it is often rich in protein and low in calories. Raw meat also doesn't have any carbohydrates. 

Like sashimi, the nutritional profile of sushi will also vary. However, since sushi contains rice, the calorie count will be higher, coming in at a little less than 200 calories. Sushi also has a higher carbohydrate count but contains important nutrients such as protein. 

Which One Is Better? 

Whether you choose to eat sushi or sashimi will depend entirely on your personal taste and palette. Some do not enjoy raw fish or meat at all. This in itself can make it challenging to try either sushi or sashimi. However, trying both dishes is a great option if you are adventurous and enjoy Japanese cuisine!

Sushi has added ingredients like rice and vegetables, changing the ratio of raw meat and other ingredients. Therefore, the flavor and taste of raw meat may be more tolerable for those who have never tried it before.

However, if you enjoy the taste of only raw meat, adding sashimi to your dish can be a fantastic idea! 

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