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Sushi vs. Sashimi (Difference Between Sushi and Sashimi)

Sushi vs. Sashimi (Difference Between Sushi and Sashimi)

Difference Between Sushi And Sashimi

When it comes to Japanese cuisine, sushi recipes and sashimi are two of the most popular dishes. Though both typically consist of raw fish, there are several key differences between the two types of sushi.

From the ingredients used to the way they are prepared and served, sushi and sashimi offer two difference unique culinary experiences.

Plate of sushi rice with chop sticks.

Sushi vs Sashimi

Sushi Rice & Ingredients

The key difference between the two is that sushi is made with rice seasoned with a sweet vinegar mix (e.g. Sushi Rice Instant Pot), while sashimi is just thinly sliced raw fish; no rice is utilized.

Aside from the sushi rice is the fillings you find in sushi rolls; they can be made with a variety of different ingredients. While traditionally made with raw fish, today there are many types of sushi that use cooked fish or vegetables. This versatility means there is something for everyone to enjoy.

For example, our avocado roll is sinfully delicious and extremely popular. No fish in sight!

Avocado rolls on a speckled plate with chopsticks.

Sashimi, on the other hand, is a bit more simplistic in its approach. Because it is just thinly sliced raw fish, there aren’t as many ways to customize it. 

However, this doesn’t make it any less delicious. In fact, many people appreciate the simplicity of sashimi as it allows them to enjoy the pure flavor and texture of the fish.

If you’re looking for vegetarian sashimi (technically not sashimi, but you get the gist), just thinly slice a variety of vegetables and serve with a sushi sauce recipe; think pickled daikon, cucumbers, celery, etc.

Two mason jars with pickled daikon inside.


Common fish used to make sushi and sashimi: tuna (maguro), toro (fatty tuna), salmon (sake), Crab (kani / Kanikama), yellowtail (hamachi), shrimp (ebi), fish roe (masago and tobiko), eel (unagi), squid (ika), and octopus (tako).

Bigeye fish steak on a white plate.

Preparation and Serving

In addition to the different ingredients, sushi and sashimi also differ in terms of preparation. Sushi is usually rolled into bite-sized pieces before serving, while sashimi is served right after slicing. No rolling required.

Side by side photos of raw fish with text "how to eat sushi vs. sashimi"

In addition to sushi rice and prepration method, how sushi and sashimi are served is another noted difference between the two.

Sushi is typically served with soy sauce and wasabi, while sashimi is often served with soy sauce, eel sauce, or ponzu sauce.

Wasabi is a spicy condiment traditionally used to add flavor to sushi, while eel sauce and ponzu sauce are citrus-based sauces commonly used to add flavor to sashimi.

Additionally, pickled ginger is often served with sushi and sashimi as a way to cleanse the palate between bites.

Eel sauce in a white bowl with a silver spoon.

Is One Healthier Than The Other? 

Ultimately, both sushi and sashimi are healthy options that can be part of a balanced diet. Both are low in calories and fat, and loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, as well as, vitamins and minerals necessary for good health.

Due to the sushi rice, sushi does contain a fair amount of carbs not found in sashimi. So if you’re on a low carb diet, such as Keto, opt for the sashimi.

If you’re looking for a heartier meal, opt for sushi as it contains more carbs, protein and calories.

For example, our Tuna Roll contains around 500 calories (due to the rice and avocado), while the Tuna Sashimi clocks in around 165 calories.

Overhead shot of sashimi on a white plate with sushi sauce.

Sushi and Sashimi

So, what’s the bottom line? If you’re looking for a heartier dish then sushi is the way to go, as the sushi rice adds bulk and nutrition. If you’re looking for a dish that highlights the flavor and texture of your favorite seafood, go with sashimi. 

If you’re new to making sushi rolls, here’s a great “how to” video to watch. Also check out more Imitation Crab Recipes.

More Raw Fish Recipes and Sushi Roll Recipes

Tuna Crudo
Salmon Crudo
Tuna Tartare Recipe
Spicy Krab Roll
Hawaiian Poke
Temaki Sushi
Ahi Tuna Poke
Sushi Bake
Kani Salad (What is Kani?)

Before you go, check out our Best Wine With Sushi guide!

sushi platter with text "best wine with sushi".