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A Guide to Different Types of Sushi

A Guide to Different Types of Sushi

Explore the scrumptious world of sushi with our comprehensive guide to various types of sushi, from traditional to fusion styles. With so many types to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. 

We’ve compiled a mouthwatering list of sushi types for you to discover, along with some background information and popular variations. So grab your chopsticks and eel sauce and let’s dive in!

While you’re at it, check out our Best Wine With Sushi guide for wine pairing tips.

Types of Sushi

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish that typically consists of vinegar rice (sushi rice), fish, and other ingredients. While the term “sushi” is often associated with raw fish, it actually refers to the seasoned rice used in the dish.

Sushi comes in many forms, from simple nigiri to elaborate rolls, and can be enjoyed with a variety of condiments such as sweet soy glaze, wasabi, and pickled ginger. 

Here are the most common forms of this Japanese delicacies:

Tuna nigiri being dipped in sushi sauce.


Nigiri is one of the most traditional types of sushi. It features a hand-formed mound of vinegar rice topped with a slice of raw or cooked fish, seafood, or other ingredient.

Some common nigiri toppings include:

  • Tuna (maguro)
  • Salmon (sake)
  • Yellowtail (hamachi)
  • Shrimp (ebi)
  • Eel (unagi)

Tuna sashimi on a white plate.


While not technically a type of sushi, sashimi is often served alongside sushi and deserves an honorable mention. Sashimi consists of thinly sliced, raw fish or seafood served without rice. Read up on the difference between sushi vs sashimi.

Sashimi is a popular option for those who appreciate the pure, unadulterated flavors of raw fish. It consists of thinly sliced fish or seafood served without rice.

Popular sashimi choices include: 

  • Tuna Sashimi (maguro)
  • Salmon (sake)
  • Octopus (tako)
  • Scallop (hotate)

Spicy Tuna Sushi on a speckled plate with soy sauce.


Maki, or rolled sushi, is perhaps the most well-known type of sushi in the Western world. Maki is made by rolling rice, fish, and other ingredients in a sheet of nori (seaweed) and then slicing the roll into bite-sized pieces.

There are several variations of maki, including:

  • Hosomaki: Thin rolls with a single filling, such as cucumber or tuna
  • Futomaki: Thick rolls with multiple fillings and ingredients
  • Uramaki: Inside-out rolls with rice on the outside and nori on the inside

Three Temaki Rolls on a white plate.


Temaki, or hand rolls, are cone-shaped rolls made by wrapping nori around a filling of rice and other ingredients. This type of sushi is meant to be eaten with your hands and is perfect for a casual dining experience.

Common temaki fillings include:

Overheard shot of an ahi tuna poke bowl, including tuna, avocado, carrots and rice. Chop sticks and a white napkin are next to the bowl.

Fusion Sushi

Fusion sushi combines traditional techniques with ingredients and flavors from other cuisines. Some popular fusion options include:

  • Tempura rolls: Contains tempura-fried ingredients, like shrimp or vegetables.
  • Poke bowls: Sushi bowls with marinated raw fish, rice, various toppings and sauces.
  • Sushi burritos: A marriage of sushi and burritos, featuring sushi ingredients wrapped in a large nori sheet

Chirashi bowl with chopsticks holding tuna slice for types of sushi guide.


Chirashi, also known as “scattered sushi,” is a traditional Japanese dish featuring an assortment of sashimi (raw fish) served over a bed of vinegar rice. The presentation is artful and appetizing, with vibrant colors from the fish and vegetables creating a visually stunning dish.

Some of the most common ingredients include:

  • Fish: Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail
  • Shellfish: Shrimp, Crab
  • Vegetables: Cucumber, Avocado, Carrots, Radish, etc.
  • Cooked Egg (Tamagoyaki)
  • Seaweed (nori)
  • Tobiko or Masago

Kinds of Sushi

The 6 kinds of sushi listed above are the most common, albeit some are much more popular than others. Now head to your local Japanese joint and get to trying out some new dishes. Also check out 20+ Imitation Crab Recipes

Spicy Krab Roll on a white plate.