Learn about different types of sushi. Sushi is probably the most widely recognized Japanese food. It is famous for its use of raw or undercooked fish and other seafood. When fish is served raw and unaccompanied by other foods, it is called sashimi. Sashimi is often associated with types of sushi but it is not technically sushi. Sushi is strictly restricted to the combination of shari and neta. Shari is a cooked, vinegared rice, and neta consist of raw fish and other seafood.
The variety in types of sushi comes from how it is prepared and from the mix of ingredients used in conjunction with the shari. Chirashizushi is when shari, sashimi, and other ingredients are all mixed into a bowl. Chirashizushi translates, ‘scattered sushi.’ Other sushi types are: Inarizushi (fried tofu stuffed with shari), Makizushi (rolled sushi), Narezushi (matured sushi), Nigirizushi (hand-formed sushi), Oshizushi (pressed sushi), and Western sushi. Makizushi has four subdivisions: Futomaki (thick rolls), Hosomaki (thin rolls), Temaki (hand roll), and Uramaki (inside-out roll).
Inarizushi is named after the god Inari. The types of sushi that are rolled are defined by their number of ingredients and their respective location. In Uramaki, the shari is on the outside and the neta inside. Narezushi is a form of salting and takes six months to complete. Similar to salted meats, Narezushi remains edible for long periods of timeóup to six months. Gunkanmaki is a form of Nigirizushi and means, ‘warship roll.’ It is formed in the shape of an oval and wrapped in nori, seaweed. The roll is then filled with a loose topping, creating the image of a ship. Temarizushi is another form of Nigirizushi. It means, ‘ball sushi,’ and it is created by forming a ball with the shari and neta.
The Western-styled types of sushi are an adaptation of the traditional sushi designed to accommodate the Western palate. These types of sushi come primarily in roll form, with the California roll being the most prominent and well known. A California roll consist of avocado, crab (or imitation crab), cucumber, and tobiko (fish eggs). A rainbow roll is a variation of the California roll made with up to seven types of sashimi. A dynamite roll contains yellowtail, prawn tempura, carrots, fish eggs, avocado, cucumber, spicy mayonnaise, and bean sprouts. A Seattle roll is made from avocado, cucumber and raw salmon smoked salmon can be used as well. A spider roll is similar to the California roll, but it must be made with fresh crab, not imitation, and daikon sprouts or lettuce. Like a California roll, it uses avocado, cucumber, and tobiko. Michigan rolls are made from avocado, shari, smelt roe, some form of spicy sauce, and spicy tuna. A mango roll contains mango, mango paste, avocado, crab and shrimp tempura. Hawaiian rolls use canned tuna, and are defined by their red and green shrimp powder. Philadelphia rolls get their name from the use of Philadelphia cream cheese. They are made from shari, cucumber, onion, smoked salmon and avocado. A British Columbia roll is made from barbecued salmon skin, roe, cucumber, and a sweet sauce. This is not an extensive list of all the types of sushi, and the variety is growing as more people are exposed to, and appreciate, this ancient style of food.