Everybody knows enough to describe a maki sushi as a “roll”. However, what word do you use to distinguish a roll from another piece of sushi? At Flo’s Bellevue Japanese Restaurant, the sushi that does not come in roll form is generally going to be what Japan calls nigirizushi.
Often referred to as “nigiri sushi” or simply “nigiri” in English-speaking restaurants, the nigirizushi represents sushi that comes in the form of the classic brick-shaped piece of rice topped with a strip of fish, egg, or other appropriate ingredient.
Sometimes, nigiri is topped with a loose topping like roe or shredded vegetables. When this happens, the sushi chef needs to wrap the sushi in a strip of nori in order to hold this topping in place. This gives such sushi the name gunkan-maki, which translates to “warship roll”, due to its resemblance to a ship.