When you come to our Japanese restaurant in Bellevue, you might find yourself presented with unfamiliar names and terms for the various sushi we serve. To the sushi-newbie, this can be an intimidating experience. Indeed, there are many different ways to classify sushi, but by learning the following words you should be able to get along well in most restaurants:
- Maki Sushi: (makizushi) This term describes some of the most common sushi, particularly the most popular types served in America. They’re frequently known in English as “rolls”, named for the distinct way they’re prepared. Maki sushi consists of the fish or other ingredients rolled up in a layer of sushi rice, giving it that classic round shape we know in the California roll, the cucumber roll, and other favorites.
- Nigiri Sushi: (nigirizushi) This is a simpler, more traditional variety of sushi, composed of a rectangular bed of rice topped with a strip of fish or other ingredient. Common toppings include unagi (eel), tamago (egg), and roe (fish eggs).
- Sashimi: Purists will say that this is technically not sushi, as it does not consist of sushi rice, but it will frequently be lumped together under the term. Quite simply, sashimi is comprised of strips of raw fish, and nothing else.