All About Sushi

Sushi is a Japanese delicacy that's taken the world by storm – it's so ubiquitous that you can even find it in many local grocery stores!

Sushi is made of fish, vegetables, and rice served with dipping sauces like pickled ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi. While that may sound simple, there are endless amounts of ways that you can prepare sushi to make it your own. Here are 18 of the most popular types of sushi, so you know what to expect the next time you're in the market to make or buy this delicious Asian dish.

Types of Sushi

Sushi can be rolled in nori (seaweed) or other leaves, packed with rice, or tossed in a bowl. How its delivered is just the beginning of what distinguishes the different types of sushi.

California Roll

You wouldn't expect an iconic Japanese dish to sport a US state's name in its own.

California rolls are made opposite to many traditional sushi rolls. The rice is the final layer, on top of the nori, crab, tobiko, avocado, cucumber, and other delicious ingredients. They are a very popular sushi dish at restaurants.


Sushi with fewer steps.

Unlike sushi rolls, Chirashi sushi is served with delicious ingredients scattered in a bowl. The components are the same – seasoned vinegar rice with raw fish, though the fish and toppings will vary from chef to chef.

Dragon Roll

The best choice if you want to impress guests.

Dragon Rolls are another type of roll that has rice on the outside. Other vital ingredients include shrimp tempura, avocado, and cucumber. It's topped with sesame seeds and finished with an unagi, spicy mayo, or tobiko sauce.

Gunkan Maki

All hands on deck.

Gunkan Maki is a type of rolled sushi wrapped in nori around rice. It's often packed with green onion, tuna, potato salad, sea urchin, salmon, and squid. Gunkan Maki means battleship, which is how this delicious sushi got its name. It looks like a little ship, just waiting to be devoured.


Like a little present, waiting to be unwrapped.

Kakinoha-zushi is wrapped in a fragrant persimmon leaf, with mackerel, salmon, eel, or prawns as the main ingredient, along with rice. It hails from Western Japan, though it has found popularity throughout the world. In addition to being a nice wrap to this sushi, the persimmon leaf also has many health benefits, serving as an antioxidant filled with vitamins.


An entire sub-group!

Also known as norimaki, Makizushi is a type of sushi rolled with nori seaweed. It's typically rolled and cut into six to eight pieces. Within Makizushi, there are different styles:

  • Hosomaki are long, thin roles with one main ingredient, typically tuna, pickled daikon radish, or cucumber.
  • Futomaki is thicker, multi-ingredient rolls that are typically in bento boxes. This is a bigger type of sushi, so you need to eat it with your hands rather than chopsticks.
  • Uramaki is an inside-out sushi roll with rice, nori, and other ingredients. As the final touch, Uramaki is rolled in sesame seeds.


You'll need plenty of patience for this one.

Unlike other types of sushi, Narezushi uses carefully preserved fish, rice, and salt rather than fresh. It's a months-long process, and traditionally, the rice was not consumed while eating because of the lengthy preparation. However, it has become an essential part of Narezushi over time, especially as the preservation period became shorter. Narezushi is an acquired taste because of its strong scent.


A simpler sushi to enjoy on the go.

Nigiri is fast food-like sushi. It doesn't use wraps. Instead, the vinegar rice is rolled in a ball, and the raw fish is placed on top of it. Other ingredients include vegetables, tofu, meat, and fried tofu. Nigiri is intended to be eaten with your hands, making it easy to eat while on the go.


Molded for deliciousness.

When making Oshizushi, you place all the ingredients into a box before pressing them into a roll and finish with various toppings. To serve Oshizushi, you simply cut it into rectangular or triangular shapes. Oshizushi is also known as Hakozushi, boxed sushi, or pressed sushi.

Philly Roll

Yet another reference to America!

Philly rolls get their name because they use cream cheese as a core ingredient. Other ingredients include onion, avocado, cucumbers, and salmon. It can be sprinkled with sesame seeds to give it an additional layer of taste.


You dropped this, king.

Sasazushi is made of rice, vegetables, salmon, miso, mushrooms, and walnuts, wrapped together in bamboo. It's a popular dish in central Japan, first developed to impress a leader.


Fish usually isn't eaten raw, but here it works wonders.

Sashimi is not technically sushi since it's just raw fish, but it's often eaten with many sushi meals. Sashimi can be served with soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi to enhance its natural flavors. It's sliced in long, thin slices, perfectly sized for chopsticks.

Spicy Tuna Roll

You can switch out the tuna for just about any other fish.

Spicy Tuna Rolls are another sushi roll with rice on the outside. The nori is on the inside, wrapped around raw tuna. It's finished with spicy mayonnaise to give it an extra kick.

Spider Roll

Spiders not included.

Spider rolls are made of deep-fried crab, packed with rice, roe, daikon sprouts, lettuce, cucumber, and avocado. It's topped with spicy mayonnaise, which pairs well with the dish's complex flavors.


Styled after easily eaten street foods.

Temaki has a unique presentation. Rice, fish, pickled plum, squid, negitoro, shiso leaf paste, and other delicious ingredients are packed in an ice cream cone-shaped nori sheet. Because the ingredients can spill over, it's effortless to make and a common type of sushi to make at home.


Sushi turned "kawaii".

Temari is a less common but delicious type of sushi. It's simple to make, comprised of a rice ball with a thin layer of fish and other ingredients placed on top of it. It's a very decorative dish filled with colorful toppings. Temari is popular at parties because they're easy to eat and convenient to make.

Tempura Roll

Few sushi have that crunch.

Tempura rolls are similar to California rolls in that the rice is on the outside, packed around nori. Tempura fried shrimp is the main ingredient, though it can also include other vegetables, avocado, and cucumber.

Vegetarian Roll

Not all sushi have to include fish!

Vegetarian rolls contain many of the same ingredients as other types of sushi without the actual fish, making it great for those who do not eat meat. The rice is typically on the outside, packed over the nori. Other ingredients are avocado, cucumber, and sesame seeds.

To Sushi or Not to Sushi?

Sushi can be an acquired taste for many. However, with the different varieties available, there's sure to be a dish that will suit your tastes.

Posted by Melissa Jackson

Melissa is passionate about all things home and garden, helping others to fashion their dream home one space at a time. An avid reader, when she’s not writing, you can find her nose deep in a book, cuddling with her two dogs.