Difference Between Nigiri and Sashimi

Main Difference – Nigiri vs Sashimi

It is imperative to know what sushi is before looking at the difference between Nigiri and Sashimi. Sushi is a Japanese cuisine consisting of cooked vinegared rice and other ingredients like seafood and vegetables. Nigiri is one of the most common types of sushi. It is a mound of vinegared rice covered by a slice of cooked or raw fish or shellfish. Sashimi is also a Japanese dish, but it is not a type of Sushi. It is a slice of raw fish that is served without rice. Therefore, we can say that the main difference between Nigiri and Sashimi is that Nigiri is a type of sushi while Sashimi is not a type of sushi. However, Sashimi is often listed in the sushi menus at Japanese restaurants.

What is Nigiri

Nigiri is a type of sushi that is made of vinegared rice and fresh fish. This is a commonly served dish in many Japanese restaurants. This sushi rice is formed into a small clump by hand, and a slice of fish is placed on the top of the rice. Fish of the highest quality is used in this dish since the fish is placed on the top. The slice of fish is cut in an aesthetically pleasing manner as well. Commonly used fish are tuna, eel, shad, squid, snapper, octopus, or shrimp. Meat is never used in this dish. Depending on the type of the fish, it may be served raw, grilled or cooked.

Nigiri is often accompanied with pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi. Nigiri can be eaten by hand though some prefer to eat with chopsticks. This is a simple dish and can be made even at home.Main Difference - Nigiri vs Sashimi

What is Sashimi

Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy that is made out of raw fish or meat sliced into thin pieces. Though Sashimi can be ordered at many Sushi bars, it is not a type of sushi. It is usually served as the first course of a meal accompanied by pickled ginger, wasabi, daikon radish, and soy sauce. Though a slice of raw fish looks like the simplest form of food, Sashimi chefs make a lot of effort to create unique sashimi through various cuts, presentation and condiments.

Since Sashimi is eaten raw, the fish used in this dish should be of high quality. Some of the common types of fish used in this dish are Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel, squid, shrimp and octopus, etc. Though less common, sashimi is also made of meat and some vegetarian items as well.Difference Between Nigiri and Sashimi

Difference Between Nigiri and Sashimi


Nigiri is made of vinegared rice and fresh fish.

Sashimi is made of raw fish or meat sliced into thin pieces.


Nigiri is a type of sushi.

Sashimi is not a type of sushi.


Nigiri can contain either raw or cooked fish.

Sashimi contains raw fish.

Eaten with

Nigiri can be eaten by hand or with chopsticks.

Sashimi is eaten with chopsticks.Difference Between Nigiri and Sashimi - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“sashimi: salmon trout (from Chile)” by   via

“Salmon Nigiri Sushi” by   via

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