Difference Between Nigiri and Sashimi (With Table)

Nigiri and Sashimi are very famous in Japanese cuisine. Nigiri is a sushi dish, and sashimi is raw meat sliced into very thin pieces. Nigiri is always accompanied by Sashimi, as both co-ordinated very well together . Both dishes are distinguished from each other by the presence of rice. One of them containing rice is sushi, another one is not.

Nigiri vs Sashimi

The difference between Nigiri and Sashimi is that, Nigiri is Sushi and Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish. Sashimi is often confused to be as sushi as sushi is also made with raw fish. However, in almost all sushi places, Sashimi will be available. Rice which is an essential component of sushi is missing from Nigiri.

Nigiri is made with unique sushi rice dealt with vinegar. Sushi grade rice is much more smaller grain size and has a sticky nature. This vinegared rice is balled and pressed with palms. A slice of uncooked fish is then put at the rice base, at instances with a speck of wasabi.

Sashimi is very thinly sliced raw fish or meat. Sashimi is eaten to get the full flavor of the fish or meat all by itself. That is why the taste of sashimi depends on the freshness of the fish and meat. The common serving of accompaniment of sashimi is soy sauce, seaweed, radish, or pickled ginger.

Comparison Table Between Nigiri And Sashimi

Parameters of ComparisonNigiri Sashimi
CuisineNigiri is a kind of sushi, made with sticky rice and fish
Sashimi is not sushi, and it is served as thinly sliced pieces with sides.
Condition of fishNigiri can be made with cooked or uncooked fish.
Sashimi is made with raw fish or even meat can be used.
DressingNigiri can be consumed with soy sauce.
Sashimi is served with wasabi, toasted Nori.
Types of fish/meatGenerally fishes like the bluefin tuna, salmon, halibut are used for preparing Nigiri
Fishes like salmon, tuna, shrimp, squid, and meat like beef are used for Sashimi.
TerminologyThe word Nigiri means “Two fingers”
The word Sashimi interprets as “pierced body”.

What is Nigiri?

The word Nigiri interprets as “ two fingers”. As the word implies, that is a small, scrumptious meal with the addition of thinly-sliced material of uncooked fish, laid over a cluster of salty vinegared rice, where the rice is shaped with the help of two fingers only. This is a kind of sushi, and the clean and fresh tasty flavor of the fish combines with the sticky and tangy taste of the rice to create a certainly remarkable taste.

Nigiri is not certainly a sushi roll, it is frequently referred to as Makizushi, however, it’s far nevertheless sushi. Nigiri is frequently made with fishes like bluefin tuna, salmon, and is also often made with halibut. These fish are very flavourful and feature a high-fat content material that makes them melt in one’s mouth, great coordination to the taste of the rice, and doesn’t require chewing for an uncomfortable time . It goes down easy in a person’s thought. Nigiri is also made with fresh raw fish, and not raw meat. It is served with soy sauce.

Nigiri can be alternatively made with seafood like shrimp, octopus, and squid. The accurate manner of consuming Nigiri is by way of dipping only a part of the fish of the nigiri in dressing. A little or no quantity of dressing must be used so that the dressing can’t overpower the flavor of clean fish.

What is Sashimi?

The word Sashimi interprets as “pierced body” or “pierced meat”. As the word itself implies, it’s composed most effective of extraordinarily thin, delicately reduce slices of uncooked meat or fish. There isn’t any rice used to define the taste of the fish . The fresh flavor of the fish it stands on its own, and is eaten with only a dab of soy sauce, within side the conventional style. Sashimi in maximum places is crafted with raw fish however it could additionally be crafted from different meats as well, Sashimi may be made from fishes like salmon, tuna, shrimp, squid, and meat like beef.

One of the aspects of eating Sashimi is the fish or meat has to be raw and cleaned thoroughly. Sashimi is offered with different kinds of garnishes. The first-rate of this fish lies within side the freshness of the fish, how it’s far sliced, offered, and what it is garnished with. The dish is no less than a work of art. It is garnished with shredded daikon radish arranged very beautifully. Sashimi is not sushi, but however it is a very good accompaniment of sushi and thus found in places where sushi is served. Sashimi is also served with pickled radish or ginger to cleanse the taste buds from the greasiness of the raw fishes.

Main Differences Between Nigiri and Sashimi

  1. Nigiri is a form of Sushi, but Sashimi is not sushi.
  2. Nigiri can be eaten as raw or cooked fish, but sashimi always means raw fish or meat.
  3. Nigiri is made with raw fish and sushi-grade rice, which Sashimi is not made with rice, but it is only thinly sliced fish.
  4. Nigiri can be only made from fish, whereas Sashimi can be made with raw meat.
  5. The fish used in Nigiri can be thickly cut, but for Sashimi the pieces must be very thin.
  6. Nigiri is eaten with dressing like soy sauce, while Sashimi is eaten with toasted nori which is also known as seaweed and wasabi.


 Nigiri and Sashimi are both two of the very famous Japanese dishes. Although lying some very major differences between the two, somewhere they do have a lot of similarities. Both of them are staples of Japanese cuisine. But however, Nigiri is a bit more traditional than Sashimi. Sashimi’s taste depends on the cutting of the fish, the part of the fish served and what it is served with. These are contributing to the flavor of the Sashimi. This is the reason there is “Sashimi Grade” Fish in the market available respecting the emphasis of the fish quality for Sashimi. However for a beginner in Japanese cuisine, Nigiri is much more subtle compared to Sashimi.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10454446.2015.1121434
  2. https://meridian.allenpress.com/jfp/article/71/4/860/171883/Microbiological-Quality-of-Sushi-from-Sushi-Bars
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