Nigiri vs Sashimi-The Constant Battle of Taste

In this article, we are going to compare with – nigiri vs sashimi. sushi is nothing but vinegar or non-vinegar rice wrapped with some sort of meat or vegetable. But the real question is what tastes better between nigiri vs sashimi? Although sushi is so popular many people cannot tell the difference between a nigiri and sashimi. To understand this let us see how sushi came into existence.

Sushi was invented accidentally. It was in about 900 A.D. the salted and gutted fish was kept in fermented rice for preservation. This is how sushi came into existence. The sushi earlier used to have an extremely pungent flavor. Later when people started to use liquids of various types to ferment rice faster the taste of sushi started to improve.

Later many adaptations were made in making sushi. This was because different countries had made changes to the original sushi recipe according to their culture and likings. Along with being so popular sushi has many new recipes besides there are many different types of sushi such as nigiri, oshizushi to name a few. It is a common misconception that sushi includes only fish and rice but there are many varieties of it. Some sushi also has fish eggs in them which makes them taste amazing.

Sushi can sometimes be extremely expensive so many people prefer to make them at home. But homemade sushi tastes nothing like the mouth-watering sushi made by a professional chef. If still, one prefers to have homemade sushi then there are several recipes you may find on the internet. The task of making sushi or nigiri is not easy there are even sushi molds available.

The chefs that make sushi have great culinary skills along with practice in sushi making. You can find the best sushi in an authentic Japanese restaurant. Sushi making is considered an art by the experts. Here is – nigiri vs sashimi.


Nigiri vs Sashimi difference

There is often confusion between nigiri and sashimi. Nigiri means two-fingers while sashimi means pierced meat. Nigiri is rice pressed with two fingers and served with raw fish slices on top of it. It originated in Tokyo and was formally called dough. The nigiri is also called Nigirizushi. Sashimi is not sushi-like nigiri it is rather raw meat that is served with wasabi, soya sauce, pickled ginger, and sometimes crushed garlic.

What is the difference between nigiri and sashimi?

In the fight between nigiri vs sashimi, the nigiri is sushi which is made using two fingers mainly. Making a nigiri requires a lot of skill and practice. While sashimi is simply raw fish or any meat served with other ingredients. Sashimi is usually more expensive than nigiri.

The nigiri can be eaten either with hands or with the help of a pair of chopsticks. The sashimi is eaten with chopsticks only. The nigiri is usually not garnished unless the chef wants to. But the sashimi is supposed to be presented with some beefsteak leaves, caviar, etc.

The most common seafood in Japan includes squid due to its abundance of availability. Snow crabs are also a type of sashimi in Japan.

 Is sushi the same as nigiri?

The answer to this is no. Sushi is rice served with thinly sliced fish or vegetables. The nigiri is vinegar rice pressed and topped with a slice of fish. People started eating sushi in Japan around 900 A.D. Nigiri was invented in Tokyo around 1923. Making nigiri is quite complex, only professionals with a lot of experience can make it right.

 Maki is a sushi that is rice wrapped with filling. Uramaki is another well-known type of sushi. It is a filling wrapped around the filling that can be of fish or vegetables. The rice molded around the wrap of the seaweed served with usually a sauce or two. These rolls can be eaten raw or even cooked if they have any other type of seafood as meat. Nigiri is also a type of sushi but served as uncooked fish and cooked rice combined.

What’s the difference between sushi and sashimi?

The sushi includes a rice base while sashimi does not. Sashimi is thinly sliced meat pieces served raw with wasabi paste and other ingredients. This meat can be either raw fish or any other type of seafood but raw if it is a type of fish. It is preferred to have at the beginning of the meal. It is eaten along with the miso soup that is healthy to have.

Many vegetarians also enjoy having sushi that is stuffed with vegetables rather than any type of meat. The main flavoring of sushi comes from the sauces served with it. The sushi restaurants have a variety of sauces that a customer can choose from the available menu. They are served mostly with soya sauce.

 Why is sashimi more expensive than nigiri?

The sashimi is expensive despite it being just a slice of meat. It requires experience and well-trained chefs to slice the meat or fish correctly to get maximum flavors. The prices of sashimi dishes aren’t fixed like one may assume.

Their prices vary according to the type of fish, the season of their consumption, and the freshness of the fish. To make them more flavored the fish is sometimes aged. Few fishes are eaten after curing. The curing softens and makes the meat firm. It makes the cutting of these fishes easier.

When it comes to the price of sashimi, the availability of the type of meat in that region also plays a big role. If a restaurant offers sashimi that uses salmon as the meat and the region where the restaurant is situated does not have salmon as one of its staple food then it will likely cost more. This is because at almost all top-notch restaurants the chefs ensure to make their sushi with the most expensive type of meat then may it be sashimi or a nigiri.

If the meat is not available in the local fish market then the restaurant owners most likely import them from a good place where they have good quality meat available.

Can you eat sashimi raw?

Yes, sashimi is supposed to be eaten raw. But sashimi includes other seafood as well. These kinds of seafood such as squids are preferably eaten cooked when served as sashimi. The raw fish is safe to be eaten as long as it is fresh and sliced correctly. 

It is advised to sanitize your fish cutting knife and chopping board with bleach water or any other way to prevent cross-contamination that can go unnoticed. The wasabi paste is usually, served with sashimi that helps by destroying a few harmful bacteria and parasites in the raw fish.

While eating sashimi you should make sure that the meat you are consuming is fresh. Along with it the fish should be cut and sliced correctly. Try not to use frozen fish while making sashimi because the frozen fishes are usually not meant to be eaten raw.

sashimi vs nigiri calories

Let us now talk about the calories difference in nigiri vs sashimi. The sashimi has twenty-five to forty calories per ounce. it is a good source of vitamin B6 and B12. Nigiri has around forty to seventy calories.They are a good source of omega-three fatty acids and have a lower number of fats too.

    The calories in both of these may vary depending on the type of fish used in nigiri

and the type of meat used in sashimi. But overall in nigiri vs sashimi, both are healthy options.

What are the most expensive sashimi?

   The price of sashimi may differ from place to place. The most expensive sashimi ever sold is a bluefin tuna sashimi sold at an insanely high cost of four million dollars. This fish was sold in an auction and bought by Kiyoshi Kimura. He is the president of a Japanese sushi chain named sushi Izanami. This auction takes place once every year in the Tsukiji fish market.

You can also check out – 4 best knives for sushi


   Here are few FAQ regarding Nigiri VS Sashimi:

1.  Why is nigiri expensive?

The cost of nigiri depends upon the type of fish used in it. More the freshness of a fish greater is the cost of a nigiri. Usually, a nigiri can cost you around $2 to $8. The quality of rice being used in nigiri matters when it comes to its price.

2. What white fish is used in sashimi?

There is a no. of white fishes used in sashimi. But the most commonly eaten white fishes are halibut, mackerel, seabass, and halibut.

3. What are the best fish for sashimi?

Tuna and salmon are the two best fishes used in sashimi. Salmon is considered the healthiest type of sashimi. The tuna is high in protein and has a lower fat content.

Kelly Anne

Kelly Anne

Hey there, I am Kelly Anne. Thank you for being here. Hope you like the website and it was helpful. I am a working mother of 2. I love to cook and feed people. My hobbies include cooking (obviously), reading, and rock climbing.

With so many machines and accessories in the market to help you cook it become quite overwhelming to choose from. I own a lot of these kitchen equipments and tried out the others. I want the best for my kitchen and I am helping you find the best for yours.

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