What Does Sushi Taste Like? (Updated 2024)

what does sushi taste like

Are you curious about what sushi tastes like? Stick around as we describe this delicious cuisine below.

If you love all things in Japan, then you might be familiar with sushi. As a matter of fact, this type of food can be classified as a food group in itself, especially as most people around the world are fascinated with freshness.

Beyond this, sushi is seen as a masterful art of creating food, with the likes of Jiro Ono from Jiro Dreams of Sushi as one of the best in the field, hence three Michelin stars under his name.

With the prevalence of this food in virtually all parts of the globe, you may be wondering, “what does sushi taste like?”

If you are not accustomed to this delicacy, you might balk at the very idea of consuming raw fish. For sushi newbies, you’ll be glad to know that we’ll be answering many of your questions today.

Who knows, once you get over the idea of eating raw fish, you might just have a newfound love for this wonderful dish. 

What Is Sushi?

Japanese Sushi

While most associate sushi with raw fish, it actually refers to rice seasoned with vinegar and topped with raw fish or vegetables.

The word ‘sushi’ means sour and the origin of its creation may have stemmed from the fermentation of fish with rice in salt in order to preserve food. This was done for approximately a thousand years until the Edo Period.

Traditional Japanese sushi is made to be consumed in one bite to enjoy the full flavors of each piece. Rather than mixing in wasabi with soy sauce, it is advised to simply dab some on the fish or topping itself.

For a palate cleanser, pickled ginger should be eaten between sushi courses or pieces.

What Does Sushi Tastes Like?

Now that you know what sushi is, you might be curious about what exactly it tastes like. Because it is made of vinegared rice, the first thing you will notice is that it has an acidic taste.

However, another major component contributes greatly to the flavor and that is the topping. Depending on the topping you use, you can get a light taste, especially with salmon, tuna, and eel.

These ingredients can give a clean, mild fish flavor. You can also expect a heavier taste if you use other toppings known for strong fish flavors such as octopus.

Meanwhile, those with seaweed sheets will give you a briny flavor, while those with fruit such as peach and mango will offer a sweet taste.

The manner of preparation can also influence the taste of the sushi you are eating. For example, if the toppings are grilled, you can expect a smoky and rich piece.

Placing a hint of wasabi on top can give the piece a spicy kick, depending on how much you use. Aside from these major factors, the type of soy sauce used as a dip can make a huge difference in the flavor.

Keep in mind that not any soy sauce works with sushi. It is traditionally served with the Japanese variety, so you can expect a mild sweet and sour flavor.

Types of Sushi

There are several types of sushi in existence today.

Contrary to the Westernized creations you may be accustomed to – such as the Spider Roll and Caterpillar Roll – Japanese sushi is simple.

Below are the main types you may want to familiarize yourself with:

  • Nigiri (nigirizushi)

Nigiri Sushi

Nigirizushis are made by forming little mounds of rice and finishing them off with a dab of wasabi to complement the taste of the fish or other main ingredients.

Some of the more popular nigiri choices today are maguro (tuna), toro (tuna belly), hamachi (yellowtail), ebi (shrimp), and Tamago (egg). Eel (unagi), squid (ika), and octopus (tako) are also popular.

  • Maki (makizushi) or Norimaki


Sushi rolls are called makizushi or sometimes norimaki. They are made with nori or seaweed strips wrapped around vinegared rice and other ingredients.

These are normally filled with soy paper, thin slices of cucumber, and the like. To achieve its cylindrical shape, the maki is rolled into a bamboo sushi mat and then cut into small sections.

  • Inarizushi


This is a type of fried tofu that is filled with vinegared rice.

  • Chirashi (chirashizushi)


Chirashi is a type of sushi where a bowl of vinegared rice is topped with a variety of mixed ingredients such as an array of seafood and vegetables.

This resembles a donburi (or rice topping) in appearance and is normally eaten with chopsticks.

  • Temaki or Hand Roll


Temaki is a type of sushi made out of a hand-rolled seaweed cone.

It is filled with rice and seafood. Other types of fish that are used in the aforementioned examples are uni (sea urchin) and ikura (salmon roe).

The Bottom Line

Sushi is a great traditional Japanese dish that can suit the palate of those who appreciate the fine things it has to offer.

If you have yet to try this dynamic dish, then make it a point to do so soon.

what does sushi taste like


5 Best Sushi Recipes

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Check out these great Sushi Recipes that have been shared on Pinterest.

  • Author: Recipe Marker


  1. Click on each link above to view the pin and recipe.
  2. Obtain all the necessary ingredients to make the recipe.
  3. Follow the steps to create your dish.
  4. Enjoy your delicious meal =)


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