What's the difference between sushi, sashimi, and nigiri?
I don't know about you, but I really like sushi! Not sashimi, not nigiri, just sushi. Want to know why? Because Sushi doesn't involve raw seafood! Well, ok, it can include raw (or cooked) seafood, but it doesn't have to! Do you want to know the difference between the three?
Sushi becomes sushi basically because of vinegar-soaked rice. That is the ingredient that makes sushi, sushi. The name itself means “sour tasting” due to the vinegar flavor. Raw fish is often included, but is not necessarily a component needed to consider a dish "sushi". Modern takes on sushi can include cooked seafood, veggies, or even other meats. My favorite is a mixed veggie sushi.
BLUF (bottom line, upfront) : Sushi doesn’t need to include raw fish (or fish at all) to be considered sushi—only vinegar rice.
Sashimi on the other hand is pretty much awful in my opinion. Sashimi is specifically raw (and hopefully fresh) seafood, most commonly tuna or salmon. Most sashimi is made from saltwater dwellers because freshwater fish have higher risks of parasites (gross). Sashimi is usually served thinly sliced on a bed of daikon (white radish), without rice.
BLUF: Sashimi is (usually) thinly sliced raw seafood served without rice and is not considered sushi.
That leaves Nigiri. Nigiri is sort of a mix between sushi and sashimi... Nigiri falls somewhere between the two dishes. Nigiri is raw seafood, similar to sashimi, but served over vinegared rice. Though it’s a type of sushi (remember, it’s all about the vinegar rice), nigiri doesn’t include any extra ingredients like cucumbers or avocado. So nigiri is always considered sushi, but sushi is not always nigiri... it's like the rectangle & square situation.
BLUF: Nigiri is raw seafood served over rice with no extra ingredients and is a type of sushi.
So I've made it very clear what I like best (sushi, no raw or even cooked seafood). What is your favorite?