What Does Sushi Taste Like? It Might Absolutely Surprise You

November 17, 2016

If you’ve never had a sushi, then you probably have asked yourself or anyone this question, “What does sushi taste like?” Like yourself, I wanted a definitive answer of what sushi really tastes like before I can give it a try. However, its many varieties can be somewhat intimidating.

I met a lot of people who told me contrasting answers about the real taste of sushi. While some people find the taste really delicious, others just abhor it.

To get a concrete answer, I researched hard and discovered a lot of information regarding sushi. You can check the results of my research in the context below.

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What Is Sushi?

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You might think that sushi is raw fish, but you’re wrong. Sushi is actually a Japanese form of food preparation consisting mainly of cooked rice, seafood, and vegetables. The raw fish that you’re thinking is called sashimi.

Sushi started as a way of preserving fish in Japan more than 2,000 years ago. Before fermented rice was thrown out and the pickled fish consumed. Fast forward, the rice can already be eaten together with the fish and other ingredients.

So, What Does Sushi Taste Like?

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The taste of sushi may be difficult to specify due to its many ingredients, but generally, you’ll get to experience a harmony of flavors. You can taste the sourness from the vinegar in sushi rice, the hotness from wasabi, the bitterness and saltiness of soy sauce, and the sweetness of the rice.

According to food consultant and author, Brigid Treloar, a little bit of hotness and bitterness are important to give balance and harmony to the whole taste of a dish.

With many sushi variations available now, the taste of sushi has become so good as you can already taste some tropical fruits and seasoned vegetables in the mix. In small bites, you can already feel satisfied without the feeling of stuffiness.

You also expose your palate to a lot of new flavors like the zest of pickled radish, the sweetness of mango, and the buttery succulence of tuna.

Different Types of Sushi


The taste of sushi may vary from one type to another. Here is a list of different types of sushi that you can find in most sushi menu.

1. Maki

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Maki or makizushi are rolled sushi made from fish, meat, and vegetables. Using a makisu, or a bamboo mat, all ingredients are rolled into nori (seaweed) like in this video. Alternatively, you can also roll the ingredients in a soy paper, egg omelet, or cucumber.

If you’re still new to sushi, you should begin eating a California roll maki, which is made of crab sticks, sushi rice, and avocado. For something raw, you can start with tekka maki or tuna sushi roll. Tuna has a sweet, delicate meat that can be very pleasing for sushi novice.

2. Inari

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Inari is another type of sushi that appears good as its taste. The brown pouch is actually tofu filled with sushi rice. You can also add some other ingredients to make it more exciting, like shitake mushrooms, carrots, and sesame seeds, like in this recipe here.

3. Nigiri

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If you’ve tried eating some maki rolls with raw fish, nigiri will be your next step to sashimi. Nigiri literally means “hand-pressed sushi”. Most sushi chefs add wasabi in the middle of the rice and neta, a slice of seafood or fish, to add spiciness and kill any bacteria present on the raw fish.

4. Chirashi

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Among all the other types of sushi, chirashi is closely similar to sashimi. In a bowl the sushi rice, it’s covered with raw fish. Raw fish may taste too strong, but if you want to start with a milder taste, try less oily fishes like red snapper, tuna, and halibut.

Tips In Eating Sushi

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  • Never mix wasabi with soy sauce because the flavor will be diluted. Instead, use your chopstick to put a small amount of wasabi on your sushi then dip it into the soy sauce.
  • To clean your palate, eat a bit of gari or pickled ginger slices or drink hot green tea in between eating various sushi types.
  • Japanese soy sauce is better than other soy sauce because it tastes sweeter and complements the sushi better.
  • You can find some great tips here in this video.

Try Some Sushi Today!

The taste of sushi is delicious especially if all ingredients create a great harmony. If you’re new to sushi start with a dish without raw fish. To gradually increase your appetite to raw fish begin with less oily fish, like tuna, halibut, or red snapper.

Have you tried eating sushi? Let us know your experience in the comments section below. If you like this article, feel free to share it with friends and family.

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