What Is a Sashimi Roll?

What is a sashimi roll? Is there such a dish? There are so many new variations of sushi nowadays that it’s tough to know what belongs in this delicious dish. In this text, I’ll go over the most basic sushi variations and talk more about sashimi.

Sashimi rolls aren’t a thing, but you can always take a slice of your raw slice of fish or shellfish and roll it up to make it more compact. Still, these pieces are just sliced meat, so it’s best to eat them as they come.

A small slice of salmon sashimi
Sashimi is too small to be made into a roll, but you can try it in various ways

Here, we’ll discuss the different types of sushi you can eat at a restaurant and their differences.

What Is a Sashimi Roll? Maki Sushi vs Sashimi vs Nigiri

It’s important to determine the difference between various sushi types. If you wonder if sushi is an American or Japanese dish, I can solve the dilemma.

This dish is originally Japanese, and it will always remain Japanese. However, some variations have been invented in America, making them American in some ways. Maki vs sashimi vs nigiri is a common confusion for people, so here are their definitions and differences.

Maki Sushi Rolls – What to Know

If you have questions like whether maki is sushi and if maki has seaweed, you’ve come to the right place. Maki is sushi; together with nigiri, they’ve been a staple of Japanese cuisine.

They’re different from raw slices because they have more ingredients, and seaweed is the defining component of the roll. It gives it the umami flavor that every chef seeks when creating the perfect dish. Maki is the answer to the question of what sushi is the best.

Nigiri – Second Type

Nigiri is the second essential type of sushi, but it’s different from rolls. In essence, it’s a small scoop of rice and a slice of fish or shellfish as a topping. It’s more or less like a simplified roll and something between maki and sashimi.

Sashimi – The Most Simplified One

Sashimi is the most basic dish in terms of ingredients. It’s just a slice of thinly cut raw or marinated fish or shellfish served with soy sauce. Sometimes, it isn’t just slices of salmon, tuna, or shrimp; it can also be eel meat or even beef.

Here are the most popular types of sashimi:

  • Ahi (tuna)
  • Hamachi (yellow tail)
  • Ebi (tiger shrimp)
  • Ika (squid)
  • Iwashi (sardine)
  • Anago (eel)
  • Kani (crab meat)
  • Unagi (freshwater eel)
  • Uni (sea urchin)

What Types of Sushi Are There?

If you aren’t familiar with this dish, it represents more than just maki. At first, it was just maki and nigiri, but variations such as uramaki and temaki appeared over time. This was due to the globalization and modernization of classic Japanese recipes and adding ingredients that suit the local climate.

If you end up in a Japanese restaurant and don’t know what’s on the menu, here’s a quick rundown in the chart below.

TypeWhat is it?
NigiriA slice of fish or any topping served on a small scoop of rice
SashimiSimilar to nigiri, but served only as a slice of fish or shellfish – no rice; sometimes Japanese restaurants serve beef slices, too
Maki rollA classic roll where rice and fillings like tuna or salmon are wrapped into seaweed
UramakiSimilar to maki, but the rice is on the outside, and the seaweed is wrapped around the filling (e.g., California rolls)
TemakiSimilar to maki but shaped into a cone with seaweed

Is There Such a Thing as Sashimi Rolls?

In short, no. While it does fit the criteria of what makes sushi what it is, it can’t be turned into a roll because it’s raw fish or shellfish. You can take a slice of raw salmon, for example, and eat it rolled up, but that wouldn’t constitute it a roll, officially.

Sashimi rolls don’t exist. This dish is only pieces of raw meat, thinly (or thickly) sliced to perfection and served with sauces to taste better. The fresher the meat, the tastier it will be when raw. That’s its biggest secret.

Fish sashimi on top of ice
Sashimi is only presented as slices of delicious, almost always raw meat

There Isn’t Vegetarian Sashimi or Deals That Include It Made In Rolls, But It’s Delicious Anyway

While sashimi doesn’t come in a roll, it’s an integral part of a Japanese plate. The raw, thin slices of various shellfish and fish meat are always presented appealingly and are certainly very delicious. It’s all about giving new things a try and accepting the various flavors of the world; you’ll love this dish for sure.