Learning the Basics: Sashimi vs Sushi

Sashimi and Sushi 101

Sashimi and sushi are two of Japan’s most renown dishes, too famous to ignore especially if you are a foodie, an international foodie, much more. Some people uninitiated in the way of Japanese cuisine may be turned away due to the “rawness” associated with these foods. Others may not be so adventurous, being hooked up in their usual, prefered tastes, not too willing to try. Hence, if only for the fact that the experience of eating these Japanese delicacies are missed opportunities for the foodie, one can start off by really knowing them. One must try these delicacies at least once, but first how are sashimi and sushi different from one another?

Differences Between Sashimi and Sushi

Some people confuse one with the other. Sushi is a very popular Japanese dish, compared to sashimi and specialized chefs make them. Sashimi is thinly sliced raw meat (usually fish, such as salmon or tuna) served without rice. Sushi is not raw fish, but vinegared rice mixed with other ingredients, which may or may not include raw fish. On the other hand, sashimi always contains fresh raw meat or seafood. Where cooking is concerned, sashimi is never cooked; it is always raw. Sushi is not usually cooked, but some varieties include cooked ingredients.

Sushi can be eaten as it is, but is often dipped into a Japanese soy sauce which is called ‘shoyu’. Sashimi is only served with a dipping sauce, with wasabi paste mixed in in most cases. The sliced seafood is typically draped over a garnish, which is mostly the daikon radish.

What are the most common types of sashimi and sushi? For sashimi, there’s tuna, salmon, mackerel, yellowtail, squid or octopus, shrimp, scallops, and clams. For sushi, there’s nigiri, gunkan (or ‘battleship’ sushi), temaki (nori seaweed “cones” containing seafood and vegetables), and norimaki (sushi rolls).

For nutritional value, sashimi presents various health benefits depending on type of fish or meat. Fish-based sashimi is high in omega-3 fatty acids which has been studied to bring down the risk of heart disease, battle rheumatoid arthritis and depression, lower the inflammatory processes in asthma, help in the neurological and visual development in children and reduce the symptoms associated with ADHD, and may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, among others. On the other hand, sushi has more calories and carbs than sashimi does because of its rice. Sushi that contains fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids. While both sushi and sashimi are healthy foods, sashimi is healthier.

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