Sushi does not mean raw fish.

Recently I have been trying to get people from work to go to a near by sushi bar. So far there has only been one taker and he loved it. We have been back since then at his suggestion. The most common reason for not going has been, “I don’t like raw fish.” To which I respond, “Have you ever had it from a sushi bar?” The response is always, “No.”

Sushi does not mean raw fish. It’s a style of cooking that is more centered around rice then fish. My experience has been that the raw to cooked fish dishes is about 50/50. The two sushi bars I have been to clearly mark which items are cooked and which aren’t.

One other common misconception about raw fish is that it smells ‘fishy’. A good sushi bar will never smell fishy. Some dishes such as the american invented ‘California Roll‘ contain no fish.

Nigiri Sashimi One of my personal favorites is Nigiri which is a bed of sushi rice covered with a thin slice of raw fish. The main reason I like this so much is because of the little wasabi suprise ball in the center of the rice. This gets the new guys every time. :) Seymour likes to call these ‘The Snails” because they are slightly curved and salmon has very distinct stripes in the meat making it look like a snail shell.

The whole point behind this rant is, don’t be afraid to try something new. If you don’t like it at least you know. Chances are you will find something you like and be able to enjoy it for many years down the road.


  1. Jeremy says:

    I have had sushi many a time. And I’d tend to agree with most of what you say. I’ve noticed when I have a had it, that it also involved a lot of seaweed. Could just be the mid-west though. Nice rant.

  2. seymour says:

    Argh.. now I’m hungry. The thought of raw fish turns me off something terrible and almost prevented me from trying sushi. I think one of the fears of sushi is seeing bloody, maimed fish with bones popping out of it on a stick. Well, you won’t get that at a sushi bar.. unless you know the owners and specifically ask for it :) I haven’t seen any blood, smelled fish, etc at all. It’s good quality food and it’s really good for you, too.

  3. seymour says:

    Paper sushi?! I just happened to see this article yesterday and thought a link to it from here would be interesting.

  4. Brett says:

    I’m still not doing the sushi ;) Someday perhaps, maybe when I hit you up in CA.

  5. EricB says:

    It’s better than subway :)

  6. [...] now they’ve seen the spoon. They have shovels.” I’d like to see them eat sushi with a fork. Chopsticks have survived for a reason. They are much better for picking up odd shaped objec [...]

  7. jules says:

    i didn’t know sushi didn’t mean raw fish
    i always associated the two and couldn’t figure out the cooked fish/no fish in sushi dishes
    thank you for the enlightenment

  8. Dani says:

    I know exactly what you mean, i love sushi and always try to get my friends to try them but they keep saying they don’t eat raw fish, I keep saying there’s more to sushi than raw fish but I can’t convince them no matter what.

  9. Adjia says:

    I agree. However, living in a landlocked state, that is known for Rocky Mountain Oysters, and not it’s cultural cuisine, it is hard to find suitable sushi. Many of my friends and coworkers get that look of “I’d rather regurgitate in my mouth, than try that”. But alas, I am waiting nine months before my next indulgence of sushi and sashimi due to the dangers that raw fish and fish in general have on the little person growing inside of me (mercury, being the main one, but shrimp, who do not have the longevity as tuna, might be alright for an indulgence). So drink a Kirin and enjoy a Nigiri or two for this fellow sushi lover.

  10. Marlene says:

    Thanks for the clarification. I’m so glad I found this page because my sister was just insisting that Sushi meant raw fish, as I sat and ate my California rolls… She said I wasn’t eating Sushi, and I told her it indeed was Sushi….. Thanks to this page, I/WE now understand the whole “Sushi” concept better. I, personally, don’t care for the Sushi w/ the raw fish, but I LOVE the veggie kind.

  11. Shereen says:

    I luv sushi but my so called “friends” keep arguing saying mean things bout me just coz i like sushi just coz they think its raw fish i told them its not wait till the read this.

  12. Suzy says:

    some one i know is taking biology in collage and he told me that sushi with raw fish in it is bad. sushi with raw fish HAS WORMS IN IT!!!!!! the fish eat the worms, and then we eat the fish. you cant kill the worms unless you cook it. these worms WILL KILL YOU. they will infest your body and will grow out you mouth, nose, and but. trust me on this. DO NOT EAT SUSHI!!!!!! THIS IS REALLY GROSE!!!!! I AM NOT JOKING!!!!

  13. Jodi says:

    I know. i am in bio right now and we just learned about that. DONT EAT SUSHI WITH RAW FISH!!!!

  14. Nanashi-san says:

    Looks like “Shereen” told one of her friends about this page and he didn’t agree. lol *rolleyes*

  15. chookun says:

    Raw fish does have a chance of parasites if you eat it straight, but to Suzy and Jodi – that’s what the wasabi is for – it’s so strong it basically sterilises the fish.

    Do you really think an ancient culture who have been eating this stuff for centuries would not have worked out how to avoid getting sick from it?

  16. damian says:

    Thank you! I posted a blog last week saying this!!! Named “Sushimi, not sushi!” But I LOVE sushi sushimi, yibbi, yibbi what ever is sushi-like!

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