Comparison Between Nigiri Vs Sashimi: An Invisible Battle of Taste 

Asian cuisines are always very popular around the world. In terms of taste, diversity, and artful cooking, no other cuisine can nearly compete with sushi, and Nigiri Sushi is an immensely popular Japanese cuisine throughout the world. Sushi comes with plenty of variety and tastes. If you are in a Japanese sushi bar and getting confused, what sushi item should you order? Don’t worry. I’ll go over two of the most famous Japanese dishes, Sashimi, and nigari, in this article. I will discuss all the differences and similarities between these two items. So, if you want to learn more, read the entire Sashimi vs. nigiri comparison article.

What is Sashimi?

Sashimi is a signature item in Japanese cuisine, and it is very much common in this region. The most exciting point about this dish is that the ingredients which are used in the dish are consumed in a raw state. No cooking, heating, or sauté is required to prepare this dish. As this dish is all about raw fishes, the quality of the fish used in this item are of superior quality. Some of the common types of fish used in this dish are Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel, squid, and shrimp. Sometimes meat and some vegetarian items are also used to make Sashimi. The restaurants decorate this item with pickled ginger, wasabi, daikon radish, soy sauce, and many more. Though it sounds like a really easy and simple dish, the chef’s diversity, innovation, and expertise add a wise and innovative look considering the cuts, looks, and presentation. Sashimi Recipes

How to prepare the Sashimi?

The making of Sashimi is a lot easier than the Nigiri. Actually, it is the preparation of raw fish or meat. But there are some strategies to get juicy and tender Sashimi. Take a solid chunk of tuna, salmon, or any other fish you have suitable for Sashimi. Take it to the refrigerator and settle it down for a night. The next day, keep it out of the refrigerator and start the process of making Sashimi. Make sure that you have taken out all the scales and bones from it. Take a sharp knife, cut it into 2 cm thick slices, and serve it on the plate. Add some pickled ginger, wasabi, daikon radish, and soy sauce as a companion. And yes, your Sashimi is ready to consume.

What is Nigiri?

Nigiri RecipesNigiri is a kind of famous sushi that is very famous worldwide. This item is generally made with sticky and wet sushi rice and fresh fish like tuna, salmon, eel, shad, squid, snapper, or shrimp. This dish is served with pickled ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi. It is not possible to make the dish with meat. You can only use fresh fish. All the sushi comes with sticky rice and raw fish on top of it. Nigiri is not an exception. But it can be fried, grilled, or steamed. It depends on which kind of fish you are using. You can consume Nigiri with your hand, or you can use chopsticks if you wish.

How to make the Nigiri?

It is really easy to make the Nigiri, in fact, you can prepare this in your home. The very first stage is to prepare the rice. Take some sushi rice and rinse it multiple times with fresh water. Then take a strainer and get rid of the extra water. Put it in the rice cooker and cook it for about 15 to 20 minutes. After the rice is ready and cooked decently, let it settle down again for 15 minutes. This will create the stickiness to the rice and make it perfect for the preparation of the Nigiri sushi. In a skillet or saucepan, pour some traditional Japanese vinegar and mix sugar and salt with this. Then apply this liquid to your sticky rice. 

After the rice is done, it is time to prepare the fish. Take the tuna or salmon which is available to you. Make thin slices of the fish with a sharp knife. Then start to give shape to the rice. Use a bear hand to get a nice result. Apply some wasabi paste onto the slices of the fish and top it off with this sliced fish stripe to finish it. Decorate this with extra vegetables, and now it is ready to serve.  

Comparison Chart:

Facts Nigiri Sashimi
Outlook: Slices of raw fish over cooked rice Always thin-sliced raw meat
Making process: Moderate Easy
Food Type: Only Fish Fish, Chicken, Seafood
Rice Needed? Yes No
Slice shape: Wide Thin
Garnished? No Yes
Side dish: Excluded Included
Price: Inexpensive Expensive
Cooking time: 30 minutes Only 10 minutes
Nutritional facts: 100 gram Nigiri:

  • 142 calories
  • 10.1 mg calcium
  • 8.5g protein
  • 0.35 g fat
100-gram Tuna sashimi:

  • 109 calories
  • 4 mg calcium
  • 0.49 g fat
  • 69 IU vitamin D
  • 24.4 g protein

Similarities between Nigiri and Sashimi Cuisines

We have seen a lot of differentiation between the Nigiri and Sashimi earlier in this article. But do you know the similarities between these two? Let us discover the similarities in a nutshell.

Both of the items are signature Japanese dishes, and the preparation procedure is almost the same. You can eat them with bare hands or with traditional Japanese chopsticks. Eating Sashimi with chopsticks is a lot easier than eating with a bare hand. The main similarity between these two is that both of them contain raw fish. You can use tuna, salmon, eel, or any other ocean fish to prepare the items. Both of the items are really beneficial to health. 

Comparison: Key Differences Between Nigiri and Sashimi

Though both Nigiri and Sashimi are Japanese signature items, there are lots of differences between them. The process of their making, their texture, taste, and presentation all differ a lot. Here I will be discussing the Key Differences between Nigiri and Sashimi.

Diversity In Taste

Both the Nigiri and Sashimi have different tastes. The Nigiri comes with vinegar, and it spreads a tangy and sour flavor to the dish. And the fish used in this dish gives a smooth and fatty flavor that melts into your mouth. There is a clear contrast between the taste of the rice and the fish. And you can feel a combination of sweet, sour, and tangy tastes out in the Nigiri. 

On the other hand, Sashimi is prepared with raw fish or meat and also presented with the companion items like pickled ginger, wasabi, daikon radish, and soy sauce, which actually provides a burst of flavors in this dish. As the main ingredient is raw fish or meat, the ingredients used here are superior in quality. 

Multiplicity in texture

The texture does not differ that much, just a slight change in the overall outlook. The Nigiri is kind of firm and, at the same time, smooth in nature. The fact is when the rice is wrapped with fish; it gives a firm and coarse texture. As soon as you insert it into your mouth, it suddenly melts and gives you a buttery smooth flavor and texture. As the rice has a soft and smooth texture and fish has a sweet and smooth feel, all that combines when you put them in your mouth and produce an authentic flavor. That’s why sushi is one of the most consumed dishes in the world.

On the other hand, Sashimi is made with raw fish or meat with pickled ginger, wasabi, daikon radish, and soy sauce as a companion. The raw fish provides a fatty and smooth feel when you start to chew it. It has an extremely delicate and soft texture. When you dip it into soya sauce and eat a chunk of the radish or ginger, you will feel the coarseness. All in all, both the items taste almost the same with a minor change in the taste and presentation.

Differences in overall outlook and presentation 

Sashimi and Nigiri recipesIf you compare the looks and colors of Sashimi and Nigiri, then I must say that Sashimi looks far better than the Nigiri as it comes with the platter. Pickled ginger, wasabi, daikon radish, soy sauce, etc., come with that platter. Each of the ingredients brings different colors to the dish. In fact, it looks like a rainbow. The color differs with the change in the fish and meat used in the Sashimi. Salmon adds a pink color to the dish. Tuna adds a red color, and shrimp offers a white pinkish color to the dish. On the other hand, Nigiri is all about rice and fish. The whitish look of the rice with a colorful package of fish looks amazing as sushi.

Nigiri Vs Sashimi: Which one is more expensive?

There comes a common and general question. Which one is more costly? Is it Nigiri? Or is it Sashimi? The answer is simple and logical. Sashimi is more expensive than Nigiri. If we look at the construction of these two dishes, then we can observe that the Sashimi is a totally thicker large chunk of fish. What you are compensating for is the quality of the fish. The higher the quality of the fish, the greater you have to pay. There is no other support to cover the plate, and it’s only fresh fish or meat. So it is more costly than the Nigiri. 

On the other hand, Nigiri is just a combination of sticky rice and a thin layer of fish. Here you need a small amount of fish to cover the whole thing as the rice is there to give the extra support. Rather Sashimi comes with premium quality fish, but in the case of Sashimi, quality is not that important. So it is natural that Nigiri costs less than Sashimi.

What are the nutritional and health benefits of Nigiri?

Health benefits of NigiriNigiri has a set of impressive nutrients which are really good for health. In this phase, I will discuss the nutrient values of the Nigiri. It is a great source of carbohydrates, energy, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and many other important contents. The health benefits of the Nigiri are discussed below,

Safeguarding the health of the heart

Nigiri contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is high-density lipoprotein. It is good for the heart and also helps to prevent heart stroke, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis. It also helps to eliminate the low-density lipoprotein, which is really beneficial to health. 

Invigorates the metabolism

The metabolism of the body is accelerated by high protein and low fats. Nigiri exactly performs the duty. A high amount of protein improves the body’s growth and increases metabolism.

Prevents the cancer 

Nigiri comes with lots of extra companions, and one of them is the wasabi paste. In a report, I found that wasabi has a compound named 6-methyl sulfinyl hexyl isothiocyanate, which plays An important role in preventing cancer.

Health benefits of Sashimi

Health benefits of SashimiAs the Sashimi is prepared with a chunk of fresh and premium quality fish, it is obvious that it will contain a good amount of calories and vitamins. Let us discover the Health benefits of Sashimi in a short manner.

Loaded with protein

This item is loaded with lots of protein which is really necessary for health. Tuna and salmon contain a lot of protein compounds. Protein enables us to develop the muscle of the body. Protein makes the bones stronger and more robust.   

Keep the brain healthy.

This item contains omega-three fatty acid, which is really supportive of the growth of the brain. It increases the connection between the brain cells and makes the memory stronger and sharper. 

Impressive cure for the eye health 

The fish content of the Sashimi contains a lot of minerals and iron, which is beneficial for the eyes. It strengthens the eye muscle and keeps it free from fatigue. The retina and Cornea remain safe by consuming a good amount of tuna and salmon.

Distinctive Pros and Health Risks of Sashimi and Nigiri

Every dish and food item has its own merits and demerits in this world. Sashimi and Nigiri are no exception. Here I am going to discuss the pros and cons of Sashimi and Nigiri. 

Pros of Nigiri

  • Nigiri is a special and different type of sushi that comes with sticky rice and a thin layer of fish, which gives a burst of taste when it is consumed.
  • It is comparatively cheaper in price with respect to the other Japanese dishes.
  • It contains the combination of the trice and the sweet smooth texture of the thin fish.

Health risk of Nigiri

  • The fish from which the Nigiri is prepared is full of mercury content that is very harmful to health. Pregnant women and children are not permitted to consume Nigiri regularly.

Pros of Sashimi

  • Chefs make this with pure and premium quality thicker pieces of raw fish, Which is a great source of vitamins, proteins, and minerals.  
  • No extra spices and oil is used to prepare this item. So it is good for the health and the digestive system.

Health risks of the Sashimi

  • Raw fish may contain bacteria and germs, which may cause harm to the digestive system.

Sashimi or Nigiri? My Recommendation

There is a debate about which is the best between Nigiri and Sashimi that will never come to an end. This is totally dependent on the taste bud of people, the ingredients used, The looks and color, and varieties of culture. But in my opinion, both the items are special in terms of preparation, taste, and color. When my stomach is upset, I choose to eat the nigiri sushi as it has both rice and fish items. When my body feels weak, I rely on the Sashimi as it has a greater content of fish and meat content which gives me more protein and calories.

Both are considered signature Japanese items, but now they are consumed all over the world. The preparation process, health benefits, and taste are all discussed in this article. If you are looking forward to knowing the differences and similarities between the Nigiri and Sashimi, this article will help you in a convenient manner. 


Can I Eat Sushi Every Day?

No. You will be in danger of mercury poisoning. Most fishes used in the preparation of sushi contain lots of mercury. So it is better to avoid eating nigiri sushi on a regular basis. 

Why is Sashimi not considered sushi?

The prime condition of sushi is that it is prepared with sticky rice and raw fish, But in Sashimi, you can not use rice; this is simply a chunk of thick juicy raw fish or meat.

Is Nigiri better than sushi?

Firstly, Nigiri is a type of sushi, but there is a small change in the presentation. The sushi is sometimes covered with the seaweed wrap for decoration and tightening purposes, but the Nigiri is served without the seaweed wrap. This is the smallest differentiation between these two.

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