What Does Sushi Taste Like? A Powerful Guide 

What does sushi taste like? Are you curious to find an answer to this question?If yes, then keep reading; we have got you covered. 

Sushi is one thing you might be familiar with if you love all things in Japan. 

This type of food can be classified as one that most people around the world are fascinated with. If you are not used to having this delicacy, you might balk at the very idea of consuming raw fish.  

However, once you get over the idea of eating raw fish, you might just have a newfound love for this wonderful dish. 

For the first time, tasting and eating sushi can be scary for a lot of people.  It’s understandable because most sushi features raw fish as a primary ingredient. 

But once you get over this fear, you’ll be rewarded with a memorable culinary experience like no other.

Therefore, let’s take you through providing answers to your question on “what does sushi taste like?” 

What is Sushi? 

Sushi is a traditional Japanese food that contains vinegared rice with other ingredients such as vegetables, seafood, and fish or meat.

It is a Japanese staple originating from China as early as the 5th century BC and is enjoyed all over the world today. The variety of styles only continues to grow. 

Sushi (“sour rice” in Japanese) is served with soy sauce to add a salty profile to the dish as well as wasabi to add spice.

What Does Sushi Taste Like?

What does sushi taste like? The simple answer to this question is that the taste of sushi varies depending on the kind of sushi you are eating. 

This is because most sushi includes raw fish as the main ingredient. As such, you may understandably think that sushi is very fishy. 

But most time, there won’t be strong fishy flavors involved, except if it has gone bad. 

Sushi is a very mild and neutral flavored food as it is always prepared with Japanese rice that is seasoned with vinegar and a little bit of salt and sugar. 

The fish used for sushi includes tuna, salmon, mackerel, and others. 

And it is not flavored with anything, except for the soy sauce, for a little sweet yet salty taste, wasabi; a kind of Japanese horseradish. 

Good sushi doesn’t have one overpowering, dominant flavor.  As such, the feel and taste of the fish, the texture of the rice grains, and the flavor of the seasonings should be perfect. 

What is the Texture of Sushi? 

The texture of sushi can vary greatly depending on the ingredients used. Sushi rice must be a balance between sticky and soft without losing its bite. 

More so, good sushi rice should be room temperature, sticky enough not to fall apart in your hands, and when bitten into, should resemble a similar texture to “al dente” pasta.

In addition, the texture can vary depending on the type of fish used.

For example, tuna and yellowtail are much more firm than salmon, which is very soft and almost buttery. 

The fish must be cut at just the right angle so that the tendons hold the slice together without losing its tenderness.

Vegetables such as cucumber, cornichon, avocado, carrots, and even peppers are often used to add a bit more density or crunch to the bite in a roll.

When combined with soft fish and slightly chewy rice, each bite of sushi should have a balanced variety of textures.

What Does Sushi Smell Like?

According to world-renowned sushi chef Hidekazu Tojo, a good sushi restaurant should smell just like cucumber or watermelon. 

As such, sushi shouldn’t smell very “fishy” even though it contains fish. 

The majority of fish used for sushi is flash-frozen and shouldn’t have a foul fish smell. 

If a sushi restaurant has a strong whiff of fish, it’s a good sign that the fish is no longer fresh.

Types Of Sushi 

  • The California Roll

The California roll usually has avocado, cucumber, carrots, and crab sticks in it, which makes it a great beginner sushi.  

These rolls are smaller and typically have only one ingredient in the middle. Common tekka maki rolls are tuna, cucumber, and takuan (yellow pickled vegetables). 

  • Nigirizushi

Nigirizushi is the most common type of sushi found in Japan.

It is simply raw fish topped on a little loaf-shaped piece of rice and is mostly made of different types of sushi but features a delightful sweetness of the vinegared rice. 

The fish in this sushi can be fresh tuna, eel, shrimp, or octopus, which can be either raw, grilled, or fried.

  • Temakizushi

Temakizushi is a longer and cone-shaped type of sushi whose ingredients are similar to those of the maki but have more nori wrapped around its outside.

Temaki and maki are always best when the nori is still crispy. 

  • Chirashi

Chirashi is a bowl of sushi rice covered with different kinds of raw fish such as shrimp, tuna, salmon, and sea urchins.  

Most time, raw fish can taste stronger than other sushi. 

If you want a milder taste, try chirashi with tuna, red snapper, and squid.

  • Inari Sushi

Inari is a type of sushi typically made of a rice ball wrapped in a tofu skin pouch with some ingredients such as carrots, mushrooms, and sesame seeds for more taste. 

Various Sushi Flavours 

“What does sushi taste like?” This answer can vary depending on the flavor of the sushi as well. 

Here we have some common sushi flavors 

  • Maki

Maki” (roll) or “uramaki” (inside-out roll) consists of the three-ingredient combo from nigiri and take it a step further. 

They are wrapped in seaweed sheets called “nori” and add another layer of umami flavor and a slight scent of the ocean. 

Some Of The Vegetables Used In Sushi Rolls are: 

  • Carrots: They add a crunchy and sweet, woody flavor to the roll.
  • Cucumbers: Give a fresh, slightly sweet flavor to the roll with a firm bite.
  • Avocados: Add a dense texture to the roll with a fatty, neutral flavor.
  • Bell Peppers: Help give a slight crunch to the roll with a mild, earthy flavor.
  • Chilis: Chilis provide spice to the roll that burns in the mouth rather than the nasal burn of wasabi.
  • Sashimi

Sashimi is thin, bite-sized slices of raw fish served plain or with very little garnish, such as scallions or sesame seeds.

Its flavor differs greatly depending on the type of fish used. 

Fish Used For Sashimi Are: 

  • Red Tuna 
  • White Tuna 
  • Salmon 
  • Smoked Salmon 
  • Yellowtail 
  • Squid & Octopus 

How To Properly Eat Sushi 

Having talked about the different kinds of sushi and the flavors, it’s apparent to know that the answer to your ‘what does sushi taste like?’ is that the taste differs from one kind of sushi to another.

Now, let’s talk about how to properly eat sushi 

The traditional way to eat sushi is with your hands, even though most people opt to use chopsticks This way, you avoid ruining the sushi’s shape.

You can also pick up the sushi and dip a tiny part of it in the soy sauce. 

You can add a little wasabi on top if you want to. xing 

However, do not mix the wasabi in the soy sauce.

Put the sushi in your mouth, with the fish side touching your tongue, then eat it in one whole bite.

You can then eat a piece of pickled ginger to cleanse your palate.


Sushi is a great traditional Japanese dish that can suit the palate of those who appreciate its texture and flavors. 

Sushi sour, chilled rice mixes perfectly with the subtle flavors and soft texture of fresh fish and can be made even better with the earthy flavor and crunch of vegetables or peppers.

It can be made with various toppings, from sweet strawberry and almond sushi rolls to spicy chili and cilantro rolls. 

You can also get sushi rolls without the rice that use thinly sliced cucumber or radish for a fresh flavor without the sourness of the vinegar rice.

However, a simple answer to the question “what does sushi taste like?”  is that the taste varies depending on the type, flavors, and textures. 


Does sushi taste good?

Yes. However, the taste of sushi depends on the specific ingredients used. 

However, it’s a very tasty and healthy option with different vegetarian sushi to choose from. Sushi can be made with tofu, vegetables, and even fruit 

How does sushi taste for the first time?

As the main ingredient of most sushi is raw fish as the main ingredient, you may understandably think that sushi is very fishy. 

But sushi is a very mild and neutral-flavored food 

What texture is sushi?

Sushi has a silky, smooth texture when raw and a flaky, light texture when cooked.

Is sushi cooked or raw?

Sushi is actually vinegar rice that is mixed with a number of other ingredients, which can include either cooked or raw fish.  

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