Sushi Sashimi - Pile of rice with raw fish on top?
November 14, 2020 4:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm no Sushi connoisseur and wanted to check in before I go and write a complaint: I just ordered "Sushi Sashimi" for takeout and it was a pile of rice with the raw fish on top. The order size was given in "pieces". Is there any Sushi that is served in this way? If not it seems totally bizarre to make such a kind of mistake, to not roll the sushi and just dump the imgredients on the plate.
posted by SweetLiesOfBokonon to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Nigiri is raw fish on a small rectangle of rice. I wouldn't call it a pile, but it is definitely not rolled. If you Google it, does that look like what you got?
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 4:29 PM on November 14, 2020

I thought sashimi was fish alone - a sushi roll or nigiri would be rolled/assembled and scatter sushi is sushi ingredients on rice. I'm not totally sure what you have.
posted by Frowner at 4:32 PM on November 14, 2020

"Sashimi" is often used (in the states at least) to refer to the fish on its own (no roll, not on a rice block), tho can be served with rice under or on the side. It seems confusing for them to label it "sushi sashimi" but it's not out of left field in my experience.
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:33 PM on November 14, 2020 [14 favorites]

This is usually called Chirashi, and is a totally normal style.
posted by bowbeacon at 4:34 PM on November 14, 2020 [38 favorites]

Sashimi is just fish with no rice. A roll is maki. A slice of fish on a ball of rice is nigiri.

Most Americanized sushi joints have a sashimi platter that is raw fish on rice. Sounds like what you got.

Expecting a roll when ordering sashimi, though? You were set up for disappointment.
posted by bfranklin at 4:34 PM on November 14, 2020 [19 favorites]

This sounds sort of like my favorite thing to order and is typically called chirashi - a bowl of sushi rice (that means it’s been seasoned with the same stuff they season the little lumps of rice that make up normal nigiri) with nicely arranged pieces of fish and vegetables (often pickled) on top. It is usually served in a bowl, but I could see it on a plate. Sushi just means the seasoned rice, the fish is like a garnish, really. Sashimi is the fish without rice. Chirashi apparently means “scattered” and the dish is sometimes called chirashizushi which would mean like, seasoned rice with stuff on top. So I could see a similar thing called sushi sashimi, or, seasoned rice with raw fish on top.
posted by Mizu at 4:34 PM on November 14, 2020 [12 favorites]

This is chirashi.

Sushi = seasoned rice.

Sashimi = raw fish.

Nigiri = piece of fish over rice.

Maki = roll.

Chirashi = bowl of seasoned rice with multiple pieces of sashimi arranged on top.

I've haven't heard chirashi described as 'sushi sashimi,' but it sounds like that is exactly what you were served.
posted by aquamvidam at 4:44 PM on November 14, 2020 [11 favorites]

Yes, sashimi is just individual pieces of raw fish, not a roll.
posted by mekily at 4:45 PM on November 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sushi and sashimi are two different styles of food preparation in Japanese cuisine.

Sushi is seasoned rice topped with thinly sliced fish or other ingredients. It comes in several different variations, such as nigiri-zushi (little wedges of rice topped with fish), maki-zushi (wrapped in seaweed and rolled), temaki-zushi (rolled into a cone shape), chirashi-zushi (fish and other ingredients over a bowl or box of seasoned rice), inari-zushi (seasoned rice wrapped in fried tofu pouches) and so on.

Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish or other (generally raw) ingredients served without rice. You generally dip the individual pieces in soy sauce and a seasoning like wasabi, or sometimes ginger or garlic (as when you're eating horsemeat sashimi).

Calling something sushi sashimi is like calling something a hot dog hamburger. From the description it sounds something like chirashi-zushi, but I certainly wouldn't have high expectations from anything called that.
posted by Umami Dearest at 5:04 PM on November 14, 2020 [7 favorites]

Sounds like you got chirashi. It's my preferred form, but if that's not what you ordered, then you've got a legit complaint. Sushi shashimi to me is a combo of sushi (fish on rice) and shashimi (fish without rice).
posted by mollweide at 7:18 PM on November 14, 2020

Pro tip: At almost every sushi place I’ve regularly frequented the chirashi bowl gives you significantly more fish (and rice) than an equivalently priced combo sushi plate. Sometimes to an absurd degree.
posted by Jawn at 7:51 PM on November 14, 2020 [6 favorites]

Pro tip

Nigiri is a piece of protein on a bullet of specialized rice.

Sashimi is cut pieces of protein - because of texture, not only is quality of the protein being judged, but also the skill of the chef in cutting it to be a perfect morsel. (mouthfeel)

Maki is the rolling of protein and vegetables and sauce within the confines of a rice roll, usually with a papered-seaweed wrapping.

Yes, you got a chirashi don (mixed sashimi on rice). The cutting of fish for nigiri can be very much different than cutting for sashimi. Protein for maki is usually leftovers from a combination of both.

With chirashi, one isn't limited to cutting to fit nigiri, so the best bits that aren't fit other standard uses are reserved to chirashi, before being given to being cut for other uses. Most cheap places, chirashi is just random/ standard sashimi tossed on top of a bowl of rice. Maybe displayed nicer.

fwiw, I judge new-to-me sushi joints based on how good their chirashi don is, to a new customer, if they don't have a blue/ special menu.
posted by porpoise at 8:31 PM on November 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

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