Everything You Need To Know About Eating And Ordering Sushi

Find out how to correctly use chopsticks and more.

Vkz1mui6hrl5mx-28 By Lauren Sporck


Sushi, meaning “sour tasting,” originally comes from Southeast Asia. The oldest form of sushi, narezushi, involved the fermentation of rice and fish. However, only the fermented fish was consumed, while the rice just was used in the fermentation process [Wikipedia]. 

For many people, going out for sushi can be a bit intimidating with the prospect of having to use chopsticks without embarrassing yourself and knowing what to order. If you don’t now how to use chopsticks, don’t feel too bad, I once had a friend who chose to stab the middle of his sushi with one chopstick. Needless to say, he didn’t succeed in grabbing the sushi very well. I wish that he had just stuck to his fork.

Sushi Boat at Kaga Japanese Restaurant (Elsternwick, VIC).
Photo By: Jenny

That being said, here is a bit about different types of sushi, common rolls you should know before dining and a pretty helpful diagram on how to correctly use chopsticks. I hope this gives you a place to start.

Vocab Terms You Should Know

  • Sashimi – Thinly sliced raw fish 
  • Nigiri – A slice of fish on top of a bed of rice
  • Temaki – Hand roll
  • Ebi – Shrimp
  • Hamachi – Yellowtail
  • Maguro– Tuna
  • Ika – Squid
  • Kani – Crab meat
  • Sake – Salmon
  • Unagi – Freshwater eel
  • Wasabi – Made from horseradish, cabbage, and mustard
  • Daikon – A white radish
  • Nori – Seaweed wrappers
  • Gari – Pickled ginger
  • Agari – Green tea
  • Gyoku – Sweet omelet
  • Otemoto – Chopsticks
  • Neta – Toppings
  • Tsume – Sweet sauce that contains soy sauce

Different Types of Sushi

Makizushi (Rolled Sushi)

Salmon Sushi Roll at Sushiro Gourmet Fusion Sushi (St Leonards, NSW).
Photo By: LiveLifeSydney


Chirashizushi (Scattered Sushi)

Photo By: Wikipedia

Inarizushi (Fried Tofu Pouch)

Photo By: Wikipedia

Oshizushi (Pressed Sushi)

Photo By: Wikipedia

Using Chopsticks

1303-04 Chopsticks 41gif
Using Chopsticks
Photo By: Madarin House


Sushi Etiquette

Sushi Etiquette
Photo By: The World’s Best Ever


Common Types Of Rolls

1. California Roll

Contents: Crab meat or imitation crab, cucumber, and avocado.

California Roll at Victoria Sushi (New Westminster, BC).
Photo By: Mary Sheridan


2. Spider Roll

Contents: Battered deep-fried crab, cucumber, avocado, daikon sprouts or lettuce, and spicy mayonnaise.

Spider Roll at Tokkuri Sake Wine Bar (Sydney, NSW).
Photo By: Brando the pig


3. Caterpillar Roll

Contents: crab, avocado (on top), cucumber, and eel. 

Caterpillar Roll at Gangnam Sushi House (Dallas, TX).
Photo By: hojung60194


4. Seattle Roll

Contents: Cucumber, avocado, smoked salmon, and cream cheese.

Seattle Roll
Photo By: crispywaffle


5. Rainbow Roll

Contents: A California Roll topped with any of the following fish: tuna, yellowtail, salmon, snapper, white fish, and eel.

Rainbow Roll at Is Donburi William Street (Northbridge, WA).
Photo By: teo-degas


6. Philadelphia Roll (Philly Roll)

Contents: Raw or smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber, and Philadelphia cream cheese.

Philadelphia Roll at Zenbu (Airdrie, AB).
Photo By: ZENBU


7. Dynamite Roll

Contents: Yellowtail or prawn tempura (fried), and some of the following fillings: bean sprouts, carrots, cucumber, spicy mayonnaise, avocado, and roe (fish eggs). 

Dynamite Roll at Sushi Ville (Vancouver, BC).
Photo By: Soupnazi


8. Tekkamaki

Contents: Raw tuna and rice wrapped in seaweed.

Tekka Maki at Midori (Kalispell, MT).
Photo By: johnchon22


9. Dragon Roll

Contents: Eel, cucumber, and white rice topped with avocado.

Dragon Roll at Midori (Kalispell, MT).
Photo By: johnchon22


10. Las Vegas Roll

Contents: Deep fried salmon, avocado, crab meat, cream cheese, and eel sauce.

Las Vegas Roll at Sushimoto (Burnaby, BC).
Photo By: Ceci


[Featured Image By: bee-tph]

10 restaurants mentioned in this article


About Lauren Sporck

Part of the marketing team here at Urbanspoon. I love discovering new restaurants with my friends. I have three years of experience in the restaurant industry. I’ll eat anything wrapped in bacon or containing bacon. I love artisan cocktails, wine and Italian food. Favorite Appetizer: Bacon-wrapped dates Favorite Dessert: Crème Brûlée


Everything You Need To Know About Eating And Ordering Sushi