Maki Sushi: Different types of sushi

Maki Sushi: Different types of sushi

Get the chance to explore our wide variety of authentic Japanese sushi here at Maki Sushi!

Composed of raw or cooked fish, vegetables, and rice seasoned with vinegar, this dish opens up many possibilities for people around the world to experience Japanese cuisine in one bite.

Having a hard time deciding which sushi variation to order? Worry not, here at Maki Sushi, we’ve prepared a guide on the different types of sushi and which ones are best suited for you.

Traditional sushi

Sushi is the most famous dish outside of Japan, as well as among the Japanese. Get to know the different types of sushi below:


Makizushi, also known as ‘norimaki’, is a type of sushi where rice and ingredients are carefully rolled in a sheet of nori seaweed and cut into small chunks. 

This sushi came into existence in the early 1700s soon after sheet nori was created with a similar papermaking technique.

‘Norimaki’ originated from two words: ‘maki’ meaning to roll, and ‘nori’ referring to the toasted sheet of nori seaweed used to wrap the ingredients.

Types of Mazikushi

  • Hosomaki are long, thin rolls with only one ingredient like a strip of fresh tuna, cucumber, or pickled daikon. 
  • Futomaki (Futo meaning fat) is a thick alternative of makizushi that is a mixture of many ingredients. Futomaki is less likely to appear at sushi restaurants, but can usually be found in bento boxes and supermarkets. 
  • Uramaki, also called ‘inside-out sushi’, is a modern version of makizushi that was created in California during the 1960s. It’s made by layering the rice onto the bamboo sushi mat, then laying the nori sheet on top followed by the remaining ingredients before rolling. For extra crunch, it’s rolled in sesame seeds and topped with tobiko fish eggs.

Gunkan maki

Commonly known as ‘rolled’ or ‘wrapped’ sushi, Gunkan maki was invented in a Ginza sushi restaurant in the 1940s. This sushi is made by wrapping a wide strip of nori around a rice ball while leaving enough space at the top to place several ingredients on. 

In some places, it is known as ‘battleship’ or ‘warship’ sushi since its shape resembles a tiny ship. The common toppings for gunkan maki include uni sea urchin, squid, salmon roe, negitoro (a blend of fatty tuna belly and green onion), potato salad, and kanimiso (blended crab brains). 


Temaki is a type of sushi with a shape resembling that of an ice cream cone. Its rice and toppings are held within a sheet of nori wrapped into a conical shape. Temaki is made with a variety of fillings, including umeshiso(a paste made of fresh shiso leaf), umeboshi (pickled plum), negitoro, squid, and sweetened omelette. 


Narezushi, also known as the ‘original form of sushi’, comprises fermented fish and rice. This sushi can be partnered with a variety of toppings including yellowtail, mackerel or ayu and funazushi. 


Nigiri is a hand-pressed rice cylinder (shari) topped with several different ingredients (neta). It’s believed to have been invented as a type of ‘fast food’ by an enterprising sushi chef working in the Edo area during the 1800s. The topping is composed of seafood, vegetables, meat, omelette and tofu. A simple coating of marinade and garnishes such as spring onions, shaved onion, or chives may also be added.


Oshizushi (pressed sushi), also known as hakozushi (boxed sushi), is a sushi that has a unique shape which originated in Osaka. This variety is made by pressing ingredients into an ‘oshiwaku’ rectangular box, then layering it with toppings and cutting the sushi into neat angular shapes like rectangles, triangles or small squares. The toppings include fish like mackerel or gizzard shad, and may also be layered with edible leaves like bamboo. Toppings may be placed in different arrangements with a whole fish from end to end.


Sasazushi is made with sushi rice topped with mountain vegetables and fish on bamboo leaves. Toppings include a wide range of vegetables such as mugwort and bamboo shoots, walnuts, mushrooms, miso, shredded omelette and salmon. 


Kakinoha-zushi is a type of pressed sushi which comes from the Nara region of western Japan. This is wrapped in a persimmon (kaki) leaf and commonly topped with salmon, mackerel, shrimp or eel. Not only does the leaf preserve the fish with its antibacterial properties, but it also imparts a delicate aroma. 

Kakinoha-zushi is most commonly made by placing salmon or mackerel on top of the rice and also features other ingredients like prawn or eel. It’s a popular omiyage (souvenir) for visitors to the region and is available at local department stores and train stations.


Temari is a less known variety of sushi overseas and in Japan. It’s made with a small round ball of pressed rice topped with a thin layer of fish or other ingredients. Its name comes from the word ‘temari,’ meaning handball and is the traditional Japanese embroidered ball. Often colourful and decorative, it’s a popular food for parties and picnics and is often made for the traditional girl’s day celebration known as ‘Hinamatsuri’.


Commonly known as ‘scattered sushi’, Chirashizushi is a bowl of rice topped with a variety of ingredients including pieces of salmon, squid, cucumber, shredded omelette, and boiled prawns. It’s similar to a ‘kaisendon’ (a Japanese rice bowl topped with a large amount of seafood) with the main difference that chirashizushi uses marinated sushi rice whereas kaisendon uses plain steamed white rice. It’s often included as a bento box feature or enjoyed as a stand-alone meal given its wide variety of ingredients. Its decorative and unique appearance makes it popular to serve at celebratory occasions.


Inari-zushi is different from the other varieties mentioned above since it doesn’t contain any fish and has a sweet flavour. Inari is a pouch-like piece of aburaage (deep-fried tofu) that has been simmered in a seasoning of mirin, soy sauce, dashi and sugar. It’s named after the Shinto god, ‘Inari’, who is said to have had a fondness for tofu.

The seasoned inari pouch is most commonly filled with marinated sushi rice to create a sweet, slightly sour, juicy dish. However, inari-zushi can also be filled with rice mixed or topped with a range of ingredients like mushrooms, squid, boiled prawns, chives or shredded omelette. The versatility, ease of making, and portability of inari-zushi make it a popular item for bento, as well as finger food for picnics and parties.

A fun twist on the traditional recipe

These types of sushi are fun, fresh, innovative, and delicious. Even if they are not based on the original recipe, they will surely satisfy your seafood cravings!

California Roll

California Roll is an inside-out sushi roll with a layer of rice on the outside and a sheet of nori on the inside. It is usually made up of avocado, imitation crab, cucumber, and tobiko (flying fish roe).

Tempura Roll

Tempura Roll is an inside-out sushi roll with a layer of rice on the outside and around a sheet of nori containing tempura-fried shrimp. It is partnered with vegetables like avocado and cucumber.

Spicy Tuna Roll

Spicy Tuna Roll is an inside-out sushi roll with a layer of rice on the outside and a sheet of nori on the inside. It is wrapped around raw tuna and topped with spicy mayonnaise.

Dragon Roll

Dragon Roll is an inside-out sushi roll with a layer of rice on the outside. It usually comprises shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, and sesame seeds. Dragon rolls include thin slices of avocado on top of the roll, along with tobiko, and are then drizzled with spicy mayonnaise and unagi sauce.

Spider Roll

Spider Roll is a type of sushi with deep-fried soft-shell crab that includes fillings such as cucumber, avocado, daikon sprouts or lettuce, roe and spicy mayonnaise.

If you’re looking for great sushi, Maki Sushi is the place to go. Using only the freshest ingredients, our sushi bar offers a delicious array of scrumptious sushi rolls, sashimi, and more! Every order is made fresh, so expect nothing but quality dishes here at our restaurant. Our excellent Japanese cuisine is also available for catering, bringing a delightful array of flavour combinations to your next business luncheon or event. We look forward to serving you!

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