What’s the Difference Between Sashimi and Sushi?

May 23, 2018

If you’ve never visited a sushi restaurant before, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options on the menu when you first arrive. Many sushi establishments offer a range of Japanese cuisine, spanning the island nation’s rich culture and diverse regional eats. To further complicate the matter, many sushi restaurants also serve foods found in other Asian cuisines. Pan-Asian fusion restaurants are becoming increasingly popular across the United States.

For the uninitiated, one of the most confusing aspects of eating at a sushi bar in Phoenix, AZ is understanding the difference between sushi and sashimi. Decades-long misunderstandings of Japanese cuisine in the United States have led to an unfortunate conflation of these two distinctive dishes.

Both sashimi and sushi can be found at nearly any sushi bar in Phoenix, AZ. While both of these dishes bear some health benefits, it’s important to understand the inherent differences between the two in order to determine which dish is right for you and your diet.


Sashimi is a simple dish composed of just one thing: raw meat or fish. Sashimi is almost any raw meat that has been thinly sliced, although it typically consists of seafood, like octopus, tuna, scallops, mackerel, sea bream and more. It’s possible to find raw red meat sashimi, consisting of proteins like horsemeat and beef.

Sashimi is always served raw. It’s often accompanied by soy sauce, wasabi paste and picked ginger, which serves as a palate cleanser.

Sashimi is an excellent dish for people hoping to cut back on their carb consumption, or who are looking for a quick way to boost their fatty acid intake—raw fish, particularly salmon and tuna, are significant sources of omega 3 fatty acids.


Many conflate sashimi’s “sliced raw fish” definition with sushi. Sushi, however, doesn’t necessarily have to contain fish, nor does it have to be raw!

Sushi consists of rice cooked with vinegar, a special type of seaweed wrap called nori and virtually any other combination of ingredients rolled together. Some sushi types, for instance, include cooked egg, shrimp or chicken. Other sushi rolls may be tempura battered and fried prior to serving. Some types of sushi don’t include any meat or fish at all—vegetarian sushi is a common option at many sushi bars in Phoenix, AZ.

Sushi, like sashimi, is typically served with pickled ginger, wasabi paste and soy sauce. Roll types range from simple, single ingredient wraps consisting of just rice, nori and a single vegetable to elaborate, deep-fried rolls that include several types of meat, seafood and vegetables.

PURE Sushi Colony is a sushi bar in Phoenix, AZ serving a wide range of delicious Japanese foods. We offer high-quality sushi and sashimi made from the freshest possible fish. We also offer a wide range of non-fish dishes for those who don’t enjoy seafood. Located in the heart of Phoenix, PURE Sushi Colony boast’s one of the city’s best happy hours. Stop by between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to sample discounted sushi, Japanese inspired cocktails and imported beers.

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PURE Sushi Colony