Contrary to popular belief, sushi is not simply raw fish. Actually, the term sushi is used to describe a whole class of Japanese cuisine consisting of vinegared rice and any of a number of toppings, such as meats, vegetables, and, of course, fish. Raw fish by itself is labeled sashimi. Consequently, it is possible to have sushi with sashimi, which turns out to be not so uncommon.

The different kinds of sushi can be grouped by their shape in addition to any differences in ingredients. Nigirizushi is literally translated as hand-formed sushi. It is made by pressing a portion of sushi rice between one's hands and often placing a dab of wasabi and a small helping of fish on top. Other common additions to nigirizushi includ octopus, freshwater eel, sea eel, squid, and sweet egg.

Makizushi is sushi rice rolled up into a cylindrical format, usually having a thin wrapping of nori, or dried seaweed, keeping it together. Usually the morsel of special ingredient, be it fish or something else, is stuffed in the center of the cylindrical treat. If you're in the mood for a large makizushi roll, you'll want to ask for a futomaki, which is usually about 1.5 inches in diameter. The smaller version is called hosomaki. Some makizushi variations have their own names which the cooks at your local Japanese restaurant probably know. For instance, cucumber-filled hosomaki is called kappamaki, hosomaki stuffed with raw tuna is called tekkamaki.

Temakizushi is the third form of sushi, and resembles a little ice cream cone laid on its side. The cone of nori wrapper is filled with sushi rice filling interspersed with morsels of whatever special ingredient you have ordered. These are often a bit larger than even the futomaki rolls; most temaki are abour four inches long. Consequently, many people prefer to eat temakizushi with their hands since holding something this large with chopsticks can get difficult.

Once you have selected the type of shape and filling for your sushi, you can also select what condiments to add to your eating experience. Common sushi condiments include shoyu, or soy sauce, wasabi, a very spicy paste made from wasabi plant root, and pickled ginger. For drink, green tea, or ocha, is very commonly served.

Eating out at a good sushi restaurant can be an enjoyable experience as long as you are careful to ensure that you are indeed at a restaurant that is vigilant to avoid using fish that is high in mercury content. The best thing to do is find trusted reviews of the restaurants in your town.

Another alternative is to make your own. To see how to do this, visit VideoJug.com where they have many free films where top Sushi chefs show you how to make Sushi yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Jack Dobson loves VideoJug! It is the world's leading purveyor of online, "How To", video content. Filled with instructional films on thousands of subjects - it really is the place to go with any questions. Visit VideoJug today!