Nigirizushi- The “no surprise” sushi

The word nigiri (ni-giri) in Japanese stands for “two fingers.” This is the typical portion of rice that sushi artists use in  order to do the act of “nigiru,” which is to grasp, or seize, the rice that will bed a delicious slice of fresh fish. All words combined make the final name of “nigirizushi” 握り寿司.

Nigirizushi’s simple presentation makes it the most honest, “no surprise” sushi option in any menu. It is perfect for sushi beginners who are ready to graduate to a more exotic choice.

The simply delicious Nigiri

At a typical Japanese restaurant Nigiri is made of two components: sushi rice, which is the sour, vinegared sticky rice, that makes sushi so popular. This is topped with a thin slice of raw fish on top. This piece of raw fish is called“sashimi.” The actual Japanese meaning of the word “sashimi” stands for “hooked meat,”or “pierced meat,”as in when a fish gets freshly caught by a hook.

Our sushi and sashimi bar offers sashimi-only options which are just as satisfying and varied as the popular sushi rolls. Nigiri, however, is a good choice when you want to add the slightly sweet taste of sushi rice to fresh fish slices that are eaten raw.

>> Related Content: Sashimi Sushi

Does it have to have only raw fish?

Nigiri is usually topped with a raw fish slice, but there are also smoked, seared, and cooked fish options that go on top. At customers’ requests, vegetarian options can be available.

What does it come with?

Nigiri pieces are typically served in pairs and garnished with pickled ginger leaves, a dollop of wasabi sauce, and a small dish with soy sauce. Add variety and color to your plate by ordering different fish options.

Typical fish options for Nigiri Sushi

• sake – salmon
• hamachi – yellowtail
• unagi – fresh water eel
• hirame – halibut
• maguro – tuna
• tako – octopus

A complex simplicity

Nigiri sushi seems simple enough to eat, but it is not as simple to make. The way to slice the fish and the way to form the rice takes a lot of training and dedication. Nigiri is also off-limits to some sushi artists. Prior to attempt Nigiri, sushi artists need to begin doing menial jobs in the kitchen and get properly trained. Therefore, always appreciate the artist behind the counter: it has taken them time and effort to have the honor of serving you.

Key differences between Nigiri and other types of sushi

1. Nigiri is for sushi eaters who are ready for a more exotic experience.
2. Its presentation in based on a perfectly-shaped block of rice, topped with a delicately-sliced piece of raw fish
3. Like other types of sushi, it is garnished with a dollop of wasabi sauce, soy sauce, and pickled ginger slices to cleanse the palate.
4. Unlike other types of sushi, it does not consist of a roll, or “maki,” and it is not wrapped in seaweed.
5. The top is usually a slice of fish such as mackerel, salmon, yellowfin, or even octopus.
6. Like other sushi, it is eaten with chopsticks, but it can also be eaten with your hands.
7. Nigiri will likely not include garnishes such as avocado, spicy mayo, or cream cheese. The focus of nigiri is the fish.
8. Nigiri is topped with sashimi or raw fish, but it is not, in itself, sashimi. The amount of rice used in the recipe is of vital importance to the final product.

Treat yourself to a few options of our nigiri and enjoy the pleasure of fresh and delicious fish made with the highest standard qualities in the food industry.


Kobe Japanese Steakhouse prides itself in serving our patrons the best menu items with the highest quality of standards in the food industry. We take pride in our sushi and sashimi choices because they are our loyal customers’ favorites.

Are you new to sashimi and sushi?

Do not worry about asking your waiter about it. Here is a quick guide to get you started.

What are the key differences between sashimi and sushi?

While these two terms are used at times interchangeably by non-connoisseurs, those who are avid fans of these two dishes will tell you that there is a world of difference between them.

The words “sashimi” and “sushi”

The meaning of “sashimi,” 刺身, entails two things: meat that has been caught by means of piercing it, essentially, as in when fish is caught with a hook. The culinary embodiment of the definition renders this dish as fresh, sliced fish served on its own. The word “sashimi” itself refers to any fish that is served raw. Therefore, be sure to specify which type of fish you are looking for when ordering our fresh sashimi.

On the other hand, the meaning of the word “sushi”寿司 has nothing to do with fish. Sushi refers to the vinegared, sticky rice that is used to make the well-known rolls wrapped in seaweed. These rolls may or may not contain fish. Many vegan customers use meat alternatives for their sushi, and many sushi options are vegetable-based only.

Sashimi serving method:

Sashimi is never cooked. The fish is frozen right after it is caught. It is served thawed and at room temperature, if not slightly cooler.

What is it served with?

A plate of sashimi can be as satisfying and beautifully presented as our typical sushi dish. The preferred method of serving sashimi is accompanying it with a dollop of wasabi sauce, a small dish for soy sauce, and thin, pickled ginger slices to cleanse the palate.

Different types of sashimi, such as salmon, mackerel, and maguro (tuna), come in different colors, textures, and levels of tenderness. As such, the more you sample, the more you will enjoy it.

>> Related Content: Maki Sushi

Common sashimi options:

Our menus include the English definition of each Japanese-named fish offered for sashimi. Here are our customers’ 6 most popular choices:

• sake -raw salmon
• ebi – sweet shrimp
• maguro – bluefin tuna
• hotate – scallops

Other differences:

Sashimi is served in slices. Compare this to maki sushi, the most popular sushi option. Maki is your traditional “roll” that is wrapped in seaweed, or nori, and then sliced into rounds.

This sushi roll features an outer layer of seaweed, that wraps a thin layer of vinegared, sticky rice. In turn, that rice beds a fish (or vegetable) center, and then is rolled and sliced. Notice again that the inner core of a sushi roll does not need to include fish. It is optional.

Another popular sushi choice, nigiri sushi, is often confused with sashimi only because it features a slice of fresh fish (which can also be cooked or smoked) on top of a small bed of sticky, sushi rice. The word “Nigiri” comes from the verb “nigiru,” which is “to grab” or “grip.” The “grasping,” is that of the rice itself, which is held and packed tightly in the hands of the cook to form the block that will hold the fish.

Final answer:

Sushi and sashimi are equally delicious, yet entirely different choices. Just keep in mind that “sushi” refers to rice and “sashimi” will always refer to fish, particularly, raw fish. Now that you know a little bit more, treat yourself to a few delicious items from our appetizer menu. Sample all there is to taste straight out of the talented hands of our amazing sushi and sashimi artists.

Types of Sushi

The idea of eating sushi can be a little daunting at first: After all, most cuisines don’t feature uncooked proteins. However, sushi happens to be one of the most complex and delicious cuisines in the world, as more and more people throughout the world are finding out about this popular japanese food choice.

At first, the world of sushi can seem overly complicated and strange. The terms aren’t familiar, and there is a wide assortment of types of sushi to try. For a beginner, a sushi menu is usually literally a foreign language. But the good news is that you can easily understand the basics of sushi by learning just a few classifications into which sushi is grouped.
Once you understand the following types of sushi, you’ll be able to order sushi with confidence, and begin to appreciate one of the most novel and delicious world cuisines.


Temaki is another variation on the concept of the sushi roll. A Temaki sushi uses the seaweed in a rolled shape similar to an ice cream cone, with the ingredients that make up the sushi roll being placed inside.

Temaki rolls are often served as appetizers, and are a fun variant on the traditional Maki form.

So, to summarize, Sushi can be broken down into two basic categories. There’s Nigiri and Sashimi, which usually feature uncooked seafood in a simple presentation that highlights the fresh, high quality protein. And there is Maki, which are rolls which can contain many types and combinations of ingredients.

Once you’ve understood that basic concept, you’ve got the basics down, and should be able to start exploring and enjoying the world of Sushi cuisine.


Nigiri is one of the most classic types of sushi, as well as one of the oldest. In many ways, Nigiri Sushi distills the sushi experience down to its basics.

The form of Nigiri is a pressed oblong shape of sushi rice, which is then topped with a swipe of wasabi and some kind of topping. The toppings are usually seafood such as tuna or salmon, but can be anything from egg to chicken, or even more exotic toppings like eel. The topping of Nigiri is nearly always raw, but in some instances is seared or cooked.

>> Read More About Nigiri


Sashimi is technically not considered sushi, though nearly every sushi restaurant will serve sashimi, so it’s useful to classify and explain it along with sushi.

Sashimi refers to thinly sliced pieces of extremely fresh meat or fish, often served over a bed of daikon radishes. Sashimi differs from Nigiri Sushi in that it’s not served on rice, and Sashimi is always raw. Otherwise, the two are somewhat similar. In both cases, the centerpiece of the dish is the wonderfully fresh protein, prepared with master craftsmanship.

>> Read More About Sashimi


Nigiri and Sashimi represent sushi at its purer form, with the protein and rice taking center stage. However, there’s an entire other landscape of sushi, offering an enormous range of complexity of differing ingredients. These are Maki Sushi, or sushi rolls.

Maki are usually rolled in seaweed, known as Nori, and can feature almost any combination of ingredients imaginable. While Nigiri and Sashimi are meat based dishes, Maki can be vegetarian, though Maki certainly do feature seafood and other meats as well.

The traditional Maki Sushi shape and structure is the seaweed on the outside with rice and any other ingredients on the inside. While this is the standard setup, a number of other Maki formulations are popular as well.

>> Read More About Maki


Uramaki is a type of Maki Sushi. The main distinction with Uramaki is that the seaweed is on the inside of the sushi roll, with rice and other ingredients on the outside.

Uramaki is a more modern invention, and has become increasingly popular in certain parts of the world. Many sushi rolls that have reached mainstream popularity and recognition, like the California Roll, are Uramaki.

There are pluses and minuses to Uramaki vs. traditional Maki, but each is the same general idea. Seaweed, rice, and nearly any combination of ingredients a sushi chef can dream up.

>> Read More About Uramaki


History of Hibachi

When one envisions the characteristics of Japanese cuisine, common preparation methods such as sushi, tempura battering and frying, and sashimi come to mind. However, the modern day grilling technique of hibachi, popularized by many americanized Japanese restaurants and grills, is actually one of the most famous cooking techniques in Japanese gastronomy. The origins of the hibachi as a heating apparatus can be traced back centuries in Japanesehistory; however, hibachi, as we recognize presently, spent centuries evolving in both form and implementation. Despite hibachi’s seat as one of the most refined and skilled cooking techniques in Japanese fine dining venues and eateries, its origins are actually quite humble and contrary to the way hibachis are used today.

Hibachi in itself can trace its origins from the term “teppanyaki”, which in the Japanese language loosely equates to “grilling over an iron plate”. The first records of hibachi-style heating devices are alluded to during the Heian period of Japanese history, dating from 794 until 1185 AD. Because metal was not resource commonly found in Japan, the earliest hibachis were crafted from an amalgam of the wood from cypress trees, which werethen lined with clay. Primarily these devices functioned for their capacity to emit heat, and were not originally intended for cooking. With the passage of time, these apparatuses became more artisanal in appearance, and they began to feature delicate exterior finishes, including ornate painting and designs in addition to golf leafing techniques.

Over time, as trade routes expanded and metals became more widely available in Japan, hibachis themselves began to assume a form more similar to how we know them today. Nonethless, these heating devices were originally limited to use by samurais and wealthy dynasties, and it wasn’t until they became coveted by the lower classes that the general population of Japan began to use them. Once hibachis became more integrated into the homes of a larger stratification of social classes, their functions began to diversify. In addition to heating, hibachis had been used for multiple purposes including cigarette lighters, portable stovetops, and even heating devices in lieu of oil heaters during colder winter weather. As such, hibachis became commonplace objects during traditional Japanese celebrations, including tea ceremonies and during outdoor winter events and festivities.

The transition from hibachis as heating devicesto hibachis as a cooking tool is commonly disputed among culinary enthusiasts and scholars. Some evidence suggests that cooking using a hibachi-style grill could have begun in Japan over 200 years ago. However, counterarguments claim that hibachi cooking did not actually begin until the mid-1900s. Because the original hibachis were small, it is hard to conceive how they eventually developed into the large, sprawling open grills that we see in many modern day high-end Japanese restaurants.

Historically, the first restaurant to implement hibachi cooking on record opened in 1945 in Japan. The intention of these restaurants was not simply to serve food, but instead to entertain their guests with food preparation and impressive diversions. Strategies for entertaining guests included demonstrating knife skills, juggling ingredients and condiments, and even performing tricks with the flames emitted by the hot grill. This methodology of cooking as entertainment eventually became idealized not by native Japanese citizens but instead by tourists and those enamored by the exotic traditions of Japanese culture. Eventually, in the later half of the twentieth century, hibachi style cooking was implemented in the United States with high success rate and accolades. Therefore, it may be true that hibachi cooking was at some point used in Japanese households as a means of meal preparation. However, it was not until Japanese tourism became popular that hibachi cooking became appreciated just as much for its performative valuesas it was for its contributions to Japanese gastronomy.

Presently, hibachi-style Japanese restaurants are popular not only in Japan and the United States, but also worldwide. In this method of food preparation, guests are still entertained by live chefs, circling the perimeter of a large grill as friends and strangers alike come together for a meal. The foods utilized in hibachi cooking can vary, but usually meats, vegetables, and rice are the main stars of the dishes. The heating mechanism itself is utilized for adding grilled flavor to the food, and as such seasonings are limited to a few additional ingredients, including soy sauce for umami flavor, vinegar for acid, and salt, pepper and garlic as spices.


Uramakiうらまき The “inside out” roll

Maki, 寿司 is the Japanese word for “roll.” As such, any Japanese food option found in a menu ending in the word “maki” refers to a typical roll composed of the traditional vinegared sushi rice wrapped in anything, from seaweed to egg omelet. The proper name for sushi roll is actually “makizushi.” However, not all maki is the same.

Uramaki: The “rebel roll”

Uramaki is one of 5 traditional sushi rolls, or makizushi, in traditional Japanese cuisine. The meaning of its name is, literally, “inside out” roll. It could be defined as a “rebel roll” because it goes against the usual norm of wrapping the roll of rice from the outside. Instead, the roll contents are wrapped with nori, and then rice is rolled around it.

Instead of getting your typical roll surrounded by seaweed on the outside, what you will see is the rice on the outside and the nori inside. To make the rice bind, the sushi artist may add sesame seeds, roe (fish eggs) tempura (crispy flakes) and other creative options.

As you may imagine, it takes a lot of precision and care to make a roll of this kind, especially when it is time to cut through it and make it into the delicious pinwheel rounds that people love to dip in soy sauce. For this reason, uramaki is one of the most complex types of maki to make.

However, it is said that uramaki is an American variation made to sushi back in a time when American and Canadian consumers were still not used to the idea of eating seaweed. You can read more about the possible origins of uramaki.

5 types of makizushi

The entire family of makizushi is made as follows

1. hosomaki- a thin roll with the rice on the inside and nori on the outside
2. chumaki- a medium-width roll also with the rice inside and nori on the outside
3. futomaki- a thick roll that also has the rice inside and nori on the outside
4. uramaki- the inside our roll, or the “rebel roll” with the nori in the inside and the rice on the outside.
5. temaki- a cone-shaped “hand roll” that is made to look just like a cone with the contents of the roll coming out of its top.

Who eats uramaki?

Uramaki is made mainly for a developing sushi lover that is still not quite used to the texture or taste of seaweed, or the exotic option of a sliver of raw fish. There will be seaweed inside the roll, but this can be substituted by other options, upon request.

Is it messy?

The sushi artists at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse are trained with the highest quality standards, in order to ensure that your eating experience is delightful, from start to end. This includes the taste and quality of the food, the service, and the actual experience of eating sushi.

This said, a typical uramaki roll will hold its shape the same way any other sushi roll would. The secret to binding the sushi rice is the amount of ingredients used to put the roll together. Our experienced sushi artists are excellently equipped to put together a makizushi masterpiece that you, your friends, and your family will love.

What goes inside the roll?

As with all maki, the sky is the limit as to what goes inside. However, it is interesting to see that some of the most popular roll options are actually uramaki in nature.

Popular uramaki rolls

• California roll: avocado, nori, cucumber, sesame seeds, crab
• Spicy tuna roll: tuna, chili sauce, nori, spicy mayo

You may be a uramaki fan already, without even knowing it. Try a roll and experience the difference between the different types of maki today.


Maki – The first name of sushi

When people think of “sushi,” chances are that the image that flashes in their minds is that of the pinwheel-shaped slice of rice wrapped in seaweed, with the meaty, juicy center.

Interestingly, there is much more to this universal icon of Japanese cuisine. Unbeknownst to many, this sliced roll of goodness has its very own name: Maki.

Another, lesser-known fact is that there is no rule as to what goes inside the roll. Most people assume that it has to be raw fish, or some form of seafood. In reality, maki sushi can be filled with a variety of choices, including plain vegetables.

Finally, modern cuisine has made it possible to fit maki to the needs of all customers who, like our own loyal followers at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, have unique dietary needs.

Read on so you, too, can learn more about this delicious menu option. Learn about the 5 types of maki, and how it compares to other popular choices from the sushi and sashimi menu.

Its real name is Makizushi

“Sushi” 寿司 as it is commonly known, refers strictly to a form of sour rice that is mixed with vinegar. However, “sushi’s” real name is Makizushi, or “Maki.” Maki refers to “rolled” sushi rice. The rice is rolled in a sheet of dry seaweed, called “nori.” It could occasionally be wrapped using other media, such as omelet, thin cucumber, and even soy paper. Therefore, the so-called “sushi roll” in English has a proper, Japanese name.

There are 5 types of maki

Maki refers to rolled, vinegared, sour rice. Since this rice is used to be paired with other ingredients, there is a world of possibilities when pairing these rolls with other delicious options.

There are 5 different types of maki, and each maki changes its name depending on what ingredients are combined.

Keep in mind: it is still maki. It is no different than cheeseburgers, turkey burgers, and tofu burgers also being “burgers.” The variance in the name doesn’t alter what it is supposed to be.

Types of maki:

I. The “inside” roll

Inside rolls refer to the maki that rolls the rice inside the seaweed, or whatever medium you use to roll. There are 3 kinds: hosomaki, chumaki, and futomaki.

• hosomaki: thin roll

• chumaki: medium width roll

• futomaki: thick roll

II. The “inside out” roll

The inside out maki is rolled the opposite way: the nori wraps the center of the roll, and then the rice is what wraps the nori in the outside. Sometimes artisans add roe, or salmon eggs to the rice in order to bind it better together. This roll is called the “uramaki”

>> Related Content: Uramaki Sushi

III. The “handroll”

This maki is cone-shaped, with all its ingredients rolled inside in a way that sticks out of the top of the cone. This roll is called the “temaki.”

What goes with maki?

The secret to good sushi is the consistency, freshness and flavor of the rice. Once that part of the dish is perfected, the rest comes easily with equally fresh and flavorful toppings.

Some of our customers’ favorite choices for maki are:

California Roll

Inside-out roll, or uramaki, typically filled with crab (or imitation crab, also known as icrab), nori, cucumber, and sesame seeds. Variations also include masago (fish eggs), sesame seeds and mayo used to roll the rice.

Spicy Tuna Roll

Our spicy tuna roll features chopped spicy tuna, tempura (crisp) flakes, and scallions topped with sesame seeds.

Signature and special rolls

Kobe’s keeps a steady menu of rolls that our loyal customers love. Our sushi artists also come up with signature creations that are as delectable as the traditional choices.

Whether rolled inside, by hand, or inside out, there will always be enough choices of maki to please anyone who really loves sushi.

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