What is Nigiri?

What do you call a piece of sushi that isn’t a roll? At our Lynnwood sushi restaurant, the non-roll sushi is mostly going to be nigirizushi (literally, “hand-formed sushi”). Often called “nigiri sushi”, or just “nigiri” in English-speaking countries, these are the pieces of sushi with that classic, old-fashioned, fun-sized-candy-bar shape. They consist of an elongated clump of sushi rice, often mixed with a dash of wasabi, topped with a strip of fish, tamago, or another ingredient.

When a nigiri sushi is topped with roe, shredded seaweed, or some other loose topping, a thick strip of nori will be wrapped around the rice to create a bowl-like structure on top and hold the topping in place. When this happens, it is called gunkan-maki (“warship roll”). Try out your nigiri favorites today at Wild Wasabi!