What Does Sushi Taste Like If This Is Your First Try?

A few days ago, my friends and I had a lovely dinner at a Japanese restaurant. Since this is my first try, I was slightly curious about what does sushi taste like. Although I asked my friends to know better, all the answers are different.

At first, I was surprised. Later, I knew the reason. 

When it comes to the word “sushi,” lots of people think about raw fish or seafood on a piece of rice. To those who are afraid of eating something raw, sushi seems to be a disgusting food. 

However, the truth is due to they not quite knowing just what sushi is really is. 


Do you know anything about sushi?

Sushi mainly relates to the rice that is dressed with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Traditionally, sushi is prepared with medium grain white rice since it’s sticky and can hold shape well. Additionally, it’s served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

Nowadays, sushi has grown into a variety of styles. To understand better, let’s start with the basics that you can find in any restaurants.


Makizushi (or also called Maki) is a kind of rolled sushi that is made with a combination of vegetables and fish or meat. All are rolled in nori or a piece of seaweed using a bamboo mat. The toppings are often raw or cooked puree, slice or piece of vegetables, fruits, seafood, meat or any edible topping.

With a great balance of saltiness and sweetness, Maki is known as the most common sushi for beginners like me. But, another interesting thing that you should know is that Maki also comes in some variations such as Temaki (hand roll), Hosomaki (thin roll), Futomaki (thick roll), etc.

Amongst, the California roll is known the popular sushi in the US that is said to be close to Makizushi. What does a California roll taste like? Rolled with avocado, imitation crab, cucumber and sesame seeds, you will enjoy a fishy taste like you are jumping in the ocean. 


Nigirizushi is described as “hand-pressed” sushi. The sushi rice will be shaped into bite-sized pieces and then topped with a bit of wasabi and a single topping. Usually, the toppings are raw and might include a slice of sashimi such as tuna-maguro, salmon-sake, red snapper-kurodai, shrimp, octopus, and so on. 


The next type of sushi is Chirashizushi. The sushi rice is placed in a bowl while different raw fishes and seafood are topped above. 

In Japan, the toppings are often vegetable pickles and salted fish while in the US, the toppings include salmon roe, raw tuna or salmon, sweet dream and roasted eel, sweet egg, and kani.  


As compared with the above types, Oshizushi is rather different and easy to recognize due to its shape. It is also “hand-pressed” sushi but placed in a mold to create a box shape. Since Oshizushi has more than three layers of rice and ingredients, it looks stunning and attractive from the outside.  

What does sushi taste like? 

As you see, each type of sushi gives different flavors depending on the included ingredients.

For instance, if you’re a fan of fish, you prefer to have more fish than octopus than shrimp. So, your sushi would have a sweet and fresh taste of fish. Or you love the softer rice, so your sushi would become stickier. 

As a whole, eating sushi will give you a great balance of all the flavors. If one ingredient is too strong, the sushi is not good. 

Since the sushi rice which is dressed in vinegar, sugar, and salt, you will taste all the sourness, sweetness, and saltiness together. Moreover, the combination of soy sauce and wasabi also brings the mild saltiness and hotness. What’s more, the different flavors from each topping are stunning. 

What should you do on the first try? Here is my own experience

When searching phrases like “how does sushi taste quora” or “what does sushi taste like” on the Internet, I bet you will be surrounded by lots of tips and advice. Feel confused to find the right information? Allow me to support you by telling about my own experience. 

I suggest you should start with a Makizushi. And remember to ask for Maki rolls that have cucumber. Then, if you feel satisfied with the Maki roll and want to enjoy something raw, a tuna roll will be a perfect choice. 

Next, let’s talk about condiments and sides! 

The Japanese soy sauce is improved than the normal ones due to its sweetness, making it match the sushi better. Additionally, don’t forget to eat a bit of pickled ginger or drink hot green tea before enjoying another type in order to refresh your appetite. 

Never mix wasabi with soy sauce, or you will decrease the flavor. Instead, you should use your chopstick to spread a bit of wasabi on your sushi and dip it into the soy sauce. 

How about eating sushi?

Make sure you put the whole thing in your mouth and avoid biting it in half. In case you cannot fit your sushi in one time, try chewing it a bit while putting in the mouth. Or you can order smaller pieces to eat easier. 

Watch this video below to know how to eat sushi in restaurant

Final thoughts

Understand more about sushi before visiting a Japanese restaurant might help you obtain a great experience. The taste of sushi is indeed delicious since all the ingredients are combined to create a vibrant harmony. 

Now, you know that there are a variety of sushi types and its taste has become as tasty as you can enjoy some seasoned vegetable or fruits in the mix. Just small bites, and then you’re guaranteed to experience a satisfied feeling. 

What does sushi taste like if this is your first try? Don’t expect a specific taste because the flavor of sushi is greatly balanced. Let’s enjoy the sourness from the sushi rice, the temperate saltiness of soy sauce, the hotness of wasabi, and different flavors from different toppings on your sushi.

Eat now and I believe that you cannot regret this beautiful and tasty dish anymore. 

So, how is your feeling after all? Don’t mind sharing your experience by leaving comments in the box below. Be happy to hear beautiful things from you!

Jenny Hopper

My name is Jenny Hopper, I'm a mother of two cute little kids. To tell you, blogging isn't an easy task. But for me, I feel rewarded for doing the things that I love and one is sharing my experiences with the world and with you. And I definitely welcome any helpful and sincere contribution from you.

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