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Difference Between Sushi and Maki

Sushi vs Maki

Sushi is perhaps the best known Japanese food dish to the outside world. It is a recipe that consists of rice and fish with a flavor of vinegar. However, there are many variations of Sushi that are lesser known to people outside Japan. Maki is one such recipe that creates a lot of confusion as sometimes it is presented as a totally different dish, while at times it is referred to as a special type of sushi. In fact, situation becomes complex as there are many varieties of Maki itself. Let us differentiate between Maki and sushi by highlighting their features.

To understand the subtle differences between sushi and maki, one needs to understand words like Shari, neta, and sashimi. While Shari is cooked rice that has been vinegared, neta refers to other ingredients that are added to Shari to make it a sushi. This neta is commonly seafood, and more often than not it is steamed fish that makes up sushi. Raw seafood, when it is sliced and served by itself makes a recipe called sashimi to differentiate it from sushi, which almost always has steamed rice.

Sushi is an ancient food dish tracing its origins to Tang dynasty back in 7th century AD. It has always consisted of fermented fish and rice, and the word sushi means something that tastes sour. Surprisingly, in earlier times, only fish was consumed, while rice was discarded. It was when vinegar was added to rice to increase its sourness that the dish could be preserved for a longer time. This also helped in reducing the fermentation time of fish. Finally, fermentation process was given up and modern sushi is a recipe that is eaten in full, and not by eating just fish and discarding rice.

Sushi that we see today is a creation of Hanaya Yohei who almost tuned sushi into a fast food. It is easily and quickly prepared as it does not need fermentation, and its popularity increased many fold with road side venders and small restaurants serving different variations of sushi today.

Maki is also called rolled sushi, and is cylindrical in shape. Generally, the contents of a makizushi (maki) are wrapped in a nori, which is edible seaweed and used largely in making various recipes in not only Japan, but also Korea and China. However, Maki can be made wrapped in an omlette or even soy paper.

Thus, the basic difference in sushi and maki lies in the wrapping, and there are people who prefer to call it rolled sushi rather than calling it Maki.

In brief:

Difference between Sushi and Maki

• Sushi is the first name that strikes a person when Japanese cuisine is mentioned to him.

• Sushi is an ancient dish from Japan that is prepared with steamed rice and fish

• In early times fermentation of fish, and addition of vinegar was required but in modern times, fermentation has been done away with making sushi just like a fast food.

• Maki is a special type of sushi. It is also referred to as rolled sushi.

• When sushi is rolled into a cylindrical shape inside a wrapping of either seaweed, bamboo mat or even an omlette, maki is formed.


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