While sushi is widely popular around the world, many people struggle with the idea of eating raw fish. If you fall into this category, fear not for we have provided a list of delicious sushi that don’t contain raw fish.
Table of Contents
Types of Sushi
Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish consisting of sushi vinegar infused rice and fillings that usually consist of fish and/or vegetables. However, modern variations are constantly pushing the envelope on what types of fillings are included in different forms of sushi.
Maki Sushi consists of rice and fillings wrapped by a nori, or dried seaweed, sheet into a roll. This is often what people think of when they think of sushi.
Uramaki is sometimes referred to as an inside-out sushi roll because the rice is on the outside of the nori wrapping where the rice is included with the fillings on the inside of a maki roll. Most of the sushi rolls we mention in this article are uramaki rolls.
Uramaki rolls are often garnished with colorful fish eggs that give the roll a salty flavor and crunchy texture. Some common types of fish eggs used in uramaki rolls are tobiko and masago. However, fish eggs are also used to garnish maki and temaki sushi.
Nigiri is a ball of sushi rice topped with fish or other topping. The fish is often raw and is sometimes held in place by a nori strip.
Tamaki Sushi is rice and fillings wrapped in a cone shape by nori sheets. I recommend this type of sushi for beginner sushi cooks as a way to get comfortable working with all the ingredients.
For a more thorough discussion on the different types of sushi, check out the following article: Sashimi vs. Sushi: What’s the Difference?
Top 25 Cooked Sushi
Now we will dive into some of my favorite cooked sushi dishes.
1. California Roll
By far the most popular sushi roll in the United States, the California roll is an uramaki roll made of cooked imitation crab, avocado, and cucumber wrapped in a nori wrap and rice. Though often presented with plain sushi rice, it can also be garnished with tobiko, masago or sesame seeds.
While many sushi chefs leave the crab sticks whole, I personally prefer mixing it with Japanese mayo and forming a crab salad prior to adding to the California roll. I think it gives it a moist texture and a more complex flavor.
Check out the following article for a great California roll recipe and video: Delicious California Roll Recipe
2. Philadelphia Roll
The Philadelphia roll is another popular uramaki roll that features either raw or smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber. This can be prepared in many ways, but often the cream cheese and cucumber are wrapped as the filling and the salmon is wrapped on the outside of the rice. The combination of flavors from the cream cheese, salmon and nori make this a delicious roll.
Check out the following delicious recipe for Philadelphia rolls and video: Delicious Philadelphia Roll Sushi Recipe
3. Boston Roll
The Boston roll is an uramaki roll that is made from poached shrimp, avocado and cucumber. In addition, it is topped with tobiko or masago, which gives the Boston Roll it’s signature red or orange color and adds a salty crunch to the roll.
For a more thorough discussion and a delicious Boston Roll recipe you can make at home along with a video, check this article out: How to Prepare Boston Roll Sushi
4. Vegetable Roll
The vegetable roll is a lighter roll perfect for an appetizer or first course of a meal. It can be made as a maki or uramaki roll and consists of a variety of vegetables such as cucumber, avocado, and carrot, among others. You can count on the vegetable roll to give you a fresh taste with a nice, crunchy texture.
5. Shrimp Tempura Roll
Like the vegetable roll, the shrimp tempura roll is also frequently prepared as either a maki or an uramaki roll. Its primary ingredient is tempura fried shrimp, which gives it a savory flavor and crunchy texture. Avocados and cucumbers are also included in the filling along with the rice and a nori sheet.
Check out the following article for a great shrimp tempura roll recipe: Delicious Shrimp Tempura Roll Recipe
6. Spider Roll
Battered and fried soft-shell crab give the spider roll it’s unique appearance and taste. Generally prepared as a maki roll, soft-shell crab is combined with cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo and sometimes sprouts to make the spider roll. It can also be topped with an eel (unagi) sauce to help bring the flavors together. This is a fun looking and delicious roll.
7. Crunchy Roll
The crunchy roll is defined by the tempura flakes or Panko bread crumbs it’s served with that give it a crunchy texture. Tempura shrimp, avocado and cucumber are combined with the rice and nori to further enhance the texture and flavor of this popular roll.
Check this article out for a great crunchy roll recipe and video: Delicious Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (Crunchy California Roll)
8. Dragon Roll
The dragon roll is a fun and beautiful looking roll that is characterized by a thin slice of avocado that tops each roll, giving the it a green appearance. Shrimp tempura is the primary protein in the dragon roll and is usually combined with cucumber and wrapped in nori and rice as a uramaki roll. The avocado is often garnished with tobiko and eel (unagi) sauce. This is a fun and tasty roll that is great to enjoy with your kids.
Check out the following article for a great dragon roll recipe: Delicious Dragon Roll Sushi Recipe
For a great unagi sauce (eel sauce) recipe, check out the following article: Easy and Delicious Unagi Sauce (Eel Sauce) Recipe
9. Dynamite Roll
The dynamite sauce (made of spicy mayo, sriracha, and sesame oil) gives dynamite rolls the kick that they are known for. Their filling includes tempura shrimp, cucumber, avocado and some of the dynamite sauce. Prepared as either a maki or uramaki roll, it can be garnished with sesame seeds along with more dynamite sauce drizzled over the top of the roll.
For a great spicy crab roll recipe and video check out the following article: Spicy Crab rolls: Easy Step-by-Step Recipe
10. Caterpillar Roll
Similar to the dragon roll in appearance, the caterpillar roll is characterized by its thin slice of avocado that tops each roll. While the dragon roll has a shrimp tempura based filling, the caterpillar roll typically has an unagi, or eel, filling along with cucumber and unagi sauce. This is usually prepared as an uramaki roll, and as mentioned before, is topped with a slice of avocado to give it a green appearance. The combination of the eel (unagi), avocado and nori give this roll a great flavor.
11. Alaska Roll
If you hear Alaska and think salmon, you will not be disappointed by this roll. The Alaska roll has a spicy crab filling consisting of a mix of crab (or imitation crab), mayo and sriracha. This crab filling is combined with avocado and cucumber and rolled with nori and rice usually in an uramaki style roll. It is then topped by a healthy slice of salmon, which can be raw, cooked or smoked. If you would like an extra layer of flavor, you can then drizzle unagi (eel) sauce or spicy mayo over the top.
Check out the following article for a great Alaska roll recipe and video: Alaska Roll Sushi Recipe: Easy Step-by-Step Instructions
12. Oshinko Roll
While not as widely known in the US, Oshinko is pickled Japanese radish, or daikon radish. While the daikon radish looks like a white carrot before being pickled, yellow food coloring is often added to the vinegar, salt and sugar pickling solution giving the Oshinko a yellow color. Typically prepared as a maki roll, this usually only includes Oshinko, rice and the nori wrap. Like most sushi rolls, it’s served with wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce. The simplicity of the roll and refreshing flavor of the Oshinko make this roll worth a try.
Check out the following article for a great Oshinko roll recipe and video: Delicious Oshinko Roll Recipe
Futomaki is a traditional maki roll popular in Japan, especially around Japanese holidays. It is a thicker roll than most as it’s packed with fillings. Futomaki can contain anywhere from four to ten ingredients that are specially paired with each other to bring out the desired flavor. Though ingredients may vary depending on the chef, common ingredients include cucumber, tamagoyaki (or a Japanese rolled omelette), kampyo (dried gourd strips), kanpyo (sweet marinated goaurd), pickled ginger, spinach, and eel, among other ingredients. The complexity of flavors brought out by the different combinations of ingredients make this worth a try.
14. Sweet Potato Roll
The sweet potato roll is a healthy and simple sushi that has a crunchy texture and savory flavor. Given that it usually just contains sweet potatoes as the filling with the nori and rice, it is a great roll to give to someone hesitant to try sushi. You can also bolster the flavor by drizzling with unagi (eel) sauce.
15. Smoked Salmon Nigiri
While rolls tend to be more popular in the US, nigiri is more common than rolls in Japanese sushi restaurants. Smoked salmon nigiri consists of smoked salmon and rice. This simple combination adds a unique flavor and texture that I think enhances the taste of the smoked salmon.
16. Mango Roll
While I’ve seen this roll prepared a few different ways, my favorite version of the mango roll is starting with a shrimp tempura roll and adding a thin slice of mango to the top. I then like to drizzle a mango puree sauce over the top. I love the combination of the tempura shrimp and mango in this roll. It’s also a colorful and beautiful roll to serve.
17. Eel Roll
One of the more popular rolls out there, the eel (unagi) roll is one of my favorites. It consists of unagi (eel) and cucumber along with the nori wrap and sushi rice. It’s sometimes garnished with sesame seeds and green onion as well and is drizzled with unagi sauce. The unagi roll can be prepared as a maki roll or uramaki roll and can have the unagi (eel) on the inside as part of the filling or sliced and draped over the top. Regardless of how it’s prepared, I love the rich flavors provided by the eel (unagi).
18. Spicy Tuna Roll
Before you order the spicy tuna roll at your favorite sushi restaurant, it is important to know that this popular roll is usually made with raw tuna. However, cooked tuna can also be used if you prefer not to venture into the raw fish world as of yet. While often served as an uramaki roll in Western sushi restaurants, I have seen it prepared as a maki roll as well. Either way, this consists of tuna and a spicy mayo sauce. It is often garnished with sesame seeds as well. This popular sushi is definitely worth a try, though you may need to make yourself if you want it cooked.
19. Vegetable Tempura Roll
The vegetable tempura sushi roll also takes advantage of the deep flavors of the tempura batter. Vegetables typically used in the filling are sweet potato, asparagus, green beans, and broccoli. All are fried in a tempura batter before adding to the filling, giving the roll a savory flavor and crunchy texture.
20. Chicken Teriyaki Roll
The chicken teriyaki roll combines two traditional cooking methods into one dish. This roll usually consists of teriyaki chicken, cucumber and avocado and is usually prepared as an uramaki roll and drizzled with teriyaki sauce. If you love teriyaki chicken, this is the roll for you.
21. Spicy Crab Roll
The spicy crab roll is similar to a California roll except the crab is mixed with a spicy mayo, which usually includes sriracha sauce, prior to being added to the filling. Also, while the California roll has avocado and cucumber in its filling, this roll often just contains the spicy crab mix. If you like the flavor of California rolls but could use a little heat, this is the roll for you.
22. Avocado Roll
The avocado roll is another great “starter roll” for sushi beginners as the ingredients are simple, with the center filling consisting of just avocado and sushi rice. This can be prepared as both a maki or uramaki roll. This simple roll is a great as a first course or an appetizer.
23. Ebi Sushi
Ebi, which is the Japanese word for shrimp, is a staple of Japanese cuisine. Ebi sushi contains shrimp that is usually boiled or steamed. The shrimp is then butterflied and served over a ball of sushi rice in the nigiri style. This is a great sushi option for beginner sushi eaters and preparers as it’s a cooked sushi with mainstream ingredients and it is very simple to prepare.
Check out the following article for a great ebi sushi recipe: Ebi Sushi: What it is and How to Make it
24. Beef Roll
While not the most traditional of dishes, the beef roll is a savory take on sushi rolls. This consists of cooked steak and vegetables such as green beans, carrots, avocados and more. I have seen this prepared as both a maki roll and an uramaki roll. While I sometimes struggle with the idea of beef in a sushi roll, I do enjoy it whenever I have it.
25. Salmon Skin Roll
The salmon skin roll utilizes the crispy texture and salty flavor of salmon skins to give this roll a unique flavor and texture. The filling typically includes avocado, cucumber and salmon mixed with Japanese mayo. Cooked salmon skins can either be added to the filling or sprinkled over the top of the roll. While skeptical at first, I really enjoy the flavor that the combination of these ingredients brings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is cooked sushi good for you?
In most cases, yes, cooked sushi is good for you. Most of the ingredients used in cooked sushi, such as salmon, shrimp, and vegetables are very healthy. However, as there are a wide variety of sushi rolls, the nutritional benefits of the roll depends on its unique ingredients.
Does sushi have to contain raw fish to be considered “real sushi”?
No. In order to be considered sushi, the dish must combine sushi rice with another ingredient, usually fish or vegetables. There are several traditional Japanese sushi dishes, such as Tamago sushi (consists of cooked egg and rice), that don’t include raw fish at all.
Final Thoughts on Cooked Sushi
If you love combination of fresh ingredients, nori and sushi rice but aren’t comfortable with the idea of raw fish, you have lots of great options. While traditional Japanese sushi often involves raw fish, I enjoy many cooked options better than their raw counterparts. I hope this article provides you with some great options in your sushi journey! Happy cooking!
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