[ sah-shee-mee; Japanese sah-shee-mee ]
/ sɑˈʃi mi; Japanese ˈsɑ ʃiˌmi /
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noun Japanese Cooking.
raw fish cut into very thin slices.
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Origin of sashimi

1875–80; <Japanese sashi stabbing + mi(y) body (<*mui)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What’s the difference between sashimi and sushi?

Sashimi and sushi are both dishes you’ll find on the menu of a Japanese restaurant, and you might even order both at once, but they’re not the same thing.

Sashimi is raw fish cut into thin slices. Sushi consists of bite-sized pieces of cold, boiled rice, stuffed or topped with various ingredients.

The variety of sushi perhaps best-known outside of Japan is called maki (or maki-zushi). It’s made by forming a roll of rice around various fillings, especially vegetables, raw seafood, or a combination, and then wrapping the roll in seaweed and slicing it into small, bite-sized rounds. Another variety, nigiri (or nigiri-zushi), consists of bite-sized pieces of rice topped with raw seafood or something else.

In Japanese, the word sushi means “sour rice” (the rice is traditionally moistened with rice vinegar). The word sashimi comes from the Japanese sashi, meaning “pierce” or “stabbing,” and mi, “flesh” or “body.”

Many people associate sushi with a raw fish or seafood element, and it often includes these, but not always. It can be filled or topped with many other things—its essential ingredient is rice.

Sashimi, on the other hand, is simply thinly sliced raw fish (often accompanied with soy sauce or wasabi). (You may see some non-fish dishes prepared sashimi-style, which typically means they’re sliced thin like sashimi is.)

Here’s an example of sashimi and sushi used correctly in a sentence.

Example: I love ordering sushi with unusual combinations of ingredients, but sometimes I prefer the simplicity of sashimi.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between sashimi and sushi.

Quiz yourself on sashimi vs. sushi!

Should sashimi or sushi be used in the following sentence?

The paper-thin slices of _____ were beautifully arranged on the platter.

How to use sashimi in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sashimi

/ (ˈsæʃɪmɪ) /

a Japanese dish of thin fillets of raw fish

Word Origin for sashimi

C19: from Japanese sashi pierce + mi flesh
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012