Sushi v Zushi – The Difference Explained

Always wondered why some people spell it sushi while others zushi? Have a read as we answer your curiosities below

Think you’re a bit of a sushi master and know the difference between inari and nigiri? But maybe you’ve been a little stumped by the appearance of the word ‘zushi’ at your local Japanese restaurant. Hello little z, who dis? If you’re fluent in Japanese then you may already know this one but to put it simply – it comes down to some good old fashioned grammar.

In most instances, you’ll see the surprise appearance of our little buddy ‘zushi’ where you may expect to see the words sushi. In the Japanese language, certain consonants are to be changed when they are used as the first letter of a word with a pre-fix. Not making any sense? Well for example ‘s’ for sushi will be hardened to a ‘z’ for zuzhi when it is used for dishes like makizushi or chirashizushi.

Here are some of the more popular ‘zushi’ explained.


According to, Makizushi refers to a type of sushi where rice and ingredients are carefully rolled in a sheet of nori seaweed, which is then cut into smaller pieces. So pretty much any of the dishes you see on the menu are makizushi.

Maki ZUshi rolls on a white plate


Chirashizushi literally means ‘scattered fish’ and usually comes served in a bowl.

Chirashizushi bowl with a pair of chopsticks digging in


Often referred to as the original sushi, narezushi uses the traditional fermenting techniques and is much less popular due to its super fishy taste.


Oshizushi translates to pressed sushi which originated out of Osaka. It is made by pressing ingredients into an ‘oshiwaku’ rectangle shape and then layered with different toppings.

Oshizushi on a timber trey


Inari is a little bit different form the rest of the kids on the block. These little guys don’t usually caontain meat and are made of deep-fried tofu

Pink Inarizushi

At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter how it’s spell because they all delicious. Book in to taste your way through our new winter sushi menu