Gomoku Sushi vs Bara Sushi vs Chirashi Sushi : What is the difference?

The other day, I wrote an article on the difference between Kaisen Don and Chirashi Sushi. Speaking of the latter, “Chirashi Sushi (ちらし寿司)” is literally translated into English as “Scattered Sushi” and comes in 2 types, that is, Tokyo (Kanto) -style one consisting of vinegared rice topped with various raw fish slices and seafood, and the other made mixing and scattering seasoned ingredients, such as shiitake mushroom, kanpyo (dried gourd), carrot, and lotus root, in and on vinegared white rice, then sprinkling thinly shredded egg omelette and nori seaweed.

The difference between Chirashi Sushi, Gomoku Sushi, and Bara Sushi (Barazushi)

Chirashi Sushi

The latter type of Chirashi Sushi is widely enjoyed in Japan and features scattered ingredients on rice. The ingredient varies depending on the region and the household. Chirashi Sushi is also known as “Gomoku Sushi (五目寿司)”, “Bara Sushi (ばら寿司)”, “Maze Sushi (混ぜ寿司)”, or “Gomoku Chirashi (五目ちらし)”, and often eaten in celebrations like Hinamatsuri. This is true, but strictly, Gomoku Sushi and Bara Sushi (Barazushi) are slightly different from Chirashi Sushi. Today, I want to explain it. 

Gomoku Sushi (五目寿司)

Gomoku Sushi consists of vinegared rice mixed with various ingredients, so it is basically made mixing ingredients, such as small pieces of Shiitake mushrooms and vegetables, seafood like octopus and prawns, the Kanpyo gourds boiled down in soy-sauce-based soup stock, vinegared lotus roots, carrots, sliced chikuwa and kamaboko, in the rice. Compared to Gomoku Sushi, Chirashi Sushi is generally beautiful to the eye because it has ingredients scattered throughout on rice. Gomoku Sushi is also called “Maze Sushi (混ぜ寿司 : Mixed Sushi)” or “Bara Sushi (ばら寿司)”.

Bara Sushi (Barazushi : ばら寿司)

Kyoto Tango Region’s Barazushi

Image : Cookpad.com 

Actually, other than the Bara Sushi known as another name for Chirashi Sushi, there are several types of Bara Sushi in Japan. Especially, the Barazushi known as a local specialty food of the Tango region of Kyoto Prefecture and the one that Okayama Prefecture boasts are well-known. Speaking of the Kyoto’s Barazushi, the most distinctive feature is parched ground mackerel meat scattered on vinegared rice. Generally, Bara Sushi refers to the vinegared rice mixed with ingredients, such as small pieces of seafood, shiitake mashrooms, and so on. Hence, the difference between Chirashi Sushi and Bara Sushi depends on whether the ingredients are scattered throughout on rice or not.

Nagatanien Sushi Taro Chirashi Sushi Mix 10.52oz (3 Pack)

(Reference pages of this article : Wikipedia ちらし寿司, ばらずし, Gurunavi )


I'm Japanese living in Niigata Prefecture,Japan.I want to introduce things about Japan,especially unique Japanese products,sightseeing places,my daily life and Japanese culture.

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