The Difference: Gomoku Sushi vs Barazushi vs Chirashi Sushi

The other day, I wrote about the difference between Kaisen Don and Chirashi Sushi (Zushi) in this article.

Out of the two, “Chirashi Sushi (ちらし寿司)” is literally translated into English as “Scattered Sushi”, which actually comes in 2 types.

One is Tokyo (Kanto)-style Chirashi Sushi consisting of a bed of vinegared rice topped with a variety of fresh raw fish slices and seafood,

while the other is made by mixing and scattering seasoned ingredients, such as shiitake mushrooms, Kanpyo gourd shavings, carrots, and lotus roots, with vinegared white rice,

over which thinly shredded egg omelet and nori seaweed are typically sprinkled.

Chirashi Sushi vs Gomoku Sushi vs Barazushi

Chirashi SushiChirashi Sushi

The latter type of Chirashi Sushi is widely eaten around the country and characterized by the scattered ingredients on the rice that vary depending on the region and each household.

Chirashi Sushi is also called “Gomoku Sushi (五目寿司)”, “Barazushi (ばら寿司)”, “Mazezushi (混ぜ寿司)”, or “Gomoku Chirashi (五目ちらし)”, and often eaten during celebrations like Hinamatsuri.

This is true, but depending on the region and the restaurant, in many cases, Gomoku Sushi and Barazushi slightly differ from Chirashi Sushi.

So today I will talk about that.

Gomoku Sushi (五目寿司)

Gomoku Sushi

First off, more often than not, Gomoku Sushi is made of vinegared rice that has been mixed with various different ingredients,

which typically include small pieces of Shiitake mushrooms, seafood like octopus and prawn, soy sauce simmered Kanpyo gourds, vinegared lotus roots, carrots, chikuwa, and kamaboko slices.

Compared to Gomoku Sushi, Chirashi Sushi is usually beautiful to the eye, because, unlike Gomoku Sushi, it has ingredients scattered over the rice.

By the way, Gomoku Sushi is also known as “Mazezushi (混ぜ寿司: Mixed Sushi)” or “Barazushi (ばら寿司)”.

Barazushi (ばら寿司)

Kyoto Tango Region’s BarazushiKyoto Tango Region BarazushiImage: 

Actually, other than the Barazushi known as another name for Chirashi Sushi, there are several types of Barazushi in Japan.

Among those, the Barazushi that is known as a specialty of Kyoto’s Tango region featuring bits of cooked mackerel, and the one that Okayama Prefecture boasts are especially famous.

But the majority of Barazushi that can be seen in Japan basically consists of vinegared rice mixed with ingredients.

And the primary difference between Chirashi Sushi and regular Barazushi comes from whether the ingredients are scattered over the rice or not.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia ちらし寿司, ばらずし, Gurunavi )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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