What Bracha do you make on Sushi?

Is the rice the main part and therefore a mezonos, or is it just a toful (less-important ingredient) in which case I guess a shehakol?

  • I've never had sushi. Is the rice there just to balance the flavor of the fish? This is subjective so there may be more than one answer. – YDK Dec 17 '10 at 18:48
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    BFree, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for the interesting and relevant question! I look forward to seeing you around. – Isaac Moses Dec 17 '10 at 20:41
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    Sushi, by definition, can have anything stuffed in it and be called sushi as long as you have the properly prepared rice. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushi – Yahu Dec 17 '10 at 22:52
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    Since, as @Yahu points out sushi can be filled with anything, perhaps the fact that the name is based on the rice indicates the rice being ikkar (at least within the cultural milieu where it originated). – Ze'ev misses Monica Dec 17 '14 at 3:13
  • Yes @Ze'evFelsen, I should have folowed through with my point. Thanks for completing it! – Yahu May 13 '15 at 20:55

It seems to me based on these two fairly reliable opinions here and here that the proper barakha for most sushi is mezunot.

Though if you have some of the more interesting varieties of sushi that are lacking the rice and comprise other things it will probably need to corrected accordingly.

  • Your first link doesn't work anymore. – MTL Feb 15 '15 at 3:08

It's also worth pointing out that those who follow the opinion of R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi (in his Seder Birchos Hanehenin 1:11, cited in Mishnah Berurah 208:25) should preferably eat sushi, or any other rice dishes, only during a meal of bread, because there are variant views as to whether rice is the orez mentioned in the Gemara, and this would affect the question of what the proper berachah is. He adds that if this is not possible, one should just say shehakol because of this doubt.

(Mishnah Berurah adds, though, that the majority view is that orez is indeed rice, and that common practice follows this identification - hence the sources quoted by Simchas Torah and mekubal.)

  • Of course, this is a halachically acceptable solution. But, I think these days many rabbis who don't know the bracha and are, perhaps, too lazy to do some research are using the "Why don't you eat bread?" routne. That really doesn't solve the problem for those who can't or don't want to have a "meal". Bread and a wash station may not always be available. And, on the "flip side", shehakol works but also, perhaps, avoids the research effort. – DanF Mar 27 '19 at 22:39

Berachot.com says its Mezonos and, and also writes (Q13, on that page)

What bracha to say on Sushi is a really difficult and fantastic question. I personally asked Rabbi Mandlebaum, the author of V'Zos Habracha, and he confirmed that we treat sushi as the third category of Ikar and Tofel- TaArovet Tofel. Therefore, the bracha would be dictated by the largest ingredient by volume. I am no expert in sushi, but I feel like there is more rice than there is fish or vegetables (counted each separately)

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    Who is he? His answer has validity if subjectively both the fish and the rice are ikarim. If the rice is not an ikar, it's majority would not affect the bracha. (The questioner is correct as well that rice doesn't get the same status as chameishes minim.) – YDK Dec 17 '10 at 20:26

I asked this question to a posek once, since the rice is majority but the icar is the fish, he said to me to to sheacol since the beracha to rice is mahloket and there are poskim who say it should be sheacol.

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    Sushi, by definition, can have anything stuffed in it and be called sushi as long as you have the properly prepared rice. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushi – Yahu Dec 19 '10 at 2:05
  • as the article mentions usually it is fish or seafoods, in our case only fish applies, so we can assume that fish is used, since is is the common used ingredient unless otherwise stated – Avraham Dec 20 '10 at 16:03
  • So what does the rice being a majority have to do with your answer? – Yahu Dec 22 '10 at 5:00
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    maybe the rice could be considered icar because it is majority or maybe not because the fish is the important part and the reason I'm eating it and it has more rice than fish because it is cheaper – Avraham Dec 22 '10 at 10:20

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