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Article: The Brachah on Sushi 


Sushi consists of rice and fish; there are many types of sushi, but for this discussion we will address only one type, nigiri, which consists of fish and vinegared rice.

There is a machlokes (difference of opinion) among poskim regarding which brachah should be made on rice. In the Gemara, it says that we should make a Mezonos on orez (rice), although the after-blessing is Borei Nefashos. However, it is questionable whether what we call rice today is the orez referred to in the Gemara. There are those who say that yes, it is, and therefore we should make the brachah of Mezonos, and Borei Nefashos after it. Other poskim, including the Alter Rebbe, say that since there is a safek (doubt) which brachah should be made on rice, we should make a Shehakol, which covers all types of food. Preferably, to satisfy all opinions, we should either eat it as part of a bread meal so that it is definitely covered, or make brachos on other foods that are Mezonos and Ha’adama (and occasionally Mezonos and Shehakol) respectively, while having the rice in mind—since there are opinions that rice could require any one of these brachos.

If the primary ingredient is fish, certainly the brachah is Shehakol. If the primary ingredient is rice, then it depends which brachah that person makes on rice. According to those who say the brachah is Mezonos, it would be Mezonos; however, according to the position that there is a doubt regarding which brachah to make on rice, one should eat sushi as part of a bread meal, or make the brachah Shehakol.

Accordingly, if we follow the opinion of the Alter Rebbe regarding rice, we should always make Shehakol on sushi;

if we follow the opinion of making Mezonos on rice, we need to establish which ingredient of the two—fish (Shehakol) or rice (Mezonos)—is the primary ingredient (the one considered to be more important) and make the appropriate brachah for that ingredient.

If both are considered primary ingredients, there are poskim who say that we should make the brachah for the ingredient that is in the majority. However, many poskim are of the opinion that since the fish and the rice for sushi are not cooked together, we do not follow the majority rule.

According to all opinions, the after-blessing is Borei Nefashos.



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