Shailah of the Week

Is It Permissible to Make Sushi on Shabbat?

Rabbi Eli Gersten February 18, 2021

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Written by Rabbis Eli Gersten, Yaakov Luban and Moshe Zywica of the Orthodox Union


Nowadays, sushi has become a regular for dinner in some homes. What better time to enjoy sushi than at the Shabbat meal? However, can sushi be prepared on Shabbat?


The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 308:32) writes that unsalted raw fish is muktza, because it serves no purpose on Shabbat. However, in our days, cuts of raw fish that are edible as sushi are not muktza.


At the same time, Rav Belsky, zt”l, questioned whether one may make sushi on Shabbat. The Chayei Adam 39:1 writes that the melacha of boneh (building) applies to food as well, and that attaching foods together to produce a desired picture or shape is included in this prohibition. Since shaping sushi might be included in this prohibition, Rav Belsky, zt”l, recommended that one should not make sushi on Shabbat with the intent of making a specific design or pattern.