If I were to tell you to name a Japanese dish, the first thing you would probably say is sushi.
But have you ever thought about why sushi is so popular and famous worldwide?
It is because of the types of fish in sushi!! They are not only tenacious but also highly beneficial for health.
Sushi is our age-old obsession, and we Japanese never want to miss the opportunity to try various types of sushi.
If you also want to try this pure delicacy, what types of fish will you go for?
To guide you in this aspect, my today’s discussion will be on some of the best types of fish for sushi.
15 Popular & Common Types of Fish for Sushi
Are you going to try sushi for the first time? Or wanna experiment with this tasty dish at home?
Well, whatever it is, you should know the popular sushi fish types for that. Am I right?
Okay, just keep reading. You will get all the guidance about which fish you should try to get the best experience ever.
Thank me later!
The toro cut of a fish, which is Japanese for “melt,” refers to the soft, fatty belly region and is premium in sushi restaurants worldwide.
This salmon cut, which is fatty and flavorful and may be eaten raw or simply grilled, has a pleasantly soft feel.
O-toro, which has a marble-like appearance, is made from the extra-fatty front of the tuna’s belly. It is arguably one of the most expensive cuts. It is a popular nigiri topping due to its buttery flavour and delicate texture.
It can be served aburi-style, where a brief burst from a blowtorch gives it a little smokey flavour and more meatiness, although it is frequently served as-is.
This renowned cut is taken from the tuna’s belly region toward the middle and back of the fish. The Chu-toro is a combination of akami with the rich, fatty o-toro. Because of the high fat content, it is soft and rich.
Shime-saba (marinated mackerel)
Saba is readily available, inexpensive, and rich in omega 3 fatty acids. It is a very popular type of fish for sushi in Japan.
Saba is pickled in a solution of salt and vinegar when it is used for sushi because it ages quickly after being caught and needs to be preserved while still tasting fresh.
Its flavour can therefore be compared to a cool seaside breeze.
Although salmon didn’t start as a traditional sushi topping, it is currently one of the most popular options.
Even if you don’t love to eat fish, salmon can be a perfect candidate for beginners.
This orange sushi fish is known for its rich sweet taste and is loved for its mild, creamy flavor and medium body softness.
The moment you taste it, you will like the perfect harmony of flavor it has with the flavorful rice, soy sauce, and wasabi.
Not only it will satisfy your taste buds, but also it has a high source of omega 3 fatty acids and protein with a load of Vitamin A, B and D, which are known to boost your immunity, give you energy, and protect your bones.
Tuna is one of the best fish for sushi with versatile options. Among them, yellowfin and bluefin tuna are usually used for sushi.
It offers very deep color and rich flavor, making it an excellent pick for a sushi dish.
Tuna has a lot of protein and unsaturated fats, which are especially good for your heart.
So, if you have time, try to pick a few tuna cans from the market and enjoy your new sushi recipe.
Saba or mackerel is another popular sushi fish that goes well with other ingredients and is an excellent option if you don’t like spicy food.
You will find it in almost all sushi restaurants in the country.
And if you want to try it at home, make sure to use a nori seaweed sheet while preparing the fish, and don’t forget to mix your ingredients well, including the mayonnaise and the kaki sauce to make it more appetizing.
Unagi (Freshwater Eel)
Unagi is my next favorite when it comes to different types of fish for sushi.
It is prized for its rich and bold taste. You can eat it raw, but I love the grilled one basted with a thick sweet soy sauce.
This fish is loaded with vitamins A, B, E and D, and is considered to be the highest dose of omega 3 fatty acids.
It is the best Japanese sushi fish to try at home.
Anago (Saltwater Eel)
Anago has a quite similar flavor to unagi. However, it has a brightness and softness to its taste. The fillets are also usually brushed with thick sweet soy sauce.
I am sure that its different fluffy texture will let you enjoy a new sushi experience.
Yellowtail, also known as kampachi in Japanese, is considered a sea delicacy, one of the best sushi fish in Japan.
It is a rich, fatty fish with a delightful, delicate flavor. It contains a higher concentration of omega 3 fatty acids than any other fish out there.
In case you are suffering from high blood pressure, this fish is a must-try for you. It works as an antidote for lowering your blood pressure levels.
This is not the end. Helping with depression and fighting conditions like arthritis are also some of the health benefits of yellowtail.
Sardines are known to be saltier and pungent fish. However, it is applicable when it comes from the canned version.
If they are served raw and fresh, your experience will be different. You will experience such a lightly sweet and oily flavor that it will make you crave more.
While trying this delicious and healthy fish for your sushi, don’t forget to serve yourself with a dab of ginger and negi to balance their natural oiliness.
Katsuo started its journey as a sushi topping in the Edo Era, and still now, it is considered a popular fish option for sushi. Hence, be sure to try at least once.
It is a bold, meaty-tasting fish with dark red-purple-colored flesh.
If you eat katsuo in spring, you will get a leaner flavor. That’s why I suggest you have it during winter when the flavor remains richer and fattier.
To balance the deep flavor of the meat, you should top it with negi and ginger.
Sanma (Pacific Saury)
Some certain fish are only used seasonally for sushi. Sanma is one of them, and it is an autumn specialty.
It can be eaten raw or aburi-style (flame searing the seafood). The aburi-style will create a new texture while also enhancing the natural flavor.
They have a strong oceany flavor with the oils in the meat, making it extra succulent and delicious when braised.
Engawa (Flatfish Fin)
With the thin meat, soft and slightly chewy texture, and buttery flavor, engawa is a treat to eat.
You may eat this fish raw or aburi-style by seasoning it with a sprinkling of salt or a splash of citrus and soy sauce.
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Kohada (Gizzard Shad)
Like the iwashi and sanma, kohada is another shiny silver sushi fish.
It is typically served, displaying the dazzling silver skin on top of the nigiri. The pieces are either scored, layered, or decoratively prepared.
With quite a bold taste, kohada is often marinated first with salt and vinegar to balance out its flavor.
Tai ( Sea Bream)
Tai has nearly translucent, pinkish-white flesh, and you can distinguish it easily by these characteristics.
Once you have it with your sushi, you cannot forget its delicate sweet taste. It is fairly low in fat and high in vitamin B.
Geso (Yari Ika)
Geso is a portion of cuttlefish legs, and it is served decoratively draped over the shari (sushi rice).
You will get the genuine taste if you eat it raw, but it is also sometimes served grilled and splashed with a bit of citrus or ponzu dressing.
Its delicate flavor and slightly chewy texture will give you such a wonderful experience that you may not forget for a lifetime.
Ebi is one of the most famous and ubiquitous sushi toppings, that comes in many different varieties.
The most famous are the large, fleshy, and striped kuruma-ebi, the plump and sought-after botan-ebi, and the sweet and translucent ama-ebi. These are usually served with the tail left on after peeling.
Whether you like it deep-fried or garnished on top of rice, it will be the most delicious sushi treat ever.
And talking about its health value, shrimp is a high source of selenium, which is a great help for prostate cancer. It is also loaded with zinc, iron, vitamin B, and magnesium.
By this time, we talked about different types of fish for sushi, but do you know fish eggs are also used as sushi toppings?
Kazunoko (Herring Roe)
Among the most popular types of fish eggs for sushi, kazunoko or herring roe is the most delicious one.
First, it is sundried or pickled in salt. This process will give you a crunchy mouthful and a sharp flavor.
It is often served fastened to the rice with a strip of nori to make it more healthy and savory.
So, you can try some of these different types of sushi fish to relish each distinct taste and be lost in the world of flavor.
I have nothing left to inform you. Hence, let’s draw a conclusion now.
Fish For Sushi: FAQs
What is the tastiest fish for sushi?
The tastiest fish for sushi is a matter of personal preference, but some of the most popular and well-liked choices include salmon, tuna, Hamachi.
Can you make sushi from frozen fish?
Yes, you can make sushi from frozen fish. In fact, it is actually recommended to use frozen fish for sushi, as it helps to kill any parasites that may be present in the fish. The FDA recommends that fish be frozen for at least 7 days at a temperature of -20°F (-6°C) to kill parasites.
When using frozen fish for sushi, it is important to thaw it properly. The best way to thaw frozen fish for sushi is to place it in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the fish to thaw slowly and evenly, without compromising its quality.
Once the fish is thawed, it is important to inspect it carefully for any signs of spoilage. If the fish has any discoloration, a strong odor, or a slimy texture, it should not be used for sushi.
What expensive fish is used for sushi?
There are many expensive fish that are used for sushi, but some of the most popular and expensive include: Bluefin tuna, Otoro, Fugu, and Katsuobushi.
How do you know if fish is sushi grade?
There is no official grading system for sushi fish, so the term “sushi grade” is not regulated. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you determine if fish is safe to eat raw.
- Freshness: Sushi fish should be very fresh. It should have a bright color, clear eyes, and firm flesh. If the fish has a dull color, cloudy eyes, or soft flesh, it is not fresh and should not be eaten raw.
- Freezing: Sushi fish should be frozen at a temperature of -20°F (-6°C) for at least 7 days. This process kills any parasites that may be present in the fish.
- Inspection: The fish should be inspected for any signs of spoilage, such as discoloration, a strong odor, or a slimy texture. If the fish has any of these signs, it should not be eaten raw.
Next time when you decide to go for sushi, and look at the menu, consider trying different types of fish for sushi. Don’t forget the option to try it at home also.
Nowadays, you will get sushi in most fast-food restaurants, but it has lots of health benefits besides the luscious taste.
So, altogether, it will be worth trying for you.
Thanks for being with me till now.