List of Squid (Ika) and Octopus (Tako)

The Japanese love this strong umami coming out of its creepy features. These are sushi toppings that show their presence in your mouth.

There are over 450 types of Ika (squid) in the world and over 100 types just in the seawaters around Japan. Ika is essential to Japanese cuisine and is found in many recipes for home cooking. It is a representative of ingredients for common people that is both affordable and delicious. There are also many different types of Ika used as sushi toppings, and certain Ika are used during certain seasons, each with a unique flavor.

Tako (octopus) is a popular sushi topping at every sushi restaurant. However, preparing Tako from its raw state is very labor intensive. Some restaurants boil it, while others use “Sakura-ni.” Elaborate efforts are made at the restaurant in order to prepare a topping that can be bitten through and emit a delicious fragrance. Needless to say, when prepared raw, it is thoroughly kneaded by hand. It may be struck with the crest or wooden pestle of a kitchen knife, or boiled with roasted green tea, incorporating techniques from Kansai dishes. When Tako is prepared as Sakura-ni*, it is classified as Nimono.

*”Sakura-ni” refers to stewing octopus in sake, mirin and soy sauce to soften it, turning it into a shape that resembles cherry blossom (sakura) petals.

Japanese terms will be italicized on sushi ingredients page.

<Ika/Tako-Squid/ Octopus>

Amerikaoo akaika-Jumbo flying squid (Dosidicus gigas (Orbigny, 1835))

Aori ika-Bigfin reef squid

Be ika-Beka squid

Hotaru ika-Firefly squid

Hi ika (Jindow ika)-Japanese squid

Iidako-Ocellated octopus

Kaminari ika (Mongou ika)-Ocellated cuttlefish

Kensaki ika (Shiroika)-Swordtip squid

Kobusime (Kubusime)-Gaint cuttlefish、Broadclub cuttlefish

Mizudako-North-pacific giant octpus

Shin ika-Baby cuttlefish

Sode ika (Aka ika)-Rhomboid squid、Diamond squid

Sumi ika (Kou ika)-Cuttlefish

Surume ika-Japanese common squid

Tako (Madako)-Octopus

Yari ika-Spear squid


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: January 10, 2023

List of Silver-skinned fish (Hikarimono)

Hikarimono (Silver-skinned fish) includes horse mackerel, mackerel, sardines, sillago, and gizzard shad, generally referred to as blue-backed fish. Hikarimono all have high-fat content. It is approximately 7% in gizzard shad and horse mackerel. It is about 16% in mackerel. The taste is heavy. Many of the fish in this category lose their freshness quickly, so the preparations differ greatly from restaurant to restaurant. They say that you can tell how well a restaurant is doing by which Hikarimono they serve. This may be why many restaurants make sure to work hard on their Hikarimono.

Tachiuo really does look like a sword from the outside, so it seems like it should be classified as Hikarimono, but it’s actually Shiromi. In the sushi restaurant sector, Hikarimono refers to sushi toppings for which Sujime is used in the preparations. Furthermore, there are chefs who classify Shima aji as Hikarimono when the silver skin is left on, and Shiromi when the skin is removed. There are many people finding it hard to eat but it is actually healthy and rich in nutritive value.

*Japanese terms will be italicized on sushi ingredients page.

<Hikarimono - Silver-skinned fish>

Akaaji

Aji (Maaji) - Japanese horse-mackerel

Ayu - Ayu

Ebodai- Japanese butterfish

Chika- Smelt (Hypomesus japonicus (Brevoort, 1856))

Gomasaba- Spotted mackerel

Hamo -Daggertooth pike conger

Hatahata - Japanese sandfish

Iwashi - Sardine

Kaiwari - Whitefin trevally

Karafutoshishamo - Capellin, Lodde (Mallotus villosus (Müller, 1776))

Kasugo (Chidai, Kidai)-Baby Red sea-bream (Crimson sea-bream, Eellowback sea-bream)

Kibinago - Banded blue-sprat

Kisu - Japanese whiting

Kohada - Gizzard shad

Kyuriuo - Arctic smelt (Osmerus dentex Steindachner & Kner, 1870)

Mamakari - Big-eye sardine

Maruaji - Amberfish

Muroaji - Amberstripe scad

Nishin - Pacific herring

Saba - Pacific mackerel

Sanma - Pacific saury

Sayori - Halfbeak

Shinko - Baby Gizzard shad

Tachiuo-Largehead hairtail (Cutlassfish, Scabbardfish)

Tobiuo - Japanese flyingfish


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: January 10, 2023

List of White flesh fish (Shiromi)

The first item recommended to taste is white-flesh fish. Because of its subtle flavor, it doesn’t influence the following topping. Serving it for the very first piece of sushi is a standard move. However, absolute umami in the lightness can be taken as the details Japanese love and no other sushi toppings can offer.

Shiromi refers to white-colored fish meat. The fat content in Shiromi is generally low at about 1.2% in flounder and 4.7% in sea bream. Almost all white fish have a subtle and elegant taste. Furthermore, the rigor mortis takes over slowly and lasts for a long time, so it maintains the crunchy texture longer. Unlike Akami, the Shiromi fish don’t really migrate. You can call yourself a sushi expert if you’re able to recognize which fish it is just by looking at the cut.

Contrary to appearance, Salmon is classified as Shiromi. The salmon is originally grey, and the pink color comes from the pigments of the shrimp and crab on which it preys. We also think that Buri and Shima aji meat looks more beige than white. To be more specific, these are classified as Iromono, but there are relatively few chefs who actually know this term so we will refer to them as Shiromi. Once you’re able to speak knowledgeably on Shiromi, you’ll be a true Sushi Foodie.

What you should keep in mind is that most Shiromi fish used at sushi restaurants is sold as live fish. The broker implements Ikejime according to the instructions of the purchasing shop and then it is delivered. Basically, the chef calculates backward from the time he will make the sushi, aiming to maximize the umami. Furthermore, the price is at least 50% higher, considering the cost to transport from the fishing port to Toyosu Market, etc. This is one of the reasons Shiromi is so expensive at sushi restaurants.

Of course, only white fish that can be used for nigiri sushi is listed. Many varieties of Fugu exist, but with the exception of Torafugu (Japanese puffer fish), they are mainly used in conveyor belt sushi.

*Japanese terms will be italicized on sushi ingredients page. Parentheses after the English name indicate the scientific name.

<Shiromi-White flesh fish>

Aburabouzu-Skilfish

Aburagarei-Kamchatka flounder, Arrow-toothed halibut

Ainame-Green ling

Akahata-Blacktip grouper

Akaisaki-Schlegel red bass

Akakasago-Red deepwater scorpionfish

Akamanbo (Mandai)-Sunfish (Lampris megalopsis Underkoffler, Luers, Hyde and Craig, 2018)

Akamefugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Akamekasago-Yellowbarred red rockfish

Akauo (Arasukamenuke)-Pacific ocean perch (Sebastes alutus (Gilbert, 1890))

Akayagara-Redcornetfish

Akodai-Matsubara’s red rockfish

Aodai-Blue fusilier

Amadai-Horsehead tilefish

Amerikanamazu-Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus (Rafinesque, 1818))

Ara-Rock-cod

Arotsunasu-Slender tuna (Allothunnus fallaii Serventy, 1948)

Azukihata-Slender grouper

Bebizake-Red salmon

Biwamasu-Lake biwa trout

Bora-Flathead gray mullet

Budai-Japanese parrotfish

Burakkubasu (Ookuchibasu)-Black bass (Micropterus salmoides (Lacepède,1802))

Buri-Japanese amberjack

Chairomaruhata-Orange spotted grouper

Comonfugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Ebotai (Ibodai)-Butterfish

Ebisudai-Japanese soldierfish

Engawa-Thin muscle of the dorsal fin of Japanese flounder, Marbled sole, etc.

Fedai -Red snapper, Starsnapper

Fugu (Torafugu)-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Ginhirasu-Silver warehou (Seriolella punctata (Forster, 1801))

Ginmutus (Mazeranainame)-Mero, Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides Smith)

Ginmutus (Raigyodamashi)-Mero, Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni Norman)

Ginzake-Silver salmon

Gomafugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Hachibiki-Japanese rubyfish (Erythrocles schlegelii (Richardson, 1846))

Hakkaku (Tokubire)-Sailfin poacher

Hakofugu-Black-spotted boxfish

Hamadai (Onaga)-Deepwater longtail red snapper

Hamafuefukidai (Taman)-Spangled emperor

Harisenbon-Longspined porcupinefish

Hedai-Goldlined seabream

Higanfugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Himedai-Lavender jobfish

Hiramasa-Amberjack

Hirame-Japanese flounder (Olive flounder)

Hirasuzuki-Blackfin seabass

Hitozuraharisenbon-Black-blotched porcupinefish

Hoki-Blue haki, Blue grenadier, Whiptail (Macruronus novaezelandiae (Hector, 1871))

Hokke-Okhotsk atka mackerel

Hoshigarei-Spotted halibut

Houbou-Bluefin searobin

Houkihata-Broom grouper

Ikanago-Pacific sand lance

Inada-Japanese amberjack (30〜40cm)

Ira-Wrasse, Tuskfish

Isaki-Striped pigfish

Ishidai-Barred knifejaw

Ishigakidai-Spotted knifejaw

Ishigakifugu-Spotfin burrfish

Ishigarei-Stone flounder

Ishimochi (Shiroguchi)-Sliver croaker

Izumidai (Chika)-Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus,1766))

Kagamidai (Ginmatou)-John dorey, Mirror dory

Kagokakidai-Footballer

Kajika-Japanese sculpin

Kamasu (Akakamasu)-Barracuda

Kanafugu-Smooth Blaasop

Kanpachi-Greater amberjack

Karafutomasu-Pink salmon

Karasu (Gatoro)-(Takifugu chinensis (Abe, 1949))

Karasugarei-Greenland halibut

Kasago-Marbled rockfish

Kawahagi-Filefish

Keiji-Chum salmon, Dog salmon, Keta salmon

Kichinu (Kibire)-Yellowfin sea-bream

Kijihata (Akou)-Redspotted Grouper

Kingklip-Pink cusk-eel (Genypterus blacodes  (Forster, 1801))

Kinki (Kichiji)-Thornhead

Kinmedai-Splendid alfonsino

Kintokidai-Red bigeye

Kitenhata-Duskytail grouper

Kochi (Magochi)-Bartail flathead

Korodai-Painted sweetlip

Koshodai-Crescent sweetlips

Kue-Longtooth grouper

Kurodai (Chinu)-Blackhead seabream

Kurosabafugu-Dark rough-backed puffer

Kurosoi-Black rockfish

Kurumadai-Japanese bigeye

Kusafugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Kyusen-Wrasse

Mafugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Mahata (Hata)-Grouper (Rock-cod, Seven band grouper)

Mahi-mahi (Shiira)-Common dolphinfish

Makogarei-Marbled sole

Masunosuke-King salmon

Matsukawagarei-Barfin flounder

Mebaru-Rockfish

Medai-Japanese butterfish

Megochi-Bigeyed flathead

Meichidai-Nakedhead

Meitagarei-Finespotted flounder, Ridged-eye flounder

Mejika-Chum salmon, Dog salmon, Keta salmon

Mejina-Greeenfish, Nibbler, Rudderfish

Merurusa (New Zealand heiku)-Southern haku, Haku, whiting (Merluccius australis  (Hutton, 1872))

Mutsu-Japanese bluefish

Nametagarei (Babagarei)-Slime flounder

Nashifugu-Purple puffer

Nezumifugu-Spot-fin porcupinefish

Nezumigochi (Megochi)-Richardson’s dragonet

Nijimasu-Rainbow trout

Nizadai-Scalpel sawtail

Nodoguro (Akamutsu)-Blackthroat seaperch

Ohyo- Halibut

Ojisan- Manybar goatfish

Okimebaru- Goldeye rockfish

Okoze (Oniokoze)-Devil stinger

Oomematoudai-(Allocyttus verrucosus (Gilchrist,1906))

Peherei-(Odontesthes bonariensis (Valenciennes, 1835))

Sake -Salmon

Sakuramasu -Cherry salmon

Salmon trout -(Artificially created rainbow trout varieties)

Samegarei -Roughscale sole

Sawara-Japanese spanish mackerel

Sennen-Enperor red snapper

Shima aji-Crevalle jack (Trevally)

Shimafugu-Striped puffer

Shinshu salmon-(A crossbreed between a male brown trout and a female rainbow trout)

Shirohirasu-White warehou (Seriolella caerulea Guichenot, 1848)

Shirokurabera (Makubu)-Blackspot tuskfish

Shirosabafugu (Sabafugu)-Half-smooth golden pufferfish

Shirosuzuki -Nile perch (Lates niloticus (Linnaeus))

Shirozake (Shake)-Chum salmon

Shosaifugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Sugi-Cobia (Rachycentron canadum (Linnaeus, 1766))

Sujiara-Leopard coralgrouper

Suzuki-Japanese seaperch

Tai (Madai)-Red sea-bream

Taiseiyosake-Atlantic salmon

Tara (Madara)-Pacific cod

Tobinumeri-(Repomucenus beniteguri (Jordan and Snyder, 1900))

Tokishirazu (Toki)-Chum salmon, Dog salmon, Keta salmon

Torafugu-Japanese pufferfish

Toujin-Hardhead grenadier (Coelorinchus japonicus (Temminck and Schlegel, 1846))

Tsumuburi-Rainbow runner

Umazurahagi-Leatherfish

Umeiro-Yellowtail blue snapper

Umeiromodoki-Yellow and blueback fusilier

Usubahagi-Unicorn leatherjacket filefish

Usumebaru-Goldeye rockfish

Yaitohata-Malabar grouper

Yanagi-no-mai-Yellow body rockfish

Yarinumeri-(Repomucenus huguenini (Bleeker, 1859))

Yoritofugu-Blunthead puffer

Yoroiitatiuo (Higedara)-Armoured cusk


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: January 24, 2023

List of Red flesh fish (Akami)

Akami generally refers to red-colored meat like beef and fish meat. The typical Akami fish are tuna and bonito. Its fatty and rich taste gives you satisfaction like “This is the sushi”. The meat gets its red color from the high hemoglobin and myoglobin content specific to migratory fish. At a sushi restaurant, when you order Akami, you will be served tuna. The word Akami exists for tuna.

*Japanese terms will be italicized on sushi ingredients page.

<Akami-Red flesh fish>

Basho kajiki-Indo pacific sailfish

Binnaga maguro-Longfin white tuna

Hagatuo-Striped bonito

Hirasouda-Frigate tuna

Katsuo-Bonito (Oceanic bonito, Striped tuna)

Kihada maguro-Yellowfin tuna

Kosinaga maguro- Longtail tuna

Kurokawa kajiki (Kuro kajiki)-Indo pacific Blue marlin

Maguro (Kuromaguro, Honmaguro, Shibi)-Bluefin tuna

Makajiki-Striped marlin

Mebachi maguro-Bigeye tuna

Mekajiki-Swordfish

Minami maguro (Indo maguro)-Southernbluefin tuna

Shirokawa kajiki (Shiro kajiki)-Black marlin

Suma-Wavyback skipjack, Eastern little tuna


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: January 21, 2023