What is Namako sushi?

a photo of Namako
The upper one is Aka-namako and the lower one is Ao-namako.

What is Namako (Sea cucumber)?

Namako (Sea cucumber) is a slender invertebrate measuring 20~30 cm in length. It has numerous protrusions on its body surface. The spawning season is from late spring to early summer, and the season is winter. Its scientific name is Apostichopus armata (Selenka, 1867).

There are three types of Namako (海鼠): Aka-namako (brownish-brown), Ao-manako (bluish), and Kuro-namako (blackish). Aka-namako has an elegant aroma and a strong, crunchy texture when eaten raw, while Ao-manako has a stronger scent of the sea, is moderately soft, and is less expensive than Aka-namako. Kuro-namako, on the other hand, is mainly used as a high-end ingredient in Chinese cuisine. The difference in color is due to the difference in habitat, which is the same namako.

What does Namako (Sea cucumber) sushi taste like?

To prepare Namako, it is first gutted and washed with salt. Afterward, the sea cucumber may be quickly passed through Bancha to remove its distinctive odor and soften its meat. It is then sliced into 2-3 mm thick slices and soaked in vinegar quickly. This is then served in a Gunkan maki. However, it is rare for it to be served as sushi, and is often served as a vinegared dish.

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Revision date: February 28, 2023


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What is Brown trout sushi?

a photo of Brown trout
Brown trout is a popular target in controlled fishing areas.

What is Brown trout?

In Europe, the word “Trout” often refers to Brown trout. It has been transplanted to many parts of the world as an angling target fish.

Since the 1860s, it has been transplanted to all parts of the world and has become established in natural waters. It appears to have been transplanted to Japan in the 1930s via the U.S. mixed with Brook trout eggs, and natural reproduction has been confirmed in Lake Chuzenji, Lake Ashi, and the upper reaches of the Katsura River.

Body shape is similar to Rainbow trout, etc. The body color is grayish blue with relatively large black spots on the dorsal surface of the body and near the base of the dorsal fin, and whitish-orange spots below the lateral line. 1-5 years in freshwater, then become smolt and descend to the sea, spending 6 months to 5 years in the ocean. The descending type is also called Seatrout. Some spend their entire lives in freshwater areas such as rivers and lakes. It reaches a maximum length of 0.7 m.

What does Brown trout sushi taste like?

Brown trout is said to have less fat and a lighter flavor than rainbow trout, and when eaten as sashimi, it should be frozen completely before eating, since it is a freshwater fish, it is possible that parasites may be hidden in it. It also has a fishy odor unique to river fish, so it is necessary to quickly remove the blood. However, we have never heard of a sushi restaurant serving brown trout nigiri. Brown trout and Rainbow trout hybrids are sold as Shinshu-salmon (信州サーモン), and their market price is over 2,000 yen per kilogram. Shinshu-salmon nigiri is commonly eaten in Nagano and other places in Japan.

In Europe, where it originated, it is a high-grade fish that is delicious to eat. It is farmed mainly in France and Austria for eating purposes. However, compared to Rainbow trout, it grows more slowly and is more difficult to farm, so there are only a few companies that provide it. Hence, it is expensive. The main way to eat trout is to cook it. Incidentally, Schubert’s song “The Trout” was inspired by the brown trout.

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Revision date: February 16, 2023


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List of Nimono, Gyoran and Others

There are only high rank toppings such as rich tasting sea urchin (Uni), salmon roe (Ikura) and herring roe (Kazunoko). All different from other sushi toppings when it comes to a texture and flavor. A lot of them have become widespread ever since the technique of gunkan style sushi was established after the war. There are also sushi toppings made from other than fish and shellfish.

*Japanese terms will be italicized on sushi ingredients page.

<Others>

Akauni-Red sea urchin

Anago-Japanese conger

Bafununi-Short-spined sea uruchin (Green sea urchin)

Caviar-Beluga roe

Ezobafununi-Short-spined sea urchin

Fukahire-Estuary shark

Ginanago-Conger eel

Hamo-Daggertooth pike conger (Muraenesox cinereus (Forsskål, 1775))

Hoya-Sea squirt (Halocynthia roretzi (Drasche, 1884))

Ikura-Salmon roe

Karafutoshishamo-Capellin roe

Kazunoko-Herring roe

Kitamurasakiuni-Northern sea urchin

Komai-no-ko-Saffron cod roe

Komochikonbu-Herring spawn on kelp

Kuroanago-Beach conger

Madachi-Pacific cod milt

Madarako-Pollack roe

Menegi-Young Green Onion Shoots

Murasakiuni-Purple sea urchin

Muruanago (Anguilla)- Punctuated snake-eel (Ophichthus remiger (Valenciennes, 1837))

Namako-Sea cucumber

Niseginanago-(Gnathophis nystromi (Asano))

Noresore-Young Japanese conger, etc.

Oboro-Flavored ground prawns and white fish

Okianago-Bigmouth conger

Ranpufisshu-Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus)

Shiitake-Shiitake mushroom

Shirako-Globefish testis

Shirahigeuni-White spin sea urchin

Sirauo-Icefish (Salangichthys microdon (Bleeker, 1860))

Tako-no-ko-Chestnut octopus roe or North pacific giant octopus roe

Tamago-Egg omelet

Tarako-Cod roe

Tobiko-flying fish roe

Unagi-Japanese eel, freshwater eel (Anguilla japonica Temminck & Schlegel, 1846)

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Revision date: January 21, 2023


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List of White flesh fish (Shiromi)

 

a photo of Shiromi
Because shiromi has few peculiarities, it is an ingredient that can be easily arranged in a variety of cooking methods, flavors, and combinations with ingredients.

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

Aigo-Mottled spinefoot (Siganus fuscescens (Houttuyn, 1782))

Ainame-Green ling (Hexagrammos otakii Jordan & Starks, 1895)

Akahata-Blacktip grouper

Akaisaki-Schlegel red bass (Caprodon schlegelii (Günther, 1859))

Akakasago-Red deepwater scorpionfish

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

Akamebaru-Rockfish (Sebastes inermis Cuvier,1829)

Akamefugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Akamekasago-Yellowbarred red rockfish

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

Akayagara-Redcornetfish (Fistularia petimba Lacepède, 1803)

Akodai-Matsubara’s red rockfish

Aodai-Blue fusilier

Aoyagara-Bluespotted cornetfish (Fistularia commersonii Rüppell, 1838)

Amadai-Horsehead tilefish

Amemasu-White spotted Char (Salvelinus leucomaenis (Pallas, 1814))

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

Ara-Rock-cod

Arotsunasu-Slender tuna (Allothunnus fallaii Serventy, 1948)

Ayamekasago-Yellowbarred red rockfish (Sebastiscus albofasciatus (Lacepède,1802))

Ayu-Sweetfish (Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis (Temminck and Schlegel, 1846))

Azukihata-Slender grouper

Bebizake-Red salmon

Biwamasu-Biwa trout

Bora-Flathead gray mullet

Budai-Japanese parrotfish (Calotomus japonicus (Valenciennes, 1840))

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

Buri-Japanese amberjack

Chairomaruhata-Orange spotted grouper

Chikamekintoki-Longfinned bullseye (Cookeolus japonicus (Cuvier, 1829))

Chousenbakama-Banjofish (Banjos banjos banjos (Richardson, 1846))

Comonfugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Ebotai (Ibodai)-Butterfish, Pacific rudderfish, Melon seed (Psenopsis anomala (Temminck and Schlegel, 1844))

Ebisudai-Japanese soldierfish

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

Ezo Iwana-White-spotted Char (Salvelinus leucomaenis (Pallas, 1814))

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

Gogi-(Salvelinus leucomaenis imbrius (Jordan and McGregor,1925))

Gomafugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

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

Hakkaku (Tokubire)-Sailfin poacher (Podothecus sachi (Jordan and Snyder, 1901))

Hakofugu-Black-spotted boxfish

Hamadai (Onaga)-Deepwater longtail red snapper

Hamafuefukidai (Taman)-Spangled emperor

Harisenbon-Longspined porcupinefish

Hedai-Goldlined seabream (Rhabdosargus sarba (Forsskål, 1775))

Higanfugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Higesoridai-Short barbeled velvetchin (Hapalogenys nigripinnis (Schlegel in Temminck and Schlegel,1843))

Himedai-Lavender jobfish

Hiramasa-Amberjack

Hirame-Japanese flounder (Olive flounder)

Hirasuzuki-Blackfin seabass (Lateolabrax latus Katayama, 1957)

Hitozuraharisenbon-Black-blotched porcupinefish

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

Hokke-Okhotsk atka mackerel

Hoshigarei-Spotted halibut (Verasper variegatus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1846))

Houbou-Bluefin searobin, Red gurnard (Chelidonichthys spinosus (McClelland, 1844))

Houkihata-Broom grouper

Ibarahige-Pacific grenadier (Coryphaenoides acrolepis (Bean, 1884))

Ikanago-Pacific sand lance

Inada-Japanese amberjack (30〜40cm)

Ira-Wrasse, Tuskfish (Choerodon azurio (Jordan and Snyder, 1901))

Isaki-Striped pigfish

Ishidai-Barred knifejaw (Oplegnathus fasciatus (Temminck and Schlegel,1844))

Ishigakidai-Spotted knifejaw (Oplegnathus punctatus (Temminck and Schlegel, 1844))

Ishigakifugu-Spotfin burrfish

Ishigarei-Stone flounder (Platichthys bicoloratus (Basilewsky,1855))

Ishimochi (Shiroguchi)-Sliver croaker (Pennahia argentata (Houttuyn,1782 ))

Isuzumi-Waigeu drummer (Kyphosus vaigiensis (Quoy and Gaimard))

Itou-Sakhalin taimen (Hucho perryi (Brevoort, 1856))

Itoyoridai-Golden threadfin bream (Nemipterus virgatus (Houttuyn, 1782))

Izukasago-Scorpionfish (Scorpaena neglecta Temminck and Schlegel,1843)

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

Kagamidai (Ginmatou)-John dorey, Mirror dory (Zenopsis nebulosa (Temminck and Schlegel, 1846))

Kagokakidai-Footballer

Kaiwari-Whitefin trevally, Horse kingfish (Kaiwarinus equula (Temminck and Schlegel, 1844))

Kajika-Japanese sculpin

Kanafugu-Smooth Blaasop

Kanagashira-Searobin (Lepidotrigla microptera Günther, 1873)

Kanpachi-Greater amberjack

Karafutomasu-Pink salmon

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

Karasugarei-Greenland halibut

Kasago-Marbled rockfish (Sebastiscus marmoratus (Cuvier, 1829))

Kawahagi-Filefish (Stephanolepis cirrhifer (Temminck & Schlegel, 1850))

Keiji-Chum salmon, Dog salmon, Keta salmon

Kichinu (Kibire)-Yellowfin sea-bream

Kidai (Renkodai)-Yellowback seabream (Dentex hypselosomus Bleeker, 1854)

Kijihata (Akou)-Redspotted Grouper

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

Kinki (Kichiji)-Thornhead (Sebastolobus macrochir (Günther, 1877))

Kinmedai-Splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens Lowe,1834)

Kintokidai-Red bigeye (Priacanthus macracanthus Cuvier,1829)

Kitenhata-Duskytail grouper

Kitsunemebaru (Mazoi)-Fox jacopever (Sebastes vulpes Döderlein, 1884)

Kobudai-Bulgyhead wrasse (Semicossyphus reticulatus (Valenciennes, 1839))

Kochi (Magochi)-Bartail flathead (Platycephalus sp.2)

Korodai-Painted sweetlip (Diagramma picta (Thunberg,1792))

Koshodai-Crescent sweetlips (Plectorhinchus cinctus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1843))

Kue-Longtooth grouper (Epinephelus bruneus Bloch, 1793)

Kurodai (Chinu)-Blackhead seabream

Kuromebaru-Brown rockfish (Sebastes ventricosus Temminck and Schlegel,1843)

Kuromejina-Smallscale blackfish (Girella leonina (Richardson,1846))

Kurosabafugu-Dark rough-backed puffer

Kurosoi-Black rockfish, Schlegel’s rockfish (Sebastes schlegelii Hilgendorf, 1880)

Kurumadai-Japanese bigeye (Pristigenys niphonia (Cuvier,1829))

Kusafugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Kyuusen-Wrasse

Ohyô-Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis Schmidt, 1904)

Ojisan-Manybar goatfish (Parupeneus multifasciatus (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825))

Okinamejina- (Girella mezina Jordan & Starks, 1907)

Mafugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Mahata (Hata)-Grouper, Rock-cod, Seven band grouper (Hyporthodus septemfasciatus (Thunberg 1793))

Mahaze-Spiny goby, Yellowfin goby (Acanthogobius flavimanus (Temminck and Schlegel, 1845))

Mahi-mahi (Shiira)-Common dolphinfish

Makogarei-Marbled sole

Managatsuo-Silver pomfret (Pampus punctatissimus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1845))

Masunosuke-King salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha (Walbaum, 1792))

Matoudai-John dory (Zeus faber Linnaeus, 1758)

Matsukawagarei (Matsukawa)-Barfin flounder (Verasper moseri Jordan & Gilbert, 1898)

Mebaru-Rockfish

Medai-Japanese butterfish

Meganemochinouo-Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus Rüppell, 1835)

Megochi-Bigeyed flathead

Mehikari-Bigeyed greeneye (Chlorophthalmus albatrossis Jordan & Starks, 1904)

Meichidai-Nakedhead (Gymnocranius griseus (Temminck and Schlegel, 1844))

Meitagarei-Finespotted flounder, Ridged-eye flounder

Mejika-Chum salmon, Dog salmon, Keta salmon

Mejina-Largescale blackish, Greeenfish, Nibbler, Rudderfish (Girella punctata Gray, 1835)

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

MinokasagoButterfly fish,  Lion fish (Pterois lunulata Temminck and Schlegel,  1844)

Mishimaokoze-Japanese stargazer (Uranoscopus japonicus Houttuyn, 1782)

Mutsu-Japanese bluefish

Nametagarei (Babagarei)-Slime flounder

Nashifugu-Purple puffer

Nezumifugu-Spot-fin porcupinefish

Nezumigochi (Megochi)-Richardson’s dragonet

Nibe-Honnibe croaker (Nibea mitsukurii (Jordan and Snyder, 1900))

Nijimasu-Rainbow trout

Nikko Iwana-(Salvelinus leucomaenis pluvius (Hilgendorf, 1876))

Nizadai-Scalpel sawtail (Prionurus scalprum Valenciennes, 1835)

Nodoguro (Akamutsu)-Blackthroat seaperch

Ohyo- Halibut

Ojisan- Manybar goatfish

Okimebaru- Goldeye rockfish

Okoze (Oniokoze)-Devil stinger (Inimicus japonicus (Cuvier, 1829))

Oomehata-Silvergray seaperch (Malakichthys griseus Döderlein,1883)

Oomematoudai-(Allocyttus verrucosus (Gilchrist,1906))

Oonibe-Japanese meagre (Argyrosomus japonicus (Temminck and Schlegel, 1844))

Peherei-(Odontesthes bonariensis (Valenciennes, 1835))

Sake -Salmon

Sakuramasu -Cherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou subsp. masou)

Salmon trout -(Artificially created rainbow trout varieties)

Samegarei -Roughscale sole

Sawara-Japanese spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius (Cuvier, 1832))

Sennen-Enperor red snapper

Setodai-Broadbanded velvetchin (Hapalogenys analis Richardson, 1845)

Shiira-Common dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus, 1758)

Shima aji-Crevalle jack (Trevally)

Shimafugu-Striped puffer

Shimaisaki-Sharpbeak terapon (Rhynchopelates oxyrhynchus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1842))

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

Shirasu-Whitebait

Shirohirasu-White warehou (Seriolella caerulea Guichenot, 1848)

Shirokurabera (Makubu)-Blackspot tuskfish

Shiromebaru-Rockfish (Sebastes cheni Barsukov,1988)

Shirosabafugu (Sabafugu)-Half-smooth golden pufferfish

Shirosuzuki -Nile perch (Lates niloticus (Linnaeus))

Shirozake (Shake)-Chum salmon

Shosaifugu-Globefish, Blowfish, Puffer

Sokoitoyoridai-Yellowbelly threadfin bream (Nemipterus bathybius Snyder, 1911)

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

Sujiara-Leopard coralgrouper

Suzuki-Japanese seaperch

Suzumedai-Pearl-spot chromis (Chromis notatus notatus (Temminck and Schlegel))

Tai (Madai)-Red seabream (Pagrus major (Temminck and Schlegel, 1844))

Taiseiyosake-Atlantic salmon

Takanohadai-Spottedtail morwong (Cheilodactylus zonatus Cuvier, 1830)

Takasago (Gurukun)-Black-tip fusilier (Pterocaesio digramma (Bleeker, 1864))

TamagashiraMonocle-bream,  Redbelt monocle-bream (Parascolopsis inermis (Temminck & Schlegel, 1843))

Tamameichi-Blacknape large-eye bream (Gymnocranius satoi Brosa, Béarez, Paijo and Chen, 2013)

Tara (Madara)-Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus Tilesius, 1810)

Tengudai-Striped boarfish (Evistias acutirostris (Temminck and Schlegel, 1844))

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

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

Torafugu-Japanese pufferfish (Takifugu rubripes (Temminck and Schlegel, 1850))

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

Tsumuburi-Rainbow runner

Ukkarikasago- (Sebastiscus tertius Barsukov and Chen, 1978)

Umazurahagi-Leatherfish (Thamnaconus modestus (Gunther,1877))

Umeiro-Yellowtail blue snapper

Umeiromodoki-Yellow and blueback fusilier

Usubahagi-Unicorn leatherjacket filefish (Semicossyphus reticulatus (Valenciennes, 1839))

Usumebaru-Goldeye rockfish (Sebastes thompsoni (Jordan and Hubbs, 1925))

Utsubo-Brutal moray (Gymnothorax kidako (Temminck and Schlegel, 1847))

Wanigochi-Bartail flathead (Inegocia ochiaii Imamura, 2010)

Yaitohata-Malabar grouper (Epinephelus malabaricus (Bloch and Schneider,1801))

Yamato Iwana(Salvelinus leucomaenis japonicus (Oshima, 1938))

Yanagi-no-mai-Yellow body rockfish

Yarinumeri-(Repomucenus huguenini (Bleeker, 1859))

Yokosujifuedai-Brownstripe red snapper (Lutjanus ophuysenii (Bleeker, 1860))

Yoritofugu-Blunthead puffer

Yoroiitatiuo (Higedara)-Armoured cusk

YukatahataCoral hind  (Cephalopholis miniata (Forsskål, 1775))

Yumekasago-Scorpionfish (Helicolenus hilgendorfi (Steindachner and Döderlein, 1884))

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Revision date: April 23, 2024


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