Sushi Visual Dictionary | SushiUniversity

White flesh fish

A photo of hirame sushi
Bastard halibut (Hirame)

Bastard halibut (Hirame)

What is Hirame?
Hirame lives in the western parts of the Pacific ocean, such as from the Chishima islands southward to the South China Sea. They can reach up to 1 meter in length and some large ones can weigh up to 10 kg.

What does Hirame taste like?
This fish has the word “cold” in its name and just as you would expect, it is full of fat to keep it warm in cold winter waters. Hirame is one of the highest quality white fish with a silky and transparent appearance. Matured fish meat has a light smooth texture. It is often eaten after being pressed with kelp seaweed (Kobujime) to bring out the flavor of ocean. Never hesitate to order this in nigiri form if you happen upon a coveted Engawa (the sinew along the fin). Only 4 can be made from one fish. So the famous “Engawa” sushi topping found at conveyor belt sushi restaurants is usually Greenland halibut. Writing “Engawa made from Greenland halibut” would probably affect business, but the restaurants can’t write “Bastard halibut Engawa” so the menu just says “Engawa.”

Trivia : Natural Bastard halibut (Hirame) looks so much different from farmed one. And the difference appears on their downside, which natural one has beautiful white color but farmed one has black spots on its downside.

Also called False hailbut or Flat fish or Japanese Flounder or Olive flounder.

Main production area

Hokkaido Aomori Ehime Nagasaki

Famous production area