White flesh

A photo of Tachiuo nigiri
Largehead hairtail (Tachiuo)

Largehead hairtail (Tachiuo)

【Nigiri sushi: Shiromi
What is Tachiuo?
Tachiuo (Largehead hairtail) lives on the continental shelf along shores throughout Japan at depths of 100 to 200 m. Their bodies are remarkably thin, just like a Japanese sword and grow gradually thinner toward the back of the body, until the very end, which is like a string. The body is silvery white without any scales. Their torso length is over 1.3 m. In other words, it is considered to be classified as Hikarimono because of its shiny silver appearance, but it is classified as Shiromi because of its white flesh.

During the day they stay mainly in deep areas and then float up to shallower places at night to catch food. Tachiuo are very unique in how they rest. They swim in place vertically with their heads facing up. However, when swimming at full strength, they swim horizontally.

What does Tachiuo (Largehead hairtail) nigiri sushi taste like?
The taste of this fish differs depending on if it is served with or without the skin. The silver skin is full of flavor and is revered by the locals where it is found. But the skin is harder for larger fish and not everyone likes it. For that reason, the skin is sometimes seared when serving these days.

As with any fish, when purchasing, make sure the lens of the eye is clear, the body is firm like a board when touched, and the silver on the epidermis is not peeling.

Medium-sized fish, around 1 meter in length and weighing about 600 grams, are tasty and full of both fat and flavor. Large-sized fish are often from the distant seas and lack the delicate flavor of inshore fish. Smaller size fish have less fat and lack umami.

Also called Atlantic cutlassfish or Band fish or Catlass fish or Cutlass fish or Japanese hair-tail or Ribband-fish or Scabbard fish or Silver eel or Silver fish or Snake fish.

【Related contents】
List of White flesh fish (Shiromi)

(Revision date: December 29, 2023)

Main production area

Oita Wakayama Ehime Nagasaki

Famous production area

Minoshima Tanoura Takeoka HigoTanoura


Autumn-Early winter