Sushi Visual Dictionary | SushiUniversity


Silver-skinned fish

A photo of saba sushi
Mackerel (Saba)

Mackerel (Saba)

What is Saba?
Saba is a migratory cold-sea fish that moves north along the Japan coast rom spring to summer while laying eggs, then migrates south again from autumn to winter.

Because of its high fat content and therefore short shelf life, since long ago mackerel was often eaten vinegared and salted, but recently it’s become common to find mackerel as a raw topping. Fatty mackerel sushi is a nice treat during cold winter. The rich flavor of blue-skinned fish gives leaves you with a fine aftertaste.

In order to get rid of the fishy smell of mackerel, some methods can be used like grilling its skin, or using juice and peel from citrus fruit like a lemon.

Trivia : Mackerel contains an ingredient called histidine. As the mackerel decays, its histidine is converted to histamine. Histamine is a toxin and it can cause urticaria, difficulty breathing from anaphylactic shock and other problems, so caution should be taken. This is why the osmotic pressure of salt is used, and the component can be removed in around two hours. This is called “shiojime”.

Also called Chub mackerel or Slimy mackerel or Thimbel-eyed mackerel.

Main production area

Shizuoka Mie Kanagawa Nagasaki

Famous production area

Matsuwa Saganoseki

Season

Autumn-Winter