Which Fish are Used in Sushi?

February 09, 2022

Most fish and other seafood are edible, but that doesn’t mean all of them are pleasant to eat. Nor does it mean that all of them are suitable for eating raw. If you’re new to the world of sushi, you may be wondering what species of fish you’re likely to encounter in your local sushi bar or Japanese restaurant. Most of us will have seen tuna and salmon rolls, but there’s an exciting variety of fish available for those who are feeling adventurous.

These are some of the most popular fish ingredients you’re likely to find in any respectable restaurant:


A classic piece of fish, found in virtually every sushi bar in the country. There are many varieties, including bonito, albacore, skipjack, yellowfin, and bluefin, each with their own distinct flavour notes.


Clams, Scallops, and Abalone

These are all members of the mollusc family and can be served raw, or flash-cooked as part of a variety of sushi dishes. While they belong to the same family as oysters (famously also eaten raw) oysters are rarely used in sushi, due to their slimy consistency.


Seabass, Porgies, and Snapper

All three species are related to the bass family of fish and can be found on a sushi menu under the names of suzuki or tai. As with mackerel, these are also often treated with vinegar prior to serving.



Another popular choice, seawater salmon is often used to top nigiri.


Halibut or Flounder

These tasty flatfish can be found on a sushi menu under their Japanese name – hirame.


Yellowtail (or Hamachi) is a favourite in Japan. This variety of jackfish is a popular inclusion on many sushi menus.



Squid is a common sushi ingredient, but is not always served raw. Many sushi chefs prefer to flash cook the squid for a few seconds instead.

Gizzard Shad

Gizzard shad is a type of baitfish, known as kohada in Japan. It has a stronger taste than many other fish on this list and is considered a delicacy.


Mackerel is known as aji or aba in Japan and is another popular choice. As an oily fish, all types of mackerel are treated with vinegar prior to serving.

With so many varieties of fish to choose from for your sushi dishes, you get some idea of the variety available for this exciting type of cuisine. On a previous article we explain how to find good quality sushi-grade fish. For everything else you need, visit our online store today.

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