10 Most Popular Sushi Fish

What is the most popular sushi fish?

In the aspect of popularity, not all sushi fish are equal. Today we’re going to list out 10 of the most popular sushi fish on the market. Although one isn’t necessarily better than the other, and popularity doesn’t equate to quality and tastiness, we are going to list them out anyway.

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1. Bluefin Tuna (Maguro)

Bluefin tuna is one of the most prized fish in Japan and only 20% of them are eaten outside of the country. The three different cuts of the fish akami, chu toro and o toro are very popular with the Sushi chefs. It’s popularity has led to it being classified as an “endangered” species.


2. Japanese Amberjack or Yellowtail (Hamachi)

Because of its high fat content, Japanese amberjack, commonly known as yellowtail, is a favorite among sushi makers. Due to its fat marbling, this fish offers a special blend of flavors whether it is grilled in a roll or served raw as nigiri. A sushi chef’s gill of delight, yellowtail is described as peppery, salty, and rich.


3. Salmon (Shake)

The classic salmon, or shake, is a favorite of sushi fans. Salmon can be found in almost every sushi restaurant in both Japan and the United States. In addition to its freshness, the salmon’s distinctive peach color adds to it’s overall visual appeal. Our bodies can’t produce Omega 3s on their own, so salmon contains healthful Omega 3’s that our bodies can’t produce on their own.


4. Mackerel (Saba)

Mackerel is another fish high in omega 3s, but it also has a strong fishy flavor that the Japanese usually find more appealing than us Westerners who are new to sushi. Four different varieties of mackerel are prepared and offered as a versatile fish, one of which is saba, which is cured for hours with vinegar and salt. You have got to try this fish, holy mackerel.


5. Halibut (Hirame)

My particular favorite fish is the light and fluffy halibut. The unusual combination of grilling and ice soaking, known as kobujime, is a method of preparing this lean fish that sushi chefs prefer because it has an extraordinarily rich flavor. When you’re next out for sushi, order this fish solely for the halibut.


6. Albacore Tuna (Bintoro)

Because albacore tuna inhabits warmer ocean regions, it has more delicate flesh and a smoother texture than its smaller cousin, the bluefin. The tataki technique is used by sushi chefs to quickly sear the albacore’s outside before submerging it in ice water to intensify its flavor. Contrary to popular perception, this fish is not rotten to the albacore.


7. Freshwater Eel (Unagi)

Eel, also known as unagi, is a pretty well-liked fish among sushi chefs despite not being your standard grocery store fish. Chefs like to prepare and serve freshwater eel that has been grilled over charcoal and drizzled with a sweet soy sauce made with stock made from boiled fish bones and heads. Freshwater eel is out of this world, loaded with vitamin B and rich flavor.


8. Squid (ika)

Beyond the fried goodness that is calamari, many people are intimidated by the squid prepared in other forms, like sushi. Squid is underrated. Its funky texture and delicious umami flavor make it one of the best choices for sushi. Get over your fear of tentacles, and squiddy on up for this fish.


9. Sea Urchin (Uni)

Sea urchin, often known as uni, is another overlooked sushi ingredient that may be found beneath its salmon and tuna counterparts, despite not being an innately obvious choice. Chefs of sushi don’t rule it out, though. Its golden edible ovaries have a buttery texture that creates a satisfying melt-in-your-mouth sensation. Choose the uni if you prefer sushi that isn’t fishy.


10. Sardine (Iwashi)

In my opinion, sardine sushi is a delicacy that is often overlooked. You’ll be surprised at just how delicious these little fish are! While it’s not the most glamorous fish, if prepared correctly, sushi chefs will sing its praises.


There are indeed many fish in the sea, but there is only one way to eat sushi. Wondering how to get started on eating sushi? Check out our article: Noob’s Guide to Sushi