What Is White Fish In Sushi?
Sushi. What fish are you actually being served? Tuna, salmon, Japanese yellowtail, freshwater eel, and white fish were the most common types of fish arriving at the restaurant when I began my career as a sushi chef eighteen years ago. I am using the general term “white fish” because even when there were fewer than 10 varieties of white fish on the menu, many of them were mislabeled.
This year, I will have served over 100 species of fish, the majority of which were whitefish. The term whitefish, or Shiromi, refers to any fish with white flesh. This includes flounder (Hirame), sea bass (Suzuki), and sea bream (Tai), among others. Even with these names, however, the fish were only broadly classified.
Japanese sushi chefs would only consider Suzuki to be genuine striped bass. Today, however, many of us, including myself, use striped bass hybrids. I serve five species of flounder, and their English names are the best way to identify them in the restaurant.
We strive to be as precise as possible when identifying fish. A sushi chef who knowingly markets one fish as another is guilty of one of the most egregious offenses. This occurs more frequently than you may think. I have heard of sushi chefs selling a single fish as FIVE distinct species! In this instance, the restaurant also sold tilapia as flounder (Hirame), seabass (Suzuki), sea bream (Madai), and red snapper (Madai) (Tai).
Other instances of misrepresentation involve the most popular fish, tuna. Yellowfin, Bigeye, and Bluefin tuna are the primary species used in sushi restaurants. There are three distinct species of bluefin tuna: northern Pacific, southern Pacific, and Atlantic.
- This distinction is crucial in terms of sustainability (In another post).
- The flavor and fat content of the three species of tuna differ significantly.
- The Yellowfin is the mildest and has the lowest fat content, the Bigeye has a moderate to high fat content, and the Bluefin has the most flavor and fat content, making its O-toro, belly cut, highly desirable.
Restaurants sometimes refer to Yellowfin as Bigeye and charge a premium. However, it is challenging to misrepresent Yellowfin as Bluefin. The contrast between flavor and fat is simply too great. However, misrepresentation of tuna typically occurs with white tuna, not red.
- There is no true “white” tuna, but sushi restaurants will market other fish as “SUPER white tuna” in order to entice customers to purchase a fish they would not ordinarily purchase.
- Escolar is among these species.
- Escolar, which was banned in Japan in 1977 and in the early 1990s in the United States, has returned to American sushi menus as a popular fatty fish option.
However, buyers should be aware that escolar contains a waxy keto ester that is indigestible by humans. Consuming more than 3 ounces of this fish, whether raw or cooked, can cause digestive issues that will send you to the restroom (). For your next sushi dinner, choose a restaurant that is forthcoming about the origin of its fish and the suppliers.
Which white fish can be used in sushi rolls?
I’ve been making sushi with salmon and tuna for some time, but I’d like to know if there are any firm white-fleshed fish that pair well with apple and cucumber in rolled sushi. I’ve tried cod, but it’s not particularly flavorful.
How is tuna referred to in Japanese?
– What is the distinction between maguro, tsuna, and shiichikin? The Japanese term, or maguro, is used to refer to both raw and cooked tuna. (tsuna) is derived from English and refers to canned drained, flaked tuna, whereas (shiichikin) means “sea chicken” and is the brand name of canned tuna used by Hagoromo Foods Corporation.
How is Hamachi sushi made?
Hamachi vs. Maguro – Hamachi is a migratory species of yellowtail (tuna-like fish) found off the coasts of the United States and Japan. In sushi restaurants, farmed hamachi is frequently served separately from skipjack tuna or “maguro.”