Iwana – arctic char

Iwana – Arctic Char

Source: Farmed, some wild Mercury Risk: LowArctic char, a close relative of trout and salmon, has only found its way onto U.S. sushi menus in the past few years. Char is known as iwana in Japanese. Its delicate red flesh and firm texture are quickly earning it a place in the American palate. Arctic char is a cold-water fish…

Ika – squid

Ika – Squid

Source: Wild Mercury Risk: Low Most of the true squid sushi (ika) served in U.S. sushi restaurants is flown in from Japan, but occasionally domestic product is used, usually in appetizers. There are three main types of domestic squid available in the United States—long-fin, short-fin, and Humboldt or jumbo squid. Long-fin and short-fin squid are small…

Hotate – scallop

Hotate – Scallop

Source: Farmed, Wild Mercury Risk: Low Scallops (hotate, in Japanese) hold a place of honor not just at the sushi bar but to the American seafood palate in general. Revered for their rich delicate flesh, scallops add a touch of decadence to many different types of cuisine. The major market distinction for this bivalve is size—large…

License to kill (why krill fisheries are in danger)

License to Kill (Why Krill Fisheries Are In Danger)

Two days ago, the gavel came down in an adjudication decision which may, more than any other recent hammer-strike, determine the future of fishing and sustainability of krill fisheries: The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) officially bestowed its blue-and-white fish-check label to a massive factory operator that targets Antarctic krill. This is not a good thing. Antarctic…

Hokkigai – surf clams

Hokkigai – Surf Clams

Source: Wild Mercury Risk: Low With its triangular shape and swollen red foot, hokkigai is one of the most easily identifiable options at the sushi bar, alongside more popular fish options. Known both as the arctic surf clam and Stimpson’s surf clam, hokkigai is a long-lived burrowing bivalve usually caught in the waters off Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. Surf…

Hirame – flatfish

Hirame – Flatfish

Source: Wild Mercury Risk: Low (Atlantic fluke), Moderate (California & Pacific halibuts) The term hirame can refer to just about any white-fleshed, horizontally oriented, bottom-dwelling fish: halibut, sole, flounder, fluke, turbot, and others. The key to enjoying hirame (or any flatfish sushi) responsibly is to discern which particular fish is on your plate. The best option we can hope for here…

Hiramasa – yellowtail amberjack

Hiramasa – Yellowtail Amberjack

Source: Farmed, some wild Mercury Risk: Unknown In the original edition of the book, Sustainable Sushi, there is only one chapter on amberjack.  Given the growth of the industry and the differences in species, farming techniques, and management protocols, I’ve decided to address these fish on a more individual basis.  So, I’ve split the original chapter into…

Suzuki – japanese sea bass

Suzuki – Japanese Sea Bass

Source: Wild, Farmed Mercury Risk: Unknown (Japanese sea bass), Low (Farmed striped bass) Suzuki fish (or Japanese Sea Bass) is a classic sushi option that is lauded in Japan but somewhat uncommon in the United States. This fish can be found in upscale establishments, but it cannot be considered a staple of the U.S. sushi industry. While English speakers use…