Tako – octopus

Tako – Octopus

Source: Wild Mercury Risk: Low One of the most easily identifiable items at the sushi bar is the dimpled purple and white tako. Tako is prepared octopus sushi, usually of the species Octopus vulgaris (madako in Japanese). Unlike many fish that are offered raw, octopus is cooked and brined before it is served as sushi. Japan has a large octopus preparation industry….

Gindara – sablefish

Gindara – Sablefish

Source: Wild, Farmed Mercury Risk: Low Gindara, in English: sablefish, black cod, or butterfish, is caught along the North American coast from the Bering Sea to Baja California. Most of this fish catch has historically ended up in Tokyo sushi restaurants, where the delicate white flesh of the sablefish is prized for its flavor and texture. What is…

Ebi – shrimp

Ebi – Shrimp

Source: Farmed, Wild Mercury Risk: Low Shrimp is the most popular seafood item in the United States. Over the past two decades, it has transformed from a relatively expensive delicacy into a staple of the American diet. Shrimp has recently surpassed such long-standing fish icons as salmon and canned tuna in popularity, and it is now…

Awabi – abalone

Awabi – Abalone

Source: Farmed, Wild Mercury Risk: Low The abalone is a slow-moving, algae-munching snail with the unfortunate quality of being absolutely delicious.  Many abalone stocks are threatened or endangered, and as such, wild abalone must be avoided at the sushi bar.  As a matter of fact, an American sushi chef serving awabi sushi, or wild abalone, is…

Ankimo – monkfish liver

Ankimo – Monkfish Liver

Source: Wild Mercury Risk: Low Although not overly common in the United States, monkfish—and more often, monkfish liver (ankimo)—is certainly available in many upscale sushi establishments. Monkfish liver is similar to a fine pâté in texture and is often smoked or steamed and served with scallions, daikon radish, and red-pepper sauce (momiji oroshi). Monkfish is also…

Anago – conger eel

Anago – Conger Eel

Source: Wild, some farmed Mercury Risk: Low There are two types of eel that one might encounter at a U.S. sushi bar. The first, unagi, is the more common option and is discussed in the entry on freshwater eel. The other, anago, is less common, but recognition among American sushi patrons is growing. What is Anago (Conger Eel)?…

Akame – barramundi

Akame – Barramundi

Source: Farmed, some wild Mercury Risk: Low Not a traditional sushi fish, the stocky humpbacked barramundi is a transplant from the coasts of Australia and the tropical straits of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It is quite rare to find barramundi on North American sushi menus, but if it is raised responsibly, farmed barramundi can be one…

Aburasokomutsu – escolar (walu walu)

Aburasokomutsu – Escolar (Walu Walu)

Source: Wild Mercury Risk: High Call it escolar, butterfish, walu, super white tuna, aburasokomutsu, or whatever you’d like – by any name, this medium-sized ocean fish poses a confounding set of challenges and is problematic at best.  In fact, the commercial sale of escolar is banned in Japan and Italy.  There’s a good reason for that. Why is…

Sustainable unagi sushi recipe (sablefish vs eel)

Sustainable Unagi Sushi Recipe (Sablefish vs Eel)

This unagi sushi recipe uses sustainable sablefish in place of traditional and unsustainable freshwater eel. If you love unagi, this will be a close cousin that you’ll feel a lot better about eating, when considering the sustainability issues of fishing eel. INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 lbs. sablefish fillet (or black cod) 1 large sheet konbu (kelp) 1/4 cup water 1/4…