Japan’s Popular Sushi Fish and Their Seasonality


Japanese sushi is a globally popular delicacy known for its fresh and delicious flavors. In this blog post, we’re going to look at Japan’s popular sushi fish and their seasonality. The choice of fish and seafood for sushi depends a lot on the season, and we will find out why this is so important.

The love of sushi in Japan

Sushi has a long and traditional history in Japan. It is not only part of the culinary tradition, but also a symbol of craftsmanship and enjoyment. The Japanese appreciate the art of sushi and the perfection required to prepare it. Sushi restaurants are an important part of food culture in Japan, attracting both locals and tourists.

Importance of seasonality

Seasonality plays a crucial role in the selection of sushi ingredients. In Japan, it is common for the selection of fish and seafood to vary depending on the season. This is due to the availability of fresh and high-quality ingredients that affect the taste and texture of the sushi.

Seasonality also influences the preparation of sushi dishes. Some types of fish are at their best at certain times of the year and are meant to be enjoyed at certain times to experience their full aroma and freshness. In addition, the sustainability and protection of marine ecosystems is promoted by taking seasonality into account.

Popular Sushi Fish in Spring

In spring, not only the flowers come to life, but also the popular sushi fish. This season offers a variety of fresh and tasty fish that are perfect for making sushi. Let’s take a look at two popular sushi fish that taste especially good in the spring.

The versatile Sakura-Dai

The sakura-dai, also known as redfish, is especially popular in the spring. This fish impresses not only with its tender and tasty meat, but also with its versatility. Whether raw as a sashimi or in a maki roll, the sakura-dai is a treat for any sushi lover. Its floral and slightly sweet flavor gives the spring sushi a special touch that is simply irresistible.

Aji: The Fresh Harbinger of Spring

Another popular sushi fish in spring is the aji, also known as mackerel. With its fresh and intense taste, the aji is a real asset to any sushi platter. Its juicy meat and high omega-3 content make it a healthy and delicious treat. Whether as a nigiri or sashimi, the aji is a fresh harbinger of spring that makes the hearts of sushi fans beat faster.

By the way, the aji is also known for its role as a harbinger of spring in Japanese culture and is often seen as a symbol of new beginnings and freshness.

Summer favourites: fish in the hot season

In summer, there is a variety of delicious fish that are particularly popular in Japanese cuisine. These can be enjoyed particularly well in light and refreshing sushi dishes and thus perfectly complement the warm season.

Hamo: A summer treat

Hamo, also known as sole bass, is a popular fish in Japanese cuisine, especially in summer. Its tender and delicate meat is excellent for sushi and is often served grilled or steamed. With its mild and slightly sweet note, Hamo is a real treat in the hot season.

Katsuo’s high season

Katsuo, also known as bonito, is particularly popular in Japan during the summer. The spicy flavor and firm texture make this fish an ideal ingredient for sushi. In the summer months, katsuo reaches its peak season and is used fresh and delicious in numerous dishes.

You can read more about Katsuo’s high season and other summer favorites in my next blog post. Stay tuned for more exciting information on popular sushi fishing in Japan.

Autumn treasures from the sea

Sanma: The tasty harbinger of autumn

In autumn, one of the most popular sushi fish in Japan is the sanma, also known as Pacific mackerel pike. Its greasy and spicy flavor goes perfectly with autumn cuisine. Sanma is often served grilled and is a real treat for fish lovers in the cool autumn season.

The powerful autumn classic: Saba

Saba, or Pacific mackerel, is another popular sushi fish that is in high season in the fall. Its strong flavour and firm meat quality make it an ideal companion for autumnal sushi creations. Whether raw or marinated, Saba is a must for all lovers of autumnal sushi delicacies.

The Saba is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, so it offers not only an exquisite taste but also health benefits. Its strong aroma and firm meat qualities make it an ideal companion for autumnal sushi creations.

Winter Delicacies: Sushi in the Cold

Welcome back to my blog about Japanese food! In winter, sushi is a particularly popular delicacy in Japan. The cooler temperatures produce some of the most delicious and interesting fish used for sushi. If you want to learn more about Japanese food, check out this article on all about Japanese food .

Fugu: A Risky Winter Treat

One of the most exciting, but also risky, options for winter sushi is fugu, the pufferfish. This fish is famous for its deadly poisons, but they are safely removed by specially trained chefs. So, eating fugu is a risky treat that should only be prepared by experienced professionals.

The power of the Buri in winter

Another winter delicacy is the buri, also known as yellow mackerel. This fish is particularly rich and tasty in the winter months. Its high fat content makes it perfect for sushi and provides an exceptional taste experience.

The buri is highly prized in traditional Japanese cuisine and is an important ingredient in seasonal sushi dishes in winter.

Seasonal Sushi: A Changing Tradition

The preparation of seasonal sushi has a long tradition in Japan. However, over time, ingredients and ways of preparation have evolved to meet the current tastes and needs of consumers. Nowadays, seasonal sushi is often presented with modern influences and new creations that preserve the old traditions but also break new ground.

The variety and innovation in Japanese cuisine ensure that seasonal sushi always remains exciting and delicious.

The Future of Japan’s Sushi Fishing

The future of Japan’s sushi fishing faces some challenges, such as overfishing and environmental changes. In order to protect these important resources, sustainable practices and innovative solutions are increasingly being researched and applied. It is important that we all do our part to preserve the variety and quality of Japanese sushi fish for generations to come.


Q: What are the popular sushi fish in Japan?

A: In Japan, some of the most popular sushi fish are tuna (maguro), salmon (sake), eel (unagi), and yellowtail (hamachi).

Q: When is tuna season in Japan?

A: The tuna season in Japan varies depending on the species. Bluefin tuna is mainly catchable from May to August, while yellowfin tuna is most common from November to March.

Q: Is there seasonality for salmon in Japan?

A: In Japan, salmon is available year-round, but the best fishing seasons are during the winter months from November to March.

Q: When is the best time to get eel for sushi in Japan?

A: The eel season in Japan is from summer to autumn, especially from July to September.

Q: Is Yellowtail available for sushi all year round?

A: Yellowtail, also known as hamachi, is available year-round in Japan, but the best quality is expected from spring to summer.

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