Sushi appears to be an infinite universe. A variety of seafood is available, including raw squid, eel served over tangy rice, and pink butterflied shrimp. Just think of the mayonnaise and cream cheese-stuffed Americanized rolls that will be served after. There seems to be something for everyone here, from the fatty cuts of salmon delicately placed over hand-crafted rice balls to the lightly sweetened eggs.
However, no two pieces of sushi are alike. To assist you in navigating the complex world of sushi, we polled 13 of the country’s most renowned sashimi masters to find out which fish they believe are overrated and which are real gems in the rice.
You don’t have to be concerned the next time your favourite sushi joint runs out of fatty tuna. Here’s what you could have instead, if you’re feeling adventurous.
Chef de cuisine at Uchi Dallas, Matt Foreman
Salmon is a terrible example of something that is overrated.
“There’s no question about it: salmon. As far as options go, this one is the least ominous. An excellent choice for those who are stumped as to what to eat when faced with an array of possibilities. It’s both a must-have and a pointless addition to the menu. It’s just dull, to be honest. Because my family believed salmon to be good fish, I ate a lot of it as a kid. To be sure, it’s a childhood food memory. But it’s one I’d prefer to forget.”
Saba is undervalued (mackerel)
“It’s a beautiful fish. Anything that has a ‘fishy’ odour turns off a lot of people. They immediately link that smell to spoiled food and fail to realise that certain flavours and aromas can be mouthwatering. When combined with stronger flavours like ginger or garlic, Saba’s flavour shines. It’s a very versatile and tasty fish, whether it’s pickled raw for sushi or grilled with some fresh veg.
“In the first place, it’s something we shouldn’t be eating at all. Put an end to your whining. Put an end to your recklessness.
Kampachi is underappreciated (greater amberjack)
In addition to the sweetness and butter added to the acidity of the rice, it has a nice, firm texture. Additionally, it contains a low amount of mercury and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.”
“It’s tasteless. It’s bland. It has a strong fishy and greasy flavour to it in my opinion. There isn’t a single sushi chef I know who enjoys hamachi.
Mackerel is a delicious but underrated seafood.
“It’s very flavorful. It’s rich in healthy fats like Omega-3 fatty acids and buttery in taste. “It’s delicious both raw and cooked, and as sushi.”
It’s better to get bigeye’s shoulder because the belly is too oily for your palate.
Engawa is an underrated talent (halibut)
In spite of its unusual texture and surprising rich taste for a lean fish, sushi chefs have long favoured halibut’s fin section.
“This fish is known as ‘butter fish,”super white tuna,’ or ‘walu.’ There isn’t a lot of flavour in Escolar, but it’s packed with oil.
Iwashi is underappreciated (sardine)
“Sushi chefs in the United States have refused to serve iwashi for some time. Eating iwashi raw is a special treat because it is difficult to find them in a fresh state to begin with. Whether or not an iwashi is good is entirely up to the sushi chef.”