SUSHI GUIDE: Iwashi (Sardine)


Compared with its reasonable price, the taste is as excellent as that of premium fish. As sardine is not be able to preserve longer, only freshest ones can be eaten as sushi toppings. It is well known as the richness in nutrition.

1. Season and area of production

Sardines are landed in coastal areas all over Japan, especially in Chiba, Ibaragi, and Mie. Putting on fat, they are in season from August to October.

2. Savory and appetizing iwashi (sardine) as sushi neta

Freshest fatty sardines in season has creamy taste and they are at double the fat. While the flesh is tender and has simple taste, the fat has rich umami flavor. As sushi toppings, they are eaten raw or marinated in vinegar to gain refreshing taste.

3. Other ways to enjoy iwashi

You don’t need to get bored as sardine can be cooked with various methods. Besides sushi toppings, various dishes can be enjoyed as sashimi, grill, deep-fried, vinegared salad, and braised sardine. In addition, marinating in oil or anchovy can keep longer. Young sardines are made into shirasu-boshi (lightly dried baby sardines) or niboshi (fully dried young sardines).


Iwashi no Umeni (Sardines Simmered with Dried-plum)


Marinated Iwashi, sardine


Shirasu – boiled and dried baby sardines. It is commonly eaten as shirasu-don, rice topped with shirasu.