HomeFoods And DrinksKohada Sushi: Everything You Need To Know

Kohada Sushi: Everything You Need To Know

Kohada Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish. For this, a special silvery small fish found in the Pacific Ocean is used and the fish is known as Dotted Gizzard Shad or Konoshiro Gizzard Shad in English. This fish is in high demand in Japan due to its unique taste, texture, and nutritional value. This article will walk through all aspects of this fish species, including its use and preparation methods in sushi and other cuisines.

History of Kohada Sushi

Kohada Sushi also known as Konoshiro Sushi in Japanese has a long history as a traditional Japanese dish. Coastal communities have been dependent on these fish for thousands of years, and hence they have been referred to as “Konoshiro” in Japanese literature since the eighth century. The fish was prized for its distinctive flavor and nutritional value and was often served as a delicacy to nobility and samurai warriors.

During the Edo period (1603-1868) the popularity of this species increased as it became a main ingredient in sushi and sashimi dishes. At this time, the fish was often marinated in vinegar and salt to enhance its flavor and texture. It was served with other seafood such as tuna, salmon, and sea urchins.

This fish species gained a reputation as a high-quality seafood product and began exporting to countries around the world after Japan opened up to the world in the late 1800s. Even today, eating this fish is highly valued in Japan and it should be remembered that it is an important ingredient in traditional Japanese cooking.

Nutritional Value

Kohada Sushi - a traditional Japanese dish

Kohada sushi is full of exceptionally nutrient-dense and they have an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Omega-3 fatty acids aid in cognitive function, the maintenance of a healthy heart, and the reduction of inflammation. Calcium, iron, and zinc, as well as vitamins A, D, and E, are all found in this fish.

Culinary Uses

These species of fish are primarily used in traditional dishes such as sushi and sashimi. Following are some of its common culinary uses:

  • Sushi: The fish is a popular choice for sushi. It is often prepared as “Kohada sushi” where the fish is marinated in a seasoned vinegar mixture called “Sushizu” before being placed on a small mound of rice. The marination process improves its taste and texture.
  • Nigiri: Apart from sushi, this fish species can be used in nigiri sushi, where a slice of fish is placed on top of a small oblong mound of rice, sometimes secured with a thin strip of seaweed.
  • Sashimi: The fish is also served as sashimi, thinly sliced, and presented without rice. Kohada sashimi showcases the delicate flavor of the fish, often accompanied by garnishes like grated ginger or a splash of soy sauce.
  • Marinated preparation: These fish are often marinated in vinegar, salt, and sugar to reduce their fishy smell and enhance their taste. The marination process helps improve the texture and flavor of the fish.
  • Culinary Garnish: Its silvery skin makes it visually appealing, often used as a garnish in various traditional Japanese dishes.

How to Prepare

Due to the fish’s small size and delicate texture, this fish can be quite difficult to cook or prepare to eat. To prepare for Kohada sushi or sashimi, they must first be filleted and soaked in vinegar for several hours to remove unwanted flavors or odors. It is then lightly salted and served raw. For grilling, it is first marinated in soy sauce and for several hours. It is then grilled until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

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Prparing Kohada Sushi - a traditional Japanese dish



  • 2 Kohada fillets
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


  • Rinse the fillets in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Cut the fillets into thin slices and arrange them on a plate.
  • Sprinkle salt over the slices and let sit for 10 minutes. Then,
  • rinse the salt off the slices with cold water and pat dry.
  • Mix the rice vinegar and soy sauce together in a small bowl.
  • Pour the mixture over the slices and serve.



  • 4 Kohada fillets
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Rinse the fillets in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Mix the soy sauce, sake, and sugar together in a bowl. Add the fillets to the bowl and marinate for at least 2 hours. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush the grill grates with vegetable oil. Take the fillets from the marinade and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until crispy and cooked through. Eat hot with steamed rice and vegetables.

Benefits and nutritional information you may gain from eating Kohada

Kohada Sushi - a traditional Japanese dish

Gizzard shad is a nutritious and healthy fish that offers a range of health benefits. Here are some of the key nutritional information and benefits you may gain from eating this fish:

  • Protein

This fish is a good source of high-quality protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. A 100-gram contains approximately 18 grams of protein.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Kohada is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to a range of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and promoting brain function.

  • Vitamins and Minerals

The fish is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, and phosphorus. These nutrients are important for maintaining strong bones, supporting immune function, and promoting overall health.

  • Low in Calories

The fish is relatively low in calories, with a 100-gram serving containing approximately 123 calories. This makes it a good choice for those who are mind about calorie intake.

Health Benefits

Kohada Sushi - a traditional Japanese dish

In Japanese traditional medicine, the Kohada is believed to have several health benefits. It is thought to help improve digestion, boost energy levels, and promote overall health and well-being.

Where to Try

If you’re interested in trying Kohada sushi, there are several places where you can find them. Here are some options:

  • Japan

Of course, the best place to try sushi is in Japan itself. Kohada sushi is widely available at restaurants and markets throughout the country, and there are even festivals dedicated to the fish in some regions. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, be sure to try some dishes and experience this unique and flavorful seafood.

  • Japanese Restaurants Worldwide

Many Japanese restaurants around the world offer sushi and Sashimi on their menu. Sushi restaurants are good places. You can also find grilled or fried dishes at izakaya-style restaurants.

Grilled Kohada

Where I can find Kohada Sushi in the USA?

If you’re in the United States and looking to try these sushi types, there are several options available. Here are a few places where you may be able to find in the US:

Japanese Restaurants:

Japanese restaurants in the USA that specialize in sushi or sashimi are a good place to start. For example Sushi Nakazawa. Many of these restaurants will offer this on their menu, either as a standalone dish or as part of a sushi platter.

Asian Supermarkets:

Some Asian supermarkets may have Kohada, either fresh or frozen. Look for stores that specialize in Japanese or Asian ingredients, as they are more likely to have this.

Online Specialty Stores:

You can also try ordering online from specialty stores that sell Japanese ingredients. Some stores may offer fresh or frozen, as well as pre-made Kohada sushi or marinades.

It’s important to note that availability may vary depending on where you live in the US and that some options may be more expensive or harder to find than others. It’s always a good idea to call ahead or check online.

How much is it?

Kohada Sushi - a traditional Japanese dish

The price can vary depending on several factors, including the type of dish, the preparation method, the restaurant or store you’re buying it from, and the region where you’re located.

In general, Kohada is considered a premium seafood in Japanese cuisine, so it may be more expensive than other types of fish. Sushi or sashimi dishes with this fish at Japanese restaurants in the US may cost anywhere from $3 to $8 per dish, depending on the quality and location of the restaurant.

If you’re buying at a fish market or online store, prices may also vary depending on the source and quality of the fish. Fresh fish can cost anywhere from $10 to $20 per pound, while frozen fish may be slightly cheaper.

It’s worth noting that the price of dishes may also be affected by factors such as seasonality and availability. This species is a seasonal fish, with peak season occurring in the summer months, so prices may be higher or lower depending on the time of year.


Overall, This is a nutritious and healthy food that provides a variety of health advantages. If you want to eat more seafood, Kohada sushi is a great option to explore.


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