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Why Shark or Swordfish is Not Typically Used for Sushi?

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

( Kuruma Ebi, pastel drawing by Kaz Matsune)

(original post from

While it's true that Swordfish can be used for sushi, including Nigiri and Sashimi, it's not as commonly seen as other fish varieties. The belly part, in particular, offers a delicious taste and can serve as a good substitute for Toro.

The reason behind its relative lack of popularity in sushi remains somewhat unknown. In Japan, the preference leans towards regular Tuna/Maguro, leaving less demand for Swordfish as a sushi item. Swordfish are typically prepared through cooking methods.

As for the shark, you won't find it served as Nigiri or Sashimi due to its specific requirements. For it to be safely consumed raw, it must be incredibly fresh. Shark blood contains urea, which over time decomposes and emits an ammonia odor. As such, it is not a common choice for raw consumption in sushi.


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