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What part of the salmon is used for Sashimi?

Salmon, Pastel drawing by Kaz Matsune

(Article originally posted on

If you ever wondered which part of a fish is used for Sashimi and Nigiri, here is an answer.

Please look at the pictures below.

If you look at the whole salmon, the inside of the green line is suitable for Sashimi.

The tail part (right part, outside of the green line) is too lean for Sashimi, as it gets the most exercise. Therefore, normally, it's used for rolls.

(This picture is Ocean Trout, not Salmon but the principle is the same)

If you look at the fillet, what's circled in red is ideal for Sashimi, with "A" being considered to the most premium - belly, AKA Salmon Toro, followed by B and then C.

The white part just below the "A" is covered with hard flesh. The texture is similar to skin, but it's not skin. It is the part where internal organs were.

Even after you remove this white skin-like part, some of the flesh is too hard. This part is either scraped and used for spicy salmon, some other specials like baked salmon roll, or can be used as an employee meal.

There are several ways to cut into "Saku" blocks. Below is one way. Each Saku measures roughly four-finger width.

(This picture is Ocean Trout, not Salmon but the principle is the same)

Another way is to cut like below. You get three longer Saku pieces and can use the tail part.

Now you know which part of Salmon to use for Sahimi, you'd like to cure your Salmon.


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