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What part of the salmon is used for Sashimi?

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Salmon, Pastel drawing by Kaz Matsune

(Article originally posted on

If you've ever wondered which part of a salmon is used for Sashimi and Nigiri, let me provide you with an answer. Please refer to the images below.

When considering the whole salmon, the area inside the green line is ideal for Sashimi.

On the other hand, the tail part (located outside the green line) is too lean for Sashimi as it gets the most exercise. Consequently, it is commonly used for rolls.

(Although the picture below shows Ocean Trout, the principle applies to salmon.)

Now, focusing on the fillet, the portion encircled in red is perfect for Sashimi, with "A" being the most premium part known as belly, also referred to as Salmon Toro, followed by B and then C.

The white part just below "A" is covered with hard flesh, resembling the texture of skin but not exactly the same. It is where the internal organs were located.

Even after removing this white skin-like part, some of the flesh might still be too firm. This part is either scraped and used for dishes like spicy salmon or other specials such as baked salmon rolls, or it can be utilized as an employee meal.

There are different ways to cut the salmon into "Saku" blocks. One method is depicted below, where each Saku measures roughly four-finger width.

(Once again, the picture illustrates Ocean Trout, but the same principle applies to salmon.)

Another technique involves cutting as shown below, which results in three longer Saku pieces and includes the tail part.

Now that you know which part of the salmon is best for Sashimi, you might be interested in learning how to cure your salmon. For the recipe on How to Cure Salmon for Sushi, please read further. Happy sushi preparation!


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