Kohada, Shinko, Nakazumi, Konoshiro | Japanese Gizzard Shad

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Name Kohada, Shinko, Nakazumi, Konoshiro
Other name Gizzard Shad
Other name (wrong)  
Latin name Dorosoma cepedianum
Japanese name コハダ Kohada
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Clupeiformes
Family Clupeidae
Species K. punctatus
Genus Konosirus

The youngest fish is called as shinko シンコ (under 5 cm). Than Kohada コハダ (around 10 cm) is slightly more mature. After the fish mature enough, Japanese people call them as Nakazumi なかずみ and finally konoshiro コノシロ (after 15cm) after Kohada fish is getting very mature.

Kohada Konosirus punctatus is different than American gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum.

Kohada is one of the "must have" in classic edomae sushi. It is considered as the king of the silver-skinned fish. Kohada is rarely to be used for non-sushi (sashimi or fancy dishes).

Flavor & Texture
The kohada, in general, has a oily, bold, robust flavor. The meat should be moderate soft, melts and strong fishy smell. Very shinny skin is soft and highly agressive flavor too. The meat has white to pink color.

The youngest (shinko) has softer texture and less fishy smell. The oldest (konoshiro) has meaty texture and has more fishy smell. The problem with the oldest kohada is the bone. When the fish is getting older, the bone is getting more and stick to the meat. The harder for the chef to process.

Small fish. The youngest one should be 3cm to 5cm and the oldest one is 15 cm. It is expensive fish. The shinko (youngest) can reach $ 300/lb.

They can be caught by net. They are available along the shore. Usually they are accidentally trapped by nets. It is consider as rare fish and live in schools. The greatest Kohada live around shoes of Central Japan, eastern China and Korean Peninsula. the best season to harvest Kohada fish is early fall.

Sushi Preparation
Preparation needs more attention because it is small fish. After the chef take out the bone, the meat should be marinated with either salt, vinegar, lemon or lime. Some chefs are using salt for an hour, than wash out with vinegar and lemon. It is the time for chef to show how great their skill to battle the fish smell and increasing texture and flavor at the same time. The older the fish, the more bone they have, the harder the process.

Shallow cutting is the process to cut the skin little bit when the sushi is presented. The function of the cutting techniques is giving air to touch the meat for texture and flavor.

Konoshiro is very rarely for sushi because it is hard to take off the bone. Konoshiro (oldest) has too strong smell for sushi. Some chef has slightly seared the meat or grill them before they make a sushi.


Good protein. Moderate fish fat content and omega-3. Less mercury.


Nutrition Fact 100 grams +3.5 oz
Protein (g)  
Fat (g)  
Saturated fat (g)  
Sodium (mg)  
Cholesterol (mg)  
Source of information:

Wikipedia, Sustainable sushi


Kohada with cutting technique. Kevineats

Kohada in different style. Tanoshi Sushi, NYC. seriouseat. Sustainable sushi  

A tiny note:

The review about the taste above is a general review. There is no fish taste the same. The weather, size, quality, the source of the fish and how the sushi chef prepare them are important aspects to the taste and texture. We try to write as accurate as possible. Therefore, we are looking forward to the reader to participate in the discussion/comment to add/adjust/revise those review. Please mention when, where and specific detail how you review the fish.