Pacific Bonito

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Name Pacific Bonito
Other name Bonito
Other similar fish name Katsuwonus pelamis, skipjack tuna, katsuo
Latin name Sarda chiliensis
Japanese name ぼにと bonito
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Scombridae
Species S. chilensis
Genus Sarda

It is a popular sushi fish in United States. However, it is infamous in Japan. Pacific bonito is not the same with skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis. Even though skipjack tuna is very similar shape, the texture, color and flavor of the meat are totally different. It is still ambiguous that katsuo (skipjack tuna) is similar or same fish with bonito.

Bonito has few differents type:

  • Australian bonito - sarda australis
  • Eastern Pacific bonito - sarda chiliensis chiliensis
  • Pacific bonito - sarda chiliensis iineolata
  • Stripped bonito - sarda orientalis
  • Atlantic bonito - sarda sarda

Flavor & Texture
Generally, almost all type of bonito are similar. The color of the meat should be deep white to pink. However, some type of bonito may have pink to red color. The meat is generally between soft to very soft meat, fishy smell, bold and flavorful. This meat is easy to chew and melts. Some restaurants sell skipjack tuna or katsuo as bonito because bonito has more value. The color of katsuo (skipjack tuna) is violet deep red unlike true bonito. The texture of skipjack tuna is less soft and meaty compare to bonito.

It is big fish, the biggest can reach 40" with the weight 25lbs. It might be the combination between tuna and mackerel.

They can be caught by net or trolling when they try to fish tuna. They live in warm water and go to the coastal area during the spring or early summer. Therefore, the season is spring to early summer. March to September is the best season on the market. People may easily catch this fish accidentally as well.

Sushi Preparation
You need to take off the skin (very chewy) after take out the head, remove the blood line. If the bonito is very young, take off the skin may not needed. Manually strong fire seared in stick with little salt is highly recommended. The other method is using the torch. Both are recommended to replace fishy smell with burn smell.

There are many different ways to prepare, present and marinated bonito fish. It challenges the chef to prepare the best.

Bonito has good protein, fat and omega 3. However, it has very high mercury as well. Eat with responsibility


Nutrition Fact 100 grams +3.5 oz
Calories 153
Protein (g) 25
Fat (g) 6
Saturated fat (g) 1.6
Sodium (mg) 40
Cholesterol (mg) 45
Potassium (mg) 330
Source of information:

Wikipedia, Sustainable sushi


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.