Sanma | Pacific saury, Fall sword fish

Average: 5 (1 vote)
Your rating: None
Name Sanma
Other name Pacific saury, Fall sword fish
Other name (wrong) Pike mackerel, blue mackerel
Latin name Cololabis saira
Japanese name サンマ, 秋刀魚 Sanma
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Beloniformes
Family Scomberesocidae
Species C. Saira
Genus Cololabis

Flavor & Texture
Sanma has soft texture, and easy to eat. Sanma is oily and rich taste. The oil makes sanma has bold flavor. The flavor is similar to "blue" fish such as mackerel, herring and sardine. The skin has unique texture; slightly chewy and soft. This is the reason why sushi chef loves to present sanma with the skin. Skin has great visual presentation and add a little layer texture on the sushi. The visual color of meat is dark pink to red.

Small fish 0.2 - 0.6 lbs. Must item for autumn in Japan. It is consider a cheap fish which people use as bait or zoo animal meals.

They can be caught by net. They are available along the coasts of Pacific Ocean including Japan, Russia northeast coast, Gulf of Alaska and Mexico. They are schooling in moderate size of group. Fall is the season for sanma fish.

Sushi Preparation
Preparation needs more attention. The meat is easy to break when the chef is not carefully to cut or take off the bone. The bone is on the center and it is not hard to take off. We could not able to use the head and the tail. The fish is contain high protein and fat. Therefore, sanma has strong smell. The chef must use either salt, lemon, lime, vinegar or mix of them to kill the smell. Some chef have their own technique and skill to make this cheap fish to be an excellent meat for sushi.

Rich of good protein. High omega-3. However, low in mercury. That is great nutrition fact.

Nutrition Fact 100 grams +3.5 oz
Calories 299
Protein (g) 25
Fat (g) 16
Saturated fat (g) 3
Sodium (mg) 89
Cholesterol (mg) 79
Source of information:

Wikipedia, Sustainable sushi,


Sanma sushi with ginger and scallion garnish, Cooking with Kathy

Sanma fish.    

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.