Allison Day

These days, everyone is doing what they can to go green and be better for the environment. We use energy-saving light bulbs and appliances, drive cars that waste less gas, and recycle or reuse more of our resources. Going green has become the latest fad, the coolest thing to do. Just like everyone else, I do my part – but as a sushi lover, there’s a heck of a lot more that I can do.

Tuna Sushi

For those of you like me who love sushi, the most well-known way to save the environment is to stop eating bluefin tuna. Everyone knows the beloved fish is slowly nearing extinction, mostly because it has become so popular with us sushi fanatics. I do have to admit eating bluefin tuna, though only one or two times, but I do try to choose a different type of tuna whenever I make sushi at home. But did you know that there are many more types of fish and seafood that are just as unsustainable as bluefin tuna?

Recently, I was given a copy of Sustainable Sushi by Casson Trenor to review. I was shocked to see just how many different types of fish and other seafood were included in the book, and it was fascinating to see how my favorites stacked up in terms of sustainability.

For each type of seafood, Trenor gives a full description of the seafood and how it is caught. There are beautiful colorful drawings and photographs of the seafood and how it’s often eaten on every page. He gives the English name, Japanese name, and Japanese symbols for each type of seafood. Finally, not only does he give separate ratings of sustainability for the different ways and locations in which the seafood is caught or farmed, he also gives a rating for the danger of the mercury level that can be found in the seafood. It really is a great book, quite helpful for those of us who love seafood but want to minimize our negative impact on the environment.

Salmon Sushi

Win the Book!

Curious about whether your favorite fish or seafood is sustainable or not? Well, you’re in luck! I’ve also been given five extra copies of the book, to be given away to five lucky Sushi Day readers. All you have to do to win is comment on this post and tell me what your favorite sashimi or seafood is. (Vegetarian? Tell me what your favorite sushi consists of!) Make sure you enter a valid email address in the email field so I can contact you if you win.

The contest ends on Saturday, March 7th, at 11:59pm PST. Five lucky winners will be announced on Monday, March 9th.

Bonus Entry: Write about this contest on Twitter! Just leave another comment here with a link to your tweet to get a second entry into the contest!

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  1. michael faith says:

    Hey there,
    I’m a HUGE crab and shrimp fan. So, as a result, my favorite sushi tends to be rolls which contain that as its main focus. There is one note to that, though. I do not care for fried foods, and not a huge tempura fan. So the shrimp rolls that I like are not those with shrimp tempura.

  2. Beth says:

    I love anything having to do with salmon, smoked, raw, or cooked.

  3. Michael Schoonmaker says:

    I was just having a discussion along these lines the other day. Fortunately, my local fish market does not sell bluefin – beyond that, however, I’m not sure how sustainable my habits are. For instance, how sustainable are skate wings? Even if I don’t win, I’ll have to track down that book.

  4. Hannah says:

    I looove salmon in all forms, including roe.

  5. Friar says:

    My absolute favorite is the tuna sashimi. Not the white tuna…but the one with the rich, dark red meat. That almost melts in your mouth. I can’t get enough of that!

    (That’s probably the blue-fin tuna, right?) Darn…it figures!

    2nd favorite is salmon sashimi. And I like the tiny orange crunchy fish eggs.

    Friar’s last blog post… Dealing With Your Cabbages

  6. Michael Schoonmaker says:

    How foolish of me, I didn’t include my favorite! Octopus.

  7. Todd says:

    Call me crazy and non-traditional…but I really just can’t get enough of the Crab Sticks (Krab w/ a K). Day in and out any roll with this little surimi wonder makes for a happy belly.

  8. Casson says:


    Had to weigh in here: skate wings are bad news. Generally bottom-trawled (a weighted net is dragged along the bottom, scooping up whatever it encounters and destroying habitat in the process), skate in the US is usually caught from diminishing East Coast populations. So not only are we dealing with overfishing, it’s taken in an environmentally devastating way. To make matters worse, some skate boats will chop the wings off the poor critter while it is STILL ALIVE and dump the body back over the side to bleed to death. This is done to keep the overall weight of the catch down (increases profit per pound of cargo at landing.) But, I mean, c’mon — this is like Cruella Deville takes to the sea. Uncool.

    And SushiDay, thanks for the review! Great to know the book is helpful.

    For the Oceans


    Casson’s last blog post… “View From the Bay” today!

  9. Thas says:

    I have to admit, tuna is my favorite. I don’t eat it that often because of the mercury, and I’ve been revisiting that anyway because of the sustainability. Fortunately, I haven’t yet met a sashimi or piece of sushi I didn’t like, so adjusting my tastes to more environmentally friendly options shouldn’t be much of a problem. I reserve the right to eat tuna if I make it back to Masa in NYC, though. 🙂

  10. Lula Belle says:

    I love eel and squid – fantastic stuff!

    Lula Belle’s last blog post… hello new shoes

  11. antiSWer says:

    I love salmon, be it as sashimi, in rolls or in a cone.

    It’s good to see a post here. I love this site and especially the pics that are included.


    antiSWer’s last blog post… Is Social Work Just for the Left?

  12. Food Woolf says:

    In a time when information about our food is much easier to uncover, it’s important for us to do our homework about what we’re eating. Thanks for the head’s up on Trenor’s book. I love eating squid sushi, but when I make sashimi at home I tend to eat Hamachi.

    Great photos!

    Food Woolf’s last blog post… How to clean and cook Dungeness crab

  13. Joel says:

    Sake Nigiri.

    Sadly we will lose our favorite fish if the world doesn’t start eating salmon in a sustainable fashion. We all need to question, manipulate, and harass our local sushi joints to either buy sustainable wild salmon or no salmon at all. Farmed salmon is disgusting and the thought of eating it raw is revolting.

  14. Katrina says:

    And it’s not just fish unfortunately. One of my fave fillings is avocado which, since I live in the Pacific NW, has be trucked in quite a ways even if it comes from California. So I try to treat avocado as a treat.

    Fave fishy fillings: hamachi and unagi (also my son’s fave)
    Fave veggie fillings: tamago, tofu, avocado, red bell pepper and shiitake shrooms!

    Also, a question, while I make sushi at home I (so far) have not tried making any with raw fish due to safety concerns and lack of knowledge. Any chance you ould write up a beginner’s how-to for those of us comfortable making sushi but are a wee bit intimidated about selecting and cuting raw fish???

  15. Adolf says:

    we love Nigiri-zushi with salmon and avocado…….sound so good we’re going out to get some…..Adolf

  16. Christine says:

    I love tuna. I don’t eat it very much, due to mercury concerns, but once in a while I’ll have it. I like all the fish served chirashi – nice, beautiful slices of raw fish displayed on top of rice in a cute bowl. YUM!!

  17. Hungry Scholar says:

    I recently had a go at pan-seared scallops at home and instantly fell in love. Shame about the price though – but when served with a lemon, caper and shallot reduction, it somehow seems worth it. =)

  18. JERILYN says:


  19. Kevin Mark says:

    I love the Chirashi sushi dishes with their mix of nice pieces of raw fish scattered on a nice bed of rice. And I love eating gari, I could eat the stuff after each and every piece. I usually avoid ordering tuna as it seems so common. I realize the fatty type is better than say the stuff you get in tuna fish, but there are all those other types to try, why just eat tuna.

  20. Karianne says:

    Hey Allison! Great contest! I really want to read that book.

    Favorite sashimi… hmm. – I love salmon – especially in ponzu sauce!
    And aji (horse mackerel). Yum.

    Did a post on sustainable sushi just three days ago too:

    Will twitter you now. Double my chances… 🙂

  21. Karianne says:

  22. Laura McMullan says:

    I have to admit, I love the “fake” sushi. California rolls, the roll with the tuna salad stuff inside and rolled in omlet, veggie tempura roll…the list goes on. But recently I have been thinking of making my own sushi at home so this book would be great for me. I am tweeting you too:

    Thanks for the entry!

  23. Elizabeth says:

    My absolute favorite is scallop, it is so sweet and delightful! Eel, yellowtail, salmon, and tamago are all close seconds but anytime I go out I always try to get the scallop. I could eat it all day. 🙂

  24. Halifax says:

    If you’re open to non-US readers for this giveaway – My favorite sushi would need to have avocado, tamago and soft shelled crabs

  25. Brandy Przybyla says:

    I love the spicy tuna! I also am a sucker for the soft-shelled crab. Yumm. So many to choose from, but these are my favs.

    Brandy Przybyla’s last blog post… Water slide rant

  26. Michelle says:

    My all time favorite sashimi is ika (squid). I could probably eat it all day every day. Close seconds are salmon and scallop.

  27. Michelle says:

  28. Ed SPIGLE says:

    I like all kinds of sushi, but I am most partial to Sashimi. It is very hard to think about the source of the fish when your staring at a wonderful plate of sushi!!
    Our oceans are being polluted at an alarming rate with everything from phosphates (from farming fertilizers) to medical waste. you don’t even want to contemplate what 3rd world countries, Cruse ships, and the Asian countries dispose of in the oceans. Then there comes overfishing and non sustainable fishing methods. Awareness of our environment is key to a global understanding of our role in nature, yes, we are very much a part of nature. Even knowing all of this… I still eat my sushi with gusto!

  29. John 4 Bluefin says:

    It’s great to see sushi lovers raising awareness of the problems facing the bluefin tuna. You can represent the culinary viewpoint on which is a social network dedicated to raising awareness and providing solutions to help the bluefin. It would be great to have the contest winner and some of the better ideas here posted on SavetheBluefin as alternatives. I get questions often about eating sushi and your feedback would be wonderful. Allison – if you would like to pen a guest post I would be happy to feature it.

  30. Carolina says:

    I love the shrimp and scallops

  31. Elin says:

    I being very Scandinavian I have to admit that I love gravlax/graved salmon maki.

  32. rain says:

    tuna. nomnomnom!

  33. says:

    I love salmon!!

    According to the Ministry of Fisheries’ website, there are about 29 salmon farms in New Zealand covering a total of around 128 hectares. These 29 farms account for roughly half of the worldwide farmed king salmon production. Most of our farmed salmon is “Chinook” salmon. How about that for some useless information?

  34. Kathy says:

    Like the rest… I love a wide variety of sashimi & sushi… and unfortunately, my favorite is tuna. I have cut back on my consumption though and enjoy wild nw salmon most anyway, yellowtail with a few chives and if you can get spanish mackeral you are in for a treat! I like to play with different veggie options too… tofu mixed with spicy sauce, sliced avocado and cucumber with a few radish sprouts is a pretty tasty hand roll. Thanks for the info about the book… will look for it and try to do my part for sustaining our oceans.

  35. Anne says:

    My favorite sashimi is tuna, very *very* lightly seared in Shichimi Togarashi. I also like a very non-traditional maki with roast beef, japanese mayo and fresh coriander.

    Anne’s last blog post… Happy birthday, grandmom!

  36. Mazsola says:

    For me it has to be salmon, any kind really: sashimi, smoked or roe …
    Living quite near, Scottish salmon is readily available to buy and luckily local places pride themselves on using sustainable wild salmon.

  37. Skye says:

    Fantastic contest – it sounds like a book that every sushi-lover should have, or at least, the non-vegetarian sushi lovers among us. Thank you!
    Aji (horse mackerel) is my favourite, followed very closely by iwashi (sardine). I think and hope that they’re both relatively sustainably harvested here in Japan…

  38. lodovico says:

    Dear Allison, sushi is just GREAT in every form – inspired by the recipe of the great German chef Dieter Müller, who uses sepia coloured black rice and cooked octopus arms for a beautiful maki roll, I’m now experimenting with some national varieties in this way – see the Russian version coloured with beetroot juice and filled with Beluga caviar (for the rich) or smoked sprats (for the poor), some Indian versions with curcuma coloured rice and cooked lamb’s brain (muslim and definitively non-vegetarian), or wild asparagus (for veggies of every confession), and than, as a tribute to my country, paprika coloured rice and a filling of foie gras, sweet wax pepper and hot green pepper stripes; I’m sure some other other varieties are thinkable; a kosher one could contain smoked duck breast and crispy roasted goose skin, and the rice could be mixed or coloured with pomegranate seeds… but back to the roots – as spring is coming, my favorite will be a simple maki with smoked salmon and wild garlic leaves – the intense green colour and the phantastic taste of this plante is unique, and combined with smoked salmon and the seaweed rolls, it could be a perfect aphrodisiac too:) Okay – your site is as GREAT as sushi is!

  39. Donna Harris says:

    I love freshwater eel but my 14yo daughter only eats crab, avocado and green onion in hers.

  40. Colby Munn says:

    i love a little piece of heaven called the “shogun roll” (i could be wrong on the spelling?).
    it has tempura shrimp, unagi, avocado, and imitation crab.
    it is then rolled in tempura crunchies and then drizzled with a walnut sauce and it is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!

    i used to turn my nose up at sushi, but after trying it at 14, i will try any piece of sushi put in front of me. i am now 17, and i am DYING to read this book. it seems really interesting.

  41. Nate says:

    Really hard to choose just one favorite sashimi. I grew up loving the ahi, but now like halibut more. As for nigiri, I like scallops.

  42. MakiMom says:

    I have two favorites, but you only asked for one. So I’d have to go with yellowtail, especially a nicely sliced and diced yellowtail and scallions handroll. Umm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

    FYI, the close runner-up is ikura. I just love those little jelly salt capsules!

    By the way Sushi Day, can I promote your contest on my blog, Please let me know if it is o.k. and I will post by the way and provide full credit and a link.

  43. Mandy says:

    My favorite sashimi is white tuna, and my favorite seafood is pretty much anything. I love steamed blue crabs (I am from MD after all!). I would love to have this book so I could learn more about what I’m eating and see how I can be more respectful of the environment

  44. Andrew Faraone says:

    I’m a big fan of the Rainbow Roll; but recently had a roll that knocked my socks off here in Tampa; it was called the SOHO roll; and it included fried shrimp, tuna, avocado, cucumber and mango slices; it was absolutely delicious, I was very surprised. There are many other local “specialty” rolls that I absolutely love as well, from the Kamikazi Roll to the Playboy Roll… I’ve gotta snap a picture of the menu at these restaurants so that I can share with everyone.


  45. Diana says:

    It’s very hard to pick just one favorite seafood – I’ll eat any fish (not poisonous of course). May be the eel or is it salmon? One guy at the check-out of the Supermarket was telling us how eel is considered an “aphrodisiac” in Korea and is good for my husband 🙂 the way he tried to explain it was hillarious.

  46. girlwithhat says:

    I love Eel Avocado Rolls. Yum! 🙂

  47. Andy Rathbone says:

    Uni, eel, and octopus!

  48. evette says:

    I absolutely love sushi with salmon and scallops!!

  49. Ralph Whitbeck says:

    Crap look at all these entries. Good job Alison.

    Do I have to pick just one favorite seafood? I like a lot of seafood. Fish, Salmon, crab, Scallops, lobster, etc. etc. I like Salmon shashimi.

    Also entry #2

  50. sushifan says:

    I’ve really yet to meet the sushi I didn’t like, but am particularly fond of anything featuring salmon or tuna. Then again, there’s also mackerel, eel, shrimp, squid… it’s all good! Same for maki vs. nigiri vs. sashimi – each has its own appeal and I enjoy them all (I haven’t ever tried inari yet though).

    My “favorite” maki tends to change every so often, but lately I’ve been hooked on the “Key West Roll” which (if I remember correctly) is made with spicy conch, avocado, green onion and roe. I really like spicy rolls, and also really enjoy anything made with roe.

    I’ve recently started to make my own sushi at home and really enjoy all the great ideas I’ve found on this site . Keep up the great work Allison!

  51. Mississippi Sushi says:

    Chitlin, catfish, chicken fried steak……well it is Mississippi.

    On a more serious note: Spicy tuna, California roll, shrimp….beginner sushi eater. I have made the BLT sushi which my brother-in-law loves. Our usual homemade sushi consists of imitation Krab and shrimp (grilled or tempura). Quality fish is hard to come by here.

  52. Glenn says:

    I love what our local sushi bar calls its “oh my God roll”. Basically a California roll of crab, avocado and cucumber. It’s fried tempura style, then cut into 8 pieces. They’re placed with the cut sides up on a plate, and covered with a mix of tuna, crab, and scallops that is piled higher than the pieces of roll. Drizzled with 3 types of sauces, eel, mayo, and spicy. I also love veggie rolls with tempura asparagus instead of the usual shrimp inside.

  53. Lila L Bayer says:

    I love tuna and avocado, but also salmon and cucumber. I’d love to learn more, so this book would be awesome.

  54. sarah evenson says:

    I was really interested in finding out that more than just the bluefin is in danger.I would love to find out what else is, so that I can change my sushi eating habits if need be. My favorite would have to be hotate-gai (scallops I think).

  55. Jay Jeffries says:

    Traditional sushi tended to use more of what we would term under utilized species today. While I love turo, I am torn by depletion of the species. Our local sport fishermen catch tons of tuna and bring it home to share in the community. We can’t talk them into not catching the tuna, they just will not understand the long term detriment that they are causing to the fishery.

  56. Carmel says:

    My favorite is Ika Nigiri.

  57. Chez US says:

    Really, any of it especially sashmi; but if I have to narrow it down … I love the tuna belly (name escapes me right now) and also tako.

    Chez US’s last blog post… Frissee Salad with Goat Cheese

  58. Chez US says:

    Tweet Tweet

    @sushiday Don’t forget about this drawing … » link to Sustainable Sushi Contest – Sushi Day – over at Sushiday

    Chez US’s last blog post… Frissee Salad with Goat Cheese

  59. Allison says:

    The contest is now closed. Winners will be emailed and announced on Monday.

    Thanks everyone who entered!

    Casson – Thanks for stopping by! I really loved your book, and I’m sure our five winners will find it incredibly useful as well.

    Katrina – I generally buy my sashimi pre-cut from Japanese markets. If you have a Japanese market near you that carries sashimi, that’s a very good place to start. I have not selected or prepared whole fish for use in sushi (I generally can’t use up that much fish) but I’m sure someday I’ll learn how, in which case I’ll definitely write up a how-to for you guys.

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