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Tobiko: The Japanese Caviar That’s Becoming Popular Everywhere

Japanese cuisine is known for its many innovative dishes, including sushi and sashimi. But one of the lesser-known delicacies is the tobiko, which has been called ‘the caviar of Japan’. What is it? Is it really caviar? Learn more about this popular food in this article!

What is tobiko?

Tobiko comes from flying fish that live in temperate or tropical oceans. Their name comes from the fact that they can glide above the water. Japanese chefs use it to decorate sushi rolls and sashimi. It looks like red-orange pearls when the eggs are ripe and unfertilized. It is made after the roe has been harvested and salt-cured so it can be preserved for eating.

The other two types of fish eggs used in sushi restaurants are masago (capelin) and ikura (salmon). Tobiko eggs are tiny, measuring between 1/64 and 1/32 of an inch. You can appreciate the roe’s chewy, slightly crunchy texture when you  serve it as a garnish or in a cluster.

Tobiko is low-calorie and packed with protein like most roe. In addition, it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which humans can’t make naturally.

Types of tobiko (red and black, green, orange)

Tobiko is a Japanese caviar that’s becoming increasingly popular all over the world. It comes in both red and black varieties, and the colors are often used to indicate the quality of the product. Red tobiko has a slightly sweeter taste than the black type, while green tobiko has a more bitter flavor.

Orange tobiko is also common, you make it from roe that’s had its color changed using natural dyes. This variety is usually preferred by those who want something different from the typical red or black flavors.

Tobiko Sauce

Tobiko sauce is a condiment made from mayonnaise, sriracha, lemon juice, tobiko, and salt. You use it as a dipping sauce for sushi or as a condiment for various dishes.

To make it simply whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!

Is Tobiko Caviar?

Caviar is a type of fish eggs that are harvested from the wild and then processed into a delicacy. Caviar is usually made from beluga, sturgeon, or salmon eggs. So is tobiko a caviar? Yes, caviar is made from fish eggs that have not been fertilized. This process results in a small amount of wild caviar roe being used in most caviar products. So since it comes from flying fish roe, we can call it a caviar.

Tobiko Sushi

The popular Japanese dish of sushi, or hand-rolled rice and fish dishes, often features the colorful Tobiko eggs. The name Tobiko comes from the onomatopoeia for a small, lively fish and these eggs are a key component in many sushi rolls.

Because tobiko eggs are so delicate and have a high oil content, they must be handled carefully if you want to make them at home. Many sushi chefs will use them as an ingredient in their own dishes or incorporate them into rolls that they create specifically for their clients. If you’re looking to add some interesting color and flavor to your next sushi feast, try using some tobiko eggs!

Tobiko Wasabi

In Japan, flying fish Roe aka tobiko is a delicacy you often find as an appetizer. This recipe for Tobiko Wasabi will show you how to make this tasty dish from flying fish Roe. First, you will need to purchase some flying fish Roe. You can find it at most Asian grocery stores or online. Once you have the Roe, you will need to wasabi season it. To do this, you will need to mix together 1 teaspoon of wasabi powder with 1/2 cup of water and pour it over the Roe. Make sure to coat the Roe well with the wasabi mixture.

Yuzu Tobiko

Tobiko is a type of flying fish roe, which you can use as a condiment or flavor enhancer in sushi and sashimi. It is made by culturing and salting flying fish eggs. Yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit) is often used to add flavor to it. How do you add yuzu to tobiko flying fish roe?

To add yuzu with the flying fish roe, you will need:


-A few tablespoons of yuzu juice (from about 2 yuzus)
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon white pepper
-1 tablespoon vegetable oil or Japanese soy sauce
-2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger root, optional
-1 pound flying fish roe, or 2 cups if using a packaged variety

How to prepare:

1. Whisk together the yuzu juice, salt, white pepper, vegetable oil or soy sauce, and ginger in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. If using packaged flying fish roe, drain it and add it the yuzu mixture.
3. Add the chopped fresh ginger root, if using.
4. Mix well to combine.
5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Masago vs. Tobiko

Masago (牛乳) and tobiko (魚介) are two types of Japanese caviar that are gaining popularity around the world. Both of them are eggs from fish, but they have different flavors and textures.

Masago is a white caviar that has a mild, slightly sweet flavor.You can serve it cold or at room temperature with pickled ginger or wasabi. Tobiko is a orange caviar that has a stronger, sharper flavor. You can serve this type of caviar warm or at room temperature with soy sauce or wasabi.

Both masago and tobiko are considered middle-quality caviar, and you often use them in sushi rolls or as a condiment on dishes like steamed rice or tempura. If you’re looking for something special to add to your food experience, you should definitely both of these delicious condiments


Tobiko, or Japanese caviar, is a type of fish eggs that are usually used as a condiment. But in recent years, it’s been gaining popularity as a seafood dish all its own. Some of the main reasons why people are drawn to it are its delicate flavor and its versatility — it can be eaten raw, cooked, or in sushi rolls. Whether you’re looking for an unusual seafood appetizer or something more substantial for your next meal, try out some tobiko and see what you think!