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11 Best Sushi Toppings to Try

sushi rolls with toppings

Take a gourmet tour of the world of sushi as we delve into the technique of creating mouthwatering toppings and ideal pairings that bring this delicious Japanese dish to new heights. Learn about the greatest sushi toppings that can delight your taste buds and transform your sushi experience, from traditional classics to cutting-edge variations. This guide will show you how to enjoy sushi, regardless of your level of experience. It will introduce you to a variety of flavors, textures, and scents that make every bite an exciting experience. Come discover the mysteries of the ideal sushi toppings with us, and discover a symphony of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Prepare to taste the unusual and discover new ways to indulge in sushi!

Avocado

Vegetarian sushi rolls avocado topping

This is a classic and delicious sushi topping that is packed with flavor. The avocado contains Omega-3 which is usually found in plants. By choosing avocado you are going to be accessing a healthy amount of fats. When combined with the fish, they have a similar texture and although they may not taste the same, the contrasting flavors are refreshing and they complement each other well. Not only is sfish an excellent source of protein, but it also contains potassium and vitamins. Likewise, avocado is a great source of potassium. Moreover, it is also loaded with lots of crucial nutrients. 


Tempura Crunch

sushi with tempura crunch

Tempura fried panko breadcrumbs will add a little crunch when topped on your sushi roll. Panko breadcrumbs are my favorite on top of an inside out rolls with spicy tuna and veggies. The crunch adds a nice contrast to the soft fish and rice.


Cucumber

Sushi wrapped in cucumber with salmon toppings on a white plate.

Cucumber is a fresh vegetable that is often used as a filling for sushi. As cucumber has a high water content it is refreshing and has a mild and rather sweet taste that will complement the other ingredients well. Thin-skinned cucumbers with very few seeds are the best ones to use. Japanese cucumber is a particularly popular variety that is used to fill sushi. Just like regular cucumber, it has a crunchy texture, however, the flavor is more melony. Moreover, Japanese cucumbers are not heavily seeded. In general, cucumbers have a high nutritional value and also contain a lot of antioxidants. They are also thought to help reduce blood sugar levels. If a cucumber filling appeals to you, simply chop it up into small, edible chunks and then wrap it in nori sheets with some rice. 

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Fish Roe

Sushi with crabstick, cucumber, egg and flying fish roe on a white plate.

As we have already mentioned, cucumber is a popular sushi filling. It tastes especially nice when paired with fish roe. Fish roe refers to fish eggs that are either smoked or salted and consumed as food. Tobiko, also known as flying fish roe, is commonly used to make sushi. It is a vibrant red color and it has a crunchy texture. Fish roe is believed to deliver several health benefits. It is a source of protein and it also contains Omega-3 fatty acids as well as minerals and nutrients. Fish roe is a versatile ingredient that can either be used as a filling or as a topping. If you are going to be using it as a filling you will need to wrap it with the sushi rice and a chunk of cucumber in the nori sheets. Alternatively, you can wrap the cucumber and rice in the nori sheets before coating it with the fish roe


Sesame Seeds

Sushi roll with sesame seeds

A majority of sushi rolls are dipped in sesame seeds as a compliment to the fish and rice. It not only gives it a better looking display, the seeds add a little crunch to the dish. Sesame seeds used can be black, white or both mixed and lightly sprinkled on top.


Jalapeno Peppers

Sushi with yellowtail, cilantro and Jalapeno peppers

If you want to kick your sushi up a notch or two in the spice department, I recommend you try adding sliced jalapeno peppers to each of your rolls. The flavor and spicy aftertaste pairs well with certain fish especially yellowtail hamachi.


Red Onion And Beef

Set of eel sushi and burned beef sushi on a wooden tray in japanese restaurant.

Negimaki sushi is a Japanese dish that was traditionally made using beef, nowadays it can be made using chicken too. Strips of this meat are seared until they develop a crispy golden brown exterior. They are then marinated in a teriyaki flavored sauce and mixed with scallions. To enhance the flavor, we recommend that you wrap the cooked chunks of meat in red onion rather than scallions or green onions. The subtle sweetness of the red onions is going to pair well with the tanginess of the teriyaki sauce. If you are not a seafood lover, meat based sushi could be the perfect alternative for you. 


Fried Egg

sweet egg Sushi Japanese food

Sushi toppings and fillings do not need to be made from an extensive list of ingredients, in fact, something as basic as a fried egg can taste great. Tamagoyaki is the name given to a traditional Japanese sushi dish that is topped with a light but sweet folded omelet. Although an omelet is the most common choice, a fried egg can work just as well. Simply cook the egg before wrapping it in sheets of nori. This is bound to be a favorite amongst the whole family. 

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Pickled Seaweed

sushi topped with seaweed

Pickled seaweed is a delicious sushi filling that can be enjoyed by vegans. As you might expect, it has a rather salty taste but it isn’t too intense. Wrap it in some nori sheets before topping it with sesame seeds. There are several health benefits associated with the consumption of sushi. It contains lots of antioxidants as well as minerals and iodine. This filling is super easy to prepare too. 


Pickled Cucumber And Egg

Korean seaweed rice roll filled with a variety of delicious fillings

As we have mentioned Tamagoyaki is a type of sushi that uses egg as one of its core ingredients. The taste of both ingredients are going to complement each other well. Using a thick cylinder is going to make it a lot easier to make. Line the nori sheets with the egg, chunks of pickled cucumber, and rice before wrapping them together. Both ingredients share similar qualities as they have a rather sweet taste, however, the pickles can also taste a little sour. Not only is this a delicious topping but the vibrant colors make it look appealing too. 


Smoked Tofu

Sushi wrapped in seaweed with smoked tofu, cheese, smoked salmon and spicy sauce.

Last but not least we have another delicious vegan-friendly sushi topping. Again, it makes a great filling too. Tofu is a versatile, soy-based food that is an excellent source of protein. Aside from this, tofu also contains the essential amino acids along with vitamin B1, iron, calcium, and phosphorus. To prepare the tofu, you will need to chop it into slices before marinating it with soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and canola oil, and then cook them until the outer coating starts to turn slightly brown. Make sure that you regularly turn the tofu as it cooks to prevent it from doing on one side more than the others. If desired, you can also add some chunks of avocado or cucumber. Take your nori sheets and then add your tofu along with any additional seasonings. Wrap the sheets and you can then tuck in. 

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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