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What Is Tako Sushi?

Octopus is the main component of the well-known Japanese dish tako sushi. Octopus is a common element in many Japanese recipes and is referred to in the language as “tako” in Japan. To make tako sushi, thin slices of boiling octopus are placed on top of a little ball of rice, and the entire assembly is then wrapped in a seaweed sheet.

Tako Sushi - japanese food style

Tako sushi is frequently offered as nigiri sushi, a style of sushi made up of a tiny ball of rice topped with a raw fish or other seafood slice.

The octopus used in tako sushi is often boiled before being sliced and served, in contrast to many other varieties of sushi.

This makes the meat more appealing to consume by softening and tenderizing it.

In order to give the boiling octopus a rich, savory flavor, it is frequently marinated in a combination of soy sauce, sake, and other seasonings.

What is Tako Sushi?

A well-liked variety of sushi called tako uses octopus as its primary ingredient.

Tako Nigiri, Sushi tako on traditional Japanese ceramic dish

It is a form of nigiri sushi, which implies that a slice of octopus is placed on top of a little ball of sushi rice.

Ordinarily, the octopus is prepared and spiced before being placed on top of the rice.


The primary component of tako sushi is octopus, of course. Sushi is made from the octopus leg’s fleshiest portion.

Sushi train - octopus sushi

Sushi rice, a unique variety of rice that has been seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt, is one of the additional ingredients.

Tako sushi is frequently served with wasabi, a hot green paste created from Japanese horseradish, to enhance the flavor.


The octopus must first be cooked and seasoned before being prepared for sushi.

Tako nigiri sushi

Commonly, an item of kombu seaweed is added to the water in which the octopus is boiled together with salt.

After being cooked, the octopus is cut into thin pieces and placed on a bed of sushi rice that has been seasoning.

Use a Japanese knife that is razor sharp to slice the octopus thinly when preparing tako sushi at home.

Additionally, the sushi rice needs to be correctly cooked with the ideal ratio of vinegar, sugar, and salt.

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The majority of sushi aficionados all around the world agree that tako sushi is a flavorful and distinctive variety of sushi.

Types of Tako Sushi

Popular sushi dish called “tako sushi” uses octopus as its primary ingredient.

Nigiri sushi set on black slate board

Tako sushi comes in a variety of varieties that are loved by sushi fans throughout.

Here are some of the most popular tako sushi varieties:


A slice of raw fish or other seafood is placed on top of a little ball of sushi rice to make a nigiri.

A slice of boiling octopus is used to make tako nigiri, which is then served on top of a little ball of sushi rice and drizzled with soy sauce.

The taste and texture of octopus in sushi can be enjoyed in this easy-to-make but delectable way.


Thin slices of raw fish or other seafood are served without rice in sashimi, a kind of sushi.

Thin, raw octopus slices are used to make tako sashimi, which is generally eaten with wasabi and soy sauce.

It is a tasty and energizing approach to appreciate the delicate octopus flavor.


Sushi called “temaki” is rolled into a cone form and eaten with the hands. A slice of boiling octopus, a little bit of sushi rice, and other fillings like cucumber, avocado, and sesame seeds are used to make tako temaki. Sushi can be enjoyed socially and interactively with friends and family in this way.


A variety of items are rolled into a sizable sushi roll to make a futomaki.

Sushi rice, boiling octopus, cucumber, tamagoyaki (sweet omelet), and other ingredients are used to make tako futomaki.

Octopus flavors and textures can be enjoyed in sushi in a filling and pleasant way.

Tako Sushi Variations

Raw octopus is the primary component in the well-known Japanese dish tako sushi.

Sliced tako sashimi and radish on ice in a black plate

It can be savored as nigiri sushi or in the form of a sushi roll, and is normally presented in little pieces on top of a bed of sushi rice.

Tako sushi comes in a variety of forms, each with a special flavor and texture.

Nigiri Tako Sushi

A slice of raw fish or other seafood is placed on top of a little ball of sushi rice to make the common sushi dish known as nigiri.

A raw octopus slice is placed on top of sushi rice to create nigiri tako. To improve the flavor of the octopus, a little soy sauce or wasabi is usually added.

Tako Sushi Roll

Sushi rolls made with tako sushi are also available. Sushi rice, seaweed, and a filling of raw octopus, cucumber, and avocado make up a traditional tako sushi roll.

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After being cut into bite-sized pieces, the roll is presented with soy sauce and wasabi.


In the dish takowasa, raw octopus is combined with wasabi. In izakaya restaurants, it is often offered as an appetizer or side dish.

The chewy texture of the octopus and the wasabi’s spicy flavor combine to create a tasty and distinctive dish.

Yaki Tako

Octopus that has been grilled and is frequently added to sushi or eaten on its own is known as yaki tako.

The octopus is often marinated in a soy sauce and sake mixture before being expertly grilled. The outcome is an octopus piece that is delicious and soft and goes well with sushi rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Japanese Sushi - Tako Nigiri Sushi

What is tako sushi?

Tako sushi is a type of sushi that is made with octopus, which is called tako in Japanese. The octopus is usually boiled and then sliced thinly before being placed on top of sushi rice. In some cases, the octopus may be marinated in a sauce before being used in the sushi.

Is tako sushi safe to eat?

Yes, tako sushi is safe to eat as long as it is prepared properly. The octopus used in sushi should be fresh and properly cooked to avoid any risk of foodborne illness. It is important to ensure that the sushi restaurant you are eating at has proper food safety practices in place.

What does tako sushi taste like?

Tako sushi has a unique flavor that is slightly sweet and savory. The texture of the octopus is slightly chewy and has a pleasant mouthfeel. The flavor of the tako can be enhanced with the use of sauces or seasonings, such as soy sauce or wasabi.

How is tako sushi made?

To make tako sushi, the octopus is first boiled and then sliced thinly. The sushi rice is then formed into small balls and topped with the sliced octopus. The sushi may be garnished with additional ingredients such as sesame seeds or green onions.

Is tako sushi gluten-free?

Tako sushi can be gluten-free if the sushi rice used is made without any added gluten-containing ingredients. However, it is important to note that some sushi restaurants may use sauces or seasonings that contain gluten, so it is always best to check with the restaurant before ordering.

Octopus nigiri sushi.

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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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