What Is Tobiko – How to Make, Serve, And Eat It

What Is Tobiko – How to Make, Serve, And Eat It

About Tobiko:

Tobiko (とびこ) is the Japanese word for flying fish roe. It is most widely known for its use in creating certain types of sushi. (What Is Tobiko?)

The eggs are small, ranging from 0.5 to 0.8 mm. For comparison, tobiko is larger than masago (capelin roe), but smaller than ikura (salmon roe). Natural tobiko has a red-orange color, a mild smoky or salty taste, and a crunchy texture.

Tobiko is sometimes colored to change its appearance: other natural ingredients are used to accomplish the change, such as squid ink to make it black, yuzu to make it pale orange (almost yellow), or even wasabi to make it green and spicy. A serving of tobiko can contain several pieces, each having a different color.

When prepared as sashimi, it may be presented on avocado halves or wedges. Tobiko is used in the creation of many other Japanese dishes. Often, it is used as an ingredient in California rolls. (What Is Tobiko?)

Frequently, masago (capelin or smelt roe) is substituted for tobiko, due to its similar appearance and flavor. The smaller size of the individual eggs is apparent to the experienced diner, however.

There are some words that we often have no idea, such as the name of a rare or unprecedented plant, a new breed of dog, or some cuisine.

When you first heard about Tobiko, the thought came to mind that maybe it was the name of a cartoon character. SO FUNNY! But it is not. (What Is Tobiko?)


What is Tobiko?

What Is Tobiko

Tobiko is a Japanese word that is basically used for roe flying fish. Roe or tobiko is used to create types of sushi.

The size of Tobiko varies from 0.5 mm to 0.8 mm. (What Is Tobiko?)

Masago Vs Tobiko Vs Ikura.

You could say that Tobiko is larger than capelin roe and smaller than salmon roe.

Masago fish is small so it produces the smallest egg, while tobiko is larger than Masago but smaller than Ikura.

As for the colors, Tobiko and Masago both have an orange-red color.

However, the color of Masago is not as bright as tobiko. Besides that, ikura is roe deer from salmon, therefore it has a special intense reddish-orange pigment.

The taste is also different: Ikura and tobiko are crunchy, while masago is more gritty in texture. (What Is Tobiko?)

A flying fish roe is called Tobiko, a capelin roe is called Masago, and a salmon roe is called Ikura.

Identifying Tobiko:


To identify Tobiko, you can first check its size mentioned above.

Apart from that:

You can get help from its color, texture and, of course, taste:

Tobiko Natural Color: Tobiko is naturally found in red-orange color.

Tobiko Texture: Tobiko has a crunchy texture.

Tobiko Taste: Tobiko is a delicious egg or egg yolk with a salty and slightly smoky flavor.

Apart from orange-red, tobiko is also used in other colors depending on food preferences – that is, dyed tobiko.

Painted Tobiko colors: Black, yellow, green and pure-red colors are among the dyed tobikos available in the markets. (What Is Tobiko?)

Natural colors such as squid ink, yuzu juice, wasabi extracts and beetroot extract are used to dye the tobiko.

Tobiko Nutrients:


Seafood is always rich in protein, but lower in calories. But here, nutritionally, tobiko won’t disappoint as it’s a hefty 40% of calories.

It is rich in vitamins C, E and B2, and their amounts are 7%, 10% and 12%, respectively. However, you’ll find 6 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat and less than 1 gram of carbohydrates.

Along with all this, it contains 6 percent folate, 11 percent phosphorus and 16 percent selenium. (What Is Tobiko?)

Tobiko Benefits:


As you can see, tobiko is loaded with essential vital nutrients and fatty acids.

However, you’ve also found that it contains 40 percent of calories.

Therefore, its regular use is not recommended due to its high cholesterol content.

With all this, you don’t have to worry about the calorie content when using Tobiko as a side dish. (What Is Tobiko?)

Tobiko is used for?

Tobiko flies roe (egg), it is a delicate topping of Japanese cuisine. It is enjoyed like this:

  • Delicacies in Japanese cuisine
  • Decoration of sushi rolls
  • in Sashimi
  • Filling the crab cakes
  • Various other seafood dishes (What Is Tobiko?)

Is tobiko Safe to Eat?

Tobiko is small roe deer with high cholesterol content.

It is mostly consumed in very small amounts as decoration, decoration and stuffing.

Therefore, this moderation makes it safe to eat.

Most Popular Tobiko Recipe:

Now that you know all about this awesome seafood topping, it’s time to cook some food and make a meal to enjoy the boring quarantine.

Note: “Make your kitchen fireproof by putting a fire extinguisher or emergency fire blanket inside while you cook.” (What Is Tobiko?)

1. Recipe for Tobiko Sushi Rolls:

  • Ingredients you require:

Cooked sushi rice, sesame, tobiko flying fish roe (for topping)
To fill:
nori sheets
cucumber strips
Cooked and chopped shrimp
Avocado (What Is Tobiko?)

  • Utensils you require:

One bamboo mat.


  1. Place half of the nori sheet on the mat.
  2. Spread the sushi rice on it evenly like a tortilla.
  3. Now spread all your favorite sauces on it.
  4. Roll the bamboo mat round and round with a little pressure (this is to make it wrap the rice tortilla tightly like a roll)
  5. remove the mat
  6. Add tobiko on top of rolls
  7. Wrap the roll in a foil paper
  8. Slice the roll
  9. remove the wrap

Tada! Your Tobiko Sushi rolls are ready.

Note: For the best cooking experience, make sure you have all the cooking tools and utensils.

For more, check this video. (What Is Tobiko?)

2. Tobiko Omelet Recipe – (preparation time 14 minutes):

Image Source Pinterest

If you prepare the ingredients the night before and store them in airtight bags to preserve their nutrients, it can be a perfect morning recipe that will only take you 5 minutes. (What Is Tobiko?)

  • Ingredients you require:

Whisk 3 eggs, Chinese Shaoxing wine to taste, 0.75 teaspoons oyster sauce, 0/5 teaspoons sesame oil, 3 lines of white paper, cooking oil 2 teaspoons, one sliced or chopped onion, 5 tablespoons of tobiko roe, in small pieces cut green onions. (What Is Tobiko?)

  • Utensils you require:

A chopper to easily chop vegetables, a bowl to mix the ingredients, a heated stove, a plate to prepare the omelet

  • Preparations:
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the onion, sesame and tobiko egg, we will use it at the end of the cooking process.
  2. Heat the non-stick baking mat and let it heat up a bit.
  3. Add the onion and stir fry until browned.
  4. Pour the egg mixture over the onions, spread like a chapati bread.
  5. When one side is cooked, flip it over and cook the other side.
  6. When the eggs are 80 percent cooked, add sesame and Tobiko eggs.
  7. Keep stirring for a few more seconds and when it starts to smell, throw the omelet on your plate. (What Is Tobiko?)

By using barbecue bags you can cook your eggs on the grill and use them for barbecue pleasure.


3. Tobiko Salmon Mayo Rice


The third recipe you can make at home using tobiko eggs today is Salmon Mayo Rice with flying fish eggs on the sides.

  • Ingredients you require:

Nori, hot rice, mayonnaise, sriracha, tobiko, salmon and salt to taste. (What Is Tobiko?)

  • Utensils you require:

Crusher, mixer bag, cooker.

  • Process:
  1. Put the nori in the bag and press it to mash well.
  2. Mix with hot rice
  3. Add ¼ teaspoon salt to taste or
  4. Make a sauce by mixing mayonnaise, sriracha, half tobiko and salt. (Make sure to mix well).
  5. Put half nori on a plate and lay a layer of half raw salmon.
  6. Sprinkle with the rest of the salmon and taste the salt
  7. Cook until you see the salmon caramelize.
  8. Spread the sauce you prepared while cooking.
  9. After cooking, serve with tobiko sprinkles.

Ta Da! Mouth-watering yummy recipe is ready to eat. (What Is Tobiko?)

Buying Tobiko:

Image Source Pinterest

Since tobiko is a famous roe deer used mostly in Japanese cuisine, you can easily purchase tobiko at:

  • Chinese markets
  • Asian markets
  • Famous online stores (for canned roe)

Tobiko Eating Guide:

Image Source Flickr

Well, not all of us have tried every dish and most of us go to different restaurants to try new things.

So, when you go to tobiko brunch at a hotel, the chefs use Smelt roe (masago) instead of Tobiko to keep the cost down, because the former is cheaper.

For this, try to order Wasabi tobiko when you eat out because it is available in its original form.

Final Words:

That’s all you need to know about Tobiko. Are we missing something? Let us know in the comment section below.

Also, don’t forget to share your favorite tobiko recipe with us.

Until then, we will come with more fun blogs on food;

Have a delicious day!

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