Sujiko 101: How to Use and Enjoy This Japanese Delicacy

We may earn a commission on qualified purchases made through one of our links. Learn more

Sujiko is salmon roe served inside the sac.

Sujiko roe is one of the most popular types of fish eggs in Japan. It is often used as an ingredient in sushi and sashimi, and is also a common topping for rice dishes. Sujiko roe has a slightly sweet taste and a crunchy texture.

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about sujiko, from what it is to how it’s prepared and served.

What is sujiko

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

What Exactly is Sujiko?

Sujiko is a type of salmon roe that is still inside the sack or membrane. The sack is usually marinated in soy sauce or sake, giving it a red tint. The sack is then removed, leaving the intact roe inside.

Sujiko vs Ikura

Sujiko and Ikura are both types of salmon roe, but they differ in a few ways:

  • Sujiko is still inside the sack, while Ikura is removed from the sack.
  • Sujiko is usually marinated, while Ikura is often served plain.
  • Sujiko has a darker shade of red than Ikura, which is lighter in color.

Japanese and English Terms

The term “sujiko” is derived from the Japanese language and is often used in Japanese cuisine. In English, it is sometimes referred to as “salmon roe in the sac.” It is an uncountable noun and can be found in English dictionaries under the lemma “sujiko” or “salmon roe in the sac.”

How to Use Sujiko

Sujiko can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • As a topping for sushi or rice bowls
  • Mixed into pasta or risotto dishes
  • Served with crackers or bread as an appetizer

Jump on the Sujiko Bandwagon

Sujiko may not be as well-known as its counterpart, Ikura, but it’s worth giving it a try. Its unique texture and flavor make it a great addition to any dish. So, next time you’re at a Japanese restaurant, don’t be afraid to order the sujiko!

What’s the Flavor of Sujiko?

Sujiko is a delicacy that is typically served as a sushi topping or onigiri filling. It is a type of salmon roe that is still in its sac, which is why it is also called “sac roe.” Here are some things to know about the taste of sujiko:

  • Sujiko tastes slightly different from ikura salmon roe, which is more commonly used in Japanese cuisine. Sujiko is smaller and has a reddish color, while ikura is larger and has a darker color.
  • Sujiko has a delicate and slightly salty taste, with a texture that is both fragile and sinewy.
  • The individual eggs have a fruity fragrance and a wonderful flavor that is a combination of salt, shoyu, and the natural taste of the salmon.
  • The sac surrounding the ovarian balls prevents them from easily breaking, making them easier to use as a topping or filling.

How Sujiko Compares to Other Types of Roe

When it comes to taste, sujiko is often compared to other types of roe, such as trout roe or caviar. Here are some differences to keep in mind:

  • Compared to trout roe, sujiko has a milder flavor and is typically cured in soy sauce (shoyu) instead of salt.
  • Sujiko is similar to caviar in terms of delicacy and flavor, but it is much less expensive and typically not as popular outside of Japan.
  • In comparison to ikura salmon roe, sujiko has a more delicate flavor and is typically used as a topping or filling, while ikura is usually served as a standalone dish.

What People Say About Sujiko on Social Media

Here are some tweets and posts from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Reddit, Tumblr, and Pocket about sujiko:

  • “Just tried sujiko for the first time and it’s amazing! The flavor is so unique.”- @rona
  • “I’ve been cooking with sujiko for years and it never disappoints. Such a wonderful flavor!”- @jennifer
  • “Sujiko is my mom’s favorite sushi topping. She always chooses it over ikura.”- @kavs
  • “I tried sujiko for the first time today and it tastes like manure. How do people eat this stuff?”- @jayne
  • “Sujiko is a new addition to my sushi game and I’m loving it. The spherical shape and orange color make it a great topping.”- @cho
  • “Sujiko is so delicate and delicious. It’s like eating little balls of heaven.”- @trixie

Get Creative: How to Enjoy Sujiko in Different Ways

Step Up Your Rice Game

Sujiko is a versatile item that can be combined with different ingredients to create a variety of dishes. Here are some ways to use sujiko:

  • Served on top of rice: Sujiko goes well with rice, and it’s a common way to enjoy it in Japanese cuisine. Simply gently cover the rice with the sujiko balls, and you have a luxurious meal.
  • Combined with sake: Kasukasusake is a type of sake that contains lees and sujiko. It’s a nutritional drink that provides health benefits.
  • Added to onigiri: Onigirionigiria is a rice ball that is usually filled with different ingredients. Sujiko can be added to the filling to give it a different flavor.
  • Wikipediazuke: This is a type of pickled sujiko that is enjoyed in different cultures, particularly in the Nederlands.

Production and Serving of Sujiko

Sujiko is produced by extracting the eggs from the salmon and then curing them with salt. Here are some ways to serve sujiko:

  • Served as a set: Sujiko is usually served as a set of small balls that are golden in color.
  • High-end dishes: Sujiko is a luxurious item that goes well with high-end dishes.
  • Wedding and special occasions: Sujiko is a popular item to serve at weddings and other special occasions.
  • Regional specialties: Sujiko is a prevalent item in different regions of Japan, such as Boso Hanto, Jindaiji, and Ogasawara. It’s also enjoyed during Golden Week in fall and spring.
  • Tourist attractions: Sujiko is a popular item in tourist attractions such as Takao, Mitake, and Hakone, where visitors can enjoy the beautiful flowers and scenery while eating sujiko.

Other Interesting Facts About Sujiko

Here are some other interesting facts about sujiko:

  • Different kinds of sujiko exist, such as flickr sujiko, which is a type of sujiko that is enjoyed in Jamaica.
  • Sujiko is also prevalent in the Japanese language, where it is used to describe a certain color.
  • Sujiko is a nutritious food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

Sujiko vs Ikura Salmon Roe: A Comparison of Japanese Delicacies

Sujiko and Ikura are both types of salmon roe, which are the eggs of the salmon fish. Sujiko is the term used to refer to the egg sack of the salmon that is still intact and has not been removed from the fish, while Ikura refers to the matured eggs that have been removed from the sack.

What’s the Difference in Appearance?

The main difference between sujiko and ikura lies in their appearance. Sujiko is usually smaller and spherical in shape, while ikura is larger and has a reddish tint. Sujiko is typically surrounded by a dark membrane that prevents the eggs from easily falling apart, while ikura is marinated in a soy sauce-based sauce and is often used as a topping for sushi or onigiri.

How are They Used in Japanese Cuisine?

Sujiko and ikura are both popular ingredients in Japanese cuisine, but they are used in slightly different ways. Sujiko is usually served as a delicacy on its own or as a topping for rice dishes, while ikura is mainly used as a topping for sushi or onigiri. In modern Japanese cuisine, both sujiko and ikura are used to add flavor and texture to a variety of dishes.

What About Trout Roe?

Trout roe is another type of fish roe that is often compared to sujiko and ikura. Like sujiko, trout roe is typically served with the egg sack intact, while ikura refers to the matured eggs that have been removed from the sack. Trout roe is also smaller in size compared to ikura and has a lighter shade of orange.

What’s the Verdict?

In comparison, sujiko and ikura are both important and popular products in the world of Japanese cuisine. While they may be similar in many ways, there are some notable differences between the two. Sujiko is typically easier to find and is usually served in its natural form, while ikura is a more modern delicacy that is often marinated in a soy sauce-based sauce. Ultimately, the choice between sujiko and ikura comes down to personal preference and the dish you are preparing.

How do you clean Sujiko?

To clean the sac from the eggs, place the sujiko in warm water, so it loosens. Carefully remove the eggs from their sac so as not to break them, and rinse them with cold water.

How do you eat Sujiko?

Sujiko can be enjoyed as is, or on top of rice dishes. It also goes well with sake or wine.

What are some of the benefits of eating Sujiko?

Fish eggs are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also said to have many health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and helping to improve brain function.


So, that’s what Sujiko is- a type of salmon roe that’s usually marinated and enjoyed as a sushi topping or side dish. 

You can also use it in a variety of other dishes, and it’s a great way to get more protein into your diet. So, don’t be afraid to give it a try!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.