The Vibrant Topping You'll Be Lucky To Find On Sushi Menus

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Ordering at a sushi restaurant can be intimidating, especially if you have a hard time decoding all the different names. You may be tempted to go for a standard salmon avocado or Philadelphia roll, but don't be afraid to take this opportunity to ask your server about the various options and try something new. If you're really not sold on sushi, there is a particular cut of tuna you may like, though if you're ready for something a bit more adventurous, try getting sushi topped with uni (sea urchin), tako (octopus), or, if you can find it, wasabi tobiko. This vibrant green fish roe just might become your new favorite.

Tobiko is specifically fish eggs, also known as roe, taken from flying fish. There are several types of roe harvested from specific fish; for example, caviar is roe harvested from sturgeon. There are multiple colors of tobiko. Like other types of roe, its natural color is orange, but chefs can alter the color by infusing it with different ingredients. Yellow tobiko has yuzu (a type of Japanese citrus), while red tobiko may have beetroot or chilies. Green tobiko, or wasabi tobiko, has of course been infused with wasabi, a green spicy Japanese paste.

Wasabi tobiko adds a spicy kick to sushi

Wasabi tobiko can be dolloped on top or pressed around the sides of sushi rolls, or it can be the star of a dish. In an interview with Insider, former winner of Food Network's "Chopped" and Flagstaff House Restaurant's executive chef Chris Royster said that wasabi tobiko with quail egg is his favorite way to order sushi. "The dish is made of rich creamy egg yolk with spicy flying fish roe," describes Royster. "A combination that many overlook, and would be a mistake to miss."

This spicy roe isn't the most common sushi topping, so you may have to scour a few menus and sushi counters before you find it. If you really have a hankering for these little green pearls, you can buy wasabi tobiko from specialty online retailers and even Amazon, but be prepared to hand over a heavy chunk of change. The tobiko we found on Amazon cost almost $90 for a one-pound container, but if you love sushi, it might be worth it.

Of course, many people would agree that sushi tastes better at a restaurant than at home. So, the next time you find yourself at an authentic sushi restaurant, ask for some wasabi tobiko to go with the rest of your meal.