Healthy, flavorful, and available in many different varieties, sushi is a crowd-pleasing favorite. As one of the most famous types of Japanese food in the world, it’s also highly ubiquitous. Yet for all its popularity, it may not always be of the highest quality. Here’s how to tell if you’re eating something truly fresh.

What Contributes to High-Quality Sushi?

1. Fish Freshness

Most types of sushi largely depend on the quality of the fish. When it’s not fresh, it may have a harsh odor and a slightly sour tang. By contrast, fresh fish either has no smell at all or a slight seawater aroma.

Color is also a clear indication of freshness; the fish should appear bold and vibrant. Fresh salmon is orange, for example, and maguro is a deep red. The texture is telling too; fresh fish feels firm when pressed and will return to its original shape.

2. Rice Quality

sushiSushi rice is served at room temperature and should be slightly firm, so it holds its shape yet breaks down easily into separate grains when consumed. This is indicative of the proper cooking technique, which involves applying a specific amount of pressure to the outer layer. Be mindful of anything that feels more pasty and dense—this is a poor preparation method that may influence the taste of the fish.

3. Ingredient Appearance

Closely inspect the fish. An ideal piece is translucent, with a shiny body and no trace of a slimy finish. A thick, gelatinous overlay and a greasy or wet look are both signs of low-quality fish.

The rice should be bright, either white or tinged with red vinegar, and the seaweed should be deep green and crispy. Soggy seaweed is typically an indication of an older dish of poor quality.


If you’re craving fresh, mouthwatering sushi in Honolulu, pay a visit to Aloha Cones. Serving seafood enthusiasts since 2013, this restaurant specializes in delicious Asian cuisine with a twist. Their filling, flavorful dishes look just as good as they taste in convenient, grab-and-go sashimi and poke bowls. Visit the website to browse their extensive menu, or give them a call at (808) 842-7653 to place an order.