Home Food & Drink What’s The Difference Between Tobiko and Masago?

What’s The Difference Between Tobiko and Masago?


Tobiko & Masago

If you love sushi, you have to love Tobiko or Masago and here below you will encounter information about them.

Tobiko, as well as Masago are both fish roe (eggs) that are very common to find in sushi. The principal difference between Tobiko and Masago are that they are eggs of different kinds of fish and they have different colors, tastes, and sizes. Tobiko is the egg from a fliying fish. They are usually red/orange color, but of course you can also find them in colors like green and black. Compered to Masago, you will find Tobiko to be crunchier and will have a well pronounced flavor.

Masago is the egg of the Capelin fish. Please know that the Capelin are part of the smelt family, due to that, you might sometimes encounter this product in the “smelt roe” menu. Masago are smaller and, you will see that they have a less pronounced taste. Something great about Masago is that they make really good garnish, mostly from adding color to rolls, and of course you can also consume it generally side by side with something else. You will also find that Masago is cheaper that Tobiko, so when you see some propaganda about “Flying fish roe” you can be tricked because they are actually selling Masago instead.

Both fish roe, Masago & Tobiko, are commonly found in sushi. Tobiko eggs have bright colors while Masago is dull and will usually be dyed before it is served to give them an attractive appearance to the consumer. Masago shares a similar taste with Tobiko but as you get to know them, you will find that it lacks the crunchy feeling and, in general you will feel boring as it presents as a less versatile ingredient in the sushi cuisine.


A true lover of the dish will find Tobiko as one of the most prized sushi roe, valued as a fishing touch and garnish to the rolls and can also be enjoyed on its own. Tobiko is the egg (roe) of the tropical fish that has the title of “Flying fish” due to be known for their ability and skill to rise from the water up to leap into the air with a speed of over 35mp/h. Tobiko will not only add a splash of color, it will also add that unmistakable crunchy texture to many different rolls, including the famous California Roll. Im sure that you have enjoyed Tobiko, and if for some reason you have not taste it, it is a great bet that you will enjoy Tobiko. It has a bright red hue that makes some great contrast to its mild taste, which you will find sweet and salty. One of the reasons to add this marvelous product to the rolls is not simply because of its flavor, bu it also adds that crunchy texture you have been reading about and the bright appearance that will hypnotize you for your own pleasure. “Hypnotize” because you will find a little more satisfying than the fun on biting the crunchy texture. Those who love Tobiko the most will enjoy the dish as a nigiri item, piling the roe on the top of vinegar sushi rice. Tobiko is known for its use in sushi, but is also a versatile ingredient in other cuisine; for example, Tobiko can be enjoyable in omelets, crackers or even salads.

Let’s talk about some nutrition; Tobiko is loaded with vitamins, proteins, and omega-3 acids. But please pay attention due to there is a warning. Tobiko should be eaten with extremely moderation because of its high cholesterol content. Remember that Tobiko is used often as a garnish so the levels of cholesterol are not usually worrisome as part of a healthy diet.



The roe (egg) of the Capelin is called MAsago. The fish is from the Atlantic and can also be found in the artic. Wondering if the tropicall Sun is needed or if is related with the Tobiko’s bright colors because Masago is dull and will usually be dyed before you get to eat it, of course to give it a good appereance. People will find very boring to eat it because it represents lack of the crunchy distinctive of the Tobiko. This has not stopped many sushi restaurant from substituting Masago for Tobiko, and also because of a great deference, Masago is noticeable cheaper than Tobiko. This means that Tobiko is usually a higher quality product. Remember that when you get this product, you are looking for the crunchy feeling and the salty sweet flavor.


Here bellow you will encounter a recipe to make some at home:


For one person you will need

1.5 Up to2 oz/45 and 60 g prepared sushi rice

1.5 Up to2 oz/45 and 60 g flying fish roe (tobiko)

3 strips of nori (each strip 1/6 of a sheet)

Start by taking a cutting board and a bowl with clean water.

Then take a small clump of rice and give a shape of a cylinder. The nori strip should be about half an inch wider and more than twice as long as the rice cylinder. Wash your hand in the bowl.

Now is time to wrap the nori around the rice clump, leaving it in about half of an inch nori strip above the rice.

You can now attach the end of nori strip to the maki with with rice. You should tore off the remaining part of the strip.

Press the rice to compact it and shape the maki, the traditional gunkan-maki has the shape of a boat.

Fill the gunkan-maki with tobiko.

This would always be served with three such pieces for one person.

Also place some soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger in the table.


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