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Apr 19, 2003 06:15 PM

What fishes are Kosher? For sushi? Tuna, Yellowtail, Albacore, Toro, etc.

  • i

anyone know which fishes are kosher? thanks.

i'm sephardic so i allow for rice.

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  1. The link below is to a list of kosher and non-kosher fish.


    1. Any fish that has scales and fins and is NOT a bottom feader is kosher.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Eric
        jerome (followup)

        Bottom feeder? what are you talking about? Do catfish have scales? If so then they're kosher. If not then they're not.

        For someone seriously asking, be sure to ask an authority you follow for monkfish, esp, in re an kimo, monkfish liver.

        Fugu, puffer, I'm pretty sure is not kosher as it doesn't have kosher scales. It exists in the red sea and is in the literature as not kosher.

        1. re: jerome (followup)

          Bottom feeding has nothing to do with the kashrut of a fish. Fins and scales equals a kosher fish.

          Some varieties of monkfish are kosher, most common ones found in fish shop are not. Common advice is to never buy a filleted piece of monkfish. If you see a whole one with scales that you can feel, you have a kosher variety of the fish.

        2. re: Eric

          Carp, which has got to be one of the most traditional kosher fish, is a bottom feeder.

          I don't know where this idea that bottom-feeders are not kosher comes from. I suppose from the same myth-factory where people learn that Esther was Mordechai's niece (she was his first cousin), that new utensils can be used once without tevilla (they can't), that R Gershom's decree expired recently and was renewed by some authority or other (if it expired at all, it was 763 years ago), and that the reason we don't shecht giraffes is some difficulty about locating the right place for the cut (anywhere on the neck is fine, and anyone who can't find the neck on a giraffe has no business being a shochet).

          1. re: Zev Sero

            >>and anyone who can't find the neck on a giraffe has no business being a shochet).<<...

            And the last time I saw a shochet that tall was......

            1. re: Zev Sero

              the other myth about kosher food that i get a lot is:

              "if you have kosher cheese and kosher meat, well couldn't you make a kosher cheesburger?"

              Still cracks me up. Could be a seperate thread about kosher food myths....

              1. re: baruch

                The best one I heard was putting ham on Jewish rye to make it kosher.

                1. re: Bob Libkind

                  That one i have never heard! Thats great though.

                  The other main one i hear all the time is the notion that all it takes for food to be kosher is having a rabbi bless it. Which usually leads to the question: So can your rabbi just bless the ham and then you can eat it?

                  The thing that makes it hard to laugh is that the people are usually so genuinely trying to help or interested.

              2. re: Zev Sero
                Bride of the Juggler

                This made me curious as to why catfish aren't kosher, since I always thought it was the bottom-feeder issue. I found a couple websites saying catfish have no scales. Now I know. Thanks for the information.

                1. re: Bride of the Juggler

                  According to my friend, who is a marine biologist, catfish do, in fact, have scales. In fact, their anatomy is very similar to carp. The scales, however, are miniscule, and perhaps evaded the detection of the Talmudic rabbis.

                  So for me, the question still remains: Why isn't catfish kosher? I think it's an issue that should be revisited.

                  1. re: ElanLove

                    Depends what species of catfish. A quick web search turns up lots of seemingly-reliable sources claiming that catfish have no scales at all; maybe it's only some species of catfish that have these scales. Also, the definition of `kaskasim', which is the word we're translating as `scales', includes only those that can be scraped off without damaging the skin; if they're firmly attached to the skin, so that scraping them off damages it, then they're not really scales, they're part of the skin. Only cycloid (round) and ctenoid (round with teeth) scales count as `kaskasim'; placoid (rectangular) and ganoid (rhomboid) scales aren't `kaskasim', and fish with only these kinds aren't kosher.

                    1. re: Zev Sero

                      That's an interesting clarification. Thanks.

            2. What non-fish sushi are non-kosher? Are gobo-maki rolls kosher???

              3 Replies
              1. re: Hiko Ikeda

                There is a question if one can eat sushi prepared in a treyf environment, even for the question of Mar'at 'Ayin. If you're making it at home, any vegetarian sushi is kosher (though not necessarily kosher for passover). You can pickle your own gobo, you can make your own ume paste, shiso is kosher, home-mode takuan, nara-zuke etc are kosher, the skins on inari-zushi are vegetarian.
                However, some people will require a hekhsher.

                1. re: Jerome

                  Although I also thought that "any vegetarian sushi is kosher" at first, but after reading some Jewish books I conclude Inari is not kosher because it is based on Shintoism.

                  1. re: Hiko Ikeda

                    Unless there is some ritual on the dofupi, Inari is fine. Although there's a legend, it doesn't affect the food.