Whelk [Tsubugai]


Japanese Name and Pronunciation:

tsubugai in Japanese


In Japan, the term “tsubugai” is used as a general name for edible whelk species. Tsubugai is available throughout the year, with its peak season varying depending on the species, but it is relatively abundant around June. Hokkaido is the primary production region, accounting for approximately 90% of the total harvest.

In Japanese culinary culture, tsubugai is highly valued for its sweet and succulent taste, as well as its firm and slightly chewy texture. The meat is usually pale and tender, with a subtle briny flavor reminiscent of the ocean. It is considered a delicacy and is often served as sashimi (thinly sliced raw seafood), in sushi, or as part of various seafood dishes.

When prepared as sashimi, tsubugai is typically sliced thin and served with a soy-based dipping sauce accompanied by wasabi and thinly sliced ginger. It is used as “nigiri” in sushi.

Besides its delicious taste, tsubugai is also appreciated for its nutritional value. It is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, iron, and selenium. Additionally, it contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.

Tsubugai is a treasured seafood in Japanese cuisine, valued for its delightful taste, appealing texture, and nutritional benefits. Whether served as sashimi or in sushi, it is a favorite among seafood lovers and adds a unique touch to Japanese culinary experiences.

Whelk Sushi [Tsubugai]
Whelk Sushi [Tsubugai]