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Is Tobiko Gluten Free?

is tobiko gluten free
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Is Tobiko (Flying Fish Roe) Gluten Free?

Tobiko and Masago themselves are gluten free. However, some commercially made Tobiko are made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and other ingredients that may contain gluten. Be wary of how the Tobiko is prepared as it may use additives that aren’t gluten free, despite the main ingredient being a gluten free sushi roll. 

What is Tobiko?

Tobiko is the Japanese word for flying fish roe, which is mainly used in different types of sushi. If you didn’t know, fish roe is just another way of saying fish eggs. These eggs are normally a orangish color, but different ingredients and spices are added to change the color and taste. For example, sometimes yuzu is added to make the eggs appear more yellow and squid ink is sometimes used to make them black. 

As Tobiko is simply a fish egg, the main ingredient is gluten free. But as mentioned earlier, it’s preparation with other ingredients may change the overall dish. 

flying fish roe substitute

Is Tobiko Healthy?

This question will be met with some yes’s and some no’s as it’s opinion based. While there are some downsides to Tobiko, the overall composition of Tobiko can be healthy. 

These fish eggs have a lot of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to it’s high protein content, Tobiko contains phospholipids that help to protect the heart and provide numerous health benefits such as reducing inflammation and improved cognitive ability. 

However, there are downside to Tobiko, such as being high in cholesterol. This isn’t much of an issue for most as Tobiko is usually served in small amounts. 

Is Tobiko Vegan?

No, generally Tobiko is not considered vegan as the fish eggs are normally cut out of the fish and the fish dies. This also goes for vegetarians as well, since anyone that follows a vegetarian diet but eats fish is normally referred to as a pescatarian. 

Tobiko Substitute

A good substitute for Tobiko is Masago. Masago is another fish roe and is similar to Tobiko. The taste between the two is very similar, but Masago is less crunchy and a slightly yellower hue. 

Masago isn’t the only substitute though, most fish roe can be used as a substitute, especially in sushi. 


So while Tobiko is gluten free as a fish egg, commercially available selections of it may not be. Depending on the sauces and other ingredients in the dish (usually sushi), you might have to be worried about gluten if you have celiac’s disease.

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