April Seasonal Japanese Seafood 4月旬の魚

April Japanese Seasonal Seafood

 

Many of the seafood from March are still in season in April. The cold waters still bring fish rich with fat that shines in sashimi or is nice for grilling. Asari clams are great for making into a quick vongole style pasta. Grilling salted fish heads of buri or tai is quick and simple and the perfect accompaniment to sake or shochu. Bitesize tiny hotaru ika can be quickly blanched and then served with a sweet and vinegary sumiso dressing. Nishin can be salted and grilled. And perhaps my favorite this time of year is katsuo simply seared on the edges, sliced thickly, and served with some soy sauce and garlic. Katsuo tataki is particularly nice if you can garnish it with fresh myoga. Hirame is lovely as sashimi. If we have leftover hirame sashimi Shinji likes to cure it in kombu overnight at kombujime hirame. The texture changes as the umami is soaked in from the kombu to the hirame.

 

Hotate we like as sashimi or cooked meuniere style. Takikomigohan of scallops is also a nice change-up. Mebaru is a light, white fish that is nice as himono. While tachiuo may look intimidating in the market, it is a delicate fish that can be grilled meuniere-style. And, for the perfect sake snack in spring, I love deep-fried wakasagi.

 

If you click on the Japanese name of the seafood you should be directed to a link with a photo.

 

Ainame –  鮎並 fat greenling (Hexagrammos otakii)

Akagai – 赤貝 ark shell (Scapharca broughtonii)

Amadai – 赤甘鯛 tilefish (Branchiostegus japonicus)

Aori ika – 障泥烏賊 big fin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana)

Asari – 浅利 Japanese littleneck clams (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Botan ebi – see Toyama ebi below

Buri – 鰤 Japanese amberjack (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Chidai–   血鯛  crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)

Hamaguri – 浜栗 common Orient clam (Meretrix lusoria)

Hatsu gatsuo or katsuo – 鰹 skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Hirame –  鮃 olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)

Hotaru ika – 蛍烏賊擬 firefly squid  (Enoploteuthis chunii)

Hotate – 帆立貝 scallops (Patinopecten yessoensis)

Iidako – 飯蛸 ocellated octopus (Octopus ocellatus)

Isaki – 伊佐幾 chicken grunt  (Parapristipoma trilineatum)

Jindou ika – 神頭烏賊 Japanese dwarf squid (Loliolus (Nipponololig) japonica)

Kaki – 牡蠣 oyster (Crassostrea gigas)

Karei – 鰈 littlemouth flounder (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

Kasago – 笠子 scorpion fish (Sebastiscus marmoratus)

Katsuo – 鰹  skipjack tuna or oceanic bonito (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Kibinago – 黍魚子 banded blue sprat (Spratelloides gracilis)

Kihada maguro – 黄肌鮪 yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

Kinmedai– 金目鯛 splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kohada – 小鰭 gizzard shad (Konosirus pumctatus)

Kurozako ebi – 黒雑魚海老 kuro shrimp (Argis lar)

Madai or tai – 真鯛 seabream (Pagurus major)

Makogarei – 真子鰈 marbled sole (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

Managatsuo – 真名鰹 silver pomfret (Pampus punctatissimus)

Mebachi maguro – 目撥 bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)

Mebaru – 目張 black rockfish (Sebastes inermis)

Mirugai – 海松食 geoduck (Tresus keenae)

Nijimasu – 虹鱒  rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Nishin – 鰊 Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii)

Ooasari – 蜊蝦夷忘 Japanese littleneck clam (Callista berevisiphonata)

Saba – 鯖 Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus)

Sakura ebi – 桜蝦 sakura shrimp (Sergia lucens)

Sakuradai – 桜鯛 cherry anthias  (Sacura margaritacea)

Saragai – 皿貝 Northern great tellin (Megangulus venulosa)

Sawara – 鰆 Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)

Sayori –  針魚  halfbeak (Hyporhamphus sajori)

Sazae – サザエ   turban wreath shell (Turbo cornutus)

Shima ebi – 島海老 pandalid shrimp (Pandalopsis japonica)

Shima isaki – 縞鶏魚 sharpnose tigerfish (Rhyncopelate Oxyhynchus)

Shira ebi – 白海老 glass shrimp (Pasiphaea japonica)

Shirouo – 素魚 ice goby (Leucopsarion petersii)

Tachiuo – 太刀魚 cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus)

Tairagai – 平貝  pen shell or fan shell (Atrina (Servatrina) pectinata)

Tobiuo – 飛魚 Japanese flying fish (Cypselurus agoo agoo)

Torigai – 鳥貝 heart clam (Fulvia mutica)

Toyama ebi or botan ebi – 富山海老 humpback shrimp (Pandalus hypsinotus)

Wakasagi – 若細魚 Japanese smelt  (Hypomesus nipponensis)

Yamame – ヤマメ cherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou maso)

Yari ika – 槍烏賊 spear squid (Loligo (Heterololigo) bleekeri)

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