June Seasonal Seafood
The arrival of ayu is a sign that summer has arrived. Simply salted and grilled is the most popular way of serving this tender-fleshed fish. Kawahagi is a funny looking fish. The skin is so thick, hence the name kawahagi, or leather jacket. We love this fish as sashimi. If we’re lucky, the fresh fish will have its liver, which we mix with ponzu and serve with the sashimi.
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. Karei is lovely when deep-fried whole, a dish called karei no kara-age.
As for octopus, which is one of my favorite seafood if cooked properly, there are so many recipes. Shinji and I visited an octopus-processing factory and the staff there suggested putting boiled octopus on top of Japanese curry. It’s so easy as boiled octopus is often sold in Japanese supermarkets. And, it’s yummy.
Suzuki is a nice fish to sauté meuniere style. Tobiuo we love as sashimi. As for saba, there are so many different preparations, including simmered in miso, salted and grilled, deep-fried, or sautéed.
If you are in Tokyo, be sure to visit Tamai in Nihonbashi, near Takashimaya, for anago which is in season now.
And, while wakame is not a seafood, this sea vegetable is in season now. If you have the opportunity to have some you are in for a treat to enjoy its texture and flavor this time of year.
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)
Aji 鰺 Japanese horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicus)
Aka isaki 赤伊佐幾 Schlegel’s red bass (Caprodon schlegelii)
Akashita birame 赤舌鮃 red-tongued sole (Cynoglossus joyneri)
Anago 穴子 conger eels (Conger myriaster)
Aodai 青鯛 Blue fusiller (Paracaesio caeruleus (Katayama))
Aori ika 障泥烏賊 big fin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana)
Awabi 鮑 abalone (Haliotis (Nordotis) discus discus)
Ayu 鮎 sweetfish (Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis)
Bai 貝 Japanese ivory shell (Balylonia japonica)
Benisake べにさけ 紅鮭 sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)
Buri 鰤 Japanese amberjack (Seriola quinqueradiata)
Hamo 鱧 pike eel or pike conger (Muraenesox cinereus)
Hanafuedai – 花笛鯛 (Pristipomoidae argrogrammicus)
Horagai or boushuubora 房州法螺 Japanese triton (Charonia lampas sauliae)
Hoya 海鞘 sea squirt (Halocynthia roretzi)
Isaki 伊佐幾 chicken grunt (Parapristipoma trilineatum)
Ishimochi – イシモチ honnibe croaker (Nibea mitsukurii)
Iwana – (Salvelinus leucomaenis pluvius)
Iwashi 鰯 spotline sardine (Sardinops melanostictus)
Jindou ika 神頭烏賊 Japanese dwarf squid (Loliolus (Nipponololig) japonica)
Kamasu 叺 barracuda (Sphyraena japonica)
Kanpachi 間八 amberjack or yellowtail (Seriola dumerili)
Karei 鰈 littlemouth flounder (Pleuronectes yokohamae)
Katsuo 鰹 skipjack tuna or oceanic bonito (Katsuwonus pelamis)
Kawahagi 皮剥 thread-sail filefish (Stephanolepis cirrhifer)
Kensaki ika 剣先烏賊 swordtip squid (Loligo edulis)
Kibinago 黍魚子 banded blue sprat (Spratelloides gracilis)
Kihada maguro 黄肌鮪 yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)
Kijihata or akahata 雉子羽太 redspotted grouper (Epinephelus akaara)
Kisu or shirogisu 鱚 Japanese whiting (Sillago japonica)
Kochi 鯒 bartail flathead (Platycephalus)
Konoshiro or shinko 鰶 dotted gizzard shad (Konosirus punctatus)
Kuro maguro 黒鮪 bluefin tuna (Thunus thynnus)
Kurumaebi 車海老 Japanese tiger prawn (Penaeus (Melicertus) japonicus)
Madai or tai 真鯛 seabream (Pagurus major)
Makogarei 真子鰈 marbled sole (Pleuronectes yokohamae)
Oni okoze 鬼虎魚 spiny devilfish (Inimicus japonicus)
Ooasari 蜊蝦夷忘 Japanese littleneck clam (Callista berevisiphonata)
Saba 鯖 Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus)
Sazae 栄螺 horned turban shell (Turbo cornutus)
Shijimi – 大和蜆 corbicula clams or water clams (Corbicula japonica)
Shima aji or striped jack or white trevally 島鯵 (Pseudocaranx dentex)
Shira ebi 白海老 glass shrimp (Pasiphaea japonica)
Suzuki 鱸 Japanese sea perch (Lateolabrax japonicus)
Tako 蛸 common octopus (Octopus vulgaris)
Tobiuo 飛魚 Japanese flying fish (Cypselurus agoo agoo)
Torigai 鳥貝 heart clam (Fulvia mutica)
Uchimurasaki ウチムラサキ butter clam (Saxidomus purpurata)
Uni – sea urchin
Yamameヤマメ cherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou maso)
2 Comments Add yours
Your blog is very useful. I am traveling to Tokyo next Monday and am looking for a food guide to take me around during the day. Any suggestions?
Hi there. Thanks for your note. I’ll e-mail you directly. Enjoy Tokyo! Yukari