Salmon roe, pulled out of its sac and simply marinated in the sweet soy sauce of Kyushu, is irresistible this time of year. We love it so much it is on the table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Crabs are also coming to market. Another highlight this time of year is fresh scallops and oysters, both best when raw.
Kawahagi may not be the most beautiful fish to look at, but when cut of its leathery skin, and served as sushi with its liver, it is heavenly.
Shirako, or milt, is often from cod fish, but Japanese chefs I speak with say that the best milt comes from fugu. Many people who try this love its creaminess and velvety texture. But, once you tell them what it is they sometimes change their mind. Here it is steamed and then served with a tart ponzu and grated daikon with chili.
Amadai 赤甘鯛 tilefish (Branchiostegus japonicas)
Ankō 鮟鱇 monkfish (Lophiomus setigerus)
Asaba karei 浅羽鰈 rock sole (Pleuronectes mochigarei)
Chidai 血鯛 crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)
Hata はた grouper (Epinephelus septemfasciatus)
Hata hata 鰰 sailfin sandfish (Arctoscopus japonicus)
Higedara ひげたらsnubnose brotula (Hoplobrotuda armata)
Hi ika ひいか winter dwarf squid (Nipponololig (Loliolus) japonica)
Hirame 鮃 olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)
Hotate 帆立貝 scallops (Patinopecten yessoensis)
Hon kamasu 本カマス barracuda (Sphyraena pinguis)
Hon kawahagi 本皮剥 thread-sail filefish (Stephanolepis cirrhifer)
Ibodai 疣鯛 Japanese butterfish (Psenopsis anomala)
Ise ebi 伊勢海老 Japanese spiny lobster (Panulirus japonicas)
Ishi karei いしかれい Stone flounder (kareius bicoloratus)
Itoyori イトヨリGolden threadfin bream (Nemipterus virgatus)
Kanpachi 間八 amberjack (Seriola dumerili)
Kou ika こういか cuttlefish (Sepia (Platysepia) esculenta)
Kuro karei くろかれい black plaice (Pleuronectes obscurus)
Kurumaebi 車海老 Japanese tiger prawn (Marsupenaeus japonicas)
Kaki 牡蠣 oyster (Crassostrea gigas)
Matara 真鱈 codfish (Gadus macrocephalus)
Masaba 真鯖 Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus)
Matsuba gani 松葉蟹 spiny crab (Hypothalassia armata)
Mebachi maguro 目鉢鮪 bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)
Medai 目鯛 butterfish (Hyperoglyphe japonica)
Meita karei めいたかれいfine spotted flounder (Pleuronichthys cornutus)
Mekajiki めかじき swordfish (Xiphias gladius)
Mongouika もんごういか cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas)
Mutsu むつgnomefish (Scombrops boops)
Nametagarei 婆鰈 slime flounder (Microstomus achne)
Sawara さわら Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)
Sanma 秋刀魚 Pacific saury (Cololabis saira)
Shiba ebi 芝海老 Shiba shrimp (Metapenaeus joyneri）
Shiro ika 白烏賊swordtip squid (Loligo (Photololigo) edulis) or kensaki ika
Shirosake 白鮭 chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)
Souda katsuo 宗田鰹bullet mackerel (Auxis rochei)
Sujiko 筋子 chum salmon roe
Sukesou tara 助宗たら pollock（Theragra chalcogramma)
Suma katsuo すまかつお black skipjack (Euthynnus affinis)
Surume ika スルメイカ Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus)
Tairagai 平貝 penshell (Atrina (Servatrina) pectinata)
Wakasagi 若細魚 Japanese smelt (Hypomesus nipponensis)
Warasa ワラサ yellowtail (Seriola quinqueradiata)
Yoshikiri same よしきりさめ blue shark (Prionace glauca)
Watarigani 渡蟹 swimming crab (Portunus trituberculatus)
Zuwaigani 頭矮蟹 snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio)
16 Comments Add yours
Excellent post, Yukari ans Shinji. I am planning to visit Tokyo in autumn and was curious about that season’s available seafood. Thanks
We offer tours to markets in Tokyo if you are interested. Our contact information is in the “about Yukari & Shinji Sakamoto” section.
Thanks. I’ll contact you directly as soon as I have all my reservations, flight confirmations, etc
Hope to see you in Tokyo soon!
Oh! To have fresh salmon roe at the breakfast table, what a luxury. Your simple yet explicit photos look great.
Hi Yukari and Shinji Sakamot, great post you have here for seasonal seafoods, I love japanese foods, especially the japanese way of preparing the menu. I always dream of going to tokyo and experience authentic japanese seafoods, though there are lots of Japanese restaurant in our area, but I am very interested to know more about the seasonal seafood which I hardly find anywhere else in the US. Rest assured I will boomarked your blog to read more about your interesting topic whenever I have free time.
Please do pick up a copy of Food Sake Tokyo, published by The Little Bookroom for much more of this. And, let us know when you come to Tokyo as we do tours of the local markets. Cheers, Yukari & Shinji
I have found some salmon milt in the market today – but cannot find any recipes for it, either on the internet or in my Shizuo Tsuji cook book. What would you recommend?
Do you mean milt (shirako) or roe (eggs)? For milt, we usually steam in sake and serve with some ponzu. But, I am not familiar with salmon milt.
For roe, gently remove the eggs from the sac and put in a glass jar. Add some soy sauce and put in the refrigerator overnight. Serve over hot rice.
It is shirako – and yes, we love the salmon roe (ikura). I bought it thinking it might be herring roe (which I don’t seem to be able to find here), but my translation app says its salmon milt from Hokkaido!
Curious, do you have a photo? I wonder if you could upload a photo to this? Try steaming it in sake and serving it warm with ponzu. Ponzu is 1 part each of soy sauce, mirin, and some tart juice like yuzu or lemon if you can’t get your hands on ponzu.
At home we cook cod milt. At Tsukiji Market we often see milt from fugu (pufferfish).
just sent you my email address. maybe you can email me the photo?
Got the photos! Very cool.
Grilled salmon shirako:
But, I would prefer to steam it in sake and serve with ponzu. Serve it with a sake.