May Seasonal Japanese Seafood 5月旬の魚

katsuo tataki

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. 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. This time of year, the katsuo is referred to as “hatsu-gatsuo”. Katsuo actually is in season two times a year. This is the first time we see it, hence the name “first katsuo” in Japanese. The meat in the spring is very rich and intense in flavor and is lean without any fat which makes it refreshing. Katsuo tataki is particularly nice if you can garnish it with fresh myoga and dress it with a citrusy ponzu sauce.

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. Don’t throw away the head of tai as it is lovely when salted and grilled. Shinji also likes to keep the bones of tai after he has filleted the fish to make a broth. Simply make some kombu dashi, add the bones and simmer for about ten minutes. A delicate broth, but rich with the umami from the fish bones and kombu.

Iwashi (sardines) and isaki (threeline grunt) are just starting to become rich with fat as we approach the rainy season.

Ainame  鮎魚女  Fat greenling (Hexagrammos otakii

Akagai 赤貝   Ark shell (Scapharca broughtonii) 

Aoyagi   青柳   Surf clam (Mactra chinensis) 

Asari  浅利   Japanese littleneck clam (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Ayu      Ayu or sweet fish ( Plecoglossus altivelis)

Chidai   血鯛   Crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)

Ginzake 銀鮭   Silver (Coho) salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutsh )

Hiramasa 平政 Giant amberjack (Seriola lalandi)

Hotate 帆立貝   Scallop  (Patinopecten yessoensis)

Hoya  ホヤ   Sea squirt (Ascidiacea) 

Minami maguro 南鮪 Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) 

Isaki 伊佐木 Threeline grunt (Parapristipoma trilineatum )

Ishigarei 石鰈 Stone flounder (Kareius bicoloratus)

Katsuo      Skipjack tuna or oceanic bonito (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Karauni   殻雲丹   Sea urchin (Anthocidaris crassispina)

Kinki 黄血魚   Thorny head (Sebastolobus macrochir)

Kinmedai 金目鯛   Splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kihada maguro  黄肌鮪   Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) 

Kisu キス Sillago (Sillago japonica)

Kurodai 黒鯛   Japanese black porgy (Acanthopagrus schlegelii)

Okoze 虎魚   Scorpion fish (Lnimicus japonicus(Cuvier))

Maaji  真鯵   Horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicas)

Maanago 真穴子 Conger eel (Conger myriaster  )

Madai  真鯛   Red sea bream (Pagurus major)

Maiwashi 真鰯 Sardine (Sardinops melanostictus)

Mirugai  海松食   geoduck (Tresus keenae)

Mebaru 目張   rockfish (Sebastes inermis)

Makogarei   真子かれい   Marbled flounder (Pleuronectes yokohamae Gunther)

Mongōika もんごういか   Kisslip cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas) 

Sakura ebi  桜蝦    Sakura shrimp (Sergia lucens)

Sawara      Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)

Sazae   栄螺   Turban shell (Turbo cornutus)

Shirauo 白魚   Whitefish or ice goby (Salangichthys microdon)

Shira ebi 白海老   Glass shrimp (Pasiphaea japonica)

Sumiika   墨烏賊   Cuttlefish (Sepia (Platysepia  esculenta Hoyle)

Tairagai   平貝   Pen shell (Atrina (Servatrina) pectinata)

Tachiuo   太刀魚   Belt fish or Largehead hairtail (Trichiurus lepturus Temminck&Schlegel)

Tokisake   時鮭   Young chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)

Tsubugai   螺貝   Whelk (Buccinum undatum)

Shako   蝦蛄   Mantis shrimp (Oratosquilla oratoria)

Shiro ika 白烏賊 Swordtip squid (Photololigo edulis)

Torigai   鳥貝   Cockle (Fulvia mutica)

 

 

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July Seasonal Japanese Seafood 7月旬の魚

Some of our personal favorites include ayu (salted and grilled), shitabirame (meuniere), shijimi (miso soup), benisake (salted and grilled), and for sashimi – surumeika, kinmedai, takabe, and isaki. Most of the seafood have links to photos.

Ainame 鮎並 fat greenling (Hexagrammos otakii)

Akashita birame 赤舌鮃  red-tongued sole (Cynoglossus joyneri)

Awabi abalone (Haliotis sorenseni)

Ayu 鮎 sweetfish (Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis)

Benisake べにさけ 紅鮭 sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)

Dojou 泥鰌 loach (Misgurnus Anguillicaudatus)

Hamo   pike eel or pike conger (Muraenesox cinereus)

Inada イナダ young Japanese amberjack (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Isaki 伊佐幾 chicken grunt  (Parapristipoma trilineatum)

Ishidai 石鯛  barred knifejaw (Oplegnathus fasciatus)

Ishimochi イシモチ nibe croaker (Nibea mitsukurii)

Iwana 日光岩魚 whitespotted char (Salvelinus leucomaenis pluvius)

Kamasu 大和叺 barracuda (Sphyraena japonica)

Kanpachi  間八 amberjack or yellowtail (Seriola dumerili)

Katsuo 鰹  skipjack tuna or oceanic bonito (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Kawahagi 皮剥 thread-sail filefish (Stephanolepis cirrhifer)

Kihada maguro 黄肌鮪 yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

Kinmedai 金目鯛 splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kisu 鱚 Japanese whiting (Sillago japonica)*or shirogisu

Kochi 鯒 bartail flathead (Platycephalus)

Kuro maguro 黒鮪 bluefin tuna (Thunus thynnus)

Maaji 真鯵 Japanese jack mackerel (Trachurus japonicus)

Maanago 真穴子 whitespotted conger (Conger myriaster)

Maiwashi 真鰯  Japanese sardine (Sardinops melanostictus)

Makogarei 真子鰈 marbled sole (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

Masaba 真鯖 Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus)

Mejimaguro めじまぐろ young tuna (genus Thunnus) if it is a young bluefin tuna it will be called honmeji, if it is a young yellowfin tuna it will be called kinmeji.

Niji masu 虹鱒 rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Oni okoze  鬼虎魚 spiny devilfish (Inimicus japonicus)

Shijimi – 大和蜆 corbicula clams or water clams (Corbicula japonica)

Shima aji  島鯵 striped jack or white trevally (Pseudocaranx dentex)

Shiro ika 白いか  swordtip squid (Loligo (Photololigo) edulis)* or kensaki ika

Shitabirame 舌平目 (or ushinoshita) four line tongue sole(Arelia bilineat)

Surumeika 鯣烏賊  Japanese common or flying squid (Todarodes pacificus)

Suzuki 鱸  Japanese sea perch (Lateolabrax japonicus)

Tachiuo 太刀魚 cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus)

Takabe たかべ yellow-striped butterfish (Labracoglossa argentiventris)

Tobiuo 飛魚 Japanese flying fish (Cypselurus agoo agoo)

Unagi 鰻 Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica)

May Seasonal Japanese Seafood 5月旬の魚

May 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. 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.

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. Don’t throw away the head of tai as it is lovely when salted and grilled. Shinji also likes to keep the bones of tai after he has filleted the fish to make a broth. Simply make some kombu dashi, add the bones and simmer for about ten minutes. A delicate broth, but rich with the umami from the fish bones and kombu.

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.

If you are in Tokyo, be sure to visit Tamai in Nihonbashi, near Takashimaya, for anago which is in season now.

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

Aji –  鰺 Japanese horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicus)

Anago –  穴子 conger eels (Conger myriaster)

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

Awabi– 鮑  abalone (Haliotis (Nordotis) discus discus)

Bai – 貝 Japanese ivory shell  (Balylonia japonica)

Benisake べにさけ 紅鮭 sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)

Chidai–   血鯛  crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)

Haze – 真鯊 spiny goby (Acanthogobius flavimanus)

Hiramasa – 平政 yellowtail amberjack (Seriola lalandi)

Honmaguro – 本鮪 bluefin tuna (Thunus thynnus)

* also called kuromaguro

Houki hata – 箒羽太 comet grouper (Epinephelus morrhua)

Hotaru ika 蛍烏賊擬 firefly squid (Enoploteuthis chunii)

Hotate – 帆立貝 scallops (Patinopecten yessoensis)

Hoya – ほや sea squirt(Halocynthia roretzi)

Iidako 飯蛸 ocellated octopus (Octopus ocellatus)

Isaki – 伊佐幾 chicken grunt  (Parapristipoma trilineatum)

Ishidai – 石鯛  barred knifejaw (Oplegnathus fasciatus)

Ishimochi – イシモチ nibe croaker (Nibea mitsukurii)

Iwashi – 鰯  spotline sardine (Sardinops melanostictus)

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

Karei – 鰈 littlemouth flounder (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

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

Kensaki ika剣先烏賊 swordtip squid (Loligo edulis)

Kibinago – 黍魚子 banded blue sprat (Spratelloides gracilis)

Kisu – 鱚  Japanese whiting (Sillago japonica)

*or shirogisu

Korodai – 胡廬鯛   painted sweetlips (Diagramma pictum)

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

Maaji まあじ 真鯵 Japanese jack mackerel (Trachurus japonicus)

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  目撥鮪 bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)

Mebaru – 目張 black rockfish (Sebastes inermis)

Mugi ika – 麦いか young and small surumeika in spring  (Todarodes pacificus)

Nishin – 鰊 Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii)

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

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)

Shiro ika – 白いか    swordtip squid (Loligo (Photololigo) edulis)

* or kensaki ika

Tako – 蛸  common octopus (Octopus vulgaris)

Tobiuo – 飛魚 Japanese flying fish (Cypselurus agoo agoo)

Torigai – 鳥貝 heart clam (Fulvia mutica)

Uni –  sea urchin

Yamame – ヤマメ cherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou maso)

March Seasonal Japanese Seafood 3月旬の魚

Image

March is a delicious month for seafood. 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.

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

Asari – 浅利  Japanese littleneck clams   (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Buri – 鰤 Japanese amberjack (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Hamaguri – 浜栗  common Orient clam (Meretrix lusoria)

Hirame –  鮃 olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)

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

Isaki – 伊佐幾  chicken grunt  (Parapristipoma trilineatum)

Kaki – 牡蠣 oyster (Crassostrea gigas)

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

Kinmedai– 金目 (sometimes called kinme) splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kohada –  小鰭  gizzard shad (Konosirus pumctatus)

Madai (or Tai) –  真鯛 seabream (Pagurus major)

Nijimasu –  虹鱒  rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Nishin – 鰊  Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii)

Sayori –  針魚  halfbeak (Hyporhamphus sajori)

Sazae – サザエ   turban weath shell (Turbo cornutus)

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