December Seasonal Japanese Seafood 12月旬の魚

ankimo

ankimo

asari pasta

asari pasta

buri kamayaki

buri kamayaki

Winter has arrived in Tokyo. The waters surrounding the island nation are cold in most parts of the country and the fish are rich with fat. At the moment Shinji, my husband who is a fishmonger, is crazy about wild buri (yellowtail) from Hokkaido. We look for the kama (collar) of the buri and other larger fish to salt and grill. He’s also excited as up until now the monkfish in the market has been imported but now that it’s cold the monkfish is domestic and he loves to make ankimo (monkfish liver). It’s often called “foie gras of the sea”. And while the texture and appearance is similar to foie gras it’s not as rich in fat. We also love kinmedai as nitsuke, simply simmered in a soy and saké broth with a bit of ginger. As for clams, we love asari in pasta and shijimi for miso soup.

Akagarei – 赤鰈 flathead flounder (Hippoglossoides dubius)

Amadai – 赤甘鯛 tilefish (Branchiostegus japonicus)

Ankou – 鮟鱇 monkfish (Lophiomus setigerus)

Asari – 浅利 littleneck clams (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Bora – 鯔 flathead gray mullet (Mugil cephalus cephalus)

Buri – 鰤 Japanese amberjack (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Fugu – 河豚 blowfish or puffer fish (Takifugu porphyreus)

Hata Hata – 鰰 sailfin sandfish (Arctoscopus japonicus)

Hirame – 鮃  olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)

Honmaguro – 本鮪 bluefin tuna (Thunus thynnus)

Houbou – 魴 gurnard (Chelidonichthys spinosus)

Hoya – 海鞘 sea squirt (Halocynthia roretzi)

Inada –  イナダ young Japanese amberjack (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Kaki – 牡蠣 oyster (Crassostrea gigas)

Kanburi – 寒鰤 Japanese amberjack (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Kawahagi – 皮剥 thread-sail filefish (Stephanolepis cirrhifer)

Kinki – 喜知次 thornhead (Sebastolobus macrochir)

Kinme – 金目 splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kurumaebi – 車海老 Japanese tiger prawn (Penaeus (Melicertus) japonicus)

Madara – 真鱈 Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus)

Makarei – 真鰈 littlemouth flounder (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

Managatsuo – 真名鰹 silver pomfret (Pampus punctatissimus)

Madara shirako – 白子 milt from Pacific cod

Mebaru – 目張 rockfish (Sebastes inermis)

Meji maguro – young maguro

Mizudako – 水蛸 North Pacific giant octopus (Octopus dofleini)

Mutsu – むつ gnomefish (Scombrops boops)

Namako – 生子 sea cucumber (Stichopus japonica)

Nametagarei – 婆鰈 slime flounder (MIicrostomus achne)

Saba – 鯖  Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus)

Sakuraebi – 桜蝦  sakura shrimp (Sergia lucens)

Sawara – 鰆  Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)

Sazae – 栄螺 horned turban shell (Turbo cornutus)

Shijimi – 大和蜆 corbicula clams (Corbicula japonica)

Shirako – milt (from cod or fugu are most popular)

Sukesoutara – 介党鱈   Alaska pollack (Theragra chalcogramma)

Suzuki – 鱸  Japanese sea perch (Lateolabrax japonicus)

Uni –  sea urchin

Wakasagi – 若細魚  Japanese smelt (Hypomesus nipponensis)

Warasa – 鰤 Japanese amberjack (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Zuwaigani – 頭矮蟹 snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio)

October Seasonal Japanese Seafood

Kinki

Kinki

As the waters become cooler the fish become rich with fat. We love sanma (Pacific saury) this time of year, both as sashimi, or simply salted and grilled. If there is a nice cup of nihonshu on the table, eating the guts of the sanma is also a treat. For miso soup a handful of shijimi (corbicula clams) into the pot brings lots of umami and flavor. A bowl asari (Japanese little neck clam) steamed in nihonshu is a perfect appetizer to dinner. While I always thought of hirame (halibut) and karei (flounder) as white fish and hence non-fatty that is not at all the case. These flatfish can take on a lot of fat – which you can actually see in the flesh. These are great as sashimi, or after a day or two we love to simmer until tender in nihonshu. Kinki (thornhead) is a fish that Shinji loves. It is often served as a nimono, simmered in a delicate soy broth.

Ainame 鮎並 fat greenling (Hexagrammos otakii)

Aka garei 赤鰈flathead flounder (Hippoglossoides dubius)

Amaebi 甘海老 sweet shrimp(Pandalus borealis)

Asaba garei 浅羽鰈 dusky sole (Lepidopsetta bilineata)

Asari 浅蜊 Japanese little neck clam (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Awabi abalone (Haliotis sorenseni)

Babagarei 婆鰈 slime flounder (Microstomus achne)

Baka gai 馬鹿貝 surf clam (Mactra chinensis)

Benizuwai gani 紅頭矮蟹 red snow crab (Chionoecetes japonicus)

Botan ebi ボタンエビ Botan shrimp  (Pandalus nipponesis)

Hakkaku or tokubire 八角 sailfin poacher (Podothecus sachi)

Hata hata 鰰  sailfin sandfish (Arctoscopus japonicus)

Hime ezobora 姫蝦夷法螺  sea snail (Neptunea arthritica)

Hirame 鮃 olive halibut (Paralichthys olivaceus)

Hokkai ebi or hokkai shima ebi 北海海老 Hokkai shrimp (Pandalus latirostris)

Hokke 𩸽 arabesque greenling (Pleurogrammus azonus)

Hokki gai (uba gai) 姥貝 hen clam (Pseudocardium sachalinense)

Hokkoku aka ebi or amaebi 北国赤蝦  Alaskan pink shrimp (Pandalus borealis)

Hon maguro (or kuromaguro) 黒鮪 bluefin tuna (Thunus thynnus)

Hotate gai 帆立貝 Japanese scallop (Mizuhopecten yessoensis)

Kaki  牡蠣 oyster (Crassostrea gigas)

Numagarei or wakagarei 沼鰈 starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus)

Kegani 毛蟹 horsehair crab (Erimacrus isenbeckii)

Kemushi kajika 毛虫鰍 sea raven or toubetsu kajika (Hemitripterus villosus)

Kinki or Kichiji 黄血魚 thornhead (Sebastolobus macrochir)

Kitsune mebaru 狐目張 or mazoi fox jacopever (Sebastes vulpes)

Kuro gashira garei 黒頭鰈 cresthead flounder (Pleuronectes schrenki)

Kurosoi 黒曹以 jacopever (Sebastes zonatusschlegeli)

Madara or tara 真鱈 Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus)

Magarei 真鰈 littlemouth flounder (Pleuronectes herzensteini)

Mako garei 真子鰈 marbled flounder (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

Masu 鱒 trout (there are many types of trout – see nijimasu, sakuramasu)

Matsukawa garei or tantaka or takanoha 松皮鰈 barfin flounder (Verasper moseri)

Mizudako 水蛸 North Pacific giant octopus (Octopus dofleini)

Muroaji 室鰺 Brown-striped mackerel scad (Decapterus muroadsi)

Niji masu 虹鱒 rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Nishin 鰊 Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii)

Sake 鮭 salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)

Sakura masu or yamame 桜鱒 cherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou maso)

Sanma 秋刀魚 Pacific saury (Cololabis saira)

Shako 蝦蛄 mantis shrimp (Oratosquilla oratoria)

Shiira 粃 mahi mahi (Coryphaena hippurus)

Shijimi 大和蜆 corbicula clam (Corbicula japonica)

Shirauo 白魚 icefish (Salangichthys microdon)

Shishamo 柳葉魚 capelin (Spirinchus lanceolatus)

Souhachi 宗八鰈 pointhead flounder (Cleishenes pinetorum)

Suketou dara 鯳 Alaska pollack (Theragra chalcogramma)

Suna garei 砂鰈 sand flounder (Limanda punctatissima)

Surumeika 鯣烏賊 Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus)

Tachiuo 太刀魚 cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus)

Tarabagani 鱈場蟹 Alaska king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)

Ugui 鯎 Japanese dace (Tribolodon Hakonensis)

Wakasagi 若細魚 Japanese smelt (Hypomesus nipponensis)

Yanagi no mai 柳の舞 yellow rockfish (Sebastes steindachneri)