Tuna Species 6: Mekajiki/Marlin

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mekajiki.jpg

Strictly speaking, marlins are only a different branch from tuna, but as it is so often offered as a substitute for true tuna, I decided to introduce it as such.
There are many types of marlins all over the world, but the most commonly caught and eaten is “Mekajiki”/Big-eye Marlin.
kajiki1.jpg
It is found in various supermarkets and cheap izakaya. Still it is a very popular as sashimi as well as grilled fish. Even in my home country it is served as “Carpaccio”.
It is caught all around Japan from Atumn to Winter.
It is also called “Meka” in Tokyo or “Mesara” in Kanagawa Prefecture.
kajiki-kuro.jpg kajiki-shiro.jpg
Sashimi varieties came in two main kinds: “kuro” and “shiro” (see pics above)
“Makajiki” (“true marlin”) is peach pink while “Mekajiki” (“big-eye marlin”) is of a whitish orange.
More than 1,000 tonnes are caught off Japan, whereas imports amount to more than 1,100 tonnes.
In Europe and America it is paopular as canned food or grilled.
mekajiki-nigiri.jpg
One can enjoy it as cheap “nigiri” in sushi restaurants.
Fresh marlin should be shiny and show veins bright red.
It is mainly caught at night as it wswims near the surface then.

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