Tag Archives: 真鯛

Shizuoka Marine Products at Sushi Ko: Seabream and Cuttlefish

Left: Tennen Madai/天然真鯛/Wild Red Seabream
Right: Aori Ika/障泥烏賊/Bigfin Reef Squid

Last night I had another occasion to visit my favorite Sushi Restaurant Sushi Ko in Aoba Koen/青葉公園/”Green Leaves Park” in Shizuoka City.
I go through many of my own traditional enquiries before choosing my morsels, and one of them is to find out what is on the “sashimi menu of the day”!

This was when I noticed two items labeled “Tennen/天然, meaning “natural/wild” from Shizuoka Prefecture, more precisly from the Suruga Bay:

Madai/真鯛/Red Seabream (English information, Japanese information)

The fish is not only served as sashimi, but being very fresh (actually alive in a tank at Sushi Ko!), it is also served with its skin in aburi/炙り/grilled style!
The flesh is extremely tender and almost sweet. No wonder it is so prized in Japan!

Aori Ika/障泥烏賊/Bigfin Reef Squid (English information, Japanese information)

Sushi Ko serves it in strips that have been indented at regular spaces for an easier bite and for a better exposure to taste.
The cuttlefish is in fact easy to chew and very tasty!

Notice the edible perilla/shiso/紫蘇 flowers and garted wasabi from Shizuoka, too!

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Japanese Seasonal Fish 18: Tai-Madai/Seabream

There are many varieties of Seabream/Snappers/Tai/鯛in Japan:
Batodai, Hanadai, Ishidai, Kinmeidai, Mekkidai, etc., but the most popular variety is called Madai/真鯛, or True Seabream.

Even Madai/True Seabream is called different names depending upon the region: Oodai or Hondai.
The best season streches from Winter to Spring.
It is extensively raised by humans in Ehime, Mie and Saga Prefectures.
Wild specimen are mainly caught off the shores of Nagasaki, Fukuok, Kumamoto, and Yamaguchi Prefectures. Not so many Madai are caught in Shizuoka but other varieties are abundant especially around Izu Penisula.

Human-raised amount to over 80,000 tonnes a year wild ones are caught at a rate inferior to 15,000 tonnes a year.
Imports are relatively and account for only about 6.500 tonnes a year.

Madai is widely appreciated raw as sashimi in the Japanese style (above),

in carpaccio, Italian-style sashimi!

The Japanese also ove them grilled or steamed.

The Japanese since immemorial times have preserved the raw fish in rice miso, mirin/sweet sake and konbu/seaweed, but this has become quite an expensive morsel these days!

(Only relatively) lesser varieties, like Kinmedai, are appreciated as Himono/naturally dried fish, a specilaty of Shizuoka Prefecture which produces no less half of all naturally dried fish in Japan! Actually they come almost as expensive!

Konbujime/marinated in seaweed nigiri sushi

As sushi, madai (and other seabreams) are very versatile.
You will encounter them, depending on the region as konbujime/marinated in seaweed (above),

simple, straight nigiri sushi,

oshizushi/pressed sushi,

or zuke/marinated in ponzu, sake, mirin, etc.,

Seabream certainly looks great as temarizushi/Kyoto-style small round sushi nigiri!

Tai Shirako

Like tara/cod, their sperm sacs of the male specimens are highly appreciated and even more expensive than those of cods.

You can have served raw/slightly boiled or grilled as above,

meuniere-style as in French or Italian cuisine,

or on gunkan sushi nigiri!

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