Tag Archives: Seabream

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)

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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!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
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Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
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Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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Oshizushi/Pressed Sushi Techniques 4: Seabred Sebream/Tai no Aburi

SYNOPSIS:

Sushi exists under many forms and guises.
It is not all nigiri and (more ubiquitous) sushi rolls!
Have you ever heard of Oshizushi?

Oshizushi (押し寿司, litterally pressed sushi), is a pressed sushi from the Kansai Region, a favourite and specialty of Osaka.

Oshibako unmounted

It is made with the help of a block-shaped piece formed using a wooden mold, called an oshibako/押し箱.

Oshibako lined with toppings

The chef lines the bottom of the oshibako with the toppings, covers them with sushi rice, and then presses the lid of the mold down to create a compact, rectilinear block.

Cutting Grilled Eel Oshizushi

The block is then removed from the mold and then cut into bite-sized pieces.

It is great fun to experiment at home for large parties or the family as you can include almost anything.
Moreover, oshizuhi is easy to transport and include in bento!

The recipes and techniques I’m introducing here are professional, but with a little practice I’m sure you will become a specialist

1)Salmon Marinated in Seaweed/Sake Sushi Konbushime, 2) Seared Prime Beef/Gyuniku Aburi, 3) Egg Bearing Snow Crab/Seikogani

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Seabreams or Snappers come in so many varieties all over thw orld that it becomes quite easy to find and adapt to various cuisines.
The Japanese are extremely fond of it either raw or steamed with rice.
When using it as sashimi or sushi, choose a fresh fis. Look at their eyes and press with fingers. And use your nose!

Madai/真鯛 or “True Seabream”, the most commonly used type of seabream in Japan.

For an extra finishing touch for the taste, use fresh leaves of sansho/山椒 or Japanese pepper (also called ki no me/木の芽).
The English name is Shichuan Pepper, although we are talking of the fresh plant here.

In Japan the dried and powdered leaves of Zanthoxylum sancho are used to make noodle dishes and soups mildly hot and fragrant. The whole fresh leaves, 木の芽 kinome, are used to flavour vegetables, especially bamboo shoots, and to decorate soups. Typically the young shoots are used in this way giving an aromatic lemony flavour to food. They are used to denote spring seasonality in food. The buds, seeds, flowers, and hulls are also used.

Chop some leaves finely enough to use with sushi, but not to fine. Cut them as short as shown in picture.

Soften light seaweed in lukewarm water and spread it over a clean cloth.

Line the bottom of the oshibako/box with slices of seabream fillet as tightly to each other as possible.
Sprinkle with chopped sansho leaves.
Fill with sushi rice and press.

Unloose oshizushi out of the box.
Brush the surface lightly with some soy sauce (I sweeten it a bit by mixing it with a little mirin/sweet sake).
Sear the fish lightly.
Repeat the same process twice more so as to cook only the surface and make it take a nice colour.
This way you will be able to taste the fish in two different ways inside your mouth!

Spread the light seaweed over the top.
Cut to size and serve immediately for maximum enjoyment!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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