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 love 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/干物/naturally dried fish, a specialty 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,
or zuke/marinated in ponzu, sake, mirin, etc.,
Seabream certainly looks great as temarizushi/Kyoto-style small round sushi nigiri!
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 WEBSITES
Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery