Japanese seasonal Fish: Sanma/Mackerel Pike


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“Sanma” or Mackerel Pike has come on our plates with the advent of Autumn and will stay with us until almost end of the year.
Known under other names such “Saira” or “Banjyo”, it is a fish with red meat rich with proteins.
In Japanese, 秋刀魚, it means “Autumn Sword Fish”!
In season, the flesh is fatty and sweet and ought to be sampled as sashimi served with grated fresh ginger and thinly cut leeks:

(Pic taken at Tonami, Shizuoka City. Notice the shiso/perilla flowers)
It is mainly caught off the north eastern shores of Japan as the fish swim down from Hokkaido.
But the more south it is caught, the less fat it will contain.
The annual catch exceeds 20,000 tonnes, although breeding is increasingly successful.
Incidentally for all the fish consumed in this country, Japan is the World leader when it comes to marine research and stock renewal develoment!
If you eat it at a good place such as Tonami in Shizuoka, you will be served its with its bones and head deep-fried.
Of course, as a sushi it is a morsel to savour!

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