Japanese Seasonal Fish: Kohada/Gizzard Shad

Kohada/コハダ、or “small skin” actually is not the Japanese name of gizzard shad, but a generic name for the small fish as sashimi or sushi.
The real Japanese name for gizzard shad is konoshiro/コノシロ, and even the same fish goes by other names depending on its size:
-Up to 5 cm: shinko/シンコ
-Around 10 cm: kohada/コハダ
-More than 15 cm: konoshiro/コノシロ

Although the mainfishing/angling season is around November~December, it can be found in good sushi restaurants all year round.
This said, in July, it will be the small shinko season.

Choose fresh specimens. Fish with reddish eyes and flaking scales should be avoided.
The fish is particularly popular pickled in salt and vinegar before being served either as sashimi or sushi, as the smell emanating form the grilled fish is too strong for many.

Kohada maki, with no rice, is an interesting morsel for people wishing to savour it alone with a great drink.

But it is most popular as sushi!
The small size of the fish allows for all kinds of combinations, but the fun, and the skill, reside in the “shallow cutting” practicd by many chefs for best taste.

The cutting techniques are almost infinite.
I hope that the following pictures will give an idea of what to expect, or create!

Will publish the recipe to prepare the fish soon!

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8 thoughts on “Japanese Seasonal Fish: Kohada/Gizzard Shad”

  1. Great post. thank you I have been to your site several times now, and this time I am adding it to my bookmarks. Keep it up with the great work.


  2. You have reddish eyes and flaking scales, Bob – should you be avoided? Anyway, raw fish on a bed of maggots may be a delicacy in Japan, but it doesn’t look very appetizing from here.


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