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Japanese Seasonal Fish: Kawahagi/Thread-sail Filefish

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Kawahagi or Thread-sail Filefish (or simply Filefish) is an angler’s favourite in summer.
Like any other fishes, it has other names such as “Gihagi, “Hagi”, “Gyuu”, “Subuta” or “bakuchiuchi”.
It is fairly common in Central and South Japan.
It is called Leatherjacket down in Australia where it is considered a pest!

In Kansai area, it replaces Fugu/Globefish when it is out of season for its similarity as sashimi

The skin should be rough like that of a shark and brightly coloured.
Avoid sticky skin fish.
The bigger the size, the greater the taste (anglers, enjoy!)

Savouring the full Filfish meal at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City:

Back in June, as I had to atone for some somewhat egoistical pleasure-seeking, I took the Missus to our favourite Sushi Restaurant in Shizuoka City, namely Sushi Ko,located along Aoba Park.

Although we did order the inevitable favourites, “katsuo/bonito” sashimi, “Shirako to Ankimo/Combination of Cod Sperm sacs and Frogfish/Monkfish liver”, “Pon Kara Maguro/Deep-fried tuna cubes”, “Shishamo/Spirinchus lanceolatus”, “Hotate/Scallops”, “Maguro Zuke/Marinated Tuna sushi”, and “Amaebi nigiri to Shiraebi Gunkan/Sweet shrimp and white shrimp sushi”, the star of the day was “Kawahagi/Filefish”!

The chef took a splendid live specimen (see top pic) just caught off Mochimune coast in Shizuoka City out of the “aquarium” and proceeded to serve the complete fish in three different manners:


“O-Tsukuri”:
After having taken away the inedible skin, the chef first cut the fillets into very thin slices to be served with thin leeks and dip sauce made of ponzu mixed with the fresh liver of the same fish. As now is the best season, those comparatively thin fish come up with enormous livers!


“O nigiri”:
The chef managed to keep four slices aside to prepare nigiri with the fish flesh topped with a piece of its liver, some “momiji oroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper” and seasoned with ponzu!

“Kara age”:
The “cheeks bones” with their meat were last deep-fried and served as they are with some lemon. Simple and great!
All this with one single fish!

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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