Japanese Seasonal Fish: 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 under different names depending upon the region where it is caught: Oodai or Hondai.

The best season stretches from Winter to Spring.

It is extensively raised by humans in Ehime, Mie and Saga Prefectures.

Wild specimens are mainly caught off the shores of Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Yamaguchi Prefectures. Not so many Madai are caught in Shizuoka. 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 are preserving the raw fish in rice miso, mirin/sweet sake and konbu/seaweed. This is quite an expensive morsel these days!

(Only relatively) lesser varieties, like Kinmedai, are appreciated as Himono/naturally dried fish, a specialty of Shizuoka Prefecture. Shizuoka produces no less half of all naturally dried fish in Japan! Actually, they come almost as expensive!

Konbujime/marinated in seaweed nigiri sushi

A Very versatile fish

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 sushi nigiri,

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!

Sites we recommand :
Bread + Butter, Comestilblog, Greedy Girl, Bouchon For 2, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Mangantayon, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles, Lexi, Culinary Musings, Eats and Everything, Bite Me New England, Heather Sweet, Warren Bobrow, 5 Star Foodie, Frank Fariello, Oyster Culture, Ramendo, Alchemist Chef, Ochikeron, Mrs. Lavendula, The Gipsy Chef, Spirited Miu Flavor, Wheeling Gourmet, Chef de Plunge, Sushi Nomads

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