Skip to main content

Autumn Fish in Japan

Autumn, the most beautiful season in Japan, brings with it great sushi and Japanese sake. In order to start the season off right, I'd like to introduce the most popular autumnal fish in Japan. First one is called Katsuo, or Bonito, other names would be Skipjack or Bonita.

The Katsuo is in season twice a year. During spring the first Katsuo are leaner and more flavorsome. Around September returning Katsuo appear. The fish are fatter and are much heavier than the spring Katsuo. I recommend visiting Kochi Prefecture, Kochi is on the southern coast of Shikoku if you want to eat absolutely the best Katsuo. But, even if you are not able to travel that far, then local supermarkets around Japan should start selling them around mid September. If you are around Shizuoka I recommend visiting this site called Shizuoka Gourmet which is an amazing site packed full of useful information about Japanese food, and nihonshu ( Japanese rice brew).

Another big name fish for Autumn would be the Kohada, or Gizzard Shad. I think a lot of Western gourmands overlook the sublime and mellow texture of this fish. People who eat this fish tend to admire its brilliant silver skin and overall good taste. Personally, I think the fish is underrated and should be pushed more because of its visual appeal.

And then, how can I forget Saba or Japanese Mackerel. I think in Kanagawa Prefecture, Saba is the most popular local specialty. Saba is usually marinated in vinegar and then served up as a sushi. The best saba for me is when the sushi rice is nice and warm, and the saba is fresh as it just melts in your mouth and blends perfectly.

Ikura, or salmon roe have high nutritional content, but is also high in salt which may not be good for people with high blood pressure. Nevertheless, it's an acquired taste that some people like myself don't particularly prefer because of its high salt content. Other then that, it's a fairly good seafood if you don't mind the little eggs bursting your mouth.

So the next time you stop through your local sushi restaurant or kaiten sushi, remember to eat these fish first. Cheers!

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  

Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

Japan Board of Education: Amazing Grace...?

Japan Board of Education Textbook.
Amazing Grace
Shuken Shuppan  Polestar textbook English Communication

Preface:  Japanese / Japan is  one of the leading donors in humanitarian aid around the world.   They have donated billions of yen to charities, developing countries, and startup business to just about every country on the globe.  Some Japanese have even taken matters to the extreme  to the point of poking their noses into hotspot areas like Palestine and Isreal, things the Japanese may want to avoid.  Had Japan shared its borders with an ethnic minority with its own government, the relative peace and calm of this country would be questionable.   No other country can be like nor emulate Japan.   So, where does this spirit of charity and altruism come from exactly?   Why do the Japanese feel they need to save the whole world, while caring very little for its own people?   It's the Board of Education...?  The essay below is one such example of what Japanese kids learn in school,…