Shiki Facts

Japanese Autumn Seafood

Autumn in Japan is thought of as “the season of hearty appetites” “shokuyoku no aki”. Japanese people look so forward to certain months of the year to experience the flavors of the country’s world-famous cuisine at their peak. Whether you choose to eat autumn seafood raw, grilled, stewed, or prepared through other delicious and creative Japanese cooking methods, you’ll be thankful for the taste of Japanese seafood at its best.

Here’s a selection of some of the Japanese seafood that comes into its prime in autumn

Saba

Saba, known as mackerel in the West, is part of the aozakana (blue fish) group that comes into prime from mid-autumn throughout the winter months. As the waters turn cold during, the fish fatten up to keep warm, which results in juicier, richer and generally more flavorsome fish. The freshest saba can be eaten raw as a neta (topping) for nigiri, or as sashimi. It can also be marinated in salt and vinegar (shime saba). Saba shioyaki—salted and grilled saba, is one of the most common ways the fish is enjoyed.

Kampachi

Kampachi is the Japanese name of the yellowtail amberjack fish that’s harvested in autumn. It has buttery flavor, firm texture and high oil content make it well suited for a variety of cooking methods and dishes (baked, fried or grilled). Kampachi is an good oily fish that is packed with flavor and omega 3 oil. In restaurants, it’s common to see Kampachi used for sushi and sashimi dishes with a bit of salt and citrus to give it a delicate flavor.
Salmon
Salmon is a common food fish classified as an oily fish with a rich content of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon can be found year-round in Japan from September to November, it is known to be a particularly delicious Japanese autumn food. Salmon is eaten in many forms in Japan. Raw in sushi and sashimi; zuke-salmon, pickled in soy sauce or vinegar; atop a bowl of rice as sake-don. Cooked, it often comes grilled plain, to allow its natural flavor to shine, or marinated shiokoji-zuke (marinated in salt koji) or saikyo-miso-zuke (marinated white miso), which gives the rich salmon a sharper, saltier edge.

Asari clam

The Asari clam known as Japanese littleneck clam. They are plump and full of meat, each clam is juicy and full of flavor.  Asari clams are typically steamed with scallions and ginger slices, can be cooked in miso soup serve with ingredients such as enoki mushroom, scallions, and tofu (bean curd). They’re also popular among hot pot and steamboat too.

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