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Fukuoka Fish Market

April 2022

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KATSUO – Bonito

Bonito produced in the sea near the coast of Japan is completely different from your usual bonito. Its excellent taste will definitely satisfy your customers. In Japan, spring and autumn are the best seasons for this fish.

SAYORI  – Halfbeak

Known as the “beautiful fish that tells of the arrival of Spring,” Halfbeak are a high-quality white fish that are in their peak season from late-Fall through Spring. They can also be enjoyed in early Fall. Perfect for preparing in thin slices that showcase the translucent meat, of course, you can enjoy it as a sushi topping in the silver-skin variety.

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HOTARU IKA – Firefly squid

It has been enjoyed as a seasonal food to eat during spring in Toyama and Hyogo Prefectures. Please enjoy as "okizuke" which is a type of seasoned and pickled dish, marinated with vinegared miso, or as tempura.

KEGANI – Horsehair crab

In the Sea of Okhotsk, the best season for hairy crab is from March to August which is when the floating sea ice leaves. During this season, young crab is more affordable than hard-shelled crab, and although there is less meat, the sweet taste of its flesh is more concentrated in the young crab.

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SHIRAUO – Icefish

Spring is the best season for Shirauo, which is when they come back up to the river during spawning season between February and April. Fresh shirauo is best eaten as sashimi with wasabi soy sauce, marinated with vinegared miso, or gunkan-maki roll.

KISU – Smelt

The most delicious season for Kisu is generally said to start in June, but in the Kyushu region, the best season begins in April. Some of the best ways to eat this fish include the "yakishimo" method where you grill the skin with a burner then drop it in ice water, as well as the "konbujime" method where you lightly salt and wrap it in kelp.

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HOUBOU – Sea robin

Houbou is a tasty fish year-round.

The white meat has a rich umami taste. It’s good for simmered fish, grilled and sashimi.

AKAMUTSU – Blackthroat

“Benihitomi” is brand name of akamutsu that fish caught in Tsushima and Iki Island area sea by “Jigokunawa” fishing style. “Benihitomi” is called “King of Akamutsu”.

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ANAGO – Sea eel

Anago that is raised on the western offshore of Tsushima with abundant, high quality food, has a larger body than the common anago with better fat content as well. It really is the golden anago like its name says.

KURODAI – Black bream

In Fukuoka, Kurodai is called “Meita” or “Chinu”, depending on its size. When it is over 11 inches, they call it “Chinu”.

During its best season, the taste of Kurodai is said to be as good as Madai, if not better.

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HIRAMASA – Yellowtail amberjack

This fish doesn’t have as much fat as Buri, but has more fat and “umami” content compared to kanpachi.

SUZUKI – Japanese Sea perch

In Japan, Suzuki (sea perch) is one of the major white fish. Mainly, it is used for “Arai” style sashimi or broiled fish, but this fish is good for French dishes, too. The taste is mild but rich.

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SAWARA – Spanish mackerel

The sawara season is recognized as spring.  The fatty meat before spawning season is favored in eastern Japan.

Fresh quality sawara is good for sashimi as well as other cooking styles such as saikyozuke and yuanyaki. 

KASAGO – Marbled rockfish

In Japan, the haiku seasonal word (kigo), of kasago is spring.  However, in the present day, it is available year-round in the fish market. In Fukuoka, it’s called arakabu and is a very popular fish in this area.

It has refined white flesh and is quite perishable. However, we ship it very fresh to the U.S. market, maintaining its good quality.

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KIBINAGO - Silver-stripe round herring

Kibinago is a must-have local food in the Kagoshima prefecture, and is used in many different dishes. Please try the sashimi in Kagoshima style which is with vinegared miso instead of soy sauce. We provide both the pre-filleted type used for sashimi and the whole fish used for tempura.

KIJIHATA – Red spotted grouper

This fish is also known as Akou. It is treated as a high class fish on the fish market, and therefore rarely eaten in the common home. It is mostly used in dishes served at high-class restaurants. Thinly sliced sashimi with citrus based soy sauce mixed with wasabi is superb.

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MAKOGAREI – Marbled flounder

In Japan, the best season for flounder is winter, but the best season of Makogarei-Marbled Sole is from spring to the beginning of summer. It’s an all-rounded fish suited for any cooking methods.

GENCHAN AJI – Horse mackerel

"GENCHAN AJI" is the brand name of horse mackerel which is rubbed by the rough waves of the Genkai Sea. "GENCHAN AJI" is the over 26cm fish caught by pole‐and‐line fishing. In order to keep fresh, it will be shipped without touching by human hands. It is a gem that has firm flesh due to the rough waves of the Genkai Sea.

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MADAI – Sea bream

This is a fish that has been favored by Japanese from long ago. It can be enjoyed by preparing it as shimokawa zukuri or marbling the skin by torching or pouring hot water so that the flavor of the fat beneath the skin can be showcased for sushi or sashimi. Although farm raised varieties have become popular lately, it is said that wild red sea bream is of another world.

RENKODAI – Yellowback seabream

In the Japan fish market, when this fish is compared to Madai (sea-bream), the name value is lower but the taste is just as good. Roasting with some skin left on enhances the delicious taste.

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KINMEDAI – Alfonsino

The north-flowing “Kuroshio” ocean current brings a rich ocean harvest to Tosashimizu City in the southeastern part of Kochi, Japan. Fishermen on small boats catch kinmedai one by one with fly fishing gear. The fish are handled very carefully, and in the evening of the same day they are packed for shipping to cities in the USA. 

UNI – Sea urchin (Hokkaido)

Ezobafun-UNI is a sea urchin harvested in the Hokkaido area. It has a beautiful orange color with a rich taste. This UNI is rare in the seafood market because of how little can be harvested from the ocean. It is a top-ranked UNI on the market because of its rich sweetness that cannot be compared to any other sea urchins.

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SHAKO – Mantis crab

Found in the silt flats of the inner bay such as Hakata Bay, they are called Mantis Crab abroad due to their front feet that are shaped like those of a paying mantis. The female species, which carry eggs called katsubushi during the laying season between spring and summer, are especially delectable and adored by customers. They can be enjoyed as a boiled dish other than as sushi or tempura.

KO-IKA – Cuttlefish

A type of squid called Ko-Ika, also called “Sumi-Ika” in the Kantō region, is a very popular and crucial seafood used for Edomae-style sushi and tempura.  Due to its popularity, the market price of Ko-Ika is very expensive and can cost up to $200/KG in the beginning of its best season. The baby squids, called Shin-Ika, reach their best season and get shipped into the market from around July. Later, Ko-Ika will have its best season from late Autumn to early Spring.

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AORI-IKA – Bigfin reef squid

Aoriika is known as the king of squids, and its sashimi is considered to be of the finest quality in the squid family. Its flesh is rich in sweetness and is very soft but also has a good amount of strength in texture. It is a very popular and crucial item used in Edomae style sushi and tempura.

They are mostly caught during spring and summer season which is when they come back to the coast line to lay their eggs.

YARI-IKA – Spear Squid

Large quantities of this squid are caught during their breeding season of winter to spring. The best tasting season is also winter to spring.

In Japan, if you like to eat squid, kensaki-ika is good for summer, yari-ika is good for winter, and kiomochi-yari-ika (with eggs inside) is very popular from winter to spring.

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