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Fukuoka Fish Market

October 2022


The delicious ‘returning’ bonito (bonito that is returning southward in the fall/winter after having gone north in the spring) season has arrived with the fall season upon us. Bonito of this season have had ample food to eat offering plenty of fatty meat, otherwise called “torogatsuo” (fatty-bonito). Enjoy the different flavors bonito offers between the light, fresh early bonito (spring/summer season), as well as the rich, buttery flavor of returning bonito.

HAGATSUO – Skipjack

Fall is the season for good skipjack. The fragrance and taste when grilling the skin are rich, and especially delicious when braised. The red meat, comparable to a cross between Japanese Spanish mackerel and bonito without the metallic aftertaste, combined with the umami, provides a flavor unique to itself. The markets of Fukuoka offer fresh shipping to the U.S. by capitalizing on their proximity to the fisheries.

INA-SABA – Mackerel (Wild)

Ina-Saba is a brand of Japanese mackerel that is caught in the rich sea of the Tsushima area. Only selected pieces are picked for Ina-Saba brand, according to the following strict standards:

1) Caught by pole-and-line 2) No scratches on the body 3) More than 6 hours cooling time immediately after harvest 4) Size 

SAWARA – Japanese Spanish Mackerel

Although known as a mainstay Spring fish, ‘cold’ Japanese Spanish Mackerel caught in the fall and winter are delicious due to their marbling.

Very delicious as sashimi and absolutely exquisite when grilled. Vast styles of preparations such as Yuan Yaki with the hint of pumelo flavoring, Saikyo Zuke using sweet Kyoto miso, meuniere, and frying are popular, although of course, especially fresh catches can be enjoyed as sushi or sashimi.

TSURI AJI – Horse Mackerel

This is the best season to find quality ‘Tsuri’ (hook and line fishing) horse mackerel in the markets. As you know, they are the most pristine horse mackerel that have been processed by thoroughly letting out the blood and so on after the fishermen caught each fish individually

SANMA – Pike Mackerel

Although this year doesn’t promise large size volume catches. Size is small but the price is getting a little lower.  We will deliver fresh fish from the production area by air. 

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.  

AKAMUTSU – Black throat

“Benihitomi” is a brand name of akamutsu, a fish caught in the oceans of the Tsushima and Iki Island area by the “Jigokunawa” fishing method. “Benihitomi” is called the “King of Akamutsu”.

MEDAI - Blue nose

Japanese butterfish is caught all-year-long with differing seasons depending on the localities. The pre-spawning season, around October, is considered to be the best season for those residing around Fukuoka and the Sanin Region as the fish has ample marbling.While fresh and fatty Japanese butterfish is good for sashimi, carpaccio and kobujime (tying with kombu kelp for flavor) are also very tasty. Japanese butterfish is a fish that can be enjoyed in many ways to include grilling and Saikyo-zuke (pickling with sweet Kyoto-style miso).

ITOYORI - Threadfin bream

The bright pink of this fish adds the color to the sashimi-dish as well as a taste. In Japan, it’s high-end class fish. Sashimi with firm skin is ultimately tasty. This fish is good not only for Japanese foods, it’s good for sauteed with butter or Meuniere.

MAHATA – Grouper

Many types of grouper can be enjoyed in Kyushu. Sevenband grouper (Mahata) is the most recommended for this season. Although it is a fish that is not well-distributed among other markets, it is often found in the markets of Fukuoka. The firm texture of the fish is delectable enjoyed as thin-slices.

KUE – Longtooth grouper

As you well know, longtooth grouper is considered in the markets in the Kyushu area to be an extra-high-quality fish due to their flavor and sparse distribution. They have fluffy white meat while their skin is thick and full of collagen. Yet although they are a fatty fish, they are subtler and lighter compared to fatty tuna, and when cooked in nabe soups, the collagen mixes with the stock to produce a delicate flavor.

The translucent white meat has a strong texture that also lends to a pleasant texture when enjoyed as sashimi.

KAMASU – Japanese Barracuda

t is fall, and the season is here when we can find Japanese barracuda that is well-marbled. The season for barracuda is known to be between fall and early winter when the marbling is at its best, as well as around the spring when they prey on food and build their strength in preparation for the spawning season. Barracuda during this season can be best enjoyed as grilled or sashimi. Don’t miss this chance to try them if you haven’t yet.

TACHIUO – Beltfish

The spawning season for beltfish is between June and October when the catches are at their peaks. The best time for enjoying them is also said to be during this time. Nevertheless, it is also said that the period when they are growing and storing fat in preparation for winter is also a time when their flavor becomes even more impressive.

KAWAHAGI – Filefish

The taste of file fish is good year-round, but especially in Autumn, the best season for this fish. Sashimi with “Kimo-Shoyu” is supremely delicious. “Kimo-Shoyu” is mixed soy sauce with boiled liver of the fish. 

AWABI – Abalone

In the Chikuzen-sea, there are three subspecies for Awabi, but the Awabi most harvested out of those three is the Kuro-Awabi. (Saga, Nagasaki and Fukuoka: large size of 300g and up).

YARI-IKA – Spear squid

Though traditionally squid were only fished during the night, with the advent of the vertical long-line fishing method, they can now be caught during the daytime during seasons other than summer. Try preparing them as sashimi or tempura. In Fukuoka, still-live (ikizukuri) preparations are preferred.

SUMI-IKA – Golden 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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