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Fukuoka Fish Market

January 2022

NISHIKI-BURI - Farm-Raised Yellowtail

This particular Nishiki Buri is very plump and does not have a fishy smell like any farm-raised fish. You can taste the "Umami" in the fat and this Buri exceeds the O-toro of the Bluefin Tuna in quality. This Buri (farm-raised Hamachi) is superior to the famous wild HIMI-Buri which is recognized as one of the top brands of buri according to the auction buyers in Toyosu Fish Market. 


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

AKAMUTSU – Black Throat

“Benihitomi” is the brand name of Akamutsu fish that is caught in Tsushima and Iki Island sea area using the “Jigokunawa” fishing style. “Benihitomi” is referred to as “King of Akamutsu.”

MEJINA – Largescale blackfish

If you are looking for the best Mejina to eat and enjoy, this is the season! During the winter season, Mejina has a very fresh taste with delicious fat. The firm texture of this fish is said to be better when compared to Madai (sea bream). We recommend serving Mejina with the skin, using the technique known as “matsukawazukuri.”

SAWARA – Spanish mackerel

The Sawara season is recognized as spring. However, in the east side of Japan, the season starts in autumn. The fatty flesh is favored in eastern Japan before the spawning season. Fresh quality Sawara is good for sashimi and other cooking styles such as saikyozuke and yuanyaki.

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.

KUE – Longtooth grouper

There is only a small amount of this fish available in the seafood market because it is a very prized fish in Japan. This fish is tasty all year round. It is very good for nabe Japanese hot-pot style in the cold winter season.

AMADAI – Japanese tilefish

This fish possesses a very soft white flesh with a lot of water, although it is moderately fibrous, it easily crumbles. In this case, care must be taken when handling it. Note; it is cooked without water, and the lenticel has a unique flavor and sweet scent when baked.

HIRAME – Fluke (Wild)

In the cold winter season of November to February, this fish has a good firm texture and is full of tasty fat. In recent years, there has been a large amount of farm-raised hirame in the fish market, but wild hirame in this season has an incomparable taste.


The breeding season of tachiuo is from June to October. After the breeding season, from fall to winter, the fish grows larger and the fatty taste becomes even better.

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. The best taste for this fish can be experienced from the end of November to February. In Fukuoka, it is called arakabu. It is a very popular fish in that area. 

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

MEDAI – Japanese Butterfish

The best season for Medai is from fall to winter. This fish is easy to cook because the scales are very small and bones are easily cut. This is a good cost-benefit fish. The white flesh has a very good umami taste but the price is reasonable compared to other fish. The soft texture is good for various cooking styles. Simmered and hot-pot styles are perfectly suitable for the cold winter season.

KAMASU – Japanese Barracuda

In the fall and winter season, the taste becomes elegant white flesh with moderate fat. It’s very good for usuzukuri-style sashimi, salted grilled fish, sakamuchi, steamed fish, and, of course, sushi. Kamasu is an all-purpose fish.

RENKODAI – Yellowback Seabream

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

HOUBOU – Sea Robin

Houbou is a tasty fish all-year-round, especially from November to February, when the flesh gathers more rich fat content which is extremely delicious.

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

KAWAHAGI – Filefish

The taste of this fish is always at its best all year round, especially in Autumn, which is 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.

UMAZURAHAGI – Black Scraper

The flavor from the flesh of this fish is considered best from the end of summer to fall. However, there is another opinion where winter is the best season because the liver becomes larger and is very tasty from late autumn to spring.

KANPACHI - Amberjack

The fresh flesh of Kanpachi has less fat content compared to other yellowtail family fishes (Buri, Hiramasa). Wild Kanpachi has a higher value in the fish market compared to other Yellowtail family fishes because the catch quota of wild Kanpachi (amberjack) is smaller than that of wild Buri and Hiramasa.

YAZU/INADA– Young Yellowtail

Yazu is known as “Shusseuo,” which is the name of young Yellowtail in Fukuoka area market. It has less fatty flesh compared to Buri. It has elegant sweetness and a satisfying texture.

KAN BURI – Yellowtail Wild

Usually, Kan-Buri is found in Tsushima and Iki Islands of Nagasaki, Japan. Traditionally, this fish cannot be caught by fishing nets but by single-hook fishing. This tradition does not only prevent overfishing in the area but allows people to carefully catch each fish one by one, keeping it fresh. Immediately after catching it, they use the traditional Japanese technique called “ikijime” and “shinkeijime”.

SAYORI – Halfbeak

Sayori season is rcognized as winter to spring, however, the autumn taste is good too.

It is amazing for both hosozukuri and itozukuri. Of course, it is essential as sushi for hikarimono.

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, and (4) the size.

KONOSHIRO – Gizzard Shad

The best season for Konoshiro (kohada) in Fukuoka is from fall to winter. Konoshiro is a very important ingredient in Edomae style sushi. It’s not bad to say that a sushi chef’s skill can be measured by the taste of his Konoshiro nigiri sushi.


Shirako is often called “Kiku” or “Kikuko” due to its resemblance to the “Kiku” flower (chrysanthemum). Another name for it is “Tachi.” It has many other names depending on the species and its origin. Fresh shirako makes for excellent sushi.

AORI-IKA – Bigfin reef squid

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

KO-IKA – Golden Cuttlefish

This particular squid is known as "Ko-Ika" and/or “Sumi-Ika” in the Kantō region. It is 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 at the beginning of its best season. The young squids, called Shin-Ika, reach their best season and get shipped into the market from July. Subsequently, Ko-Ika will have its best season from late Autumn to early Spring.

AWABI – Abalone

In Chikuzen-sea, there are three sub-spices but the most harvested one is Kuro-Awabi (Saga, Nagasaki, and Fukuoka: 300g up large size).

NAMAKO – Sea Cucumber 

The Namako harvested in November are called furuko (one to two years old). Furuko is larger and darker colored because it’s mature. You can feel the powerful aroma of the sea and chewy texture in Namako.

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