Fukuoka Fish Market
UNI (Karatsu) - Sea Urchin
Sea urchin from the Genkai area of Shiga prefecture is highly acknowledged in the markets due to its high quality. This area is known for three types of sea urchins: they are; red sea urchins (aka-uni), purple sea urchins (Murasaki-uni), and green sea urchins (bafun-uni). Among the three, the red sea urchin is called the ‘legendary sea urchin’ for its delicious taste and limited catches. They are known as the highest quality urchin in the market.
KENSAKI-IKA - Swordtip Squid
The ‘live-preparation of Yobuko squid’ is well-known throughout Japan. The sweetness of the flesh and the crunchy texture will surely get you hooked and asking for more. Although it is very complicated to distribute squid that is still alive, veteran squid fishermen use their highly- honed skills to deliver live squid to the ports. Well-trained local distributors will then ship the squid to the U.S. while maintaining the highest quality and freshness.
KISU - Smelt/Whiting
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 and subsequently drop it in ice water. We also have the "konbujime" method, where you lightly salt and wrap it in kelp.
ANAGO - Sea Eel
Different rivers flow into the Shiranui Sea of Amakusa, where pike eel grow in that location with ample food, thanks to the freshwater. They are called golden pike eels, possessing excellent marbling. The pike eel in this area is known for quality that exceeds the rest of the nation and is caught using long-line.
ISHIDAI - Rock Porgy
Ishidai is a standard high-end fish in the Japanese seafood market. Its firm white flesh is superb, and its flesh which is very close to the skin is delicious as well. Please, use Ishidai in your luxurious seafood dinners, and will enjoy it!
KAWAHAGI - Filefish
Thread-sail filefish and black scraper fish (membo in the local dialect) with long faces are caught in the Chikuzen waters. The name kawahagi (peel skin) comes from the preparation that requires the skin to be removed. The catching of black scraper fish (horse-faced scraper) has increased in recent years and is an ingredient for processing dried fish. Sashimi and braised preparations are the best methods, however, nabe-pot preparations are also popular. The full round flavor of their liver is also desirable.
ISAKI - Japanese Grunt Fish
The best season for Isaki comes in early summer, which is when Isaki swims through the Tsushima current from the offshore area of Iki Island and arrives at the Chikuzen Sea to lay eggs. Isaki travel in flocks and these flocks are often seen in places like artificial reefs. It is a white flesh fish with a unique flavor and the perfect amount of fat. This fish can be enjoyed especially with the large-sized Isakis.
HIRAMASA - Yellowtail Amberjack
This fish does not have much fat when compared to Buri but has more fat and "umami" content compared to Kanpachi.
YAZU - Young Yellowtail
Yazu is a “Shusseuo” name for young yellowtail in Fukuoka area market. It has less fatty flesh compared to Buri. It has elegant sweetness and a satisfying texture.
MAGOCHI - Flathead
Flathead is referred to as summer’s premier fish. It is also known as tessanami when prepared as thinly-sliced sashimi. They are in demand for their flavor compared to that of blowfish. Flathead is delicious when prepared as tempura or as a fish hot pot.
GOMA SABA - Blue Mackerel
To maintain the best quality, this fish must be bled (Ike-Jime) before packing them for shipment. The sashimi of this fish is extremely tasty.
MAHATA - Grouper
Many types of grouper can be enjoyed in Kyushu. Seven band 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 delectably enjoyed as thin slices.
AJI "IZUMI" - Horse Mackerel
Izumi Aji is non-migratory yellow horse mackerel that grow up in coastal bays where it attains its golden color and round form. This fish has a moderate fat content and very high-quality flesh with a delicious taste. “OugonAji” in Japanese means that Aji “tastes like gold.” They are caught one by one using the pole-and-line fishing method. The caught fish is kept overnight in a live fish tank to maintain its quality and shipped to the market the next day. The quality of this fish receives the best evaluation from top sushi restaurants in the Ginza area of Tokyo.
MEBARU - Fox Jacopeve
Characterized by their firm and crunchy texture, rockfish are so sweet and delectable that even the most experienced gourmet can’t resist their delight. We recommend preparing them by grilling with salt or sweet-braising them in soy sauce.
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 praying mantis. The female species, which carry eggs called katsuobushi 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 sushi or tempura.
MADAKO - Octopus
Although they are exceedingly rare in Japanese waters due to increased importation as of late, the difference in flavor speaks for itself. Despite the high price, a common octopus caught in Japanese waters is the preferred choice for most customers.
AORI IKA - Bigfin Reef Squid
This fish is also referred to as the ‘King of Squid,’ they are considered to be the most premier among squid sashimi. Although the flesh is soft, it maintains an appropriate firmness accompanied by the most desired sweetness making it a Tokyo-style sushi topping or tempura choice that should not be missed. They are often caught between the spring and summer months.