top of page

Cook & Savor Early Summer Seafood in Japan!

↑Tai-Rice, using whole Tai, is also the main dish for celebrations!

Let’s learn about seasonal ingredients at JCI! Hello from Japan Culinary Institute, and welcome to JCI's blog for those looking for an opportunity to learn about Japanese cuisine and culture in Japan! In Japan, the refreshing summer season is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to taste the seasonal seafood that is landed in the early summer. In this issue, we would like to introduce some seafood that Japanese people especially look forward to during this time of year. In particular, "Sakura-ebi(Sakura shrimp)," which can only be found in Suruga Bay in Shizuoka, the home of JCI, and "fresh Shirasu," which is only available locally for a limited time, as well as "Sawara," the fish that represents spring, "Tai," the king of fish, and "Bonito," which is said to bring summer, all of which JCI will teach you how to cook. Let's learn together about the tastiest seafood of the season! Table of Contents 1. The Springtime Fish: Sawara(Spanish Mackerel) 2. The King of Fish: Tai(Sea Bream/Red Snapper) 3. The Jewel of Ocean: Sakura-ebi(Cherry Shrimp) 4. The Transparent Flesh: Shirasu(Baby Sardine) 5. The Summer Herald: Hastu-gatsuo(New Bonito) 6. Summary

1. The Springtime Fish: Sawara(Spanish Mackerel)

↑The juicy flesh is simply delicious grilled with salt!

With the arrival of spring, the warming ocean currents bring to Japan seafood that is in season from spring to summer.

First, let us look at the "Sawara (Spanish Mackerel)," a particularly renowned spring fish. In Kanji characters, Sawara=鰆 is written as 魚(fish) on the left and 春(spring ) on the right, it is considered a representative spring fish.

Japanese people consider Sawara in springtime as the highest quality mackerel in Japan for its succulent white flesh. You can cook and enjoy it in many ways, whether as sashimi, sushi, simple shio-yaki(salt-grilled), or marinated in a saikyo miso (sweet white miso) sauce and grilled=above photo=.

↑Spring Sawara nigiri topped with grated ginger and myoga (ginger buds/shoots) and served with ponzu (Japanese citrus vinegar and soy sauce).

↑Dashi-Chazuke (Dashi broth over rice ) topped with sliced Japanese Sawara Tataki, seared on the outside.