About the Pacific Saury Fish
Why is the Saury fish so special? In other countries, this is just a fish among other types of fish. But, in Japan, the Saury is popular for its taste.
In the recent years, Saury has become a rare fish. The fish banks are rarer and some of the blame is put on China. The Japanese people say that this is a “Japanese Fish” and are upset when they cannot find it in the markets. The bottom line is, the experts are saying, that this has been overfished and the levels are lower each year. This is not a great prospect but in the long term there is hope.
Why is it special?
The Saury fish contains great nutrition. It is rich in DHA and EPA. It has good fatty acids, vitamin D and its bones are rich in calcium. Bones can be eaten from the canned fish.
The Saury is a fish with a long and slim body. It also has a long snout. They look a little like some arrows.
Do you want to know how to check if the fish is fresh?
First you must visually check for any spots on the fish body. The fish eye must not be red and strange looking. A fresh fish has normal looking eyes.
When touching the fish, it must feel elastic and not inert. If your fingers leave spots when touching the exterior, then it is probably not a good purchase.
The odor is also a tell sign - the less odor the better.
Check the gills, they are easily the first part of the body that perishes. The fresh fish have bright red gills while older ones become gray and lose their shape.
A fresh fish is clean and clear, while an older fish may feel and look dry and cracked.
Saury fishing season
The Saury fishing season is very short, mainly September and October. It is possible to find fresh Saury during this period. However, most of the fish is being canned so that it can be enjoyed later in the year.
How to eat Saury
Fresh Saury as Sashimi. This one of the favorites way to enjoy thish fish.
Freshly grilled without previously gutting or “butterflying” the fish.
You can eat it as Kabayaki. Kabayaki is a preparation style that splits the fish all the way down, take out the guts and the bones, make it into a butterfly, and even cut into small fillets. Then the fish is usually dipped into soya sauce and then grilled.
Canned with different seasoning types. While most people have tried this fish as Kabayaki, the canned foods can also be delicious as there are so many seasoning types.
Canned Saury seasoning types
Saury Kabayaki with a sweet and spicy soy sauce. It goes great with rice, as most fish does.
Roasted Kabayaki with teriyaki sauce and a special aromatic sauce.
Pacific saury with simmered miso paste. Usually the miso used to cook this dish is white miso.
Seasoned with brown sugar and umami sauce. This is a Hokkaido recipe.
Fat saury boiled in soy sauce.
Grilled and canned saury with grated radish.
Low-salt canned fish recommended for those who are concerned about sodium.
Saury fish restaurants in Tokyo
Meguro no Samma Nanohana, Chayazaka. Cheap and delicious! A few minutes walk from the Yebisu Garden Place metro exit. They pride themselves with Saury sent directly from Sanriku.
Komahachi restaurant in Meguro. Many saury dishes including grilled fish as a set meal “Saury grilled with salt and mini sashimi.”
Nanohana Gonnosuke Saka in Meguro. A great place to be in the autumn where the fresh Saury fish is being prepared.
Saury cooking videos
- Making Saury Sashimi by Yamato’s Japanese cuisine.