SUSHI GUIDE: AJI (Japanese Horse Mackerel)

Aji, horse mackerel is a silver-skinned fish and very popular for our daily meal not only for a sushi topping.

1. Season and Area of Production

Aji can be caught throughout the seasons, especially putting on fat from March to August. They are caught around the sea of Nagasaki the most. They are also from Kyusyu region such as Kagoshima and Oita besides Wakayama, and Shimane.

aji_fish

2. Savory and Appetizing Aji as Sushi Neta

Aji is inexpensive and easy to filet, but really tasty. By being marinated in vinegar, the excess fat is removed and the texture becomes smooth. It really goes well with vinegar rice. sushi_ajiAji is said to be a representative of silver-skinned fish. The tastes of aji are different in the size. The rich taste of Shimaaji is popular among sushi gastronome.

3. Other Ways to Enjoy Aji

Aji can be used for many dishes. Japanese people love aji for sushi and sashimi of course. “Namerou”, which aji is chopped with green onion and miso, grilled, dried, tempura, and deep-fried aji are often eaten at home. “Namban-zuke” which is deep-fried aji with glaze of vinegar and soy sauce, is also popular. It is good as dashi-stock by soaking it into water.

Aji-no-himono has been a very classic dish for hundreds of years in Japan.  Aji-no-himono with rice, miso soup and some vegetable pickles can be traditionally eaten for Japanese breakfast. If you stay at Ryokan or Minshuku, a Japanese-style accommodation, it may be served for breakfast. Of course, it is also eaten for lunch or dinner.

aji_no_himono

Aji no himono

“Aji-no-fry”, deep-fried horse mackerel is another popular dish. It is usually eaten as a lunch or dinner menu rather than breakfast. Soft texture of aji fish with crispy coating is very tasty!

aji_no_fry

Aji-no-fry, deep-fried horse mackerel