The favorite phrase in Japan for autumn is”minori no aki”, meaning ‘the season of harvest’, andAindeed it is! It is the season tables are laden with a wide variety of delicious things to eat, when rice matures and is harvested, fruit ripens, and fish taste their best. Autumn, the season of harvest that yields the rich variety of nature’s abundance, is indeed the shokuyoku no aki, a season of hearty appetites. The autumn food from Japan that I miss most is fish, especially sanma (saury). Sanma is a long slender fishshaped like a short sword. The characters used to write the name are: (literally, ” autumn sword fish “) Between October and November, sanma put on fat, rising from 8 to 20 percent, making it more attractive to diners. Sanma is usually eaten salt-grilled and eaten with grated daikon and shoyu as condiments. I only see Sanma at the Japanese Grocery Store and is imported from Japan. It seems that Sanma is only found in the Pacific Ocean… (Please correct me if I am wrong!)
Anyway, when you buy fish, make sure you know what you re getting. Asking a few questions can help ensure you get the fish you want.
- Where does this fish come from? – local is better
- Has it been previously frozen? – frozen is OK as long as it is frozen on the boat.
- Was the fish farmed or caught in the wild? – Always Wild
- Is the coloring of the fish natural? – Of course non-coloring
- Can I freeze this fish? – better not to