Pacific halibut (Ohyô)

A photo of Pacific halibut (Ohyô)

The appearance of Pacific halibut (Ohyô)

Common name: Pacific halibut, Alaska halibut, Halibut

Japanese name: Ohyô (大鮃、大兵)

Scientific name: Hippoglossus stenolepis Schmidt, 1904

Nigiri sushi detail: Pacific halibut (Ohyô) Nigiri sushi


Pacific halibut (Ohyô) is distributed in the north of the Tohoku region on the Pacific side, the northern Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the North Pacific Ocean. It inhabits sandy and muddy bottoms from shallow coastal waters to a depth of 2,000 m. It is the largest species of flounder, usually around 1 meter in length. Maximum length is 2m. The body color on the eye side is dark brownish-blue with scattered white spots.

Its flesh is rich in vitamin A, and its liver is used to make liver oil. Until the early Taisho period (1912-1926), it was caught in large quantities in Hokkaido, but overfishing has led to a sharp decline in catches, and American and other frozen Atlantic species appear on the Japanese market under the name Ohyô.

Ohyô has a lighter, lighter flavor than Bastard halibut (Hirame) or Round-nose flounder (Musigarei), making it a good choice for oil-based dishes such as steaks, meuniere, and fried fish. Fresh Ohyô can be served as a substitute for Bastard halibut (Hirame) at sushi restaurants and is surprisingly inexpensive.

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