When does Kinmedai taste the best?

No one is more sensitive to the changing of the seasons than sushi lovers. This must be because the taste of sushi toppings is directly tied to the seasons. There are terms to describe this such as Hashiri (early season), Peak (in-season) and Holdover, and using these words to understand what state the sushi topping is in allows you grasp and enjoy the various different flavors. There is nothing that says a sushi topping is less delicious because it has a lower fat content.

For example, everyone wants to get in there and be the first eat early season toppings. It’s obvious that these would all be toppings with low fat content. But early-season toppings have a liveliness that you can’t find in other foods, and some believe that eating these types of food will give you new vitality.

Once a fish is in peak-season, we eat it as sushi. This is because the fish has grown as it approaches breeding season, gradually gaining more fat, and at this stage in its development it has a richer flavor.

And the ‘holdover’ perhaps means that since the season is about to end, we need to get our fill now. While we may feel a bit sad that the season is ending, we can look forward to it coming around again the next year.

On the other hand, there are sushi toppings that don’t seem to fit into the seasons, although the seasonal dishes are one of the important reasons that Japanese food was registered under UNESCO World Heritage.

Those are deep sea fish such as Largehead hairtail, Japanese bluefish, Pollack and Splendid alfonsino.

Deep sea fish live at least 200 m below the surface of the ocean. For example, Splendid alfonsino lives at a depth of between 100 to 800 m deep, so it would generally be thought of as in-season in the winter when it has the highest fat content. However, except just before and after spawning season, the flavor of the Splendid alfonsino doesn’t change much throughout the year. Therefore, even high-end sushi restaurants always keep it in the topping case and it’s a popular choice.

Therefore, Splendid alfonsino is never actually “in-season”.

Since very little light reaches the deep sea, the water temperature remains more or less constant. In other words, there aren’t really seasonal (temperature) changes. The concept of season may not exist there.

Even so, you can think of it as especially delicious in the winter between December and February, when it has a higher fat content. Otherwise you might start to think of it as a fish that is “in-season” all year round, like salmon, and that just doesn’t feel quite as splendid.


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: October 28, 2019

What are fish seasons?

Fish seasons are categorized as the ‘catch season’ and the ‘flavor season’. The ‘catch season’ is the time when lots of fish can be caught and are cheap. Take Japanese Spanish mackerel (Sawara), for example, they approach the coasts during the spring to spawn and this is the peak season. This is the catch season. Once they’re about to spawn and their bodies fatten for winter, we’ve entered the tasting season. However, these seasons differ depending on the region, and may be longer or even happen twice a year.


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Revision date: September 4, 2019

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for July

This is a list of 10 must-try sushi toppings in July. There are many types of karei, but marbled flounder is considered top of the line because of its fatty content. Isaki (Chicken grunt) is definitely recommended at this time, and Iwashi (Japanese sardine) is great too. They taste best from early summer to autumn when they start to put on fat. They are growing especially large during this time to prepare for spawning and are full of nutrients. 

Marbled flounder (Makogarei)

Japanese sea bass (Suzuki)

Southern Bluefin tuna (Minamimaguro)

Young Gizzard shad (Shinko)

Disk Abalone (Awabi)

Striped jack (Shima aji)

Kuruma prawn (Kuruma ebi) 

Japanese sardine (Iwashi)

Northern sea urchin (Kitamurasaki uni)

Short-spined sea urchin (Ezobafun uni)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: November 6, 2020

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for June

This is a list of 10 must-try sushi toppings in June. They are in order of eating recommended generally. Basically, June is hands down the season for Kisu and you should make sure to eat it at all costs.

Marbled flounder (Makogarei)

Japanese sea bass (Suzuki)

Japanese whiting (Kisu)

Southern Bluefin tuna (Minamimaguro)

Japanese egg cockle (Torigai)

Japanese scallop (Hotate)

Kuruma prawn (Kuruma ebi) 

Disk Abalone (Awabi)

Japanese sardine (Iwashi)

Short-spined sea urchin (Ezobafun uni)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: November 6, 2020

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for May

Chicken grunt (Isaki)

Japanese whiting (Kisu)

Bigfin reef squid (Aori ika)

Lean meat of tuna (Akami)

Medium Fatty Tuna (Chutoro)

Benito (Katsuo)

Squilla (Shako)

Japanese icefish (Shirauo)

Broad velvet shrimp (Shira ebi)

Japanese egg cockle (Torigai)

Common orient clam (Nihamaguri)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: November 6, 2020

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for April

This is a list of 10 must-try sushi toppings in April. Sayori has long been loved the Japanese as an ingredient in Edomae sushi, and its appearance ushers in the start of spring. And katsuo (bonito) is recommended for this day, and of course, this is the time for “Hatsugatsuo” (the first bonito of the season).

Bastard halibut (Hirame)

Japanese halfbeak (Sayori)

Bigfin reef squid (Aori ika)

Lean meat of tuna (Akami)

Medium Fatty Tuna (Chutoro)

Japanese icefish (Shirauo)

Broad velvet shrimp (Shiro ebi)

Rediated trough-shell (Kobashira)

Japanese egg cockle (Torigai)

Common orient clam (Nihamaguri)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: April 2, 2018

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for February

This is a list of 10 must-try sushi toppings in February. Hamaguri was once harvested in abundance from Tokyo bay, and even today is a fundamental ingredient in Edomae sushi.

Red seabream (Tai)

Blackthroat seaperch (Nodoguro)

Golden cuttlefish (Sumi ika)

Lean meat of tuna (Akami)

Medium Fatty Tuna (Chutoro)

Spear squid (Yari ika)

Pen-shell (Tairagi)

Ark shell (Akagai)

Rediated trough-shell (Kobashira)

Common orient clam (Nihamaguri)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: January 22, 2018

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for January

This is a list of 10 must-try sushi toppings in January. Tai is always served at celebratory occasions in Japan.

Longtooth grouper (Kue)

Red seabream (Tai)

Golden cuttlefish (Sumi ika)

Lean meat of tuna (Akami)

Medium Fatty Tuna (Chutoro)

Botan shrimp (Botan ebi)

Mirugai clam (Mirugai)

Ark shell (Akagai)

Sakhalin surf clam (Hokkigai)

Japanese oyster (Kaki)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: November 6, 2020

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for December

This is a list of 10 must-try sushi toppings in December. The proficiency of a sushi restaurant can be distingusihed by the quality of the maguro they buy.

Red seabream (Tai)

Red gurnard (Houbou)

Golden cuttlefish (Sumi ika)

Lean meat of tuna (Akami)

Medium Fatty Tuna (Chutoro)

Japanese pufferfish (Fugu)

Japanese spanish mackerel (Sawara)

Ark shell (Akagai)

Sakhalin surf clam (Hokkigai)

Splendid alfonsino (Kinmedai)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: November 6, 2020

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for November

This is a list of 10 must-try sushi toppings in November. This is when Zuwaigani (Snow crab) fishing season opens. Kanbirame is caught in mid-winter. Its meat is so firm that when bitten into your teeth almost bounce back.

Bastard halibut (Hirame)

Filefish (Kawahagi)

Japanese amberjack (Buri)

Lean meat of tuna (Akami)

Medium Fatty Tuna (Chutoro)

Gizzard shad (Kohada)

Whelk (Tsubugai)

Mackerel (Saba)

Common octopus (Madako)

Snow crab (Zuwaigani)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: October 30, 2017

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for October

This is a list of 10 must-try sushi toppings in October. Considered the king of the silver-skinned fish, it has been a staple ingredient used in sushi since edomae sushi first appeared.

Bastard halibut (Hirame)

Young Japanese amberjack (Inada)

Swordtip squid (Kensaki ika)

Lean meat of tuna (Akami)

Medium Fatty Tuna (Chutoro)

Gizzard shad (Kohada)

Alaskan pink shrimp (Ama ebi)

Mackerel (Saba)

Pacific saury (Sanma)

Japanese conger (Anago)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: October 1, 2017

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for September

This is a list of 10 must-try sushi toppings in Sepetmber. You can tell autumn is really here with the clear after typhoons. When the autumn wind blows under a wide blue sky is when you really yearn for the Sanma (Pacific saury).

Bastard halibut (Hirame)

Gold Tilefish (Amadai)

Lean meat of tuna (Akami)

Medium Fatty Tuna (Chutoro)

Gizzard shad (Kohada)

Benito (Katsuo)

Mackerel (Saba)

Greater Amberjack (Kanpachi)

Salmon roe (Ikura)

Red sea urchin (Aka uni)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: November 6, 2020

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for August

This is a list of 10 must-try sushi toppings in August. This is the peak of summer. This is when the blazing summer sun is beating down and the Kochi (Bartail flathead) caught at this time is called Terigochi. “Teri” is from the term ‘teritsukeru’, which is used to describe the hot sun blazing down.

Bartail flathead (Kochi)

Spotted halibut (Hoshigari)

Striped jack (Shima aji)

Shin-ika Golden cuttlefish (Shin ika)

Southern Bluefin tuna (Minamimaguro)

Gizzard shad (Kohada)

Kuruma prawn (Kuruma ebi)

Horse mackerel (Aji)

Disk Abalone (Awabi) 

Purple and Northern sea urchins (Kitamurasaki uni)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: Novemer 6, 2020