When does Kinme (Splendid alfonsino) 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

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for July

Seasonal toppings that you don’t want to miss!

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)


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Revision date: July 18, 2019

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for June

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)


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Revision date: June 1, 2018

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)


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Revision date: April 30, 2018

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for April

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 (Shira 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

Can’t-miss Tokyo sushi toppings (Meji Maguro)

Meji Maguro (AKA: Meji) caught in fixed net fishing is one type of sushi topping that you really should try. Meji is the larval fish of Pacific bluefin tuna, made and served at expensive restaurants, but not usually available as Edo-style sushi. Its fat is lighter and it doesn’t have the impact that fatty tuna has. Efforts are put into seasoning to avoid this. Using a pinch of ginger, Japanese basil or onion between the topping and rice, along with the wasabi, really brings out the fresh flavor of the young fish as well as the sweetness of this fatty part.


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Revision date: March 26, 2018

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for March

 

 

 

 

 

Bastard halibut (Hirame)

Japanese halfbeak (Sayori)

Golden cuttlefish (Sumi ika)

Lean meat of tuna (Akami)

Medium Fatty Tuna (Chutoro)

Japanese icefish (Shirauo)

Striped marlin (Makajiki)

Pen-shell (Tairagi)

Ark shell (Akagai)

Rediated trough-shell (Aoyagi)


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Revision date: March 1, 2018

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for February

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

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)

Gaint pacific oyster (Kaki)


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Revision date: December 26, 2017

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for December

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)


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Revision date: November 27, 2017

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for November

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)


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Revision date: October 30, 2017

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for October

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)


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Revision date: October 1, 2017

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for September

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: September 1, 2017

10 pieces of sushi we recommend for August

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)

Northern sea urchin (Kitamurasaki uni)


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: August 31, 2017