A photo of Aji nigiri
Horse mackerel (Aji)

Horse mackerel (Aji)

【Nigiri sushi: Hikarimono
What is Aji?
When the term ‘aji’ is used, it generally means ‘maaji’. Maaji includes both ‘kiaji’ which lives along the coast and has a pale yellowish brown colored back, and ‘kuroaji’ which migrates offshore out at sea and is black all over. However, the fish markets don’t distinguish between these. Aji is caught all over Japan and each type has slightly different spawning periods, so you can find some sort of aji to try any time of year.

What does Aji (Horse mackerel) nigiri sushi taste like?
Silvery shiny skin of aji. Enjoy sushi with firm texture and sweetness of fat. Mackerels are caught all through year at different locations although it becomes the tastiest during summer.

In the past, it was made into Sujime and made into nigiri sushi with the skin on. Recently, with the development of distribution technology and the availability of fresh fish, it has become more common to remove the skin and make sushi without preparation (Sujime). For condiments to be placed on top of the sushi, a mixture of grated Asatsuki and ginger juice is used. This adds a fresh green color to the sushi and makes it look more beautiful.

Also called Atlantic horse mackerel or Jack mackerel or Rough scad or Saurel.

In recent years, the nonmigratory horse mackerel, with a yellow tinged body is popular. Seasonings decorated with a combination of chopped ginger and chives.

【Substitute fish】
Atlantic horse mackerel (Nishimaaji):Trachurus trachurus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Decapterus akaadsi Abe,1958
Japanese scad: Decapterus maruadsi (Temminck and Schlegel,1844)
Yellowtail horse mackerel or Southern Yellowtail Scad: Trachurus novaezelandiae Richardson, 1843

【Related contents】
List of Silver-skinned fish (Hikarimono)

(Revision date: May 24, 2024)

Main production area

Nagasaki Shimane Miyazaki Ehime

Famous production area

Awaji Island Saganoseki