White flesh

A photo of houbou nigiri
Red gurnard (Houbou)

Red gurnard (Houbou)

【Nigiri sushi: Shiromi
What is houbou?
Houbou (Red gurnard) is a warm-sea fish found from the Western Pacific Ocean to the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and South China Sea. It lives on the deep sandy floor, mainly around 100 to 200 meters, but up to 600 meters deep. It is characterized by its pectoral fins that spread out from its large head in semicircles and look like butterfly wings. When its pectoral fins are spread out horizontally, they are a blue-green color with a sky blue border and spots.

It’s hard to imagine that such an ugly fish could be so palatable. The tasty fine sweetness of the whitish flesh of this fish spreads in the mouth. However, this fish produces a low yield with only 40% of it being edible, which is one reason why you won’t generally find it in the sushi topping case.

Also called Bluefin searobin or Gurnard.

【Substitute fish】
Red Gurnard: Chelidonichthys kumu (Cuvier, 1829)
Lepidotrigla kishinouyei Snyder,1911
Lepidotrigla japonica (Bleeker,1857)
Lepidotrigla guentheri Hilgendorf,1879

Main production area

Kyushu Shimane Yamaguchi Wakayama Aichi

Famous production area

Sajima Ohara