White flesh

A photo of kinmedai nigiri
Splendid alfonsino (Kinmedai)

Splendid alfonsino (Kinmedai)

【Nigiri sushi: Shiromi
What is Kinmedai?
Kinmedai (Splendid Alfonsino) is characterized by its bright crimson body and large golden eyes. Because it lives in deep seas at depths of more than 200 meters it was rarely caught back before technology became more advanced. The umami of its fat is appealing and it joined the list of popular toppings about 20 years ago.

Kinmedai used by sushi restaurants are wild caught in the waters around Japan. The best kinmedai is caught by pole-and-line fishing off the coast of Choshi and around the Izu Islands.

On the other hand, most imported kinmedai are caught in New Zealand waters and the Indian Ocean. When New Zealand fishing vessels catch Kinmedai, they dress the fish after removing the heads and entrails on board and freeze them before sending them to Japan. The country exports more than 90% of its Kinmedai catch to Japan. Most of the Kinmedai from the Indian Ocean also go to Japan. These are processed products such as dried fish.

What does Kinmedai nigiri sushi taste like?
Although sorted as sea bream, kinmedai(Splendid alfonsino or alfonsino)is deep-sea fish and very different from Madai (Sea bream). Never considered a fine fish since it has sloppy meat, but with the excellent skill of Edo-style sushi chef, now it is one of the valued ingredients. Goes well with shari and popular among many sushi lovers.

However, it is one of the fattiest white-fleshed fish. More fat is not always better. To prevent the fat from becoming persistent or sticky, excess fat is removed in the preparation process before nigiri sushi is made. Specifically, the process of kobujime or lightly searing the fish is used. Searing does not create a savory aroma, but rather floats the fat and wipes off the floating fat. In this way, the deliciousness of the fat becomes more apparent.

Also called Berycoid fish.

【Substitute fish】
Warty oreodory (Oomematoudai): Allocyttus verrucosus (Gilchrist,1906)

【Related contents】
When does Kinmedai taste the best?

What is Pacific barrelfish (Medai) sushi?

What is Torokinme?


List of White flesh fish (Shiromi)

(Revision date: May 4, 2024)

Main production area

Chiba Kanagawa Wakayama Nagasak Shizuoka

Famous production area

Katsuura Choshi