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Fish and Seafood


The Japanese has the custom of eating seafood from ancient times. Japan is a country surrounded by the sea, and fishery resources are abundant very much.

For your information, the area of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in Japan is 6th in the world.
(*Square kilometer)
(EEZ + Territorial waters)
1 USA : 11,351,000
2 France : 11,035,000
3 Australia : 10,648,250
4 Russia : 7,566,673
5 Canada : 5,599,077
6 Japan : 4,479,358
7 New Zealand 4,4083,744
8 UK : 3,973,760
9 Brazil : 3,660,955
10 Chile : 2,017,717
11 Portugal : 1,727,408
12 India : 1,641,514
13 Argentina : 1,159,063
14 Madakasukaru : 1,225,259
15 China : 877,019

(EEZ + Territorial waters + Territory)
1 Russia : 24,641,873
2 USA : 20,982,418
3 Australia : 18,335,100
4 Canada : 15,583,747
5 Brazil : 12,175,831
6 France : 11,709,843
7 China : 10,476,979
8 India : 5,559,733
9 Japan : 4,857,193
10 New Zealand : 4,352,424
11 UK : 4,218,580
12 Argentina : 3,925,953
13 Chile : 2,773,813
14 Kazakstan : 2,717,300
15 Sudan : 2,505,810

Japan including the sea is an unexpectedly large country. And, the sea gives the Japanese people the blessing. And, there are a lot of kinds of the fish that the Japanese eats. In this article, I introduce the fish and seafood that the Japanese usually eats.

*About the whale
The whale fishing is criticized worldwide. Does the Japanese actually eat the whale? It is difficult for me to answer this question. An ancient Japanese was certainly eating the whale. However, a lot of present Japanese don't eat the whale. The whale is eaten in a part of high-level restaurant only. By the way, what does the Japanese people think of the whale fishing? I think that Japanese people think that the whale fishing is bad, and it's not good that one traditional culture of Japan disappears either. However, a lot of Japanese might think that Japan may permanently discontinue the whale fishing.

*About the dolphin
Most Japanese do not eat the dolphin. The Japanese who catches the dolphin and eats is only part. Most Japanese did not know the dolphin fishing. Moreover, the movie of dolphin fishing impact for the Japanese too. The Japanese of 99.99% might be opposite to the dolphin fishing.


Without any more preliminaries, I introduce the fish and seafood.

*Following fish is partly in Japan.



真鯛 (Madai) / Red Seabream
Madai is one of the high-level fish, and the smell of Madai is few, and Madai is eaten for sushi, sashimi, grilled and boiled, etc.



金目鯛 (Kinmedai) / Splendid Alfonsino
This fish is eaten by boiled.



キンキ (Kinki) or 吉次 (Kichiji) / Broadbanded Thornyhead
This fish is eaten by boiled, and the high-level fish.



カレイ (Karei) / Flounder
This is one popular fish in Japan, and eaten by sushi, sashimi, tempura, grilled and boiled, etc. There are several kinds for Karei. It is called Makogarei above Karei.



鮎 (Ayu) / Ayu
This fish is a river fish, and high-level fish in Japan, and eaten by grilled well.



シロギス (Shirogisu) / Sillago Japonica
This fish is eaten by tempura, sashimi, and grilled, etc.



秋刀魚 (サンマ) (Sanma) / Saury (Pike)
This fish is one of the most popular fish in Japan. And, this fish is fished in autumn, most people eat by grilled.



サヨリ (Sayori) / Japanese Halfbeak
In season of this fish is spring, and eaten by sushi, sashimi, etc.



サバ (Saba) / Mackerel
This fish is very popular one in Japan, and eaten by sushi, sashimi, grilled, etc.



アジ (Aji) / Horse Mackerel
This fish is very popular one in Japan, and eaten by fried, etc.



イワシ (Iwashi) / Sardine
This fish is very popular one in Japan, and eaten by boiled, etc.



メバル (Mebaru) / Sebastes Inermis
In season of this fish is winter and spring, and eaten by boiled.



イサキ (Isaki) / Chicken grunt
This fish is eaten by sashimi, grilled, boiled, etc.



河豚 (フグ) (Fugu) / Globefish, Blowfish
This is high-level fish, and has the poison. Several people die by this poison when they eat this fish every year though this fish is popular in Japan. This fish is eaten by sashimi, sushi, boiled, etc. When you eat this fish, I recommend a high class restaurant. OK?



穴子 (アナゴ) (Anago) / Anago
This is one popular for sushi.



ウナギ (Unagi) / Eel
This is high-level fish very much, and very popular. It's famous Japanese food as grilled Unagi called Una-ju. This Una-ju is very expensive dish.



シマアジ (Shima-aji) / White Trevally
This fish is eaten by sushi, sashimi, and grilled, etc.



カンパチ (Kanpachi) / Greater Amberjack
This fish is eaten by sushi, sashimi, and grilled, etc.



カツオ (Katsuo) / Bonito
This is very popular in Japan, and eaten by sashimi well. Moreover, this fish is prepare stock of Japanese food.



スズキ (Suzuki) / Perch
This fish is eaten by grilled.



ブリ (Buri) / Yellowtail
This is eaten by sashimi, sushi, boiled, and grilled, etc.



サケ (Sake) / Salmon
Sake is very popular in Japan and eaten by sashimi, sushi, boiled, and grilled, etc.



マグロ (Maguro) / Tuna
Maguro is very popular in Japan and eaten by sashimi, sushi, and grilled, etc.



クルマエビ (Kuruma Ebi) / Japanese Tiger Prawn
This is eaten by sushi, sashimi, tempura, etc.



アマエビ (Ama Ebi) / Alaskan Pink Shrimp
This is eaten by sushi, sashimi, etc.



イセエビ (Ise Ebi) / Japanese Spiny Lobster
This is high-level seafood in Japan, and eaten by sashimi, grilled, and fried, etc.



ズワイガニ (Zuwai Gani) / Snow Crab
Crab is very popular in Japan and eaten by after boilled, for sashimi, and etc.



タラバガニ (Taraba Gani) / Red King Crab
Crab is very popular in Japan and eaten by after boilled for sashimi, sushi, and tempura, etc.



毛ガニ (ケガニ) (Kegani) / Horsehair Crab
Crab is very popular in Japan and eaten by after boilled for sashimi, and etc.



スルメイカ (Surume Ika) / Japanese Flying Squid
Squids is popular and inxpensive foods, and eaten by sashimi, sushi, grilled, boilled, and fried, etc.



マダコ (Madako) / Common Octopus
Octopus is popular and inxpensive foods, and eaten by sashimi, sushi, grilled, boilled, and fried, etc.


(Shellfish)



サザエ (Sazae) / Horned Turban


カキ (Kaki) / Oyster


アワビ (Awabi) / Abalone


ホタテ (Hotate) / Japanese Scallop


トリガイ (Torigai) / Japanese Cockle


ウニ (Uni) / Sea Urchin


(Other)



タラコ (Tarako) / Salted Cod Roe
This is a tasted roe of the fish called Tara (たら / cod), and popular very much. Tarako is good with rice.



数の子 (カズノコ) (Kazunoko)
This is a tasted roe of the fish called Nishin (にしん / herring). Kazunoko is eaten at the congratulation such as New Years.



イクラ (Ikura)
This is a tasted by shoyu (soy sauce) or salt of salmon. Ikura is eaten by sushi or with rice.



Introduced fish and seafood are only parts. The Japanese is eating more fish. An important for the Japanese is freshness of the fish, because the Japaense eats raw fish. Is it mystery for you? hahaha

The food culture in Japan is polished like the culture in your country. And, it is very different your culture. Please enjoy the diffrence when you come to Japan.
And if you come to Japan, please visit to supermarket in city. You might be surprised at many of the sold fish and seafood. It is big sightseeing!

Thank you.

Comment List

adam 2013/06/27 (Thu) 10:41 Edit/Delete

Thank you! very interesting, i want to go fishing with some Japanese friends next time i'm in Japan.