expensive fishes in japan

7 super expensive fishes eaten in Japan(高級魚)

Some fishes are so rare that we may or may not be able to eat them once in a lifetime.

Indeed, some of each sushi is more than 30USD at a sushi restaurant😲(This price is called “Jika”. The restaurant’s owner decides price depends on customer not fish!)

Today I’m going to introduce you to 6 of the highest-quality fishes…I have never eaten, though…

Kochi (こち)


“Kochi” is black head. We usually eat this fish Usuzukuri (薄造り), thin Sliced Sashimi with momiji-oroshi ,leeks and ponzu like eating Fugu(puffer).

Kochi recipe


Or, we eat them simmered, Arai (洗い / Slices chilled in icy water).

Hirame (ひらめ / 平目)


Hirame is Flatfish, Turbot. Dover sole is called “Shitabirame (舌平目)”. These are big different.

Hirame recipe


Hirame is one of the high-quality fish in Japan. We eat usually it as Sashimi or Sushi.

On the other hand,  “Shitabirame”, like a Dover sole is a cheap fish sold in supermarkets. 

Shitabirame (舌平目 recipe)

Shita-birame is eaten as meuniere or with a strong flavor because it has a weak taste. Moreover, this is a kind of flounder not Hirame.

FYI: Kurashiru
Source: https://www.kurashiru.com/recipes/1ae7c919-1653-4cc8-87b0-91cee738224e

Hata, Kue (はた、くえ)

expensive fishes in japan

“Hata (はた)” is grouper. “Kue(くえ)” is longtooth grouper, Kue is known as the highest-quality fish in Japan. It cost is more than USD300 / kg. 

Kue recipe

kue nabe

It is said that the whole meat is like Toro. We eat in a pot in winter.

It looks similar to “Aburabouzu” (Skilfish), so, fakes are often sold. The cheap Kue is definitely this one.

This  fake has another name “Oil fish”. It is too oily to eat so much…moreover you may suffer stomachache later😣

Mahata (まはた)


This fish is “Mahata (まはた)”, Grouper is eaten as Sashimi, grilled or fried. It has an elegant sweet taste and a crunchy texture. 

This is extremely delicious…I’ve never seen it in Tokyo, though😥

Kijihata (きじはた)


This is called “Kijihata” or “Ako”, Hong Kong grouper.

This fish is often said “Phantom fish” among fishermen, because the amount of landings is very low.

Kijihata recipe

Ako Nitsuke

“Nitsuke” means simmered.

The season of Hata is in summer. It is basically eaten as sashimi.

FYI: Cookpad
Source: https://cookpad.com/recipe/4666313

Mutsu (むつ)


This fish is called a “mutsu” , and it is a type of fish called a “kuro-mutsu”,  Japanese bluefish or butterfish.
It is a high-class fish that costs nearly 20 USD per fish in Japan.

Mutsu recipe


It has a unique and elegant flavor. We usually eat grilled or simmered with sweet soy source. This fish has a rich taste, kind a red meat despite white flesh.

It is  known as a White-Meat-Toro in Japan.

Source: Pinterest

“Akamutsu” is called “Nodoguro” also in Japanese. This is shore dotterel, black throat seaperch, which is named from its black mouth.

“Nodoguro” means black throat in Japanese.

We eat just grilled them BBQ.

Hoshigarei (星鰈 / ほしがれい)


“Karei (鰈)” is flounder, similar to Hirame. But very different from both… This Spotted plaice is a top-quality white fish that trades at the highest price of all flatfish.

Hoshigarei recipe

It is best eaten Usuzukuri or Arai, like Hirame sith Wasabi and soy sauce.

Amadai (甘鯛)


In the Kansai region, they are called “Guji”, tilefish, horsehead in English.

Amadai recipe


Amadai is soft and translucent white flesh with a light and sweet flavor. They have also unique and elegant taste.
We eat them as Sashimi or grilled.

Anko (あんこう)


Other high quality fish are Ankou(anglerfish) and Fugu(puffy fish). I’ve introduced them before, so I won’t explain them this time.

This anglerfish is applox. 250USD / piece😲

Ankou recipe

fugu chiri nabe

These whites are pleasant light and have a unique chewy. We eat them in pots or Sashimi also in winter.

The Best Season is called “Shun” is very important for Japanese cuisine. For example, Summer sea breams taste so bad that we use them to practice cutting fishes and throw them away not eating.

In Western countries, it is like a oysters without the “R” month, right?

Please keep in mind to choose fish before, what’s “Shun” now.

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