We know that the Japanese love fish and that a lot of their dishes and diet consist of the creatures from the sea or fresh water. You may have also read in our last article that Japan is the #1 fish importer in the world! That being said what types of fish are actually the most popular in Japanese cuisine. Many think tuna takes the top spot but you may actually be surprised! Check out our list of Japan’s top fish.
Top 5 Fish Consumed in Japanese Culture
- Chum Salmon- We told you that tuna wasn’t number one, which in a sense is hard to believe. Especially when you think of sushi and how many different rolls in can be incorporated in. Chum Salmon is widely popular for its use in bento boxes and other Japanese inspired dishes. Salmon also happens to be the favorite fish among women in the Japanese culture, which is another fun fact.
- Bluefin Tuna- Tuna may have not made the number one spot but it did come close and takes spot number two. Just as women in Japan favor salmon the men in Japan favor bluefin tuna. This is also the tuna that is usually found in all those delicious sushi rolls that you love that incorporate tuna in them
- Mackerel- Not just any type of mackerel, horse mackerel to be specific. This fish is usually deep fried before using in dishes. However, they do appreciate macakerel of all types as well.
- Eel- We know that eel sauce is common in Japanese dishes but the thought of eating eel isn’t so appealing to some. However in japanese cuisine eel is very tasty and adds heartiness to dishes because of its meaty and filling textures. Eel is often eaten in the winter months in Japan but when enjoyed in summer many people believe it helps to lessen the heat and humidity that can creep into Japan’s temperatures.
- Sea Bream- This fish is enjoyed both raw and fried and can be added to a number of japanese dishes. It is highly thought of as a fish to be served at celebrations and special occasions. It is also thought to bring good luck to the consumer.
One thing is certain the Japanese certainly do have a lot of different and authentic preparation styles for fish. While some dishes may seem a bit intimidating to try at first you may just be surprised how delicious they really are. If you are just beginning your exploration into Japanese cuisine and aren’t quite sure about eating sashimi or raw fish, stick with the cooked or fried fish dishes and ease your way into them. With such a high consumption of fish the Japanese not only appreciate great quality and grade of fish, freshness is also highly looked for. The fresher the fish the better the dish.