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Rare fish in the Ariake Sea Jun.2023 issue No.234

Mehikari (Greeneyes) Cuisinei May.2023 issue No.233

Spotless smooth-hand sashimi & sushi Apr.2023 issue No.232

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Red snow crab & Sakaiminato Nov.2022 issue No.227

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Pacific saury nigiri sushiSep.2022 issue No.225

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Red spotted grouperJun.2022 issue No.222

War & fish May.2022 issue No.221

Japanese whiting dishs Apr.2022 issue No.220

Japanese littleneck clam in seawater bag Mar.2022 issue No.219

Broadbanded thorny dishes Feb.2022 issue No.218

How the fisheries section survives Jan.2022 issue No.217

Yellow drum dishes Dec.2021 issue No.216

I wanted to eat spiny lobster, but.. Nov.2021 issue No.215
Sesame macrel is sefe with SeiroganOct.2021 issue No.214
No.213 is not translated into English because of the author's honor.
sashimiRed & white assorted sashimi of boniito & swordtip squid Aug.2021 issue No.212
Liverless unicorn leatherjacket sashimi & sushi Jul.2021 issue No.211
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Young albacore hiratsukuri sashimi Apr.2021 issue No.208
False fusus assotted sashimi Mar.2021 issue No.207
Blue fin searobin figure sashimi Feb.2021 issue No.206
1 slice salmon in 2 days   Jan. 2021 issue No.205
Sandfish sashimi & nigirisushii Dec. 2020 issue No.204
Fish in Aomori Nov. 2020 issue No.203
Rainbow runner sashimi Oct. 2020 issue No.202
Longfinned bulleseye fried skin with scales Sep. 2020 issue No.201
White trevally sashimi & sushiAug. 2020 issue No.200
Gurukun figure sashimi Jul. 2020 issue No.199
Commercialization of Japanese seabass May. 2020 issue No.198
Bonito silver skin sashimi. May. 2020 issue No.197
Coonstripe shrimp sashimi. Apr. 2020 issue No.196
Japanese amberjack products. Mar. 2020 issue No.195
Herring honegiri. Feb. 2020 issue No.194
Fish shop sushi can be savior of fisheries dept. Jan. 2020 issue No.193
Pacific cod hot pot fillet Dec. 2019 issue No.192
The situation of fishfood in Bangkok Nov. 2019 issue No.191
Striped bonito sashimi Oct. 2019 issue No.190
Hanasaki crab with boiled Sep. 2019 issue No.189
Wrasse sushi Aug. 2019 issue No.188
Red sea urchin squid sushi Jul. 2019 issue No.187
Spotted knifejaw sasihimi Jun. 2019 issue No.186
Blue fusilie sasihimi May.2019 issue No.185
Sashimi & sushi made with small blue fin tuna Apr. 2019 issue No.184
Delicious japanese common squid Mar. 2019 issue No.183
Again,what is mentaiko? Feb. 2019 issue No.182
Revitalization of fish shop Jan. 2019 issue No.181
Female is winter , male is summer Dec. 2018 issue No.180
Rich nature & multi-ethnic city vancouver Nov. 2018 issue No.179-2
Going com. change the future of Seallle Nov. 2018 issue No.179-1
Blackfin seabass sashimi & slide Oct. 2018 issue No.178
Gray large-eye bream sashimi & sushi Sep. 2018 issue No.177
Hand-made boiled octopus Aug. 2018 issue No.176
Eel Suchi Assortment Jul. 2018 issue No.175
Variety of Japanese horse mackerel Jun. 2018 issue No.174
Lavender jobfish figure sashimi May 2018 issue No.173
Black seabream cuisine Apr. 2018 issue No.172
Boring clam figure sashimi Mar. 2018 issue No.171
Starry flounder sashimi & nigirisushi Feb. 2018 issue No.170
The style of fish shop sushi Jan. 2018 issue No.169
Value added prodct of snow crab Dec. 2017 issue No.168
One side of Italian fish dish Nov. 2017 issue No.167
White croaker hiratsukuri sashimi・nigirisushi・fillet Oct. 2017 issue No.166
Cornetfish nigiri sushi & usutsukuri sashimi Sep. 2017 issue No.165
Four-line tongue-sole nigiri sushi & usutsukuri sashimi Aug. 2017 issue No.164
Emperor red snapper sashimi Jul. 2017 issue No.163
Damselfish cuisine Jun. 2017 issue No.162
Golden threadfin bream kobujime hiratsukuri sashimi May.2017 issue No.161
Redlip mullet usutsukuri sashimi Apr.2017 issue No.160
Hairy stingfish sashimi Mar.2017 issue No.159
John Dory sashimi & nigirisushi Feb.2017 issue No.158
No.157 is not translated into English because of the author's honor.
White trevelly usutsukuri sashimi Dec.2016 issue No.156
Shaghai crab cuisine Nov.2016 issue No.155
Shaghai fish cuisine Nov.2016 issue No.155-2
Sunrise perch sashimi and sushi Oct.2016 issue No.154
Yellow groupet usutsukuri sashimi Sep.2016 issue No.153
Longtail tuna hiratsukuri sashimi Aug. 2016 issue No.152
Stingray sashimi & sushi Jul.2016 issue No.151
Stingray cuisine Jul.2016 issue No.151-2
Segoshi figure sashimi of Ayu Jun. 2016 issue No.150
Ayu figure sushi Jun.2016 issue No.150-2
Red-spotted rocked grilled sashimi May.2016 issue No.149
Mink whale unesu slice Apr.2016 issue No.148
Nigirisushi and sashimi of Mink whale lean meat Apr.2016 issue No.148-2
Nigirisushi and Broiled hiratsukuri sashimi of Mackerel tuna Mar.2016 issue No.147
Halibut sashimi Feb.2016 issue No.146
Catfish usutukuri sashimi Jan.2016 issue No.145
Catfish Nigirisushi Jan.2016 issue No.145-2
Skewers of abacus ball Dec.2015 issue No.144
Mullet arai sashimi Dec.2015 issue No.144-2
Difference in the fish meal across the sea Nov.2015 issue No.143
Difference in the fish meal across the sea Nov.2015 issue No.143-2
All of sardine(sashimi & nigirisushi)Oct.2015 issue No.142
Figure sales of amberjac slice(Sep.2015 issue No.141)
Indian Mackerel hiratsukuri sashimi (Aug.2015 issue No.140)
Tokobushi abalone assorted sashimi (Jul.2015 issue No.139)
Alive rabbitfish hiratsukuri sashimi (Jun.2015 issue No.138)
Pomfret broiled hiratsukuri sashimi (May.2015 issue No.137)
Fillets with bone,with head of Ruby snapper Apr.2015 issue No.136
The fish-figure of halfbeak sashimi,halfbeak nigirisushi,halfbeak vinegared Mar.2015 issue No.135
Red sea bream nigiri sushi Feb.2015 issue No.134
Recommended raw fish face-fo-face naked selling Jan.2015 issue No.133
Tuskfish usutsukuri sashimi Dec.2014 issue No.132
A fish-figure sashimi of Lobster Nov.2014 issue No.131
Broiled mackerel hiratukurisashimi Oct.2014 issue No.130
Sockeye salmon steak Sep.2014 issue No.129
Carp arai sashimi Aug.2014 issue No.128
Syunsen sashimi assortment Jul.2014 issue No.127
Grenadier anchovy whole fish sashimi Jun.2014 issue No.126
Rockfish sashimi (May.2014 issue No.125)
Sashimi and sushi tilefish seasonal Apr.2014 issue No.124
Assorted sashimi of tuna fullness Mar.2014 issue No.123
A Largescale blackfish nigirisushi of coldest Feb.2014 issue No.122
Unachirashi sushi Jan.2014 issue No.121
The charm of Argentine prawns Dec.2013 issue No.120
Sydney Fishs Market Nov.2013 issue No.119
Raw autumn salmon skinfiring sashimi (Oct.2013 issue No.118)
Greater amberjack toro usutsukurisashimi (Sep.2013 issue No.117)
A sashimi of hiratukuri for the Brassy chub Aug.2013 issue No.116
A sashimi of fish-figure for the Yariika Jul.2013 issue No.115
Gunt sashimi of fish-figure for Leather parboiling Jun.2013 issue No.114
Black scraper usutsukuri sashimi May.2013 issue No.113
The japanese ancyovy nigiri sushi Apr.2013 issue No.112
Syunsen sashimi chirashi sushi Mar.2013 issue No.111
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May. 2024 issue No.245

White tilefish

Super high-quality fish that we don't often have the opportunity to handle.

The other day, in mid-March, I was able to handle this fish for the first time in four years. The fish species name is white tilefish. Even though I have had the opportunity to deal with a variety of fish, it had been a while since I had handled this fish. It may not be unusual for the chefs at Luxury Japanese Dining to work with this fish, but it's almost impossible to see white tilefish displayed in the fish section of a supermarket. White tilefish is a "super'' luxury fish that is traded at a very high price, so I rarely have the opportunity to cook this fish.

By the way, the image below shows red tilefish, a high-quality fish that is a little cheaper than white tilefish, as the catch is a little higher.

I wrote about red tilefish in the April 2014 and February 2008 issues of FISH FOOD TIMES, so please refer to them. In this month's issue, I would like to write about white tilefish below, being careful not to overlap with the content of red tilefish that I covered twice in the past.

Exactly four years ago in April, a new supermarket that I am involved with opened. The ``white tilefish sashimi and sushi collaboration'' shown in the opening image is one of the products that the author commercialized from the white tilefish that was stocked in the face-to-face raw fish corner of the store and displayed it in the fish section.

After all, the purchasing price of white tilefish is far higher than that of other popular fish, and it is said that it can exceed 30,000 yen/kg instead of 10,000 yen/kg. (By the way, high-quality natural tiger puffer fish costs about 5,000 yen/kg to 10,000 yen/kg.) The price of white tilefish has been showing such surprising market conditions for some time. Suppose that a person in charge of the fish department makes white tilefish sashimi and sushi products in the fish department of a supermarket, and then prices the products at the appropriate mark-up rate. In that case, the person in charge may be asked, "What is this selling price? Is it reasonable?" If you were to commercialize white tilefish sashimi or sushi as a single item without any ingenuity, you would have to charge an outrageous selling price.

Normally, fish purchasers would refrain from purchasing fish that would disappoint customers at the selling price. However, since it was the opening day of the new store, I was in a celebratory mood, and the person in charge of the fish section had agreed to set the selling price for white tilefish, which would make almost no profit. This is one of the customer service mechanisms in the hope that customers will continue to visit the store in the future. However, even at this forced selling price without making a profit, white tilefish is still too expensive compared to other fish.

Therefore, they decided to make only small quantities of white tilefish sashimi and sushi, which are less cost-effective, and instead create products like the one shown in the first page image to create a sense of volume and increase added value. In addition to this, I also tried making the following products based on the same idea as the beginning page image, using plastic containers with different designs that look like real ceramics or porcelain.

Although the containers are different between the beginning page image and this product image, the contents of the sashimi and sushi are almost the same. The two are different by changing the number of pieces of yushimo fish meat and skinless fish meat, and by changing the place and method of serving.

Resources and fishing status of tilefish species

Why is white tilefish so expensive? To begin with, tilefish species, including red tilefish and yellow tilefish, are known as high-quality white-fleshed fish, but what are their resources and catches?

According to data from the 2021 Marine Fisheries Survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the national catch of tilefish was 1,233 tons. Of this, Yamaguchi Prefecture ranks first in the nation with 301 tons, followed by Nagasaki Prefecture with 205 tons, Shimane Prefecture in third with 116 tons, and the top three prefectures account for 622 tons, making up exactly half of the total.

The table below was introduced in the April 2014 issue of FISH FOOD TIMES. Comparing the time-series figures for tilefish catches up to 2011 shown in this table with the figures for 2021, it appears that overall tilefish catches have not changed significantly from 10 years ago.

Originally, Japan's main fishing ground for tilefish species was the East China Sea and surrounding areas, and in the 1980s, when over 10,000 tons were caught, an order of magnitude higher than today, they were mainly caught by longline fishing boats. However, in the 1990s, Chinese gillnet fishing boats and bottom trawling boats began to actively fish in the East China Sea. As a result of this, Japan's longline fishing for tilefish began to decline, and the catch of tilefish began to decline rapidly.

In order to overcome the sluggish fishing situation for tilefish, prefectures such as Yamaguchi, Nagasaki, and Fukuoka, which have a good record of catching tilefish, have implemented "red tilefish seedlings stocking projects.'' Several other prefectures, including Miyazaki and Wakayama, have also started releasing seedlings in the same way. As a result of taking such fishery resource measures, the number of red tilefish stocks has been gradually recovering since surveys began in 1999. If red tilefish are not overfished while they are still small through fishing methods such as bottom trawling and bottom gillnets, it appears that red tilefish are approaching a stock level that will be sustainable in the future.

Next is what to do with white tilefish. For fishermen, white tilefish can be sold at a higher price than red tilefish, so it appears that fishermen strongly desire stable catches and sales of white tilefish. However, because the white tilefish resource itself is extremely scarce, it is difficult to release seedlings like they did with the red tilefish, so they are working on "establishing technology for artificial seedling production'' instead of this method.

In 2019, the Yamaguchi Prefecture Fisheries Research Center became the first in Japan to successfully mass-produce white tilefish seedlings. However, for artificial insemination of white tilefish, it is necessary to secure a stable supply of live female broodstock. In Yamaguchi Prefecture, white tilefish are distributed on both the Sea of Japan and Seto Inland Sea sides. White tilefish live in sandy and muddy areas at depths of about 50 to 100 meters, and because the water for fishing is deep, it is not easy to catch them alive, which is a major problem.

In other words, to summarize, although it seems to have been technically successful as a method for producing white tilefish seedlings, the number of surviving white tilefish broodstock itself is rare, making it difficult to capture the necessary number of live tilefish for artificial insemination. For this reason, it appears that the white tilefish farming business has not yet reached the stage of getting off the ground.

Eating white tilefish

Knowing the current situation of tilefish species, it can be inferred that white tilefish will continue to exist as a super high-class fish for some time to come. So, will it be easier to obtain white tilefish at a price during the period of the year when they are caught the most? It seems unreasonable to expect this as well, as the market seems to be on a constant high plateau of stable high prices.

It is said that the gonad maturity index of white tilefish has two peaks per year, around December and around April. It is currently unclear whether this means that the same individual spawns twice, or whether different individuals spawn in the early and late seasons? The white tilefish that I handled both last time and this time were in season from March to April, and I think I was able to handle them at the most delicious time of the year.

However, both this time and last time, the only dishes made with white tilefish were sashimi and sushi. In order to fully enjoy the deliciousness of white tilefish, it is said that you should also enjoy dishes cooked with heat, such as salt-grilled, steamed with sake, and soup, but in this case, I was unable to do so because the amount I had purchased was small.

In addition, white tilefish is a fish that is suitable for aging. I handled two white tilefish in March of this year. I disassembled one of the fish into three pieces on the day I bought it, ate it with my family for dinner that day, and prepared the remaining one for a close guest the next day. What I noticed at that time was that when I touched the white tilefish, which had been disassembled into three pieces, it looked more sticky and delicious than the day before. If we wanted to taste the aging of the white tilefish, it might have been better to season it with kelp to bring out its deliciousness, but I chose to let a close guest taste the deliciousness of the white tilefish itself rather than modifying them too much.

I decided to eat white tilefish sashimi and sushi as yushimo so as not to lose the flavor that exists under the skin. Below, I will show you the process of turning fish meats into yusimo after completing three pieces disassembling.

White tilefish yushimo work process
1,The state of three pieces disassembling.
2,Remove the abdominal bone, remove the small bones, and place them on a cutting board.
3,Tilt the cutting board diagonally and pour hot water around 90℃ onto it.
4,Once the skin has shrunk, immediately place it in ice water to cool.
5,Don't soak it in ice water for too long; take it out immediately and wipe it dry.


I made two fish into yushimo, and one of them was used as yushimo to make sashimi and sushi, respectively, as shown in the images below.


Due to my region, I have had many opportunities to eat red tilefish for a long time, and I'm sure the taste is memorized in my head. However, I can't remember how many times I've eaten white tilefish in my life, so I decided to try it to see the difference. Unfortunately, I was unable to clearly distinguish between red tilefish and white tilefish in terms of taste.

I have many times handled red tilefish in Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, which were so fresh that they looked as if they had only been caught for a few hours. Even with such freshness, I have never felt that the flesh of red tilefish is firm and firm, and I think that red tilefish is basically a fish with a soft flesh. However, when white tilefish was cooked, I had the impression that it had a much firmer texture compared to red tilefish, so I was able to confirm the difference in the texture of the flesh compared to red tilefish.

White tilefish, like red tilefish, is a white fish with a refined flavor. Of course, the taste is quite different from the greasy taste of red-fleshed fish. As I mentioned earlier, I could not feel any obvious difference in taste between white tilefish and red tilefish, and I thought that the difference in price was largely due to "the rarity factor resulting from the difference in the amount of fish caught.''

In the white tilefish sashimi image above, two decorative knife cuts were inserted into the horizontal stripes, and the slices were relatively thick to create a stable shape. This method of making horizontal cuts is a technique often used for yushimo and yakishimo sashimi. One of the purposes is to make cuts to reduce the hardness and make it easier to eat, since the skin is eaten together. And secondly, by making this almost straight cut, the rounded curved body of the yushimo can be made to look neater with the straight cut.

However, after eating this sashimi, I felt that I had failed.

When I ate white tilefish sashimi, I felt that the yushimo-treated skin was hard to bite through and remained in my mouth, giving the impression that it was difficult to eat. In Yushimo's method, if you pour boiling water on the skin for too long, the mesh pattern on the skin will be simmered in the boiling water and no longer remain. That's why I make sure that the whole skin has warped in boiling water and then immediately put it in ice water. So I thought it was not a problem with yushimo's method. In other words, they decided that the sashimi had been cut too thickly.

As mentioned above, white tilefish has a firmer body than red tilefish. This is just my personal feeling, but I think it's because the skin of white tilefish is thicker than that of red tilefish. Because white tilefish has thick skin, the yushimo skin has a strong texture, so the sashimi should be cut with this in mind.

I noticed that the white tilefish sashimi I had made the night before had an odd texture, so I decided to cut the white tilefish sashimi and sushidane to be served to my close guests the next day as thin as possible. Below is the image.

The sashimi was about one-third of the one made the day before, and the sushidane was cut to less than half the thickness. As a result, one of my close customers said, "I don't feel any hardness that leaves the skin in my mouth,'' and I was relieved.

Excuse for cooking white tilefish

Now, I would normally like to introduce some dishes made with cooked white tilefish. However, it is a very expensive fish, so it is difficult to purchase in large quantities, and even if you want to get it in the first place, you have to be lucky. So, I would like to confess that even though I wanted to bake, boil, and fry, I couldn't do it this time.

Tilefish species are characterized by their soft, watery flesh, and they live in a similar habitat to yellowback sea-bream and Japanese bream, and their flesh textures are also similar. In other words, cooking methods for yellowback sea-bream and Japanese bream can be applied to tilefish species. However, as mentioned above, white tilefish has thick skin, and its flesh is not very soft but firm and firm, so if anything, it can be said that it is better suited for the sashimi and sushi introduced in this month's issue.

When making red tilefish, yellowback sea-bream, and Japanese bream into sashimi or sushi, it is recommended to use something like konbu jime to remove moisture and make the meat just right. However, this is not necessary for white tilefish, and it can be made into sashimi or sushi using the same procedure as other white-fleshed fish.

However, as I wrote about my failure this time, if you are going to make yushimo or yakishimo, it is better to "slice it thinly". If you would like to serve the sashimi in the thick form of hiratsukuri sashimi rather than in the thin form, we recommend preparing the sashimi by removing the skin.

On the other hand, when cooking tilefish species, one distinctive feature that is not found in most other fish is that the scales can be eaten deliciously. I'd like to try grilling or frying white tilefish with the scales still on, but that didn't happen this time.

However, I recently ate a fish that was salt-grilled with its scales still attached, such as tilefish species. The fish is Abuttutekamo (Fukuoka's local name), which is already in season. The official name is damselfish, and I bought this fish in Tsushima, where it is locally known as Kajikiri, and took it home to eat. I'm talking about Tsushima, where tilefish species are often caught, so next time I'd like to buy tilefish and try eating them using the Matsukasa-yaki method. It would be nice if you could get the "white'' tilefish at a cheaper price, but it is quite difficult to do so, so there is a high possibility that you will end up compromising with the "red'' tilefish.

I'm sorry that the final summary chapter of this month's issue has a lot of excuses. I can't help but feel a little half-hearted, but please forgive me as there are some months where the content ends up like this.

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An opinion and the communication are to iinfo@fish food times

Date of updating 1 May. 2024