“Sanma” : Pacific Saury, a schooling fish found in North Pacific ocean, having a size around 30 to 40 cm.
The peak season of the fish is autumn, and it is an autumn tradition in Japan to enjoyed “Sanma” in restaurants and at homes. “Sanma” is written as 「秋刀魚」in Japanese. Each character literally translates as “Autumn”, “Knife”, and “Fish”, referring to its top season and the body shape, which is somewhat like a knife. Many Japanese ‘feel’ the sign of the autumn when enjoying tasty “Sanma.”
魚の旬は秋。 その季節になるとレストランや各家庭で多く食べられる日本の秋の風物詩です。 漢字では、「秋刀魚」と書きます。美味しい秋刀魚をいただくと多くの日本人は秋の気配を感じるでしょう。
“Sanma” is usually salted and grilled on both sides (best with charcoal fire), then garnished with grated “Daikon”, Japanese radish, and a slice of citrus fruit. When served, typically the head is set on the left side, the belly part coming in front, and grated “Daikon” is put on the right front part on the dish. People would often add some soy sauce and squeeze the slice of citrus fruit on top, then need to enjoy while “Sanma” is still hot.
秋刀魚は普通塩焼きにされ（炭火がベスト）、大根おろしとすだちとともに提供されます。 通常、皿の左手に魚の頭、腹が手前、大根おろしは右手前に盛られます。 少々の醤油を垂らし、すだちを絞って熱いうちにいただきます。
If you were to buy fresh “Sanma” at fish market and cook yourself at home, please remember that good fresh “Sanma” have clear eyes, whereas old ones have bloodish eyes.
If you have a chance, please enjoy this autumn fish during the season!
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