Life in Japan : Behold, Sanma the Harbinger of Autumn

Look at those precious pieces heaven……

Pacific saury, known loving as Sanma(秋刀魚) in Japan is an autumn delicacy. At this time of the year, Sanma are loaded with delicious fat that will mend your soul and nourish your body.

I had this exquisite sashimi last Friday when i went out drinking with a friend from work. She had chosen a Japanese restaurant in Ebisu, on the 38th floor of Ebisu Garden Place. I have never been to place as such and it was really terrifying to sit there alone as she was late due to work. Was a fun girls’ night out.

Back to Sanma. The most common way to prepare a Sanma is to salt and grill it over charcoal fire. Eating it raw is less common and only available when they have fresh catch in autumn. The taste of sanma sashimi is difficult to describe but i will try. The meat was very soft with mellow sweetness emerging as chewed. The fat melted in my mouth but it did not come out as greasy….I will leave the rest up to your imagination.

Sanma used to be very affordable in Japan. It’s price had gone up in recently year due to low catch. The contributing factors are believed to be overfishing and change of sea water temperature that affected the plankton levels.

Will we have a Sanma crisis as the one we are having with tuna in the near future? I really hope not. It is the fish of the working class by tradition, and i would like that to stick for a while longer.

Finger crossed that Sunrise Land will always has its Sanma in abundance.

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