Dotted Gizzard Shad [Kohada]


Japanese Name and Pronunciation:

kohada in Japanese


In Japan, “kohada” refers to the immature stage of the dotted gizzard shad, typically measuring around 7 to 10 centimeters in length. It is a small, silvery fish that holds great significance in traditional Japanese culinary culture. The peak season for kohada is August and September.

Kohada is highly regarded for its distinctive flavor profile, which is both rich and slightly sweet. Its taste is often described as complex, with a hint of umami and a subtle oceanic essence. The fish’s small size contributes to its delicate texture, making it a prized ingredient in various Japanese dishes.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy kohada is as “nigiri sushi.” The fish is filleted and marinated in vinegar. The marinating process allows the flavors to permeate the fish, resulting in a tender and flavorful sushi topping. Additionally, kohada can be enjoyed in pressed sushi (oshizushi), where it is layered between seasoned rice and pressed into a rectangular shape before being sliced into bite-sized pieces.

Dotted Gizzard Shad Sushi [Kohada]
Dotted Gizzard Shad Sushi [Kohada]