Horse Mackerel [Aji]


Japanese Name and Pronunciation:

aji in Japanese


Horse mackerel, or aji, is a popular fish in Japanese cuisine that holds a significant place in the country’s culinary tradition. It is a small migratory fish found in the coastal waters of Japan and is highly valued for its delicate flavor and firm, oily flesh.

In Japanese cuisine, aji is prepared and enjoyed in various ways. One of the most common methods is to serve it as sashimi, where the fish is thinly sliced and enjoyed raw with soy sauce and ginger. The freshness and quality of the fish are crucial for sashimi, as it allows the natural flavors to shine through.

Aji is also commonly grilled or broiled, known as “shioyaki” or “teriyaki” style. Grilling enhances its rich flavor and creates a crispy skin while keeping the flesh tender and moist. The fish is often seasoned with salt or brushed with a sweet soy-based glaze to add depth to its taste.

Another popular preparation method is to marinate aji in vinegar, creating a dish called “aji no nanbanzuke.” This marinated fish dish is made by soaking the fish in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, and other seasonings. The vinegar marinade not only adds a tangy flavor but also helps to preserve the fish.

In addition to these techniques, aji is also used in nigiri sushi. Its oily nature and distinctive taste add a unique element to sushi preparations.

Aji is highly valued in Japanese cuisine for its versatility and its ability to be enjoyed in various ways. It is cherished for its umami flavor and its ability to complement other ingredients in dishes. Whether it’s enjoyed raw, grilled, marinated, or in sushi, aji is a beloved fish that showcases the essence of Japanese cuisine.

Horse Mackerel Sushi [Aji]
Horse Mackerel Sushi [Aji]