Summer in Japan lasts from June until September. Expect new and fresh summer menus offering everything from sushi to American style BBQ with craft beer on tap. Japanese sake bars restock their coolers and shelves with all the newest and freshest summer rice brews from all over Japan, and pair them well with all the freshest summer sushi adorned in cute floral pattern garnishes. You can smell summer in the air, literally. In this essay I will list up all the top summer sushi for your gastronomical pleasure. I’ll maybe even make a few Japanese sake recommendations.
First lets start with our list of top sushi for the summer: Karei – Japanese Flounder, or flat fish. This is the marbled variety with extra fat. This is a white meat fish, so expect delicate flavors on the palate. Kanpachi, yellowtail is perhaps the most recognizable sushi in North America, Europe, and greater Asia. It is called different names depending on the prefecture you are in. Kochi, platycephalus Idicus and no, that long name is not important. Just say Kochi. It has a springy sweetness. It has been called the “Fugu of Summer” as in the blowfish most often associated in the colder seasons. Learn more about this at best sushi in Altamonte Springs.
Suzuki Perch, sea Bass is another very recognizable fish in North America, and is often a fish used for baking or frying. In Japan, it is a summer fish eaten raw and has a completely different texture when eaten this way. Eat it slow and you can really enjoy its sublime flavors. Hiramasa, amberjack. It is also referred to as a yellowtail, but is slightly different. If you have to choose between “buri” “Kanpachi” and “Hiramasa,” by all means choose Hiramasa. Aji, japanese Horse Mackerel – is a great summer fish. It is readily available all year- round, but like the Japanese, sushi is best enjoyed according to the seasons. Aji is best enjoyed during the summer.
Sea Urchin, uni is at the top of my list, especially during August if you are up in the Tohoku region. Iwate and Aomori have some of the best sea urchin in the world. Have you ever tried grilled sea urchin over rice? You haven’t lived. This is the one seafood that works very well with Japanese rice brew. Sea Urchin is typically served raw, and if you can, try to avoid sea urchin that is not from Hokkaido, Iwate, and Aomori. Why? Taste. It is the best sea urchin. Anago, japanese conger sea eel is soft and melts on the tongue. It is truly a wonderful sushi. Ebi, Tiger prawn – is yet another easily identifiable and well liked sushi all over the world. Need I say more? There are perhaps a dozen more different sushi not on this list, that’s because they can be enjoyed before and after summer. Squid was left off my list on purpose because it’s an acquired taste and I do not like it much on the palate when it is served raw. However, if you cook it, it’s great.