Shima-aji, often known as the Japanese “striped jack,” is a fish that often throws off non-Japanese sushi diners. ‘Shima’ means striped,’ and ‘aji’ is ‘horse mackerel’ or ‘jack’ in Japanese. However, Shima-aji and aji sushi are two very distinct culinary creations.
Some of the best Shima-aji may be found in the warm waters between the Izu Islands and Okinawa. The months of June through August are traditionally considered summer. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase wild-caught examples of fish due to their high market value.
It looks and tastes like aji, but Shima-aji is gentler in flavour and has white flesh (aji is termed hikarimono). The hard, fatty flesh improves in flavour after being kept for a few days and is especially delicious when served with superb sushi-meshi.
Many sushi eaters seem perplexed by Shima-aji, often known as the Japanese “striped jack.” Striped Shima is jacked, also known as horse mackerel (aji) in Japanese. Sushi may be made in a few different ways. However, Shima-aji and aji are distinctively different. Most people are more accustomed to eating saba (mackerel), which has a somewhat more fatty, oily, and “fishier” flavour profile than aji. The time-variant is much more delicate and slimmer than the traditional kanpachi.
Aside from the Atlantic, Shima-aji has been spotted in the Pacific and Indian oceans. It is fished in shallow seas (about 650 feet) off the coast of Japan, specifically for use in sushi. Modern intensive farming methods have made this fish abundant enough to provide the vast majority of the world’s sushi demand. Wild-caught Shima-aji can only be found at the most exclusive sushi restaurants.
When properly prepared, Shima-aji has a flavour between saba (mackerel) and kanpachi (greater amberjack, like leaner yellowtail). Flavor-wise, it’s mild and buttery, with extremely soft meat and a minimum of fat. If you can get your hands on it right away, it has a hard texture with a little sweetness at the end. Expert sushi eaters often rank it among their top choices.
The best time to enjoy wild Shima-aji is in the summer. However, it may be found throughout the year. A medium-sized fish that may reach a maximum length of three feet, this species is at its prime for sushi preparation when it is just around a foot long. Most of the catch will be of this optimal length and flavour when the time is right. Farm-raised Shima-aji is mostly unaffected by the changing of the seasons. Sushi may be enjoyed at any time of the year.
Shima-aji is fairly faint in flavour shortly after being caught. Therefore the Japanese typically age it for two to three days to bring out its more subtle flavour. Once the meat has been out for a few days, it softens and develops a pleasant sweetness. Nigiri and sashimi are the most typical preparation methods for Shima-aji. Maki (rolls) don’t often happen because the flavour is lost in the rice and nori. Traditional preparation involves brushing with nigiri and then topping with shredded daikon (radish), gari (ginger), and Negi (scallion / green onion) (sweetened soy sauce).
Sashimi and sushi made from the tiny Shima aji fish have much sought after. On English menus, you’ll commonly see this fish referred to as a “striped jack.” The texture is solid and springy and has a faint oily sheen. The umami flavour of the striped jack is subtle but pleasant. The best time to eat wild Shima aji is during the summer. In contrast, the time frame for fish aquaculture has lengthened. A comprehensive introduction to sushi and sashimi, including this Shima-aji page. This is a must-read if you’re looking to up your sushi game.
Shima aji is sometimes referred to as white trevally or Pseudocaranx dentex. A member of the family Carangidae, which also includes the kanpachi (amberjack), Hamachi (yellowtail), and aji (giant trevally) (horse mackerel). It is possible to find white trevally in waters ranging from the mountains of central Japan to the tropical waters of Okinawa. The eastern parts of the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic oceans are also part of their home range.
Sushi made with striped jack is excellent. It combines the clean crunchiness of media with the fatty umami of Hamachi. When mixed with correctly cooked sushi rice, it melts in your mouth.
Nigiri sushi made with raw striped jack is an old Japanese favourite. A finger of sushi rice is topped with a tiny piece of raw fish. The fish’s underbelly is rubbed with wasabi.
On top of Shima aji, some cooks sprinkle grated ginger and scallion. Nikiri sauce is frequently used as a finishing touch by other chefs. Scratch Restaurants’ tantalising striped jack nigiri video is one of my favourites on their channel. Read on to find out more. It will make you hungry.
To name the many sakes that should be avoided when paired with raw Shima aji is a simpler task. Almost any type of sake would complement the flavour of the fish well.
Strong tastes are the key thing to watch out for. Junmai and honjozo, two of the earthiest and richest sakes in the world, belong here. Also, striped jack sushi is no match for the acidity and strength of nama genshu Muraoka.
This fish goes well with any sake, so long as it’s somewhat clear. Don’t worry too much about which sake grade you’re drinking. However, Shima aji goes particularly well with fruity and refined ginjo-shu.
There are many Shima aji fans, but this fish is still unfamiliar to many Western palates. If you’re a fan of Hamachi but want to branch out, this fish is for you. Shima’s aji-related topics are discussed in this post. Please find out how this fish is caught, how it tastes, how to cook it at home, and which drinks go well.
Shima aji may be found from southern Japan’s Kanto area to the Indian Ocean to the south. Since " (Shima)" means “island” in Japanese, the word “Shima aji” refers to the large population that clusters around islands like the Izu islands. There is a yellow vertical stripe through the middle of its body when it is young; hence “Shima” may also be read as the Japanese character for “stripe,” which is.
Shima aji are open-sea fish that, as juveniles, live on floating seaweed but, as adults, migrate to depths of up to one hundred metres below the surface. When spring and summer arrive, they head north, and when fall and winter roll around, they head south, completing a full North to South migration. They travel in groups, feeding on crustaceans like squid and shrimp and smaller fish. The Carangidae (aji) family has the tastiest member. High-quality fish, perfect for summertime sashimi or sushi.
When spring and summer arrive, they head north, and when fall and winter roll around, they head south, completing a full North to South migration. They travel in groups, feeding on crustaceans like squid and shrimp and smaller fish. The Carangidae (aji) family has the tastiest member. High-quality fish, perfect for summertime sashimi or sushi.
One of the best times to catch them is in the summer, when their delicate flesh and high-quality fat shine. As opposed to its light and mild-tasting relative, horse mackerel, the flesh quality of this fish is more akin to the somewhat sweet and mellow umami of Buri (yellowtail). The ideal size for a fish is between 2 and 4 kg. Price estimates for a single fish range from 10,000 to 20,000 yen ($150 to $190). Unfortunately, only cultivated varieties remain; the natural kind has been depleted.
Accordingly, most of the fish in the sushi served on the conveyor belt comes from New Zealand but is mislabeled as a Striped jack even though it is a different subspecies. It’s low in fat and tastes bland because of it.
Farmed fish are abundant on the market, but their flavour can’t compare to wild-caught fish. Yet wild-caught striped jack fetches five times the price of farmed jack.
Fun Fact: When the skin is taken off the Striped jack, it becomes a white-meat sushi topping, but when only a little portion of the silver skin is left on the back, it is used for Hikari-mono nigiri (silver-skinned fish).
Shima Aji, striped jack mackerel, is another staple of Edomae cuisine. It has firm, succulent meat with an ideal balance of fat. Even though it shares the name “Aji” with the family of mackerels, this fish is not a relative of the horse mackerel (Aji).
Wild Shima Aji is a rare and pricey delicacy, while cultivated Shima Aji is more common in restaurants. The wild variety of Shima Aji is a more muted grey, while the cultivated variety is a stunning blue-green. As a white-flesh fish (Shiromi/), Shima Aji should have a gentle, sensitive case. Only the wild Shima Aji fit this description, though. A rich, gelatinous flavour covers your lips when you eat farmed Shima Aji; it is buttery and nearly greasy.
The best beer to drink with Shima aji is light and flavorful. It’s fine to drink mainstream Japanese beers like Sapporo and Asashi. There is a slight improvement with Orion Draft. Whenever I get my hands on some raw striped jack, I always reach for some Echigo Koshihikari. Helles, Kolsch, and Dusseldorf altbier are three examples of light European beers that work well.
Differently, it’s just as tasty. In today’s society, only the elderly like the flavour of wild Shima Aji because most young people find it bland and fat-free. Even though wild Shima Aji has its distinct flavour, the farmed, fatty kind, which tastes much like tuna, has become increasingly popular.
The Shima-aji (striped jack) has a subtle and calming taste. It finishes everything off with a touch of natural sweetness. The texture of fresh fish is somewhere between soft and chewy, crisp and solid, and extremely subtle. It becomes softer and fattier with age. You never cut the fresh one (before rigour, Mortis) into thick slices like that. Because your mouth will feel like chewing on rubber after eating it, you’ll need to slice it up if it’s fresh.
Following are the most commonly asked questions about Shima Aji:
Shima aji, or Japanese striped jack, is a common point of confusion for many sushi eaters. Shima means stripes, and Aji is Japanese horse mackerel or jack. But Shimaaji and Aji make two very different types of sushi. Sushi is caught off the coast of Japan in about 200 meters of shallow water.
Horse mackerel (Aji) It is smaller than other mackerel and has a lighter flavour. Horse mackerel is also popular in Edomae-style sushi and is typically served with freshly grated ginger and onions.
The English term for Hamachi is Amberjack and Kanpachi is Amberjack. But since amber mackerel can also be called Japanese amber mackerel, people sometimes think foreign sushi restaurants are the same fish.
Shima Aji Raw: Fresh fish that goes well with radishes. Grilled Spanish Squid: Eggplant jam gives it a unique taste.
Jack Mackerel Sashimi (Aji no sashimi) Jack Mackerel (Aji in Japanese) is a very popular and cheap fish. We eat it grilled, fried and sashimi. Sashimi is best eaten with Tamari Shoyu. It is a soy sauce (shoyu in Japanese) with a very deep soy sauce flavour.
Believed in a nigiri. Shima aji, or Japanese striped jack, is a common point of confusion for many sushi eaters. Shima means stripes, and Aji is Japanese horse mackerel or jack. But Shimaaji and Aji make two very different types of sushi.
Spanish mackerel can also be eaten raw in sushi or sashimi or marinated in lemon or lime juice with chilli and salt for ceviche. And it’s deliciously smoked, says Chef Dewey, who likes to stuff fish with fresh herbs and then season it with melted butter and a pinch of paprika.
Saba is just an old mackerel. Probably officially called Atlantic mackerel. They are small, usually 1015 long, and they probably contain mercury and heavy metals because they are small. The higher a fish is in the food chain (read large), the more concentrated the heavy metals are.
Horse mackerel is said to derive its common name from the belief that other fish rode on their backs, but it may be derived from the old Dutch word horse mackerel, meaning a mackerel that lays its eggs on a plate, or bench, a horse, and this was brought to the British as horse mackerel.
Health Benefits of Eating Saba Saba is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. In short, if you eat as much healthy fish as Saba, you will live longer and get sick less often!
Taste of Mackerel Sushi As delicious as fresh mackerel may be, after drying, it loses much of its aroma and flavour and leaves only a fishy (fish oil) smell. It has a very strong and strong aftertaste, which is why people in Japanese restaurants don’t prefer mackerel sushi.
Sushi with more mercury Ahi (yellowfin tuna), Aji (mackerel), Buri (adult mackerel), and Hamachi (young mackerel). LogMeIn Hamachi is primarily designed for businesses and online gamers and is a very easy-to-use and highly secure VPN service.
Sake or Shake (salmon) In Japan, salmon is called sake or shake and is another common and popular type of sashimi. The fatty part of salmon sashimi is also called toro salmon.
Technically, Hamachi is Seriola quinqueradiata, Kampachi is Seriola dumerili, and Hiramasa is Seriola lalandi. Amberjack is not tuna despite being marketed as amberjack.
If you’re not talking about yellowtail tuna but Japanese hamachi / buri fish, the flavour is subtle, a little buttery, with a hint of banana. A good buri tastes very clean, especially hamachi olive or yuzu kampachi. It looks like fish from the mackerel family but has a more delicate flavour.
Hawaiian Kanpachi has an extremely fresh and sweet flavour and firm texture. The pale pink translucent pulp is characteristic in the sashimi presentations, and the pure and rich taste is enhanced during cooking.
Another traditional method of preparing striped jack is sashimi. Cuts of raw fish are sliced very thinly to make sashimi. Occasionally, ponzu may be offered as a condiment to dip food into. Even if you’re not a master chef, you can still make Shima aji with a few sharp knives and a little time in the kitchen. Fortunately, the internet is rife with videos created by experts.
Striped jack sushi and sashimi are delicious, but they’re even better with the appropriate drink. Drinks that aren’t very powerful, bitter, or tannic are what you should aim for. To name the many sakes that should be avoided when paired with raw Shima aji is a simpler task. Almost any type of sake would complement the flavour of the fish well.
Strong tastes are the key thing to watch out for. Junmai and honjozo, two of the earthiest and richest sakes in the world, belong here. Also, striped jack sushi is no match for the acidity and strength of nama genshu Muraoka. This fish goes well with any sake, so long as it’s somewhat clear. Don’t worry too much about which sake grade you’re drinking. However, Shima aji goes particularly well with fruity and refined ginjo-shu. Striped jack sushi and sashimi go great with many different types of white and sparkling wines. Muscadet, Italian pinot grigio, French sauvignon blanc, friulano, Champagne, and Cava are some of my absolute favourites. Beer’s ability to complement other foods is undervalued. It’s easy to find a fantastic beer that goes with every meal.
3 - Ocean fishing