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Feature: Red sea bream

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It is called 'Sakura sea bream' which is best to eat in spring.

Major production areas
Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Bungo Suido (Oita, Ehime),
and Seto Inland Sea (Hyogo Akashi, Awaji Island)
Period
From December to June
Season
From February to April

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The red sea bream is more familiar to the Japanese people than tuna. The red sea bream is a fish which is always used for special occasions like the New Year, wedding ceremonies, and even sumo championships. The fish start to accumulate nutrients from January to February, during which time their bodies are very elastic and particularly fatty. The fish is filled with wholesome Omega-3 fatty acid which provide certain health benefits. Between March to April, the fish gradually migrate from sea depths of up to 200 meters to shallower waters in preparation for spawning. Spawning season lasts from May to June. Throughout the process mentioned above, the bodies of the fish develop a bright cherry blossom colour. Hence inheriting the name, Sakura bream.

Three main signs of a good red sea bream

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Signs which are inherent in fresh and high quality red sea bream include blue spots which are appear around the eyelids lining vividly (akin to eye shadow) and also on the back part of the fish body, redness of the skin (the redder the better), and puffiness of the belly (i.e. nutrients are stored for spawning). The redness of the skin act as an indication that the flesh at the backbone region which is used for sashimi is thick and dark red in colour. The eggs from the female fish are delicacies enjoyed by Japanese. At the same time, milt from the male fish are used to make milt tofu in Kaiseki restaurants. The milt from male red sea bream are richer in flavour than that from cod (Sukeso cod).

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