Kinki, not kinky (channel rockfish)

Kinki, not kinky (channel rockfish)

Published by Toshi on 10th Jun 2019

What would you say if I told you “you can order Kinky at a Japanese restaurant”? And if you did, you could be broke. The name of the super expensive fish in Japanese sounds exactly same as the English word “kinky”!

We spell it “Kinki”. The English name is channel rockfish, or sometimes idiot fish. I don’t know why some call this delicious fish idiot. If you know, please let me know.

They are expensive not only because of the beautiful red color, which gives a sparkle to the market. There are two more reasons.

First, they are exceptionally fatty and juicy with exquisite and intense sweetness. The moment the juicy white flesh melts in your mouth, the sweet flavor explodes. It feels the fat content is more than the protein.

Second, the catch of the fish has been very small recently. In Japan, they can be caught only in the northern part. Hokkaido has more than half of the total catch.

Especially, the ones fished by longline fishing are branded. They are distinguished from the ones caught with a net in bulk. The difference is obvious. They have much less damage and the red color shines brilliantly.

Fresh Kinki just fished by longline fishing

【Fresh Kinki just fished by longline fishing】

The Kinki live in the sea at the depth of 200-500 meters (600-1,600 feet). They feed primarily on shrimp. A natural red pigment called astaxanthin makes the shrimp red. And that makes the Kinki bright red, too.

The astaxanthin is a well-known antioxidant. It is very good for your skin health, heart health, cancer prevention and care.

Other than the astaxanthin, Kinki is a great source of other nutrition. Like protein, omega-3 fatty acids, various vitamins and minerals.

They say the best season for Kinki is autumn to winter, before the spawning season. But you can enjoy the rich and sweet flavor all year round. If you find it at a restaurant, order regardless of the season. You’ll never regret.

Kinki is so delicious no matter how you cook. I love the simmered best. It brings out all the Umami (savory taste or the fifth taste) to the full extent. When cooked properly, even some rice with just the broth can make the best dish. You can enjoy it after having the fish first.

Simmered Kinki with Japanese leek and sugar pea vine

【Simmered Kinki with Japanese leek and sugar pea vine】

Of course, Sashimi is as nice. You can also grill, and deep-fry if the fish is small.

Kinki can be caught at the nearshore in the USA, too. But be aware. They say there are more than 70 so-called rockfishes with similar appearances. The taste and flavor can vary a lot depending on the species.

It’s difficult to tell which one is real Kinki, if you’re not familiar with them. Red color doesn’t mean delicious.

So, don’t be afraid to ask, is this Kinki?

For more details, send us an email.

info@syosaku-japan.com

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Thank you!
Toshi 

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