Do you know whether the slices in the photo are very fresh, or aged for a few days?
Shima-aji (striped jack) has exquisite calm and soothing flavor. At the end, it adds a slight natural sweet tone. The majority of experienced Sushi tasters would say it’s one of their most favorites.
But when you ask them whether they like fresh or aged Shima-aji, the answers would be divided. The fresh fish has very delicate, chewy, crunchy, and firm texture. As it ages, it gets smoother and filled with more fat.
One thing for sure is, you never slice the very fresh one (before rigor mortis) thick like in the photo. Because it is so chewy that it feels like rubber or something in your mouth. When very fresh, you must cut it into slivers.
So the answer is, the slices in the photo are aged for two days. Now you can say it loses its freshness, or it gets the utmost richness. I wonder which you’d prefer. The best is to get the very fresh one, and try it every day. The ultimate luxury!
Shima-aji (striped jack) is one of the most luxury fishes for Sushi and Sashimi. It is extensively farmed in Japan. But even the farmed fish is expensive. You rarely find it in supermarkets.
The ones caught from are even more expensive. Only high-end Sushi restaurants would serve them. The season for the wild caught is late spring to early autumn. So if you’d like to experience the very expensive one, it’s around the corner.
There are several English names. Striped jack, striped horse mackerel, white trevally etc. But when you order at a Sushi restaurant, just say “Shima-aji”. They should know the Japanese name, if they know what they’re doing.
And those restaurants prepare it with the highest quality knives. And present it on the highest quality plates. Like in the photo!
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Sashimi Sushi series 004:
Sashimi, Shima-aji (striped jack) sliced by Syosaku Sushi Knife on Syosaku Urushi Glass Dinner Plate Vermilion with Gold Leaf, Dishwasher Safe.