The Pacific Saury, or “Sanma,” is a very tasty and versatile fish available most of the year, but is best eaten during the Autumn-to-early Winter months.
Written in Japanese, “Sanma” literally translates to “Autumn Sword Fish” due to its body shape resembling a sword or blade, as well as the pinnacle of its taste achieved by the Fall and early Winter months.
Sanma tastes so good during this time of year thanks to its tasty oil and the fat it develops as it migrates to the north of the Pacific Ocean from Summer to Fall. Using that fat to survive the colder waters of the north, it migrates southwards through the Japan Sea during Winter to Spring. Therefore, the best time to eat Sanma is August to December.
By no means a large fish, Pacific Sauries are sleak, slim and streamlined fish. They have a thin layer of fat that surrounds their internal organs, which consists basically of little or no stomach, which results in a very fast digestive cycle. I’ve yet to find krill or other prey intact in this fish’s gut.
Next Up: I’ll show you how to easily remove the guts of a Sanma.