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Scientifically known as the cololabis saira

Dry Biological Information: (NOTE: If you are not particularly interested in the daily life of a fish, perhaps you should skip down to the next part where I have some good bits about how you eat this good?) A fish found from 19 degrees to 58 degrees latitude and in the Pacific Ocean. It is generally found on the surface of the water, but may be found as deep as 125 fm. They live in temperatures from between 50 degrees and 75 degrees Farenheit (10-24 degrees Centigrade) but seem to prefer temperatures in the 59-64 degrees Farenheit (15-18 degrees Centigrade) range.

The saury diet consists of copepods, euphausiids, and amphipods, and anchovy larvae. The maximum size found for this fish is 364 mm and the maximum age is guessed to be around 6.4 years. The average pacific saury lays about 10,000 to 20,000 during their lifetime, and the average egg hatches after about 10 days. They hatch in an advanced state of maturity, and many scientists think this may compensate for the rather low rate of eggs compared to similar fish.

This fish migrates to the north in the spring and summer, and south in the fall and winter, following their favorite water temperatures.

The good bit about eating this fish: The pacific saury is also known as sanma in Japan. The three kanji for sanma are the ones for autumn, katana, and fish. The first represents the fact that this fish is most abundant in autumn, and is considered tastiest during this season. The second represents the fact that this fish is very shiny, much like a katana is shiny. The third represents the fact that this fish is...well, a fish.

From here on out, I will refer to the pacific saury as sanma, because that is the name my belly knows it as.

Sanma is considered by many (including myself) to be the most tasty out of all sashimi. This sashimi is best when served with some sliced spring onions and a drop or two of soy sauce (three and you're pushing it...four and you defile the fish). Some also serve it with daikon oroshi, but I consider that to be a luxury.

Prepare this fish the way you would prepare normal sashimi. Skin it, gut it, fillet it, and chop the fillets into little pieces. Serve as I have described above, and enjoy this king of sashimi! Remember that fish that is going to be eaten as sashimi should always be packed in ice and not frozen.

Sanma is also eaten grilled. While tasty, I do not find this nearly as delicious as sanma served as sashimi.

Other interesting bits of info: This fish was also the main ingredient on an episode of Iron Chef. It was between Kazumi Nagayama and Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai. Iron Chef French won, even though sanma is not an ingredient in French cuisine.

Biological info on the fish was taken from http://www.hmsc.orst.edu/odfw/devfish/sp/saury.html. Information on eating sanma was taken from my mouth and my belly, my two favorite sources for such information.

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