Autumn Enjoyment: Grilled Sanma

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In Japan, autumn is the perfect season to have a healthy appetite. We have a variety of delicious food in season this time of year. A great example of a Japanese autumn specialty is “sanma” fish (Pacific saury or mackerel pike in English). Today I would like to share some tips for enjoying sanma.


[Four tips to choose good sanma]

1) Yellowish mouth –> fresh!

2) Clear eyes –> fresh!  (red cloudy ones are no good)

3) Thick body –> fatty!

4) Firm and resilient belly –> fresh!


[How to eat sanma]

Watch this video first!

(the instruction starts at around 45sec.)


1) Lightly press the body from head to tail with your chopsticks


2) Make a cut along the backbone


3) Open the body


4) Take the bone off


5) Tidy up your plate (It’s pretty difficult to eat fish neatly, but just don’t let it messy!)


You can grill sanma either in a non-stick pan or the oven at home. But I recommend using a barbecue grill outside, as to not to make your kitchen too smoky . It would be fun to serve sanma at your autumn barbecue party! ;)

I live in a landlocked American state, and the only sanma we can find here is frozen. I miss Japanese fresh fatty sanma very much (>_<)! So, what’s delicious this season in your country? Share your favorite autumn food, too!! :)


Reference: Naver Matome


-Junko (


This is JAPAN Style!