A good manner of eating fish has a key to get a successful companion for life?! Let’ s review how to eat a fish in a proper way.
Approaching the year-end, it is the festive season for us to join many parties to dine together in a big group such as Christmas Party or Year-End Party. Unexpectedly, your table manner is often observed, including how to hold your chopsticks, of course, as well as your finished plate. For this reason that western food is taking root these days, I recommend you to master how to eat a grilled fish, the basic item of Japanese food, in purpose of making a good impression on your future companion for life.
Then, what’s kind of fish you can recall with the words of “grilled fish”? I guess Sanma (Pacific Saury), Hokke-no-hiraki (Akta Mackerel, cut open and dried), Aji (Horse Mackerel) and Saba (Mackerel) might be familiar to you. Even though we seldom see at a supermarket, Sakeharasu (Fatty Salmon Belly), Isaki (Grunt), Komai (Saffron Cod), Kinki (Channel Rockfish) and Tai (Sea bream) are also recommendable with unique food texture.
Nowadays, a grilled fish took hold as a popular menu at a diner and some fish cut open and dried such as Hokke (Akta Mackerel) can be seen at an Izakaya (Japanese-style bar/restaurant). However, some people might be flinching from it only due to the reason “I’m not good at eating fish”. Once you could master how to eat a grilled fish, you would be able to enjoy every kind of fish dish with its delicious taste. As one of the examples for popular fish, I will guide you on how to eat Sanma (Pacific Saury) here.
[1. Flake the flesh away from the bone]
A grilled Sanma (Pacific Saury) is often served with the head and the tail.
Firstly, please insert the chopsticks from head to tail and flake the flesh away from the bone. It’s easier to flake in making a cut along the backbone with your chopsticks. The removed ventral fin and small bone parts should be placed on the upper left side of your plate.
[2. Remove the backbone]
Start to eat the upper portion of the Sanma (Pacific Saury). If possible, I recommend you to pick up a small portion for each bite with your chopsticks in an elegant manner. In dealing with small bones, please try to remove them using your chopsticks, rather than removing them with your fingers, and place it on the edge of plate. When finished with the upper portion, remove the backbone using your chopsticks. To remove the bone bracing the head with your left hand as if you are peeling off the bones toward the right side.
“It might be easier to turn the fish over to eat opposite side?”
Some people might have such an idea. However, it is definitely offending the manner to turn the fish over. Please continue to eat the inner portion without turning the fish over, even if it must be troublesome.
[3. Place the small bones and skin on the edge of your plate]
In dealing with the small bones while eating the inner portion, please place them on the upper-left edge of your plate as mentioned before.
When finished with the inner portion, you can flake the flesh away from the bone to eat. After you eat everything except bones and skin, please collect them and place on the upper-left edge of your plate again.