04. Butchering Tai Fish | KAISEKI APPRENTICE JON

On the video, I am butchering Japanese sea bream called Ma Dai (鯛) in Japanese.
This is one of the most popular fish to eat as sashimi in Japan, it has a wonderful firm texture and a perfect balance of fat and umami. This fish comes from Akashi, near one of the most famous fishings waters in Japan. Strong ocean currents in this area produce fish with firm flesh and clean flavour.

To break down this fish, I am using a Japanese fish butchering knife called Deba (edge length 180mm). This is one of the most popular shapes for fish butchering in Japan, this knife is made of Ginsan Silver #3 stainless steel, I use 3 different Deba depending on the task and ingredients.

 Ko Deba (Debe smaller than 150mm)


 Deba Edge Length 165mm


 Large Deba 270mm

Tai is an easy fish to butcher, but it is not easy to do it flawlessly. This style of butchering called Sanmai-Oroshi which is one of the most popular technics butchering fish in Japan. The Sanmai-Oroshi technique varies a little depending on whether or not the fish is Iketeru (pre or post-rigor mortis). In this video we are using an Ikejime fish, the flesh is much more elastic and less fragile than its non Ikejime counterparts. Faster and more aggressive techniques can be used for fish in this state when compared to fish killed without the Ikejime techniques.

Enjoy Video!


This article was written by Jon Klip. Please visit here to see his recent work on Instagram.