Blue Ocean Mariculture operate an ocean cage farm off the coast of Kona Island, Hawaii. They're farming Almaco jack (Seriola rivoliana), a fast growing amberjack that can grow from egg to 8 lb in as little as 18 months. The brand they're marketing this fish under is 'Hawaiian Kanpachi', and it just makes us glow with aloha each week we work with it !
We know what iki jime is and we know how iki jime affects the fish, but what does that mean for us fish lovers here in Canada ? It means versatility and using your favourite fish to the fullest! If you're not sure what ikijime is, read our previous post "IKI JIME - ASK FOR NOTHING LESS!"
Iki jime delays the rigour mortis phase of the fish and extends the shelf life. This means that even after a long flight all the way from New Zealand, you can still enjoy fresh, never frozen sashimi here in Canada ! There are many raw or semi-raw dishes you can create with our long list of iki jime fish. Red Sea Bream or Madai Crudo, Wakame and Salt Cured Yellowtail / Hiramasa, Trevally / Shima Aji Tataki, Nannygai Ceviche, Gurnard / Houbou Sashimi and the list goes on.
Another fun feature of iki jime fish is aging fish. This is a feature we don't see too often because we don't see fish come in as freshly as we'd like. Aging fish is exactly as it sounds - purposely leaving fish for an extra amount of time before using it in one way or another. This can change the flavours and texture of the fish drastically just by leaving (with some TLC) for a period of time.
The freshest fish that changes flavours as it ages added to your favourite recipes. The complexity is deep but it's as simple as amazing, fresh, delicious fish! But I'm no chef and you shouldn't take my word for it. Instead, look for fresh New Zealand Ikijime fish from a fish-lover near you, and taste it for yourself.
Has you fish been ethically killed? Its a question you may of not pondered when digging into your favourite sashimi or whole fish plate. But with the ever more growing awareness of how our food is harvested, grown or killed we thought it was a good time to share a secret of why the whole sashimi grade fish we work with looks so dam sexy on arrival.....read on here
What's in a name?
A name is more than what we call each other and use to label objects and places. A name includes perceptions, experiences and emotions. The definition of a name has been contested and theorized for ages and I'm not going to join that battle today. I just never imagined how difficult it was to "name" a fish in the seafood market. The best example of how difficult a name can be is with the Yellowtail Amberjack... Or is it Buri?... Or Kingfish?
One of my favourite fish to eat as sashimi is the wild NZ Yellowtail Amberjack. This fish has very sweet flavour with firm yet buttery texture. Though this fish speaks for itself, selling it has been an interesting challenge because of all of the names associated with it. The Yellowtail Amberjack (Seriola lalandi) is found in the Pacific and Indian Ocean.
Since we source ours from New Zealand, Kingfish and Yellowtail are the commonly used names. Yellowtail is also farmed out of Australia as Yellowtail Kingfish. In the U.S., this fish is called Amberjack. However, Kingfish is also the common name for King Mackerel in Eastern North America. The Japanese names for Yellowtail are Hiramasa and Buri. Here's where it gets fun...
Buri is a shared name with Japanese Amberjack (Yellowtail/ Seriola quinqueradiata). Buri has different names depending on the size or age of the fish and area it is served, such as Osaka or Tokyo (Western or Eastern Japan). 6 month old fish are called wakashi or tsubasu; 1 year old fish are called inada or hamachi; 3 year old fish are called warasa or mejiro; and 4 years or older is called buri. Once you get your head around that, yellowtail is heavily farmed in Japan and the farmed version is called Hamachi. Then there's also Kanpachi and Kampachi which are also Yellowtail or Amberjack. Kanpachi is from Japan and Kampachi is a farmed Hawaiian yellowtail. Though the kanpachi is a different fish (Seriola rivoliana), it often gets mixed up in this confusing mess of fish names and what "Hamachi" really is... I think that's all of them.
My challenge here is what I call my product. It's difficult to call it one thing that doesn't tie in with another fish. For example, you may ask what's the harm of calling it Hamachi? Hamachi is a really popular fish so why not piggy-back on its success? Simply put, we have a different fish with different tastes, catch methods and quality standards. We don't want to lose product recognition or the message behind going through the trouble of bringing a wild and proven sustainable option. Not only that, if we sold the Yellowtail as Hamachi or "Wild Hamachi", it may raise the question of whether or not Hamachi is farmed, but for some it will push the false belief that Hamachi is always wild.
Other examples of this issue is naming a fish snapper. Snapper is not the most sustainable fish. The NZ Red Sea Bream is commonly known as Snapper in New Zealand. When Captain Cook discovered New Zealand, he called the bream a snapper and the name stuck. In reality those fish aren't related at all. The list of confusing names goes on and on, including Monkfish (is it angler fish or stargazer?), Snapper (is it bream, rockfish or perch?), and even Steelhead (is it trout or salmon?)To avoid confusing situations such as this and to maintain product integrity, we need to be thinking carefully about what we name our fish.
BC Oyster Season Is Nearing Its End, And New Zealand Oysters Offer Healthier and Tastier Substitute... Read more here.
Why are we so obsessed with whether or not salmon is farmed but when it comes to other fish we don't bat an eye? For example, all trout sold in B.C. is farmed. Many of our Mediterranean favourites, like Branzino and Dorade, are farmed. More importantly, Vancouver's favourite dish, sushi, uses a lot of farmed fish...read more here
There is a lot of fish out there!
Canadians have grown accustomed to what's available locally and we expect it all year. Fish, however, especially wild fish, are not meant to fit our daily demand. Many of our Canadian favourites are seasonal, including Salmon and Halibut..... click here to read about more Canadian fish substitutes.
There are a lot of seafood restaurants around, especially in Vancouver. However, it seems like many of these restaurants are sticking to the basic and safe strategy of salmon, halibut and sablefish..... read more here.
Coromandel oysters from the pristine waters of New Zealand made their way to Canada this summer. They were a popular summer and early fall choice along with the Kaipara Oysters we have been importing for the last 2 years. Both the Coromandel and Kaipara oyster are from New Zealand's North Island..... read more about their flavour and how they're grown in this post
Wild New Zealand seafood stocks are a positive story. They're in plentiful supply, a sign of good management. New Zealand adopted the Quota Management system in 1986 and since then has been able to carefully mange its wild seafood stocks using science and strict enforcement. Because of this, New Zealand seafood has gained the reputation of being one of the most sustainable fisheries in the world.... read this post for more on NZ seafood sustainability
Oysters do have seasons! When the oysters feel the temperature change from winter to summer they switch from feeding and move their energy onto spawning. For people eating spawning oysters this is noticed by a soft, creamy meat. That unpleasant creaminess is the oysters eggs & sperm. You're eating the life of oysters. Some people like it, but most I find don't. But don't worry, we have options to have non spawning oysters available during summer ~ read more on how and why in this post...
New Zealand Kaipara oysters, farmed in the big inland harbour from which their name is derived, will be ready soon for Canada. The waters are cooling in New Zealand which is the trigger the oysters require to focus on feeding and thus 'fatten up'. We expect our first shipment into Vancouver in June..... read on
What is 'Sustainable' ? The Oxford dictionary defines sustainable as something that is able to be maintained at a certain rate or level. It also defines it another way; conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.
New Zealand law requires catch limits for every fish stock to be set at levels that will ensure their long-term sustainability. The Ministry of Fisheries rigorously monitors the amount of fish caught against these limits and financial penalties are enforced if too much fish is caught in any one year. Under this system, the commercial catching rights for each of... read on
What a summer! Vancouver sure knows how to turn on the sunshine! People flock to the mountains, beaches and patios, the noisy crows disappear to cooler areas of the city allowing the streets to become somewhat quiet at 5am..zzzzz, music festivals are going off across the country and friends just kept on flying in weekend after weekend.
Taking a step back to when I mentioned 'patios'...well what else is better than drinking bubbles or sav, slurping oysters & taking in the sunshine!? Add New Zealand Oysters to that combo... read on
We recently paired up with Long Table Distillery (Vancouver's first Micro-Distillery) to showcase the Tio Point Oyster (ostrea chilensis) & Kaipara Oyster (craosstrea gigas) along with Long Table's spectacular gin! All I have to say is WOW ! I would of never thought gin paired so well with oysters...
46° South was invited to supply the unique New Zealand oyster varieties Tio Point (ostrea chilensis) & Kaipara (crassostrea gigas) for the 2014 Osoyoss Oyster Festival. The Osoyoos Oyster festival is in it's 3rd year running and has seen tremendous growth since last year. The town of Osoyoos is a place most New Zealanders would recognise the landscape as being similar to 'Central Otago'. The dry, rattle snake invested... read on
This is New Zealand's remote & wild Fiordland coast on an exceptional summers day. Located on the south west corner of the South Island, its home for the few fisherman who ply this coast setting traps for the valuable Rock Lobster. Prices for NZ Rock Lobster are fetching over $100 per kg this month !! Here is a picture of the skipper & crew from the FV Provider taking in the stunning views as they steam up the coast with a load of lobster traps ready to be baited and set.
The unique native flat oyster Tiostrea Chilensis is known in New Zealand as the famous wild 'Bluff Oyster'. But times are changing and after years of hard work Bruce Hearn and his team at Apex Marine farms have successfully been growing this flat oyster, named 'Tio Point', in the Marlborough Sounds at commercial harvest levels.... read on
FV Polaris skippered by Bill Gold. This is summer fishing at its best on the south coast of New Zealand. The 70ft Polaris will tow a small net on the sandy sea floor catching the large soles, flounders and the odd gurnard or monkfish. The net has large holes in it too allow the undersized fish to escape unharmed... read on
Check out the New Zealand Red Sea Bream that arrived today into B.C & Ontario !! Look at those eyes...wow, good quality fish! The Red Bream (also known as Tai Snapper) is hook & line caught from a sustainable Bream stock off the coast of the North Island, New Zealand.... read on