A Culinary Delight in Tempura "Kisu Fish" (Japanese Whiting)

Last updated: 8 May 2023  |  4744 Views  | 

ปลาคิสึ ปลาทรายญี่ปุ่น Kisu Japanese whiting

Kisu fish, also known as Japanese whiting, is a small and delicious marine species native to the coastal waters of East Asia. This slender, silver-colored fish with a pale brown or greenish hue on its back is scientifically called 'Sillago japonica'. Revered for its delicate flavor and tender texture, kisu has become a staple ingredient in various Japanese dishes such as tempura, sushi, and shashimi.

The Japanese name for Kisu fish is キス (Kisu) or 鱚 (Kisu) in kanji.



Physical Characteristics
The kisu fish typically measures between 20-25 cm in length, making it a relatively small species. Its body is slender and elongated, with a dorsal side that is pale brown or greenish, and a ventral side that is silver in color. Kisu fish have a small mouth and a protruding lower jaw, which are adapted for feeding on invertebrates such as worms and small crustaceans.

Habitat and Distribution
Kisu fish thrive in sandy or muddy coastal environments, such as shallow bays and estuaries. Their natural habitat ranges from the coastal waters of Japan, Korea, and China. As a bottom-dwelling species, kisu can be found at depths ranging from shallow waters to approximately 100 meters.

Kisu fish are carnivorous, primarily feeding on benthic invertebrates such as worms, small crustaceans, and mollusks. They use their small mouths and protruding lower jaws to forage through the sandy or muddy sea bottom, seeking out their prey.



Culinary Uses
Kisu fish are prized for their delicate flavor and tender texture, making them an ideal choice for various Japanese dishes. They are commonly prepared as tempura, where the fish is coated in a light batter and deep-fried until crispy. Kisu can also be served grilled or as sashimi, showcasing its natural flavors. In addition, the fish can be simmered in a soy sauce-based broth, known as nitsuke, which further enhances its taste.

Kisu is a nutritious fish, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining good heart health, reducing inflammation, and promoting brain function.

In addition to its culinary uses, kisu is also used in traditional medicine in Japan. It is believed to have a number of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, promoting digestion, and boosting the immune system.

Best season
The best season to eat Kisu fish is typically from late spring to early summer, around May to June. During this time, the fish are in their prime, having fed on abundant food sources and reached a desirable size. The flesh of the Kisu fish is considered to be at its most tender and flavorful during these months.

The kisu fish, or Japanese whiting, is a delightful culinary treasure from the coastal waters of East Asia. Its delicate taste and tender texture have made it a popular choice for various dishes, particularly in Japanese cuisine. During May to June, it is best to consume kisu.

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