Japanese Grenadier Anchovy Dishes

Japanese Grenadier Anchovy Dishes

Japanese Grenadier Anchovy Dishes Etsu, or Japanese grenadier anchovy, is a beautiful fish between 30 and 40 cm in length belonging to the Japanese anchovy family. It is a rare fish only seen in Japan in the Chikugo River area. It can only be tasted for the short time between May and July when it travels upstream from the ocean to lay eggs. Etsu has a lot of small bones, so after removing the flesh from the bones, it is mixed in tadesu (water pepper vinegar) with either thinly-sliced cucumber or green shiso to make an even greater taste. Its refreshing flavor means it tastes great no matter how it is prepared, whether fried, added to soup, grilled with salt or broiled. Eating etsu on a boat on Chikugo River with the gentle breeze caressing your face is a particularly special experience. Etsu is also known as "Fonwuii" and has many legends associated with it due to its rarity. One of these is a story about the Chinese court sorcerer, Xu Fu. Having being ordered to find the elixir of life by Qin Shi Huang, First Emperor of the Qin dynasty, Xu Fu travelled to Japan, landing at Bubai in Morodomi town, Saga city. He apparently made his way along by pushing through the reeds so much that the leaves fell into the Chikugo River and transformed into the beautiful etsu fish. There is another legend which says when Kukai was travelling around Kyushu on foot, he was faced with the problem of not being able to cross the Chikugo River and as a favor to the kind fisherman who took him across, he handed him a leaf of a reef which turned into the etsu fish.

● Contact: Morodomi Branch Office, Saga City Government, Tel: +81-952-47-2131
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