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Welcome to FISH FOOD TIMES
May. 2021 issue No.209
Kisslip cuttlefish products
May when the catch of kisslip cuttlefish peaks
In May, kiss lip cuttlefish gather in shallow coastal waters within a depth of 10 m for spawning, making it easier to catch, and this is the season when the most catches are made in the year.
The standard Japanese name for kisslip cuttlefish is kaminariika, but I have never used this name before, and the name mongoika is the most suitable for me. The name mongoika now often refers to imported large cuttlefish such as cuttlefish in Europe in the fisheries industry, but originally it refers to the large species in the image below that are caught in the seas near Japan and Southeast Asia.
|A large kiss lip cuttlefish of 2 kg with good freshness, which has only been landed at the fish market for about 4 to 5 hours.|
The name kisslip cuttlefish comes from the fact that it has a round lip-like crest on the surface that emphasizes part of it in the image below. This pattern is sometimes referred to as coffee beans and is academically described as an eye-spot, so it may be like an eye as a metaphor.
On the other hand, cuttlefish, which has a similar shape but no crest, is shown in the image below.
|Since innumerable pigment cells are scattered on the body surface of squid, the body color can be changed in this way. Also, the two long tentacles are hidden in the pockets under the eyes and are invisible.|
If you compare the two images above, you can clearly see the difference. However, it is the giant cuttlefish of the large squid that inhabits the Nansei Islands in the image below that is confusing because the difference is not clear.
|The hemoglobin of squid contains copper ions, so it is blue blood, and it may look bluish like this.|
Giant cuttlefish is called kubushimi in the Nansei Islands and is a kind of Sepida Order, Sepidae Family, Sepia Genus, which is the same as kisslip cuttlefish and cuttlefish. As far as I know from my experience in the Nansei Islands and Okinawa, it is even larger than the large kisslip cuttlefish, and 2 kg and 3 kg are not uncommon, and I have dismantled the size of 5 kg or more.
Classification of squid and cuttlefish and their resources
From the above description, I think you can understand the general difference between cuttlefish and giant cuttlefish, which are similar to kisslip cuttlefish. In the first place, let's sort out a little about what kind of squid and cuttlefish Japanese people like to eat and how they are distinguished.
Squid and cuttlefish belong to the phylum Mollusk in animal taxonomy, and are a large category different from the boned fish belonging to the phylum Vertebrate and the shrimp and crab belonging to the phylum Arthropod. There are bivalves and snails in the mollusk phylum, which are the mainstream, but it may seem strange that squid and cuttlefish belong to the same category as shellfish. However, there is evidence of the same similarities, which can be substantiated by the fact that the calcareous and transparent insteps called boats are academically "shells".
Also, squid and cuttlefish are classified as cephalopods like octopus, which means that the legs are protruding from the head. I think the general image of a squid looks like the illustration below, but it is zoologically drawn upside down. To be precise, squid has legs in front of its head, so it falls into the category of "cephalopods".
So when drawing or taking pictures of squid and cuttlefish, the shape like this illustration is wrong, it is correct to place your feet up as shown in the squid image above.
Also, as a side note about the legs, how would you answer when asked, "How many squid legs? How many octopus legs?" Many people may say, "6 legs like this illustration are wrong, 10 are correct, and 8 octopuses."
However, the correct answer is "8 squid and 8 octopus". In fact, the first to fourth pairs of octopus and squid are on the left and right, for a total of eight, and in the case of squid, two long tentacles are added to make a total of ten. Furthermore, the part we usually call the foot is the "arm" in zoological terms. Both squid and octopus have a pair of first to fourth arms, so "10 arms instead of 10 legs" is the correct expression for squid.
Squids are roughly divided into Cuttlefish and Squid, and about 450 species inhabit the world's oceans. It can be considered that almost 17 kinds of foods are eaten by Japanese people, including those for processing and fresh food.
The amount of squid inhabiting the world's oceans is estimated to be between a minimum of 20 million tons and a maximum of 300 million tons, which is about 150 million tons. According to the statistics of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), the utilization of squid resources by the current fishing method and usage is about 2 million tons, of which Japan consumes 750,000 tons. Among them, about 300,000 tons of kisslip cuttlefish are caught every year in the world, and it seems that about 30,000 tons of them are landed in Japan.
Dismantling of kisslip cuttlefish and its by-products
Since kisslip cuttlefish do not form a flock, the catching efficiency is poor even with the bottom trawling of the main fishing method, and the fish are concentrated in about three months between the spawning season of May. In late April, I got about 2 kg of fresh kisslip cuttlefish, which is still transparent, and cooked it as follows.
As with all Cuttlefish, "treatment of ink sac" must be the first priority. Especially in the case of large kiss lip cuttlefish, if you don't do things really carefully, there is a tragic "disaster" that is full of squid ink not only on the cutting board but all over the workplace. A matter of fact, I myself you many times in the past have experienced a disaster.
|Internal organ separation work of kisslip cuttlefish|
|１，Make shallow cuts on both sides of the cuttlebone using the reverse-handed knife method.||５，Pinch with your fingers and carefully and slowly pull it away from the internal organs so as not to break the ink sac.|
|２，Hold the end of the cuttlebone and lift it up to separate it from the body of the cuttlefish.||６，After removing the ink sac, cut off the inedible internal organs.|
|３，Pull the boat until you are away from the body of the cuttlefish.||７，The large liver is cut off and separated from geso.|
|４，After separating the cuttlebone, lift the internal organs and carefully pull them away from the mantle.||８，Inedible internal organs and geso parts.|
The dismantling of the kisslip cuttlefish is successful for the time being, as long as the ink sac is not burst. In Europe, cuttlefish ink was used as an ink for writing in the olden days, so the scientific name of cuttlefish is sepia. However, I think that squid ink of kiss lip cuttlefish, which is no longer valuable as ink, should be thrown away, but it is still used as a material for squid ink spaghetti in Italy.
This squid ink has bitter memories. When I traveled to Italy in 2017, I ordered and ate squid ink spaghetti at a restaurant facing the canal in Venice. However, less than an hour after the meal, I desperately endured the ferocious Nature calls and the streets of Venice where the only means of transportation on the ground was on foot, and finally arrived at the hotel, and finally I gave diarrhea in the hotel room.My wife, who accompanied me, had exactly the same symptoms, so I decided that this was definitely food poisoning for squid ink spaghetti. I thought so because the color was clearly different from the squid ink jyushi of shiroika (oval squid's name in Okinawa), which is often eaten in Okinawa, and the black color was strong, and I felt that it was a little fishy. However, it was a big mistake to eat squid ink spaghetti in Italy, wondering if it was like this.
By the way, I feel that squid ink dishes such as squid ink jyusi, squid ink somen, and squid ink soup using shiroika squid ink in Okinawa have a really elegant taste. These are the top of my tastes in Okinawan cuisine. That's why I was looking forward to squid ink dishes in Italy, but I didn't order any squid ink dishes after that because of the events on the night of the second day in Italy.
By the way, aside from the by-product of squid ink, let's briefly touch on another by-product.
The image above is an internal organ called ikachichi. It has a color and shape similar to that of a fish milt, but it is not a milt but an embryonic gland. When a squid lays an egg, this is a part that has the function of secreting the component that becomes the yolk sac that wraps each egg. It seems that many people think that it is a milt because the appearance, touch, and the state of the contents all seem to be milt. However, it seems that the squid milt is contained in a capsule called a spermatophore, which is the size of a toothpick. Actually, I haven't been able to confirm which one it is.
There are two ikachichi in the female, and this time I threw them away because I couldn't cook with just two. This is Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, facing the spawning ground of Japanese flying squid, and ikachichi of Japanese flying squid is sold as a popular product limited to the production area under the name of "squid child".
In addition, let's write about geso, which I don't know if it can be expressed as a by-product. That's because I think this is the most satisfying and delicious part of the kisslip cuttlefish.
|ikageso deep-fried work process|
|１，Cut off the big funnel.||５，The part that was cut and separated.|
|２，Make a cut next to the mouth ball.||
6,Season and then put on a one-to-one batter of flour and potato starch.
|３，Remove the mouth ball.||７，Fry in oil at 180 ° C for about 2 minutes. At this time, the water in the suction cups will inevitably jump, so pay close attention.|
|４，Cut the parts one by one and divide them.||Completion of ikageso deep-fried|
The work point of kisslip cuttlefish where fish meat is thick and feels a little firm
As a by-product of kisslip cuttlefish, mimi (fillet part) is also used as an ingredient for stir-fried Chinese food. However, let's finish the by-products with this, and move on to the part of the mantle (fish meat), which should be the most expensive product.
The fish meat of the kisslip cuttlefish is thicker than the bigfin reef squid and feels harder than the spear squid, but not as hard as the Japanese flying squid. And although the taste is not as good as the bigfin reef squid and the sweetness is not as good as the spear squid, the umami feels stronger than the apanese flying squid, which is my impression of the taste of kisslip cuttlefish.
May is the spawning season for kisslip cuttlefish, but unlike other teleosts, nutrients do not appear to transfer to the ovaries. Freshly caught, raw cuttlefish has a unique stickiness that is entwined with the tongue, which is not found in frozen ones, and freshly caught kisslip cuttlefish from April to June can truly taste the raw season.
The raw kiss lip cuttlefish mantle fish meat was commercialized by the following process.
|Work to remove the thin skin of kisslip cuttlefish|
１，Scrape off two hard protrusions (which I arbitrarily named the nipple) that make contact with the internal organs inside the mantle.
|４，Turn the front and back over, and turn up the thin skin on the front side toward the triangular part, starting from the part cut with the yanagiba knife.|
|２，Remove the thin skin to every corner by rubbing the inner surface with a dry towel.||５，In particular, if you leave the thin skin of a large kisslip cuttlefish, it will have a hard texture, so remove the thin skin of the whole as much as possible.|
|３，Leave a part of the wide surface of the mantle, and use a Yanagi knife to make a shallow, diagonal cut to a depth that leaves a thin skin.||
Kisslip cuttlefish with thin skin removed
Next is the sashimi and sushi work process.
|Work process of sashimi and sushi of kisslip cuttlefish|
|１, Using the width of hitotake (about 8 cm) as a guide, make a saku shape along the muscle fibers from the wide side to the triangular side.||５，Cool the surface of the searing, turn the surface down, and thinly sogitsukuri.|
|２，Cut the front side of the triangular part, which is difficult to make the same size, shallowly at regular intervals using the decorative cut method.||６，Place the apex of the triangular part in front and cut it in the shape of a fan.|
|３，Repeat the decorative cut at an angle that intersects the previous decorative cut.||kisslip cuttlfish seared nigiri sushi|
|４，Searing on the decorative cut surface with a burner.||
Kisslip cuttlefish sashimi (hikitsukuri sashimi, seared sashimi, usutsukuri sashimi)
The value of raw squid and cuttlefish with a sense of transparency
By the way, this month's issue has written about the fresh kisslip cuttlefish that is in season. As mentioned earlier, the fact that the name kisslip cuttlefish has come to refer to foreign-imported cuttlefish in general is sad. Certainly, squids have a high density of muscle fibers, so they are strong in storage in freezing, and even if they are frozen, their physical constitution is not significantly impaired. Therefore, it is understandable that there is no need to be particular about raw squid.
However, it seems difficult to feel the tangled texture of the tongue, which can only be experienced with raw squid, with frozen squid. Many people who dislike squid often hear the opinion that sashimi and sushi made from skinless squid frozen and imported from Southeast Asia "dislike the hard texture that cannot be chewed". The kisslip cuttlefish is originally a thick and firm fish meat, but the raw kisslip cuttlefish caught in the season provides a moderate texture that does not make you feel that. Not limited to kisslip cuttlefish, I would like people who dislike squid to eat fresh raw squid, and maybe their dislike of squid may change.
Around May, the kisslip cuttlefish approaches the shallows of the shore for spawning, and finally the hermaphroditic kisslip cuttlefish entangles and docks males and females, fulfilling the role of spawning and ending a short life of one year. I think that it is never a sin for human beings to enter a part of the life's activities and receive a part of it.
It seems that squid without frozen skin imported from foreign countries is now widespread in the workshops of the fisheries sector. For this reason, it seems that many fisheries managers are reducing the chances of dismantling fresh raw squid that retains its original appearance and still retains its transparency and turning it into sashimi or sushi. I hope this month's kiss lip cuttlefish article will be of some help to those people.
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Date of updating 1 May. 2021