Japan, of course, is not only a country of sushi and sashimi.
Being an island nation in a long archipelago, ocean currents are diverse, therefore just like the underwater environment, and has nurtured many different kinds of seafood. This has given rise to a variety of ways of cooking fish in each region, and the history of consumers valuing the individuality of the fish has provided the background for the development of high-tech distribution over the past several decades, supporting an environment in which fish in excellent condition can be found on the cutting boards of urban chefs.
Even in such a sea food archipelago, "Akashi sea bream" is a brand of white fish that is said to be the best in Japan. Facing the Seto Inland Sea, Akashi's waters are known for their fast tides, firming up the fish's meat, and for their abundance of crustaceans, the food that supports the sea bream's refined flavor. The sea bream landed there can only be handled by specific brokers, and the quality of the fish is strictly controlled.
The Akashi Port's auction is a style rarely seen in other ports around the country, in which fish are floated one by one on a platform and then competed for. This may be the pride of the Akashi sea bream brand.
Chef Aihara of Simplicité, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Daikanyama, Tokyo, known for his delicate French cuisine, is one of the chefs in the world who use Akashi sea bream in the most contemporary ways. This clip shows how Chef Aihara, who usually prepares fish that has been aged for 3 to 4 days, personally visited Akashi to prepare Momiji-DAI (Autumn Leaf Dorade), which has become more flavorful in the autumn, to see if it was ready.
Chef Aihara is aware that he can only bring out the best in his fish by aging it to bring out its best flavor when the fish is fresh and in the best condition.
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