One of the culinary and seasonal specialties of Wakayama Prefecture is sanma zushi, tasty sushi rice topped with sanma (saury) that is then lightly pressed. Sanma zushi has long been made in the home to enjoy during special occasions, including festivals and the New Year holidays.
Wakayama Prefecture is located on the Kii Peninsula, whose southeast coast faces the Pacific Ocean. The saury from this coast are particularly prized, as the fish have considerable flesh and little extra fat after a vigorous north-to-south autumn migration in the ocean’s cold currents down the coast.
To prepare sanma zushi, the fish is split open, its meat lightly salted, then pickled in yuzu or daidai (citrus) juice before being pressed onto the sushi rice.
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