October 3, 2007

The $150 (per pound) Keiji Salmon

keiji.jpgKeiji which translates to “infant salmon” is a delicacy in Japan. Only one or two keiji are found in 10,000 caught salmon (not an exaggeration). Salmon grow up in the ocean until they are fully matured and they are caught on their way back to the rivers to mate. In rare instances, young and sexually underdeveloped salmon from the ocean will follow the adults back to the rivers. These keiji salmon are very high in fat content but with a lighter texture compared to fat in adult salmon. The oils of the keiji salmon are known to be sweeter, and do not have the slightest fishy scent.

A normal salmon consists of 2~15% fat where a keiji have 20~30% all around which is similar to tuna belly (toro). Though toro is the king of all sushi ingredients, it can be found in all blue fin tuna in small amounts and it is frequently available at sushi restaurants, although at high prices. On the other hand, the scarcity and unpredictable nature of keiji is a delicacy that money can’t always buy.  

[Via Sanriku Toritate Fish Market]


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