Australian bonito

Australian bonito

Hagatsuo (歯鰹)

[ Seafood Guide ▶ Australian bonito ]

Australian bonito

Bonito is in the mackerel family of fish. Australian bonito is popular for eating and is distributed from the waters of South Australia to Tasmania and Norfolk island. Leaping bonito, which has yellow on the second dorsal and anal fins, and dark spots rather than lines on the dorsal surface. It is caught in small numbers off the coast of NSW. Oriental bonito is commonly caught off Western Australia.

In Season

Available year round, with peaks from March to June, and Leaping bonito is mainly available in spring.

Compared to Japanese bonito

Japanese bonito (katsuo) has two seasons. From spring to summer, the first bonito on the market is called ‘hatsugatsuo’. It is very fresh and great to eat as sashimi.
In autumn ‘modorigatsuo’, which means returning katsuo, are caught. These fish swim a lot during summer then come back, which means they are more fatty and good to eat as tataki (seared).

Producing area prefecture in Japan

Kisen-numa, Miyagi prefecture

Katsuura, Chiba prefecture

Yakitsu, Shizuoka prefecture

Japanese people eat bonito as tataki, why?

We were not allowed to eat bonito as sashimi during the Edo era, because bonito is a delicate fish, the meat is very soft and it easily loses its freshness. But we wanted to eat bonito as fresh as possible, so people in Kochi prefecture, called Tosa, created the dish called tataki. Tataki is not grilled on the inside, it just has a seared surface, it's still fresh but looked like grilled fish so the Japanese government encouraged people to eat it this way.

How to eat it