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Oct 6, 2009 02:35 PM

Kinmedai in SEA? Kinki?

This linked post explores the confusing nomenclature for the "Golden-eye snapper" or kinmedai, a deep-sea fish that makes for excellent eating:
A few simpy presented slices I had at Kisaku last year may be the best single serving of sashimi I've tried.

Since then, I haven't been able to find it locally, either at the bar or the market. Research indicates its season is Dec-March in Japan, though Kisaku said their fish came from Hawaii, and the fish is reported to have a wide geographic distribution.

Two days ago, I saw a similar looking fish at Mutual sold as sashimi-grade "Yellow-eyed snapper", but the 'monger said it wasn't kinmedai, lising off a number of Japanese and English aliases that I can't recall but none of them matched the reseach I have seen online for kinmedai.

In the linked post, one author suggests that a fish called "kinki" may be even better than kinmedai.

Any leads on either of these? TIA

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  1. I, too, have enjoyed kinmedai many times at Kisaku, but haven't tried to buy it in any of the Seattle fish markets. The naming of fish, both at sushi restaurants and fish markets, is frustratingly all over the board, with lots of different names for the same fish, and in some cases the same name for different kinds of fish. Other than being enough of an expert to recognize the fish by visual inspection (a level of expertise that, in most cases, I don't possess), which is possible only when the whole fish is presented, or use of the scientific name (good luck on that), I don't know of an easy solution to this problem.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tom Armitage

      Completely frustrating. I think the problem has been compounded by the food industry's lame tactic of "rebranding" fish to make them seem more palatable or luxurious. Here's a great story on some recent efforts in the UK, some of which are downright absurd:

      At Mutual Fish, the fishmonger said he thought kinmedai was also known as "fluke", but I'm pretty sure that is not a misnomer that is commonly attempted. He reeled off a couple of Japanese or Hawaiian names that I should have written down but did not.

    2. Umi Sake house sometimes carries kinmedai or kinki, although they charge a premium for these less common items...