Release | Minako Takada
This is the delicious "Gokko" (or Smooth Lumpsucker) which is caught and brought to shore in southern Hokkaido. Recently we've introduced sculpin and white peril fish, but today's introduction might be the best of all!
The best part, Gokko is currently in season! So if you visit Hokkaido any time soon you're sure to find it on many menus across the island.
In fact, the winter season is the only time that this fish can be caught, as it swims up into the shallows to spawn during the cold weather.
Many fish fanatics aren't sure how to prepare and enjoy the Gokko, but it really isn't hard. You may be surprised to find out that the bones of the fish are edible as well! Let me give you a simple run through of the preparation.
First we remove the slimy coating from the fish with boiling water.
This makes the meat quite firm, as well as making the fish easier to handle.
Inside the female fish you'll find a ton of eggs. This makes them more expensive than the male fish, sometimes twice as much!
The male fish's milt is creamy and delicious. The combination of tastes of both male and female fish make great soup or hot pot dishes.
The skin and bones of the fish are soft and easy to cut. Generally you will find the suction pads (which have replaced the fins) and the face (which doesn't work in broths) removed before cooking in some areas however, these are left on and the fish is enjoyed whole.
Here is some Gokko soup in a miso base.
You can clearly see the thick layer of gelatin in this piece of fish which is very rich in collagen.
Be sure to chew the small eggs well!
The better you chew the better the taste, as each egg is packed with delicious flavor.
The fish contains a large amount of DHA as well, which can help prevent Alzheimer's disease.
This fish is hard to find in supermarkets, but is delicious and easy to prepare. So the next time you go shopping be sure to keep an eye out!
In cooperation with 万両鮮魚店 (Manryou Fresh Fish Shop).
(Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Megane)