Shishamo (smelt fish)

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Shishamo is prized for the tiny eggs that fill its body

Best eaten: Whole and grilled
For just two weeks in autumn, shishamo, or literally “willow leaf fish” can be eaten raw, making it one of the most prized catches of the season. Native to Japan, the finger-sized fish can only be found along the Pacific coast of Hokkaido and shishamo fishing is allowed only in October and November. It is usually grilled and eaten whole, together with its delicate bones, head and tail. Tiny eggs fill the entire fish with a pleasant grainy texture and light sweetness, making it a sought-after delicacy.