Ise ebi (Japanese spiny lobster)

84468609_m (1)

Best eaten: As sashimi
One of the most precious gifts of the sea, the Ise ebi is named after the Ise Bay, where it is caught in huge quantities. The peak season for this crustacean is from October to January, when its almost-transparent meat is especially firm and sweet, and dishes starring this luxurious seafood can be found on the menus of upmarket restaurants. At its freshest, it is served as sashimi, but is also delicious steamed in sake or grilled teppanyaki-style before your eyes. Often, it is served with its ornamental, bright-red shell, making for a truly Instagram-worthy snap.