Shishamo (柳葉魚, literally "Willow Leaf Fish"), or Spirinchus lanceolatus, is an anadromous fish (smelt) native to Hokkaido, Japan.[1]

Edible grilled shishamo
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Osmeriformes
Family: Osmeridae
Genus: Spirinchus
S. lanceolatus
Binomial name
Spirinchus lanceolatus
(Hikita, 1913)

Description edit

This fish averages 15 centimeters in length, with a maximum recorded length of 70 cm.[1] It is generally dark on the back with a silver-white underside.

Etymology edit

The fish is said to resemble a willow leaf, and its Japanese name reflects this; shishamo, is derived from the Ainu name for the same fish, susam, which is supposed to be derived from a compound of Ainu susu "willow" + ham "leaf", hence its name in Chinese characters (柳葉魚 jukujikun, where the characters have no phonetic relation to the word).[2][3][4]

Food use edit

In Japanese cuisine, this fish is grilled or fried whole and served with its roe intact.

Due to declining catches in recent years, attempts have been made to commercially farm the fish in Japan.[5]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Spirinchus lanceolatus summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  2. ^ "第22話 北海道にしかいない魚「シシャモ」". 地方独立行政法人北海道立総合研究機構. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  3. ^ "アイヌ伝説 神からの贈りもの【ししゃも】". APNA食品図鑑. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  4. ^ "鵡川ししゃも「楊の葉に命を与えたのは神様」". 北海道むかわ町. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  5. ^ Tokunaga, Saki (2014-01-13). "Fish expert farming rare 'shishamo'". The Japan Times Online. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 2019-04-09.