Mebaru, or the black rockfish, is the King of Nitsuke-Boil

Mabaru no Nitsuke

In Japan, fish are eaten in a variety of cooking styles, such as sashimi (raw), shioyaki (grilled with salt), nitsuke (boiled) and so on throughout the year. Mebaru literally means “popped-out eyes”. It looks as so. Despite its strange face, its meat is firm and flavorful when provided as nitsuke. The best season for mebaru is winter as its meat stores fat and becomes richer in flavor. We eat all of the fish meat until it becomes skeletonized, by using chopsticks and chewing the bones. This is called “nekomatagi”, which literally means “strode over by a car”. It is said to have this name because even cats stride across and pay no attention to the fish bones as there is no meat left.

Hodumi-tei, Uwajima, Ehime, Japan