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>春子鯛 kasugodai, young seabream vs. 血鯛 chidai, crimson seabream

(Moved from March 12, 2010)

Talk about ephemeral.

Fish equivalent of young spring chicken, likened to cherry blossom, pink-tinged kasugodai (or sakuradai) the young sea bream/snapper is only available in spring (March/April).

kasugo (春子 "spring child") + tai (鯛) = kasugodai (春子鯛)
sakura (桜 "cherry blossom") + tai (鯛) = sakuradai (桜鯛)

Incidentally, fully grown crimson seabream, Evynnis japonica, chidai (血鯛, チダイ, ちだい, "blood tai"), stays relatively small, and can also be called kasugodai. This pink and bright red beauty resembles madai but doesn't grow as big. So popular, she goes by numerous names. Hanadai (花鯛, ハナダイ, はなだい, "flower" tai), dekodai (デコ鯛 , デコダイ, でこだい, "forehead" tai), hidai (ヒダイ), chikodai (血子鯛, チコダイ, ちこだい)...
Grocery Trekker, not a fish expert, can't possibly attempt to cover all the bream and porgy varieties here. See for yourself in this Wikipedia page. Scroll down to "主な「鯛」", and that just covers main (主な) tai (鯛). But we hope to bring you more when we happen to notice them on restaurant menus here in America.

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