Aji | Atlantic Horse Mackerel

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Name Atlantic Horse Mackerel
Other name Jack Mackerel
Latin name Trachurus trachurus
Japanese name アジ Aji
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Carangidae
Species T. trachurus
Genus Trachurus

Flavor & Texture
Atlantic Horse mackerel is not the same fish with Japanese Horse Mackerel (Trachurus Japonicus). However, some people call the same name. Atlantic horse mackerel meat has more tender compare to other mackerels, slightly crunchy, and meaty. The original taste of atlantic horse mackerel is fishy, strong flavor, and unwanted smell. The uncooked meat has pretty color; white clear to slightly pink. Dark pink when it closes to the skin. Sushi chef should known how to handle this fish.

The biggest size is 64 cm with the weight at least 1.6 kg. The common size is 25-40cm with the weight between 0.2-0.6 kg. Some sushi restaurant sell spanish mackerel as horse mackerel because it has more value.

Caught mainly in Tasmanian coastal water, around Iceland to Senegal, Black sea, and sometimes they are accidentaly caught in US area near Florida. Horse mackerel can be caught by gill netting or single rod. They live in marine area, and schooling over continental and margin. They stay in between 500m depth. They are available year around.

Sushi Preparation
Preparation of the fish including how to filet is not hard. Similar with other mackerels preparation, it needs some attention in take out the bone and skin. Hard skin should be removed because it has chewy texture. Soft skin is fine to be eaten. Some sushi chef prefers to leave a little soft skin for presentation reason.

Mackerel family is perilous to serve raw because mackerel contains larvae and parasites. The popular way to prepare is salt them or soak them in vinegar for few hours.

Marinated with sushi rice vinegar or apple vinegar also will reduce the fishy taste. Other option is slightly torch or burned, however, these ways may increase the fishy taste and change the texture.

Low level of mercury. Good protein source.
Higher calories, fat and sodium compare to other mackerel.

Nutrition Fact 100 grams +3.5 oz
Calories 205
Protein (g) 19
Fat (g) 14
Saturated fat (g) 3
Sodium (mg) 90
Cholesterol (mg) 70
Potassium (mg) 0
Carbohydrate (g) 0
Source of information:

Wikipedia, Australian Seafood, self nutirion data, the Zen of Fish


Aji - horse mackerel sushi. Sushi Yasuda, NYC

Left to right: Horse Mackerel (Aji), Herring (kohada), Spanish Mackerel (sawara). thedeliciouslife.com    

A tiny note:

The review about the taste above is a general review. There is no fish taste the same. The weather, size, quality, the source of the fish and how the sushi chef prepare them are important aspects to the taste and texture. We try to write as accurate as possible. Therefore, we are looking forward to the reader to participate in the discussion/comment to add/adjust/revise those review. Please mention when, where and specific detail how you review the fish.