This Aji should not be confused with the South American hot sauce named “Aji”.
Ají amarillo chili, is the Caribbean word for chili and or peppers that the Spanish colonizers extended to most of Central and South America. Typically associated with Peruvian cuisine.
This Aji is from the sea from Japan, and is nothing to compare to any other imported Aji of it’s type and size. Aji has delicious, oily flesh with lots of omega-3 and is powered by amino acids. It is always topped with ginger, small green onion and mixed with some small red spice and shoyu. It is a perfect combination and what is amazing is, this combination is meant to complement each taste, and not hide any flavors = “a balanced mouthful”. Too often in the west, fish is masked by other ingredients and here just the opposite.
Unlike any other fish, the name “Aji” a homonym for “taste.” The character with which it is written combines the formal character for “three” with “fish,” indicating that it was traditionally caught in the third month.
While I was in Hokkaido, I tasted a local Aji, which surprised me, as I never knew that it can grow as much as 40 cm. I am used to the smaller 13 cm size fish, seen below. Aji is very tasty because its diet consists of crustaceans, shrimps and small fishes.