Kagawa prefecture products

Ikanago (Japanese sand lance)

Photo of sand lance

The Ikanago is a small silvery-white fish with an elongated body shape and a lower jaw that is longer than its upper jaw. It is often caught from winter to spring, and hibernates in the summer. From the beginning of February, when the fish start to grow fat and plump after spawning, the 10cm-long parent fish called "furuse" are caught, and in March, when spring arrives, the newborn "shinko" are caught.

Seasonal season
Time to go around Peak season (seasonal season)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Main production area
Bisan Seto
  • Ikanago don’t stay fresh for long, so they need to be processed and cooked quickly. After the “furuse” is landed, it goes directly to the processing plant where it is boiled in salt to make <i>kama-age</i>, before being sold in stores. Close to the fishing grounds, one can enjoy the fresh ikanago in a variety of ways; as tempura, topped with egg, and more. Of course,with its small size, <i>kama-age</i> ikanago can be eaten whole, and doing so gives it a unique crunchy texture and flavor. It is also a good source of calcium. Recently, the newborn “shinko” are sent directly to processing factories to be used for kugini (Japanese sand lance simmered in soy sauce, mirin etc) but some fisherman’s cooperatives sell them directly to the public at certain times of year.

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