Gyoniku Sausage: Classic Japanese Fish Sausage
Typically using pork and beef, sausage is made, but in Japan, there is one whose main ingredient is fish.
Gyoniku Sausage (魚肉ソーセージ)
The Japanese sausage is generally called “Gyoniku Sausage (魚肉ソーセージ)” or literally “Fish Sausage” as the word “Gyoniku (魚肉)” means fish meat in Japanese. It was first created in 1949 and afterward popularized.
The classic Japanese sausage Gyoniku Sausage is made from 50 to 60% ground surimi fish paste, typically from walleye pollack or Alaska pollock, mixed with lard, seasonings, and spices, and the mixture is packed in a plastic casing and heated.
Gyoniku Sausage is also known as Sakana or Osakana Sausage. As you may know, while “Sakana (さかな, 魚)” means fish in Japanese, the word “O (お)” in “Osakana (おさかな)” is the prefix for making a polite expression. Incidentally, the pictured fish sausage from Nissui has the name “Osakana Sausage (おさかなソーセージ)”.
The product from Nissui contains a long, somewhat thick fish sausage packed in an orange-colored plastic casing, and by tearing a notch you can easily cut open the plastic casing. At a glance, the sausage inside looks like a Vienna sausage, but its main ingredient is fish.
In fact, as you can see in the ingredient list, the first ingredient of the Nissui’s Osakana sausage is fish and other ingredients include wheat protein paste, starch, soybean protein powder, vegetable fat and oil, sugar, salt, brewed vinegar, onion extract, spices, bonito extract, yeast extract, amino acids, bone calcium, and colors (Cape jasmine, tomato lycopene).
As for the taste, Gyoniku Sausage isn’t fishy at all but really easy to eat. I think if you didn’t know what it is, you might think it is a pork sausage. Nonetheless, the texture of Japanese fish sausage is usually softer and smoother than that of pork sausages.
How to Eat
Gyoniku Sausage is eaten either as it is or after baking as a snack, and the fish sausage is often used in fried vegetables or with bread.
Where to Buy
Gyoniku Sausage is one of the most common and beloved sausages in Japan, so the fish sausage is available in most supermarkets and convenience stores around the country. What is better, despite its deliciousness, the O-Sakana Sausage is generally inexpensive compared to pork sausages.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 魚肉ソーセージ )