Yaki Ago: Grilled Dried Flying Fish Tobiuo
As I mentioned in the previous article, “Yakiago (焼きあご)”, or Yaki Ago is grilled dried flying fish that has become a popular ingredient for ramen broth in recent years in Japan.
Tobiuo and Ago
In Japanese, flying fish is translated as “Tobiuo (トビウオ, 飛魚)”, but in the area spanning from the northern region of the Kyushu island to the Japan Sea side, Tobiuo is sometimes called “Ago (あご)”.
According to this Japanese site, specifically, there are about 20 to 30 species of Tobiuo, or flying fish, inhabiting the oceans near Japan, among which only 2 species can be called Ago.
Although I live in a coastal area on the Japan Sea side of Niigata Prefecture, I actually hadn’t heard of the flying fish called Ago until recently when Ago dashi ramen whose broth is made with Yaki Ago became nationally popular.
Yaki Ago Snack
Nowadays in Japan, Yaki Ago is also available in the form of snacks as shown in the picture of what I bought this time.
These are simple treats made of Yaki Ago flying fish sweetened with sugar. The snack is quite tough, but the more you chew on it, the more the natural umami of the fish comes out and the better it tastes.
If you toast the fish in a toaster oven for some minutes, it becomes tender and easy to eat, but comparing both, I found I prefer eating the snack as it is.
Lastly, let’s see the ingredients. Based on the label on the back of the package, the Japanese Yakiago snack consists of flying fish (Ago), sugar, salt, sorbitol, and seasoning (amino acids).