Engawa vs. Hirame vs. Karei: Japanese Flounders
As you know, Engawa (えんがわ) is a popular sushi topping from a Japanese flounder called Hirame (ヒラメ) or Karei (カレイ).
The ingredient was actually named after its shape resembling a corridor on the outer side of traditional Japanese houses called Engawa (縁側).
Engawa vs. Hirame vs. Karei
Engawa is the flounder’s muscle part for moving the fin, and Hirame and Karei are representative varieties of the flatfish often seen in Japan.
Hirame and Karei are very similar in appearance, and it’s hard to tell them apart if you are unfamiliar.
Hirame is actually a left-eyed flounder with a big mouth and sharper teeth than Karei, and that is because it mainly eats fish.
Hirame is a luxury flatfish generally pricier than Karei. Its Engawa is light-tasting with a more crunchy texture, as the fish has strong muscles.
The Engawa offered by traditional Japanese sushi restaurants is usually from this flounder.
On the other hand, Karei is a right-eyed flounder with a small mouth, as it mainly eats invertebrates.
Karei is not aggressive and fatty compared to Hirame, and in many cases, the Engawa served in Kaiten (conveyor-belt) sushi restaurants is from this flounder.