When people think of sashimi, salmon comes to mind incredibly often. In most people’s minds, salmon is heavily associated with Japanese culture as this fish often appears in imagery of sushi and sashimi alike. However, it’s not commonly known that salmon isn’t often eaten in Japan as it is considered quite expensive.
This is due to the fact that a large majority of Japan’s salmon is in fact imported from Norway! The history began when Norway started farming salmon for worldwide distribution in the 1970s, and it was an incredibly successful initiative, as it had accounted for more than 400,000 tons of salmon. However, things took a slight turn in 1989 as Norway realized that they had just far too many fish! Even though they were exporting, they couldn’t find just enough customers to buy their salmon. The problem was so significant they even started to freeze salmon!
However, at the same time, Japan was starting to lose its self sufficiency with seafood, only supplying 50% of its demand, despite being one of the most fish-consuming countries in the world. And thus, it began opening its market to foreign seafood suppliers, and Norway saw an opportunity.
“Project Japan” was launched in 1986 by the Norwegian fisheries minister. The end goal was to export all kinds of fish abroad, raw salmon included. However even when Norway advertised their salmon attractively to convince them to buy salmon, due to the fact that salmon wasn’t a part of Japanese culinary habits, it was rejected. Nevertheless, they persisted.
They targeted a Japanese company that was popular for selling frozen foods, convinced them to purchase and distribute 5,000 metric tons of salmon exclusively for sushi in the country in 1992. The breakthrough happened, and salmon entered the Japanese market.
However, to this day in Japan, salmon is still considered a luxurious fish that’s not often eaten in day to day life. Because of the story above, we now know that Japan does not produce their own salmon and that’s why they are so expensive in Japan. Nevertheless, it remains an iconic part of sushi and sashimi imagery, and many people still crave for a taste of salmon sushi or sashimi.
Luckily, Singapore imports salmon, high quality and fresh from Norway! Air flown salmon from Norway are assured in quality while still remaining true to the Japanese recipes. You can enjoy this kind of salmon at Sakae Sushi. As Singapore tightens its Covid-19 restrictions until June 13 2021, you can always receive tasty salmon at your doorstep by ordering online through our website, here.