Sashimi Plate at Tomii (’09/06/22)


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Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Just came from a “quick fix” at Tomii as I was too hungry to continue work! (I’m back at the office right now!)

Just ordered “o-tsukuri/Sashimi plate” as the calories are non-existent (the Missus is preparing dinner!).

FRom top clockwise:
-Madai/Japanese Snapper species
-Aburi Tachiuo/lightly grilled Scabbard Fish
Note the shiso/perilla flowers in between!
-Hata/Grouper
-Murasaki Uni/Violet Sea Urchi from Aomori Prefecture
-Hamo/Pike Conger Eel, lightly boiled
-Aka Ika-Kensaki Ika/Red cuttlefis-Squid
In the middle:
-Mebachi-maguro/ig-eyed Tuna Akami/lean part

I honestly wisjh you were all here!

Cuttlefish/Squid Species 5: Hotaru Ika/Firefly Squid-Sparkling Enope Squid


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Here we go again with this series called “The Jacques Cousteau” upon suggestion by Jaded Fork and forBread + Butter, and Elin who don’t mind being on a long haul! LOL

Sparkling Enope Squid is a name difficult to remember and the translation of the Japanese name, Hotaru Ika/蛍烏賊 or Firefly Squid, certainly holds a better sound and is more adapted to reality.
It is also known as Matsui Ika in Toyama Prefecture.

The Sparkling Enope Squid is found in the Western Pacific ocean at depths of 600 to 1200 feet and exhibits bioluminescence. Each tentacle has an organ called a photophore, which produces light. By flashing these lights, the Sparkling Enope Squid can attract small fish to feed upon.

The Sparkling Enope Squid is the only species of cephalopod in which evidence of color vision has been found. While most cephalopods have only one visual pigment, firefly squid have three, along with a double-layered retina. These adaptations for color vision may have evolved to enable firefly squid to distinguish between ambient light and bioluminescence.

The Sparkling Enope Squid measures about 3 inches long at maturity and dies after one year of life.
The Sparkling Enope Squid can also light up its whole body to attract a mate. The mating season of the Sparkling Enope Squid lasts from March to June.

The fishing season lasts from Spring to Summer. The annual catch varies between 4,500 and 6,500 tonnes.

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They are very popular boiled as a snack or cooked in soy sauce and sake. You can of course cook them in wine or tomato sauce, European-style.

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They are very much much appreciated raw and whole as sashimi or lightly boiled as sushi on nigiri!

Shellfish species 12: Japanese Ivory Shell-Japanese Babylon Shell/Baigai


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Japanese Ivory Shell/Japanese Babylon Shell are known as Bai, Baigai, Isobai in Japanese.
They are just in season now as we see them over the counters from Spring to Summer.
They used to very common and found all over Japan, but unfortuantely too many have been caught or killed by pollution in recent years.
The biggest specimens are caught off Toyama fairly deep where they can attain 15cm length and weigh as much as 300g.

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The most popular way of eating them is to first boil them in water and soy sauce and serve them cold.

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But the Japanese apprecaite them very much raw as sashimi and

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sushi!

There must be a good reason for the Japanese to call them “Kai no Oosama/King of Shelfish”!

Crab Species 4: Japanese Mitten Crab/Mokuzugani


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Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Japanese Mitten Crab or Mokuzugani i Japanese is also called Mokuzou, Zugani, Tsugani or Kegani.
It caught alsmost everywhere in Japan in Autumn and Winter.
In Autumn the females come to lay their eggs at river mouths.
Plenty are found along the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.
They are caught in boxes baited with fish.

As for food, they can be eaten boiled in soups or crushed with their shell and cooked with miso. They could even be prepared as French bisque.

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The female specimens are particularly appreciated for their egg sacs.

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These boiled egg sacs with the meat make for delicious sushi nigiri or gunkan!

Crab Species 3: Japanese Spider Crab/Takaashigani


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Takaashigani/高足が二, literally meaning “Tall Legs Crab” is the largest crab in the and is caught almost only around Japan especially in the Suruga Bay In Shizuoka Prefecture and Izu Islands, but numbers of the crab have diminished over recent years, and there are many efforts to protect them. In Shizuoka Prefecture, people even help them grow from the eggs before returning them to the sea!

Fully grown it can reach a leg span of almost 4 m (13 ft), a body size of up to 37 cm (15 inches) and a weight of up to 20 kg (44 lb). The crab’s natural habitat is on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean (some 300 to 400 m deep) around Japan, where it feeds on dead animals and shellfish. It is believed to have a life expectancy of up to 100 years.

The Japanese spider crab has 10 legs. The front two legs have been adapted into claws. It has an orange body with white spots on its thin legs. In males, the limbs on which the claws are located become longer than its other limbs, and a large male can widen them to more than 3 m. The oval-shaped and vertically rounded shell can reach 30 cm in width and can be up to 40 cm long. The compound eyes are situated on the front, and two thorns stick out between them. Younger specimens feature hair and thorns on the shell, and their frontal horns are longer, but these gradually atrophy as the crab ages.

In Japan it is considered a delicacy and prices can easily jump!
The Japanese spider crab is caught using small trawling nets, and is often eaten salted and steamed.

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Interestingly enough, when bolied/steamed, not only the shell but also the flesh turns red.

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They do make for impressive sushi!

Crab Species 2: Red King Crab/Tarabagani


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Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Tarabagani or Red King Crab is caught in Autumn and Winter.
It is the most coveted of the commercially sold king crab species, and is the most expensive per unit weight. It was named after the colour it turns when it is cooked rather than the colour of a living animal, which tends to be more burgundy.

Red king crabs can be very large, sometimes reaching a carapace width of 11 in (28 cm) and a leg span of 6 ft (1.8 m) [2]. It is most commonly caught in the Bering Sea and Norton Sound, Alaska, and is particularly difficult to catch, but is nonetheless one of the most preferred crabs for consumption.

The King Crab is native to the Bering Sea, north Pacific Ocean, around the Kamchatka Peninsula and neighbouring Alaskan waters.
In Japan it is caught in the Japan Sea and neighbouring Okhotsk Sea.

In Japan 100 tonnes are caught every year, whereas 40,000 tonnes are imported, mainly from Russia!

There are so many way to enjoy this great crab!
Here are a few examples:

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Boiled as Sushi Nigiri of course!

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Even more extravagant, raw as sushi nigiri!

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Just plain boiled on a bowl of freshly steamed rice. My favourite for its extravagant simplicity!

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As Chirashizushi should please anyone!

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And how about a great soup with miso!

Naturally, there are more ways, including grilling!
I will leave it to your imagination! LOL

Cuttlefish/Squid Species 4: Surume Ika/Japanese Common Squid-Pacific Flying Squid


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Here we go again with this series called “The Jacques Cousteau” upon suggestion by Jaded Fork and forBread + Butter, and Elin who don’t mind being on a long haul! LOL

Surume Ika or Japanese Common Squid/Pacific Flying Squid is also called by regional names of Ma Ika, Matsu Ika or Kanzegi.

It caught off the shores of Northern Japan and south of Kyushu Island.
Catches tend to vary widely.
The Japanese squid can live anywhere from 5° to 27°C, and tend to inhabit the upper layers of the ocean. They are short lived, only surviving about a year.
The fishing season for the Japanese flying squid is all year round, but the largest and most popular seasons are from January to March, and again from June to September. Gear used to catch the Japanese flying squid is mainly line and hook, lift nets, and gill nets, the most popular method being hook and line used in jigging.
Most of it is turned into various pickled or dried cuttle fish/squid products.
It is also much appreciated broiled or simmered.

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It is quite popular as a simple sushi nigiri,

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or slightly boiled with “tare” sauce.