Lobster: Basic Sashimi Preparation

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To answer Christina’s question (visit her great blog at Lobster Queen!) who asked if a lobster could be eaten raw, here is the basic recipe for preparing it.
Note that lobsters are fine, but spiny lobsters are best, especially small/medium specimens!


The lobster should be still alive before you start proceeding.
First clean the live lobster under running clear cold water.
Note that live lobsters are very “lively”!


Use a short and sharp wide blade knife.
Maintaining the lobster securely in one hand, stab the lobster with the knife point deeply just behind the head at a slant forward.


You should be able to easily twist the tail away from the head.


Put the head aside (will come onto the plate later).


Turn tail over and cut bewteen soft underbelly part and hard shell part.


Cut along both sides.


You should be able to easily pull out the underbelly shell. If you have problems pulling it out, insert a spoon between the shell and the flesh.
Should come out easily then.


Pull the flesh out the shell.
Peel off the thin brown skin and discard.


First cut tail flesh lengthwise through the middle.
Take innards out and discard.
Ten cut the flesh across into one bite size (small size by European/American standards!).


Drop into iced water and clean off the sticky juices. As the flesh will turn white if you leave it in the water too long, this process should not last more than 1 minute!


Take water off in kitchen paper.


Using the shell (cleaned in cold running water and wiped), arrange sashimi as above. Very easy!
You will find out that the flesh is sweet.
A little wasabi and soy sauce (ponzu is even better) is all you need!

Sushi Rice: The Recipe Basics

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


Vegan Sushi at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

I’ve been asked for some time about the secrets of making sushi rice, or “shari/シャリ in Japanese, but actually there are no real secrets, only a method.
The following recipe is professional and involves a large volume. Think of a sushi party before preparing it. There are simpler versions (the Missus is particularly good at it!) and I’ll be glad to reply to enquiries!
The advantage of this recipe is that it will fit the needs of vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. It is also open to a lot of variations. Read the notes at the end!

-Check the pics for the tools you will need, or their subsitutes.
-I do not explain the rice steaming itself. I assume you Know how to steam rice.
Note: a simple trick to add taste to your rice: steam with a piece of konbu/昆布/seaweed!


-Rice: 3 “go”/540 cc/2.7 cups. A “go” is a traditional measure in Japan: 180 cc.

Sushi Stock (about 120 cc/0.6 cup):
-White sugar: 55 g
-Salt: 18 g
-Rice vinegar: 82 cc/0.82 cup
Mix all above ingredients until dissolved and keep ready.


Steam the rice to slightly harder than usual. Drop inside wooden sushi bowl/飯台/handai (keep in mind to humidify the bowl with clean water before using!)


While the rice is still hot (important!) pour sushi stock all over it.
A technique is to hold the wooden rice spoon/しゃもじ/hamoji over the rice and pour the stock onto it for better uniformity.
“Cut” through rice with wooden sushi spoon/shamoji.


After having made “cuts” through the rice, mix quickly (this is probably the most important step!). As the stock will flow down, mix from bottom to top, scooping the rice and flipping it over.


Scoop rice and drop it on top and “cut” through.


When mixing the rice, bear in mind that overmixing will result into sticky rice. Just “cut” through and mix. It should take only a minute. Next spread the rice and cool it with a hand held traditional fan/うちわ/uchiwa for 10 seconds.


By cooling the rice with a fan/uchiwa, it will allow for an even expansion of the vinegar. Turn rice over once more and fan it for 10 more seconds.
If you use the rice at once, it will get sticky. Leave it covered with a humid and clean cloth for a couple of hours.
Don’t forget to clean the wooden bowl with clean water after usage!

-The type and brand of rice, vinegar, sugar and salt will all play into the taste. Investigate and experiment!
Depending upon the region, sushi rice will taste vastly different in Japan.
In Tokyo, it will taste almost sour, while it will appear sweet here in Shizuoka.
You may use brown sugar instead of white sugar for a different colour.
But it will be easier to make a mistake in taste balance!
The same if you want to introduce a little soy sauce in the stock!

Local Sushi & Sashimi only at Ginta!

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The particularity of Ginta, a minuscule sushi restaurant located near the harbour of Yui in the eastern part of Shizuoka City is that it proposes sushi and sashimi plates from fish exclusively caught in Suruga Bay only a few miles and fathoms from the very shore!

The other day I convinced the Missus to pay Ginta a belated (for me as it was a first for her) visit and sample the fish of the moment.

Iforgot to say that the prices are ridiculously low when taking the quality and rarity in consideration!

The “Jizakana/Local Fish” set of 8 above is priced at 1,800 yen/ 19 US $!

Here is a description of the sushi (Picture above):

Above, from left to right:
-Tora Fugu/a popular species of globefish, served pre-seasoned (no need to dip it in the soy sauce)
-Hanadai/A kind of grouper, served pre-seasoned
Mr. Hara actually deep-fries the scales of that particular fish before inserting them under the slice of raw fish!
-Tachiuo/Scabbard Fish, v
-Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps, served in “gunkan” style.

Bottom, from left to right:
-Kurodai/another kind of grouper
-Kurozawa Aji/Saurel caught in Kurozawa area, next to Yui.
-Kose/a purely local fish also called “kushikinme or goso (in Numazu City). It is apparently a local variety of grouper.


Having enjoyed kose for the first time, we decided to order it as a full sashimi plate.
A real beauty: firm, almost crisp, not a hint of “fishy taste” and absloutely delicious!

No wonder customers come all the way from Tokyo!
Now, the advantage I have on such customers is that Mr. Hara is so enthusiastic sharing his knowledge with local patrons!

421-3111 Shizuoka Shi, Shimizu Ku, Yui cho, Imajuku, 165. (get off at Yui Station and walk to your right. Only a few minutes away)
Tel.: 0543-75-3004
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Closed on Tuesdays
Reservations on the telephone recommended!

Sashimi Plate at Tomii (’09/07/31)

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Visited Tomii last night for the first time in three weeks. It was about time I sampled one of their sashimi plates!

No fussing needed, will just explain:

Top: Amaebi/sweet shrimps

Center: Hirame/Sole. Kanpachi/Amberjack, Toro/Tuna fatty part

Bottom: Akami/Tuna lean part, Hirame engawa/Sole “verandah” (actually this is the border flesh that is usually thrown away abroad!), Aka Ika/Red squid, Sanma/Mackerle pik-Saury

Notice the shiso/perilla flowers!

What did I drink with that?
Hakuin Masamune Yamahai by Takashima Shuzo in Numazu City, a sake getting national recognition these days!

Whalemeat: The Bare Truth

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Following some insistent queries, I felt it was about time to publish my thoughts again about whalemeat!

One can easily eat whale meat at Sushi Restaurants In Shizuoka Prefecture or even buy it directly at supermarkets.


Most of it comes from Mink and Sperm Whales/Mako Kujira.
Whale meat should not be confused with Iruka/Dolphins whose meat has appeared on Japanese tables since times immemorial. It concerns an entirely different taste and cooking.

Whale meat can be appreciated in various forms:


“Kujira Tataki”, that is whale meat cooked in small cuts ready for sashimi.


“Kujira Salad”, including Whale Tartare and Carpaccio.


“Kuijra Seikyoyaki”, a Japanese way of cooking and serving cut to be eaten with hot rice, or even instead of a beef steak.


“Kujira Karaage”, or deep-fried whale meat, great with sake!


As Sushi, it does come in many guises to accomodate various parts.
Each region has its own traditional ways and presentations.
Incidentally, whale meat is safer than any meat from land animal, as it is purely biological!


Setting the record straight:

I fully understand this article will not be appreciated by some people, but do not expect me to apologize for whatever reasons!
I would like to to remind short memories that whales were practically decimated from (under) the surface of this world in the 19th Century by US and European whalers (including French Basques as I had to remind my own brother!) for their oil used in lamps. Once the fat was collected the remains were dumped back into the sea.

When the US in particular realised that they were quickly running out, they pushed for mineral oil exploitation with the economical and political consequences we are still suffering from. In short the overkilling of whales is the direct cause and link to wars in the Middle East.

Last but not least, who and what was Commodore Perry after all?
A whaler! The US had had promoted a common whaler captain to the grand rank of Commodore for the political and diplomatic needs of the time as he happened to ply his trade in nearby seas (I mean in the vicinity of Japan)!

I mentioned that whale meat is safer than beef. Incidentally, who practically exterminated bisons as a policy for driving Indians (Amerindians) out of the way and now makes a big deal of protecting them?



I once was accused of trying to get attention, being told in the process that whalemeat was not sold in my Prefecture.
Here is what is on sale at Parche, the largest Supermarket in Shizuoka City.


Whale bacon is available all year.
Reading the label, it said the whales wre caught in Northwestern Pacific. Bacon is very popular here and can be eaten at izakaya.


Plenty of dolphin meat is avalaible. This particularly came from Gunma Prefecture.
Dolphin meat is regularly served at Primary School lunches in Shizuoka Prefecture. The meat comes from dolphins who were accidentally caught in nets, or culled because of growing numbers (like hunters do with deer in the US)

Last question: What do the Inuit think of the US and Canada limiting or depriving them of their livelihood?

Sashimi Plate at Tomii (’09/07/01)

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


(Courtesy of Melinda Joe)

Last week, Wednesday, I had the occasion to sample a plate of sashimi at my favourite Japanese Restaurant, Tomii, in Shizuoka City after accompanying Melinda Joe at Aoshima Brewery in Fujieda City during her Japan Times interview.

Can you recognize any of the sashimi?

Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Waiting for your answers! LOL

Cuttlefish/Squid Species 6: “Japanese lesser” Varieties

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Inedible Lesser Variety!: Giant Squid

Here is the last article on 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

By “Japanese lesser” I mean species both more difficult to find on markets, more local and not as appreciated as the former five varieties.
Howeve these should looked over as they are still good enough for the finnicky Japanese and appreciated as rarities!






























If you have any questions, don’t hesitate!