Sushi Restaurant: Sushi Ko (’09/09/25)


The Japan Blog List

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

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Last night, I took two of my students to Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City to introduce them to the highest quality for the best value sushi in town.
Most sushi restaurants in Japan do not advertize their prices, whereas Sushi Ko does so expcept for the sashimi of thday, which are nonetheless of very good value.

Moreover they serve local seafood whenever possible, and seasonl one only. You do not visit Sushi Ko to fill yourself with cheap fat rolls, but to appreciate healthy top class sushi and sashimi.

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My students, being both ladies. we ordered a Chablis bottle to start.
Halfway, I ordered for myself a glass of succulent Shizuoka Sake, “Shosetesu/正雪 brewed by Kansawagawa Brewery (located in Yui, one of the best spots for fihing in the Prefecture!).
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Sashimi: Katsuo/bonito, Shimaaji/Stripde Jack and Kinmedai/plendid alfonsino

Since the last time I visited the place in June with the Missus, the seasonal fish haven’t changed that much yet and we almost ordered the same.
We started with a plate of sashimi consisting of katsuo/bonito, shimaaji/striped jack (a variety of saurel) and kinmedai/plendid alfonsino (a variety of grouper) all caught off Shizuoka’s shores!

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Next we ordered a “tennen-aji” a saurel caught in the wild as a tataki/Japanese-style tartare served with the rest of the fish.

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The fish being extremely fresh, its bones and head were later served deep-fried/karaage!

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Then, it was for the Sushi Ko classics:
Sushi Millefeuille with maguro/tuna, kyuuri/cucumber, avocado adn topped with tobikko/flying fish roe!

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Piri kara hotate maki/spicy scallops roll. A superlative roll made with with finely cut scallops, tobikko, chili pepper, finely chopped leeks and peanuts with mayonnaise and what else.
A must at Sushi Ko!

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A plate of vegan sushi!

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The last order is unfortunately going to creat consternation among some of my friends in the US: kujira/whalemeat seasoned with a little salt and a good amount of goma a bura/sesame oil without any siy sauce. Succulent!

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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Seasonal Fishes 14: Buri/Yellowtail


The Japan Blog List

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

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As explained in a precedent posting on Kampachi we are just between two distinct seasons for Buri/鰤 or Yellowtail, as Hiramasa or young Yellowtail is caught in Summer and Buri/Mature Yellowtail is caught in Winter.

How do you recognize them apart?

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Buri has a “square chin” as they say in Japanese. Look at the back extremity of the mouth,

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whereas it is more rounded for the hiramasa.

In Japan they are caught south of Hokkaido Island.
They come under many names: Wakashi, Inada, Warasa, Wakana, Hamachi and Mejiro.

Buri/Yellowyail is most popular when caught in rising waters in Winter when called Kan Buri/寒鰤 or “Cold Yellowtail.

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Buri sashimi after light grill/Aburi/炙り

Young Yellowtails are best eaten as sahimi or

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Buri Sushi

or as sushi as they are leaner then.

Older buri, cotaining a lot of fat, are better eaten cooked

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Buri Teriyaki,

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Buri Ara with the whole head, or

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Buri Mopponzu, including innards, especially liver and heart.

In the West of Japan, a New Year Meal cannot be conceived without buri!

Natural Buri catch accounts for 70,000~80,000 tonnes, while human-raised buri accounts for over 130,000 tonnes every year.
Imported buri account for less than 3,000 tonnes.

Seasonal Fishes 13: Kampachi/Amberjack


The Japan Blog List

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

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With the first days of Autumn upon us, Kampachi or Amberjack is appearing on our plates in Japan!

The fish seems to have so many names in any language: Amberjack, Purplish Amberjack, Yellowtail, Greater Yellowtail, and Ruderfish in English, whereas in Japanese it is called Kampachi, Akahana, Kampa, or Shokko among others, not accounting for regional names!.

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It is caught along Central and South Honshu Island, including a lot in Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture!
It is a very popular fish as it happens to come just in between Hiramasa/Young Japanese Amberjack-Five ray Yellowtail in Summer and Buri/Mature Japanese Amberjack-Five Ray Yellowtail in Winter, making a favourite for the season, but bringinga lot of confusion on foreign tables because of the similar names.
Kampachi (Seriola dumerili (Risso) in Latin) and Buri (Seriola quinqueradiata Temminck and Schlegel in Latin) are very similar but their season is different. Beware of scams! Actually the meat looks different.

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Kampachi vs Buri Sushi

Natural Kampachi is quite rare in Japan these days whereas human-raised are plenty.

Kampachi is savoured in many ways: Sashimi & Sushi, Grilled (Yakimono), Simmered (Nizuke), Meuniere and fried.
Choose comparatibely small specimens. Beware of the large cheap specimens!
Ask for a variation in Sushi called “Kampachi Aburi”?kampachi lightly grilled on one side: a beauty!

Seasonal Fish 12: Shirogisu/Sillago


The Japan Blog List

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

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SILLAGO-SHIROGISU

Shirogisu, or Sillago in English probably has as many Japanese names as English names.
The Sillago found along the Japanese shore is also called sillago japonica, Whiting or Smelt-Whiting in english, Shirogisu, Kisu, Magisu and Kisugo in Japanese.

The best specimen in Japan are caught in Fukuoka (Kyushu) and Ehime (Shikoku) prefectures from Spring to Summer.

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Shirogisu sashimi

The greatest part of the sillago catch comes from Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, China and other Asian countries.
Fortunately, here in Shizuoka, we do catch a sizeable amount in Suruga Bay guaranting fresheness in season.

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Shirogisu Sushi

If absolutely fresh, shirohisu/sillago makes for an interesting moresl, the more for it as it is quite rare in this form.

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Sillago Tempura

The most popular way of savouring it is as tempura or breaded and deep-fried, although the fish taste will vary greatly with freshness!

Dinner at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka (’09/08/31)


The Japan Blog List

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

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On Monday August 31st, my birthday, the Missus invited me to our favourite sushi restaurant in Shizuoka City, namely Sushi Ko!
There are many reasons for Sushi Ko to be our favourite sushi restaurant that I have mentioned many a time before: supreme fish and vegetables (and even meat), great side dishes, including cooked dishes, originality, great service and willingness to tackle customers’ challenges! On top that add a great list of sake, shochu and even wines! As for the icing the prices are more than reasonable and clearly indicated!

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As for the drinks I decided to join the Missus (at least for the first and last glasses) in opening a white Chablis from home in Bourgogne, France. Chablis, and Chardonnay as a general rule, goes very well with sushi.

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That did not prevent me from “abandonning” the Missus for a geat sake made in Shizuoka City by a brewery called Masu Ichi! The sake itself is a premium honjozo.

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As a general rule, and this is one of those rare moments we (almost) totally agree on, is to start with the sashimi of the day:
Hon Maguro no Akami/lean part of a wild bluefin tuna and Suzuki/seabass.
Notice the edible shiso/perilla flowers!

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The next sashimi (I ordered that) was Aji no Tataki/saurel tartare from a wild saurel (some of them are also bred in semi-captivity).

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The fish is so fresh that we were later served the all the bones and head deep-fried that you eat like crunchy rice crackers!

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It was then we started serious on the rice.
One of Sushi Ko’s creations you must absolutely ask for are their sushi Millefeuiles! They come with different ingredients according to seasonal avaibility.
This particular one contained Kanpachi/albacore, Kazu no ko/herring roe, o-kaka/seaweed mix, Mitsuba/trefoil leaves and katsu bushi/dried bonito shavings. Succulent!

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Mr. Oda, who is also a keen blogger, then offered us on the house a little creation of his: Ika Tsuru/Cuttlefish Crane. Cute, isn’t it?

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Maguro zuke nigiri is raw tuna (lean part in this case although chu toro and toro can used) marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sake, and mirin (and other secret ingredients varying with each restaurant). Very sweet, you could have it instead of dessert!

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Sakura is raw horsemeat in this case served on nigiri (can be served as sashimi, of course) with a topping made of freshly grated ginger and chopped thin leeks. Very sweet, too! One day I will ask Mr. Oda to prepare me a horsemeat tartare sushi!

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Sushi Ko also has some great sake from other regions to offer such as this Kirinzan from Niigata Prefecture. Although a non-premium sake, it is certainly than a lot of so-called superior sake!

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Although neither of us is vegan, mr. Oda and I have this little game every time of a challenge consisting of a plate featuring at least four vegan sushi.
Here is what the chef came with this time:

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Himenegi/young thin leeks reminscent of French ciboulette.

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Kaiwaredaikon/Japanese radish sprout, lightly boiled and topped with some umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum.

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Betarazuke/daikon lightly pickled in sweet vinegar. In this cases served with a piece of shiso/perilla leaf between the shari/sushi rice and the neta/topping. Some lime skin was grated ontop making for a sweet sophisticated taste!

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Mitsuba/Trefoil: the stems and leaves were slightly boiled and sparated, making for a bicolour combination accentuated by finely cut kyuri/cucumber!

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The Missus who is definitely more carnivorous than I asked for Mr. Oda’s special Niji Maki/Raibow Rolls.
This particular one contained: Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette, Akami/lean tuna, Suzuki/seabass, Sake/salmon, Kaiwaredaikon/Japanese radish sprouts, Ebi/boile shrimp, Kyuri/cucmber and Anago/broiled conger eel!

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We were both still feeling for a “betsubara”/another corner of the stomach to fill and we ordered sanma aburi/Pacific saurel grilled on one side and served with a topping of gated daikon and some soy sauce.

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I naturally asked for more tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette.

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And the Missus ordered her favourite negitoro maki/roll containing minced toro tuna and chopped thin leeks.

We also had miso soup with cockles and a complimentary dessert not pictured here.

I usually do not mention prices, but if you want to know, we paid 180 US $ for the lot including the drinks (there was on more servin of magurozuke)!

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)