Sushi: Shizuoka Chirashi Zushi at Ekimae Matsuno Sushi Restaurant!

Shizuoka Chirashi Zuzhi!

Service: Very friendly, attentive and informative
Facilities: Overall clean if a bit old-fashioned
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Mainly local fish and seafood. Local sake. Always ready to improvise!

Chirashi Zushi/散らし寿司 means “Decoration Sushi” in Japanese.
It can be considered as one of the oldest ways to make sushi in Japan!
The great advantage is the total freedom of design and inspiration!

Last Monday after having tasted many sake at the Shizuoka Sake: 2012 Shizuoka Prefecture New Sake Tasting Annual Meet, I and my good friend Marcus Grandon decided we had to eat something to help digest all that sake before we resumed work!
I had been wanting to eat Ekimae Matsunosushi Restaurant’s Shizuoka Chirashizushi lunch for a long time and this was the right occasion!

It is a full lunch indeed with small cockles miso soup.

Also featured are ginger and daikon pickles and a small dessert under the form of home-made kumquat compote!

The Shizuoka Shirashi zushi plate!
Let’s have a closer look and see what we can recognize!

Tuna, tamagoyaki/Jpaanese omelette, Soboro/sweet crumbled omelet, dried sakura ebi/Cherry shrimps, nori/dried seweed.

Tuna, shirasu/boiled sardine whiting, tamagoyaki/omelet/ anago/conger eel, shimesaba/pickled mackerel, dried sakura ebi.

Tuna, freshly grated wasabi, shirasu, tamagoyaki, anago, shimesaba, soboro and nori!

And it is a different offering every day!

To be followed…

EKIMAE MATSUNO SUSHI/駅前松乃寿
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Koya Machi, 3-3 (Just in front of Shizuoka JR Railway Station
Tel.: 054-252-0123
Business hours: 11:00~21:00
Closed on Wednesdays and 3rd Tuesday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Today’s Bento/Lunch Box (12/14): Irish Salmon & Shizuoka Dekopon Sushi Bento!

Using orange with the rice of sushi?
Yes, it is definitely a good idea when you consider it balances the saltiness of the fish so well!

It also makes for beautiful colors!
The Missus having prepared the sushi rice as usual mixed it with chopped parsley and shredded dekopon orange from Mr. Onuma’s Farm!

She then made a well in the middle to provide for a bed of lettuce on which she rested a couple of roses made up with smoked salmon just brought to us by an Irish friend decorated with pink pepper seeeds and lemon.

As for the salad (no need for dessert with all the orange!) box, plenty of boiled of Brussels sprouts, boiled shrimps and cherry tomatoes with a little mayonnaise, and plenty of boiled black beans (for dessert?)

Very colorful and so tasty!

Japanese Gastronomy: Sushi & Sashimi – Eat Local!

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Saurel pike/Aji from Suruga Bay, Shizuoka Prefecture

Very few people will disagree with the notion that Japan is the ideal place to discover and savour sushi and sashimi in the whole world. Nevertheless, there are a few rules of the thumb to respect, even in this gastronomic paradise.
The overriding rule is that you should try and eat only local fish or seafood.
Tsukiji might be considered a sushi paradise by Tokyoites (it has or will be moved to another location), but the cheap prices enjoyed by tourists cannot conceal the reality: the fish and seafood are “imported” from all over Japan and beyond!
More than often, Edomae (Tokyo) sushi is nothing but a clever way to “dress up” ingredients to lure officionados (and customers) into believing they are eating top quality sushi (with the consequent prices).
Now, if you have the chance and time to explore Japan beyond Tokyo, you will discover an unfathomable treasure trove of gastronomic pleasure and knowledge!
After all, this country is a vast archipelago stretched across greatly different seas and climates, making for a diversity difficult to equal.
So, even if you cannot possibly explore all the shores of this nation, make a point to learn about the food available wherever you choose to stay.
The same goes for residents, not only for their own sake, but for that of their visitors and friends!

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Sushi set with fish all caught in Suruga Bay, Shizuoka Prefecture

You also ought to do some homework. Sushi chefs worthy of their salt will be only too happy to answer questions to genuinely interested customers and come up with revelations of their own.
As an example to illustrate the need for some basic knowledge, in Hokkaido “oyakodon” (“parent and child”) is not cooked chicken and omelette on a bowl of rice, but raw salmon and its roe spread on top the same bowl of rice!
Likewise, the same fish will more than often be sold under a myriad of names.
Many morsels will not be found anywhere else suc as “sakura ebi/cherry shrimps” and fresh”shirasu/sardine whiting” in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Sashimi in most cases has to be perfectly fresh as typified by “kubiore saba” in Yakushima Island where fishermen break the neck (“kubiore”) of mackerels (“saba”) to preserve their quality upon catching. The same fish will be served within a few hours, or less, on the local tables.
On the other hand, tuna sashimi is best consumed first thawed and then ripened for a few days in a refrigerator.
In Hokkaido, large shrimps, especially “botan ebi” will be served only raw, whereas “kuruma ebi” will be first boiled in other regions.

If you ask for “tataki”, make sure it means the whole fish, especially “aji/mackerel pike” that will be served finely cut as tartare atop the dressed fish. And if the fish is really fresh such small and medium fish will have their bones and heads served deep-fried for a beautiful crispy snack!

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Flying Fish/Tobiuo sashimi from Yakushima Island

On the other hand, sushi follows different rules.
Fish and seafood placed on “donburi” (bowl) are usually of the freshly brought variety but fish served as nigiri is prepared in a different way.
The greatest sushi (and this cannot be done in Tsukiji!) are made with fish which has been gutted and cleaned live within seconds, then dressed into strips/fillets left to mature in a refrigerator on clean cloth/kitchen paper. This can be done only with fish caught locally!
The same obviously goes with shellfish and other marine ceatures: One cannot sample better “uni/sea urchin” away from Hokkaido or sakura ebi from Shizuoka.

Vegan and vegetarians, upon finding a restaurant willing to satisfy their priorities should also ask for food grown locally, a search easier than one might think at first as there are many non-meat eaters in this mainly Buddhist country.
The same vegetables will make for the perfect combination when associated with local fish!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Sushi: Kawahagi-Filefish Sashimi & Sushi at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City!

Service: Very friendly and always accommodating
Facilities: Great overall cleanliness. Superb washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Great use of local seafood. Will try hard to accommodate any requests!

Kawahagi, or Filefish or Leather jacket in the Land of Oz, must be one of the most underrated fish in the World!
Some people go as far as to say that penny for penny it is worth more than overpriced globefish/fugu!

As we sat at Sushi Ko, our favorite Sushi Restaurant in Shizuoka City we noticed “Kawahagi Tsukuri”/カワハギ造り/Filefish sashimi Plate written on the small board featuring the “specials” of the day!

The live filefish taken out of the tank by the chef!
The fish had been caught off Sagara in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Sushi Ko has a great list of local sake, but I had to order one from Masu Ichi Brewery in Shizuoka City as this might well be the last bottle as the brewery closed down following the untimely death of its owner/master brewer. An incredible loss for the Shizuoka Sake World!

Tuna Tartare as the snack for the first drink!

The filefish sashimi plate!

You roll the fine slices of filefish around some thin leeks before dipping it in its sauce!

The dip sauce!
It was made with the fresh raw liver of the filefish finely chopped and mixed with ponzu!
A true delicacy!

The chef had kept apart a little sashimi and liver for two more morsels!

A nigiri with chopped thin leeks under the fish topped with its liver!

A gunkan/”mother ship” with the sashimi topped with its liver and chopped thin leeks!

And the deep-fried jowls of the fish you eat with your fingers (that you lick later!) to cap it all!
Have I convinced you to look for that fish next time you see it on a market?

“Pon kara maguro”/deep-fried tuna cubes with grated daikon seasoned with chili pepper!

Of course the filefish was only the beginning of our dinner.
So for the record here we go including the above picture!

Maguro Zuke/Marinated lean part of tuna!

Hotate/Scallops!

Amaebi/Sweet shrimps!
(sorry for the fuzzy pic, as my mind was getting a bit fuzzy with all the sake!)

Geso karaage/Deep-fried squid tentacles!

The same, to eat with your fingers!

Ankimo/Frogfish liver or “Japanese foie gras”!

Anago to kyuri maki/Broiled Conger eel and cucumber roll!

Ika shiso to mentaiko maki/Squid, perilla leaf and cod roe pickled in chili pepper roll!

Shirako yaki/Baked cod sperm sacs!

Rainbow California Roll!

Containing: avocado, tamagoyaki/Japanese omelet, salmon, salmon roe, prawn, cucumber and akami/lean tuna! Seven of them of course!

Kanpyou maki, the roll for the vegetarians and vegans!
Kanpyou is made with the shavings of a gourd, first dried and then marinated in sweet sauce!

Asari miso shiru/Miso soup with cockles!

To be continued…

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)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Today’s Bento/Lunch Box (12/10): Chirashizushi & Omelet Bento!

For once the Missus this morning combined Eastern and Western gastronomies in my bento!
Chirashizushi is probably the most popular form of sushi when it comes to bento in Japan, while omelets as their name indicates apparently originated in France (my home country)!

The ingredients found in the sushi box are basically the same inside and on top of the rice.
The Missus having prepared and let cool down the sushi rice mixed it with boiled shrimps, cheese, cut black olives, red sweet pimento slices and sliced Golden Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes.
She added walnut and red cabbage sprouts for the last touch.

For the side dish she prepared a plain omelet she seasoned with vegetable and tomato sauce on a bed of baby leaves and sprouts.
For added color and taste she added lemon and a red Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomato.

Looks simple enough, but very tasty, healthy and appetizing!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Ekiben/Railway lunch Box: Oku Suruga No Iso Chirashi in Mishima JR Station!

Yesterday I suddenly had to go all the way to Mishima City, about half an hour and two stations away by Shinkasen from Shizuoka City and just had the time on my way back to sample a new ekiben/駅弁/Railway Lunch Box (or boxed lunch)!

Nice packaging!
Oku Suruga No Iso Chirashi/奥駿河の磯ちらし basically means a chirashi/decoration-style sushi made with ingredients from the far corners of Suruga Bay!

Can you see the little sign in the left top corner?
It is the registration as a “True Japanese Ekiben”!

Tounakaken Co in Numazu City advertises precisely all the contents. And there certainly were a lot of ingredients!

A rigid transparent plastic cover protects the contents.

Now, what do we have?
Actually a lot!
As the ingredients are all a bit “mixed up” I’ll give them right away. Let’s see if we can distinguish them later:
Sushi rice, Nishiki ko Tamago/shredded omelette, octopus, simmered shiitake, Sakura Ebi/Cherry shrimps, crab, gari/pickled ginger, tobiuo tamago/flying fish roe, cucumber, ooba shiso/perilla, white sesame seeds and seaweed!

Cucumber, omelette, Flying fish roe, octopus,…

Pickled ginger, shiitake, omelette, flying fish roe,…

Omelette, crab, cucumber, sakura ebi, flying fish roe,…

Here you can see that the sushi rice was first topped with konbu seaweed and simmered shiitake!

Eating local sushi on a train! What more can you ask? LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Today’s Bento/Lunch Box (12/03): Sushi Roll Feast Bento!

When you are short of ideas just keep rolling away!
The Missus was short of inspiration for today’s bento as she said, so I told her, “Why not making sushi rolls with whatever you can find in the fridge?”

Simple ideas are usually the best!

And here is the result!
The Missus and I wrap our rolls in lettuce instead of dry seaweed whenever possible for better colors, balance and taste.
Making the sushi rice was simple enough. The first roll includes carrot thinly cut lengthwise, the second tinned white tuna from Yui in Shizuoka City and thinly cut cucumber, and the third one soft ham from Sanoman Co. in Fujinomiya City and sliced black olives!

This side dish must have been one of the most colorful ever with no less than three different mini tomatoes from Fuji City, yellow, red and blackish red, boiled Brussels sprouts and a Missus’ boiled egg atop a tartare sauce bed and topped with a sliced olive!

A very solid bento, I guarantee you! And yummy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass, Einfach Bento,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento