Tag Archives: 日本

Seasonal Fish 19: Bora/Mullet

There are at least 12 recognized kinds of mullet being caught all over the world.
The flathead mullet in particular is an important food fish for many around the world, and can be both fished and farmed. The roe of this mullet is salted, dried, and compressed to make a specialty food across the world, such as Korean myeongran jeot, Japanese karasumi, Italian botargo, and Egyptian batarekh . In Egypt, the fish itself is salted, dried, and pickled to make feseekh.

Flathead Mullet, Mugil Cephalus in Latin, or Bora/鯔/鰡 in Japanese will reach length of over 80 cm in Japan, although the average length will more around 50 cm.

It is caught south of Hokkaido near river mouths or in bays receiving lots of river waters.
Like any othe fish, it will be called other names depending upon the region: Isegoi (Western Japan), Itanebora (Ehime Prefecture), Mabora (Hiroshima Prefecture), Tsukura (Okinawa), Kuchime, Mejiro, Hebuna, Haku, Makuchi, Kurome, or Merome.

It is a versatile fish:

Served raw as sashimi in Jpaanese Cuisine or,

as carpaccio in Italian style.

It is more unusual as sushi nigiri (front two) and will probably be found as such only locally.

To answer a query from Luke, it is more encountered cooked:
Deep-fried and served with a soy-based sauce is common to many asian countries.

Deep-fried before being served wit a sweet and saour sauce,

or the same again with tofu is popular in Taiwan (and in Japan!).

First steamed and then served with a sauce made with sweet pickled plum and miso is supposed to be of Chinese origin, but can be found again in many Asians countries.

But for all these recipes, the most valuable (and very expensive at that!) is the roe of the female mullets!

It is served as it is extavagantly in Japanese or Italian cuisine sashimi or carpaccio.

The combinations are infinite!

An extravagant salad of Japanese and Italian inspiration!

Grated over an extragant pasta dish!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Seasonal Fishes 4: Makogarei/Mako Turbot

“Makogarei” or Pleuronectes yokohamae Gunther for the specialists is one of the many kinds of turbot indigeneous to Japan.
You will find it on the markets between June and August.
Depending where you live, you might do well to know its other names: “Aome” (Sendai), “Mushibirama” (Konahama), “Mako” (Tokyo) or “Amakarei” among many.
It is net-caught all around Japan.

It has comparatively a lot of flesh for a turbot, making it a choice morsel for nigiri or sashimi.

It can reach a length of 30 cm. Contrary to many other fish, the size will bear no incidence on the taste, but if you wish for extra taste, avoid female specimen bearing eggs/roe, and if possible, although a bit extravagant, choose a live fish (possible at Parche, Shizuoka JR Station!).
A good sushi or Japanese restaurant will deep-fry the bones and head for you, making for a great snack with great ale!

As a sushi nigiri, it is served as it is, and can be savoured with a little salt and lemon juice only as seasoning.

Many people also ask their sushi nigiri seasoned with tare/sauce.

One more way is to present it as konbujime/marineated in seaweed.

being a large fish, it can be easily manipulated into bo sugata sushi/baton sushi with the rice inside the fish.

Small specimens are appreciated grilled whole with some lemon, soy sauce and grated daikon.

Another popular cuisine is to stew/simmer the whole fish in soy sauce, mirin and sake as ni-zakana.

The sperm sacs/shirako of the male specimens are much appreciated in European-style cuisine!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Seasonal Fishes 2: Katsuo/Bonito

Bonito or “katsuo” in Japanese are extensively caught by fishermen from Numazu, Shimizu, Yaizu and Omaezaki Harbours (all Shizuoka Prefecture). The main fishing areas are Shizuoka, Mie, Kochi & Miyazaki Prefectures.
It is also called “katsu” (Tohoku Region), “Honkatsuo” (Kyushu Island), “Magatsuo” (Shikoku and Kyushu Islands. N.B.: the same name designates another fish in other parts of Japan!), “Suji” (Yamaguchi & Wakayam Pref.).
It appears on the markets early Spring~Autumn as “sho gatsuo” (first bonito in Spring) and “modori gatsuo” (return bonito end of Autumn).
They are traditionally line-caught but nets have been used extensively in recent years.

It can be appreciated raw, as sashimi with its skin or without it, preferably served with a saucer of soy sauce (shoyu) mixed with thin slices of fresh garlic, or with wasabi, a touch of lemon and shoyu,

or as nigiri topped with grated fresh ginger a thin slice of garlic, unless you prefer grated fresh ginger with chopped thin leeks.

The same is done with lightly grilled/aburi (or tataki) bonito as sushi nigiri.

Another very popular way to eat it that will please Europeans and North Americans alike, is “tataki”.

The fish is first seared/grilled over charcoal until it is lightly cooked on the whole outside then plunged into iced water to stop it from cooking any longer. It is then cut into large slices and served with freshly chopped garlic and thin leeks, “shiso” leaves (perilla/beefsteak plant) and wasabi.

Note 1: in restaurants specify whether you want the skin or not when ordering sashimi.

Note 2: the same fish is a staple food in Sri Lanka where it is first smoked and then prepared as soup or curry!

It is one of the most versatile fish in Japan.
It can be appreciated in many ways:
As a simple donburi/on a bowl or rice at home (see above picture),

Lightly seared and served as carpaccio,

as bogata sushi/whole fish stuffed with sushi rice,

as oshizushi/pressed sushi,

but my favourite is probably as zuke/marinated in soy sauce, mirin, sake, etc. before being served with a slice of garlic!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Seasonal Fishes 3: Hirame/Olive Flounder, Bastard Halibut, Tonguefish, Sole

Hirame/平目

“Hirame” could be translated in many ways depending of your country of origin: Flat Fish, Sole, Turbot (although the latter should define “karei”) and what else. There are many varieties, wild or humanーfed. In Japanese, the names are numerous: Hirame, Shitabirame, Ooguchikarei, Oyanirami, etc.

Actually they can be divided into two main groups:

1)The Olive flounder or Bastard halibut (Paralichthys olivaceus; Japanese: ヒラメ/平目) is a species of large-tooth flounder native to the north-western Pacific Ocean.
It is often referred to as the Japanese flatfish or Korea(n) flatfish (광어) when mentioned in the context of those countries.
It is the most common flatfish species raised in aquaculture in Korea. They are raised in Japan and China as well.

Shitabirame/舌平目

2) Tonguefishes (shitabirame/舌平目in Japanese) are a family, Cynoglossidae, of flatfishes. They are distinguished by the presence of a long hook on the snout overhanging the mouth, and the absence of pectoral fins. Their eyes are both on the left side of their body, which also lacks a pelvic fin.

The best season is Autumn to Winter. They are still available until Spring in Shizuoka Prefecture. Wild ones come from Hokkaido and Aomori. Human-fed ones mainly hail from Oita, Ehime, Mie, and Kagoshima Prefectures.

Hirame Sashimi

The domestic wild catch is around 7600 tonnes a year, while human-fed fish amount to around 7100 tonnes a year. A recent increase has been observed in recent years, though. A lot are imported from Korea through Fukuoka and Shimoseki.
They are found in tropical and subtropical oceans, mainly in shallow waters and estuaries, though a few species found in deep sea floors, and a few in rivers.

Hirame can be enjoyed in many ways:
As sashimi, cut in various thickness, according to the chef’s preference and presented artfully.

It can be enjoyed cut in small dices, as tartare, especially shitabirame/tonguefish with tomato and strawberry!

Of course, hiirame is great as sushi nigiri with all kinds of seasoning I prefer it just seasoned with a little lemon juice or yuzu (if available) and salt (preferably “snow salt” from Okinawa!

The Japanese have a fondness for “engawa”, that is the frilled border along the fillets which are usually thrown away in other countries. The texture is different, almost crunchy.

Hirame is great marinated with konbu/seaweed as konbujime/seaweed marinated.

The same konbujime hirame can be served as oshizushi/pressed sushi topped with more seaweed!

An interesting oshizusshi combination is hirame topped with kabu/turnip and seasoned with yuzu juice and zest!

It is also very popular dried as himono/干物, especially shitabirame/tonguefish.

Naturally the Japanese all kinds of hirame cooked in the French way in a simple and succulent manner as above,

or as a beautiful gratin!

Last, but not least, how about grilled hirame with uni/sea urchin sauce?

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Sushi Millefeuille: The Recipe (with Vegan Option)

Following the kind comments of the creators of such beautiful blogs as Gourmet Fury, Bread + Butter, Dhaleb, Reg And Mitzi, Island Vittles and many other friends, I thought the time was ripe to post a couple of simple but colorful sushi recipes than can be easily expanded for home parties and impress your guests!

My vegan and vegetarian friends should not worry as I have explained possible adaptations according to their priorities at the end of such postings!

Here is the second one:
Sushi Millefeuille!

INGREDIENTS (& ADVICE):

Once again need to be too precise about exact quantities here as personal tastes can (and ought to) be different!

First combination (see above picture):

-Sushi rice: as much as you will need (freshly made. See sushi rice recipe HERE)

-Fish: tuna for the red part
-Cucumbers: sliced very thin for the first green part under the tuna.
-Avocado: for the second green part under the tuna (choose ripe avocad)
-Tobikko: Flying fish roe for the topping (if unavailable, can be replaced with salmon roe or finely chopped sweet red pimento.
-Mayonnaise.
Now, if you don’t like it, make a thick dressing. The trick is to make a simple vinaigrette with a lot of soft Dijon mustrd which will give it consistency.
Mayonnaise sold over the counter can be cloying sweet. I would make my own, which is not difficult at all: one egg yolk + salt + pepper + vinegar.
Whisk them all until smooth. Add and whisk in olive oil little by little until you have enough. Point: all ingredients must be at room temperature!
I add some wasabi to it for extra taste!
-Thin leeks for decoration.

RECIPE:

-On a large enough individual serving plate place a large enough cake circle in the middle.

-Fill one quarter/third with sushi rice.

-Lay one layer of fine cucumber slices.

-Lay one layer of sliced ripe avocado.

-Lay one layer of sliced tuna.

-Fill to the brim with another layer of sushi rice and press.

-Top with a layer of tobikko/flying fish roe.

-Decorate with a couple of thin leeks, mayonnaise around the millefeuille and some tomatoes.

Second combination (see above picture):

-Sushi rice.

-Kanpachi/Amberjack (if not available use white fleshed raw fish such as sole, halibut, seabream, etc.)

-Herring roe/Kazu no Ko

-Cucumbers: sliced

-Dry bonito shavings/katsuo bushi

-Thin leeks: finely chopped.

-Mayonnaise

-Tobikko/Flying Fish roe or salmon roe

RECIPE:

-On a large enough individual serving plate place a large enough cake circle in the middle.

-Fill one quarter/third with sushi rice.

-Lay one layer of Kanpachi/Japanese Amberjack or white-fleshed fish.

-Lay one layer of kazu no Ko/herring roe.

-Lay one layer of sliced cucumbers.

-Fill to the brim with another layer of sushi rice and press.

-Top with a layer of Katsuo bushi/Dry bonito shavings and plenty of chopped leeks.

-Decorate with mayonnaise and tobikko around the millefeuille.

There are of course plenty of scope left for improvisation!

VEGAN OPTION:

-Skip the Tobikko/Flying Fish roe. Replace with very finely chopped sweet red pimento.

-As for the mayonnaise, use a vegan subsititute or make a dressing like I suggested above.

-Instead of fish use layers made of cooked carrot or kabocha.
Grilled, peeled and cooled down sweet red pimento also make for great taste and colourful grading.

Naturally boiled and cut to practicality brocoli, asparaguses, violet sweet potatoes and so forth can be combined into a colourful creation!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

First Visit of the Year at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka

Last night we paid our first visit to our favourite sushi restarant in Shizuoka City, namely Sushi Ko!
Sushi Ko might not be the most expensive or sophisticated sushi restaurant in our Prefecture but you get the best food at the best price there.
It certainly makes for far better value than some vaunted establishments in Tokyo or New York where you pay ridiculous prices for tiny pieces of art in outrageously expensive surroundings!
Moreover, Mr. Oda is one of those very few true chefs who take pleasure in tackling any challenge thrown at him by customers.
Owning a website of his own and knowing I’m more than amenable with his taking pictures of the food I order, we have this great deal of being offered even better presentation!
When it comes to sashimi, Mr. Oda always makes a point to introduce the seasonal fish of the day on a separate board for all to see, meaning that they will not be always available as contrary to the other possible orders written (with their prices!) on small wooden boards hung on the wall above the counter.

There were too many fish to choose from, but the help of Mr. Oda, we chose the following:

Above: Meji maguro Akami/Lean part.
Bottom: Aori Ika/Bigfin Reef Squid.
Can you see the freshly grated Shizuoka wasabi shaped into a green leaf?

Above: Ooma Honmaguro/Ble Fin Tuna from Ooma in Aomori Prefecture, O-toro
Below: the same, chu-toro.
The chrysanthemum is edible.

Above: Meji maguro o-toro
Below: Kinmeidai/Seabream/Great Alfonsino from Izu Penisula in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Actually this was our second restaurant of the night!
Therefore we ordered more the indivual morsel than the quantity.
The sushi nigiri above is tachiuo aburi/half grilled scabbard fish served with ponzu and momijioroshi.

The fish was so fresh that we were offered its bones deep-fried! Great snack!

The Missus had to order (she does every time!) the Spicy scallops sushi roll!

As I said above, Mr. Oda is one of those very few true chefs who take pleasure in tackling any challenge thrown at him by customers.
He knows that I will always ask him to come with a vegan sushi plate not only to demonstrate that such gastronomy exists, but also to lure more customers to his business, which is quite flourishing.

Here what he concocted for us. Sorry for the slightly fuzzy pictures, but I had to contend with an impatient Missus!

These rolls were made with thin wide strips of daikon that mr. Oda quickly marinated in lemon water instead of using dry nori/seaweed.
Inside he rolled sushi rice (shari) with trefoil stems, umeboshi/pickled Japanese plum meat and shiso/perilla leaves!

Buckwheat sprouts/Hime Soba Me/姫蕎麦芽 Nigiri!

Thin leek sprouts/Me Negi/芽葱 Nigiri!

Trefoil/Mitsuba/三つ葉 Nigiri!

As for the last dish, we both have our habits.
I had tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette,

And the Missus had her mini ikura/salmon roe and shake/salmon oyako/parent and child mini-donburi!

Looking forward to the next visit!

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 SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Seasonal Fishes 1: Noresore/Conger Eel Whitebait (expanded)

noresore4.jpg

“Noresore” will soon appear at some select fish markets, and as it will be a very short season, you will have to keep your eyes open!
Noresore stands for very young conger eels. They are called different names depending on regions: “Berada” in Okayama Pref., “Tachikurage” in Misaki, “Nagatankurage” in Wakayama Pref.
In Shizuoka, they mainly come from Hamana Lake, a seawater lake west of the Prefecture, famous for its oysters, eels and clams.

5~6cm long, they are practically transparent, save for their eyes. They emit no smell. In our Prefecture they are available only during the first two weeks of March. They are slowly but surely becoming a rarity wherever in Japan, and people come from afar just for the experience!

Before serving them, lightly wash them in clean salted water.
They are great as they are with a little “ponzu or “yuzu” vinegar, a dash of “momijioroshi” (freshly grated daikon and chili pepper) and some chopped thin leeks for a last touch of colour!

Now as sushi they are sublime as “gunkan”, or a rice ball wrapped in seaweed if you are an expert, with freshly grated ginger and chopped thin leeks again.

They can even been cooked (very quickly!) in garlic olive oil!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Japanese Seasonal Fish 18: Tai-Madai/Seabream

There are many varieties of Seabream/Snappers/Tai/鯛in Japan:
Batodai, Hanadai, Ishidai, Kinmeidai, Mekkidai, etc., but the most popular variety is called Madai/真鯛, or True Seabream.

Even Madai/True Seabream is called different names depending upon the region: Oodai or Hondai.
The best season streches from Winter to Spring.
It is extensively raised by humans in Ehime, Mie and Saga Prefectures.
Wild specimen are mainly caught off the shores of Nagasaki, Fukuok, Kumamoto, and Yamaguchi Prefectures. Not so many Madai are caught in Shizuoka but other varieties are abundant especially around Izu Penisula.

Human-raised amount to over 80,000 tonnes a year wild ones are caught at a rate inferior to 15,000 tonnes a year.
Imports are relatively and account for only about 6.500 tonnes a year.

Madai is widely appreciated raw as sashimi in the Japanese style (above),

in carpaccio, Italian-style sashimi!

The Japanese also ove them grilled or steamed.

The Japanese since immemorial times have preserved the raw fish in rice miso, mirin/sweet sake and konbu/seaweed, but this has become quite an expensive morsel these days!

(Only relatively) lesser varieties, like Kinmedai, are appreciated as Himono/naturally dried fish, a specilaty of Shizuoka Prefecture which produces no less half of all naturally dried fish in Japan! Actually they come almost as expensive!

Konbujime/marinated in seaweed nigiri sushi

As sushi, madai (and other seabreams) are very versatile.
You will encounter them, depending on the region as konbujime/marinated in seaweed (above),

simple, straight nigiri sushi,

oshizushi/pressed sushi,

or zuke/marinated in ponzu, sake, mirin, etc.,

Seabream certainly looks great as temarizushi/Kyoto-style small round sushi nigiri!

Tai Shirako

Like tara/cod, their sperm sacs of the male specimens are highly appreciated and even more expensive than those of cods.

You can have served raw/slightly boiled or grilled as above,

meuniere-style as in French or Italian cuisine,

or on gunkan sushi nigiri!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Sushi Recipes: Spicy Scallops Sushi Roll (with Vegan Option)

Following the kind comments of the creators of such beautiful blogs as Gourmet Fury, Bread + Butter, Dhaleb, Reg And Mitzi, and many other friends, I thought the time was ripe to post a couple of simple but colorful sushi recipes than can be easily expanded for home parties and impress your guests!

My vegan and vegetarian friends should not worry as I have explined possible adaptations according to their priorities at the end of such postings!

Here is the first one:
Spicy Scallops Sushi Roll!

INGREDIENTS (& ADVICE):

No need to be too precise about exact quantities here as personal tastes can (and ought to) be different!

-Sushi rice: as much as you will need (freshly made. See sushi rice recipe HERE)

-Nori/dry seaweed: use large sheets (maximum size)

-Scallops: Only fresh, please.

-Tobikko (Flying Fish roe): as fresh as possible.

-Tempura kasu: these are the pieces of batter found in the oil after frying tenpura. The Japanese do not throw them away! Scoop them out as early as possible and lay them on a piece of paper kitchen to take off excess oil. Let them cool completely. If you do use them immediately, store them by dee-freezing them inside an airtight vinyl pouch!

-Coarsely cruched peanuts. These with the tenpura kasu will add a welcome crunchiness.

-Mayonnaise.
Now, if you don’t like it, make a thick dressing. The trick is to make a simple vinaigrette with a lot of soft Dijon mustrd which will give it consistency.
Mayonnaise sold over the counter can cloying sweet. I would make my own, which is not difficult at all: one egg yolk + salt + pepper + vinegar.
Whisk them all until smooth. Add and whisk in olive oil little by little until you have enough. Point: all ingredients must be at room temperature!
I add some wasabi to it for extra taste!

-Chili pepper powder.

-Cucumber: finely chopped. Cut the cucumber in 5 cm, 2-inch long pieces. Cut each piece into thin slices. Cut the slices again into very fine strips.

RECIPE:

-In a bowl drop the scallops cut into small pieces. Add the tobikko/Flyiing Fish roe, tempura kasu, crushed peanuts, mayonnaise and chili pepper. Mix well. Taste and rectify the seasoning if needed.

-Spread a large sushi roll mat out and cover it with a sheet of nori/dry seaweed.

-Spread a layer of sushi rice over the whole nori/dry seaweed as equally as possible. Careful with the quantity. Too much and you won’t be able to roll it!

-Leave a small strip space at one extremity. Line with the cucumber in a half centimetre/less than half an inch wide strip.

-Leave a space between the cucumber and scallops mixture to obtain the same pattern as shown in above picture. Spread the scallops evenly. Leave a space at the other extremity to allow for a tight closing of the roll.

-Carefully roll the sushi from the cucmber end. Once completely rolled, pressed gently and evenly so as to allow the nori/seaweed to seal the roll.

-Unroll the mat. Cut the roll and serve at once.

-There is no real need for extra soy sauce or whatever dessing, but this a personal taste.

VEGAN OPTION:

-Skip the Tobikko/Flying Fish roe. Replace with very finely chopped sweet red pimento.

-Instead of using scallops, use mushrooms. White coloured and soft varieties such as button mushrooms, shimeji or even eringi are best.
Cut the mushrooms and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent them from darkening.
Fry them in olive oil until they are soft.
Let them cool completely and drain them thoroughly.
Do not throw the juices away as they can be used in delicious sauces or soups.

-As for the mayonnaise, use a vegan subsititute or make a dressing like I suggested above.

NOTES:

Do not be afraid of varying that recipe. It is very simple!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Sushi Recipes: Spam California Roll

Back into spam!
Bazooka Gourmet is going to kill for that one!LOL
Making the most of simple ingredients to create that ever popular Clifornai Roll!

INGREDIENTS:

-Sapm: 1 can
-Eggs: 2
-Avocado: 1 (ripe)
-Nori/dry seaweed (as much as needed)
-Sesame seeds (as much as needed)
-Mayonnaise (as much as needed)
-Rice: 2 large bowls (freshly made. See sushi rice recipe HERE)
-Salt, pepper: to taste

RECIPE:

-Cut spam into strips and fry.

-Prepare the eggs as tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette and cut as shown in above picture. Check HERE for basic Tamagoyaki recipe!

-Cut avocado as in above picture and let them for a while in some water added with lemon juice. This will prevent the avocado turning brown.

-First spread a sheet of cellophane paper over a sushi roll mat. Then spread sushi rice over it evenly and not too thickly!.

-Spread dry seaweed sheets over the rice.

-Place the sapm, tamgoyaki and avocado as shown in above picture at some distance from the extremity. Line with some mayonnaise.
Point: mix some grated wasabi with the mayonnaise first!

-Roll your Californai roll.
Unwrap and sprinkle it sesame seeds as shown in above picture.

-Cut and serve!

NOTES:

-The rice can be simple slightly salted steamed rice instead of the sushi rice.
-Tamagoyaki can be made in thin wide omelette you will roll first before lining the California roll with it.
-Let your imagination go free if you want to replace the sesame seeds with something else!

Easy, isn’t it?

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Seasonal Fish 17: Tara/Cod

Cod, or “Tara/鱈” in Japanese reads a the “Snow Fish”. Unlike in many countries in Europe and North America, the fish is eaten fresh, raw or cooked in Japan, but practically never salted.
Only the Norwegians can boast a difference as they eat the tongue of the fish as soon as they catch it!

As other fish in Japan, it is called different names: Ibodara, Maidara (Toyama Prefecture), Ara (Nagasaki Prefecture) as far as “Madar” or “True Cod” is concerned.
There are other varieties as is shown below in sushi pictures.

It is mainly caught in the Sea of Okhotsk in Winter.
The average total Cod catch is 437,000 tonnes, 55.000 of which is “True Cod”. Imports average annualy 152,000 tonnes mainly from the US and Russia.

Cod sashimi with its male sperm sacs/Shirako

It makes for great sashimi.

But it is also equally appreciated cooked, especially grilled or in “Nabe/Japanese-style pot au feu”.

Gintara/銀鱈 Cod variety as sushi nigiri.

Higetara/髭鱈 Cod variety as sushi nigiri.

Madara/真鱈 Cod as sushi nigiri.

As shown above, many varieties of tara are greatly appreciated as sushi, especially nigiri.

Shirako/白子, or the sperm sacs of the male fish, is an extremely popular delicay in Japan.
It is either served raw or lightly boiled as in above picture with ponzu, chopped leeks and momijioroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper.

Shirako is also very popular served as sushi in gunkan shape as above.

It becomes another delicacy when grilled.
French and Italian Restaurants in Japan also extensively use it sauteed or in gratin!

The roe sacs of the femal fish is also a very popular (and expensive) delicacy especially when preserved in chili pepper (as above) and sold as Mentaiko/明太子!

The same roe is also served as “Tarako/鱈子”, especially in the sushi gunkan form!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Sashimi Mini Plate at Tomii (’10/01/09)

This is the second part of my “Quick fix” last night at Tomii.
I posted this article separately as it will also go to my sushi blog page and Sushi Nomads Website.

All the fish served on this “min sashimi plate” are seasonal (as always at Tomii).

Left top: “Honmaguro Akami”, or lean part of bluefin tuna backed with various sprout vegetables.
Right top: “Hirame” or sole on a leaf of shiso/perilla.
Left bottom: “Tai”, or seabream. In thei case “Madai”, or true seabream.
Right bottom: “Aori Ika”, or bigfin reef squid.
The wasabi is naturally freshly grated wasabi from Shizuoka!

TOMII
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)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Sushi Nomads

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Vegan Sushi Recipe Suggestions 1: Myoga/Myoga Ginger

I already have introduced Vegan and Vegetarian Sushi, but following further requests and questions by my vegan (I’m not!) friends, I decided to contribute a small series of postings to give them more detailed suggestions and ideas!

Now, please check sushi rice recipe HERE to make things more practical!

The first vegetable amenable to sushi I would like to introduce is Myoga, or Myoga Ginger.

Please check Myoga HERE on Wikipedia!

Myoga is a very interesting vegetable as not only the shoots but also the flowers are edible!

The flower in its natural state!

As bought at the market.

Interestingly enough, as Japan makes an enormous consumption of them it has to import a lot from New Zealand and Australia. I’m sure you can buy it at local Asian markets. It could porve an interesting cultivation for some, too!

Myoga sushi roll.

Now there are two basic ways of presenting myoga as sushi.
First, as shown on above picture, as a roll.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just chop the myoga in strips and fill the roll with it accompanied by some wasabi.

Myoga Sushi nigiri.

The other basic way is present it as sushi nigiri on top of a small ball of sushi rice previously smeared with a little wasabi.

You can prepare the myoga in two basic ways,too:
The first one would would be just to wash it and use it raw.
The second would be to pickle it in rice vinegar and sugar for a while, press it and serve it in both sushi styles as explained above.

There are other interesting possibilities when you let your imagination go free as in above picture where the rice is replaced with a small cube of tofu and the topping is made with chopped myoga, tofu and wasabi all mixed together!

To further convince you, look at the picture above:
All vegan sushi:
from top down: Cucumber, egg plant/aubergine and myoga. The last are pickled daikon!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2
Russell 3

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

New Year Sashimi Sets at Supermarkets in Shizuoka

Tradition has been changed or made with altogether!
From this year, the main supermarkets were oprn on New Year’s Day in Shizuoka.
Economic crisis? Cutthroat competition with “Convenience Stores”?
The result is that you don’t to worry any more about stocking up foood for the long Japanese New Year Holidays!

Not only the Shizutetsu Chain Supermarkets were open, but they had advertized bargains well in advance.
One concerned sashimi.
I just couldn’t ignore it and visited the largest store near my home yesterday afternoon.
I noticed that I had messed with my mobile phone camera today when I noticed the dates printed on the pics. I never do so, but at least, it will serve as a proof that I reaaly the pics yesterday! LOL

As you can see on the above pic there was plenty to choose from.
The main particularity was that the tuna was all wild tuna (Shizutetsu has a direct delivery deal with the various harbours in the Prefecture!)

The set above is priced at about 25US$ and included sashimi from 3 different tuna: honmaguro, tonbomaguro and bachimaguro, from akami to chu-toro.

The above set for about 50US$ is a bit extravagant, athough very cheap (dead cheap abroad, I suppose!) and included three types of maguro/tuna, one tai/seabream, one madai/true seabream, one tako/octopus, one hirame/sole, one ika/cuttlefish, one buri/yellowtail, amaebi/sweet shrimps, hotate/scallops and one shake/salmon!

This is the one I chose for both of us (25US$)!

Top from left to right:
Honbomagurao Chutoro, Surumeika/Cuttlefish, Amaebi/Sweet Shrimps and Bachimaguro Chutoro
Bottom from left to right:
Hirame/Sole, Bachimaguro Chutoro, Buri/Yellowtail, and Hotate/ Scallops.

Of course I had Sake from Shizuoka with that lot!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Oshizushi/Pressed Sushi Techniques 4: Seabred Sebream/Tai no Aburi

SYNOPSIS:

Sushi exists under many forms and guises.
It is not all nigiri and (more ubiquitous) sushi rolls!
Have you ever heard of Oshizushi?

Oshizushi (押し寿司, litterally pressed sushi), is a pressed sushi from the Kansai Region, a favourite and specialty of Osaka.

Oshibako unmounted

It is made with the help of a block-shaped piece formed using a wooden mold, called an oshibako/押し箱.

Oshibako lined with toppings

The chef lines the bottom of the oshibako with the toppings, covers them with sushi rice, and then presses the lid of the mold down to create a compact, rectilinear block.

Cutting Grilled Eel Oshizushi

The block is then removed from the mold and then cut into bite-sized pieces.

It is great fun to experiment at home for large parties or the family as you can include almost anything.
Moreover, oshizuhi is easy to transport and include in bento!

The recipes and techniques I’m introducing here are professional, but with a little practice I’m sure you will become a specialist

1)Salmon Marinated in Seaweed/Sake Sushi Konbushime, 2) Seared Prime Beef/Gyuniku Aburi, 3) Egg Bearing Snow Crab/Seikogani

———————————-

Seabreams or Snappers come in so many varieties all over thw orld that it becomes quite easy to find and adapt to various cuisines.
The Japanese are extremely fond of it either raw or steamed with rice.
When using it as sashimi or sushi, choose a fresh fis. Look at their eyes and press with fingers. And use your nose!

Madai/真鯛 or “True Seabream”, the most commonly used type of seabream in Japan.

For an extra finishing touch for the taste, use fresh leaves of sansho/山椒 or Japanese pepper (also called ki no me/木の芽).
The English name is Shichuan Pepper, although we are talking of the fresh plant here.

In Japan the dried and powdered leaves of Zanthoxylum sancho are used to make noodle dishes and soups mildly hot and fragrant. The whole fresh leaves, 木の芽 kinome, are used to flavour vegetables, especially bamboo shoots, and to decorate soups. Typically the young shoots are used in this way giving an aromatic lemony flavour to food. They are used to denote spring seasonality in food. The buds, seeds, flowers, and hulls are also used.

Chop some leaves finely enough to use with sushi, but not to fine. Cut them as short as shown in picture.

Soften light seaweed in lukewarm water and spread it over a clean cloth.

Line the bottom of the oshibako/box with slices of seabream fillet as tightly to each other as possible.
Sprinkle with chopped sansho leaves.
Fill with sushi rice and press.

Unloose oshizushi out of the box.
Brush the surface lightly with some soy sauce (I sweeten it a bit by mixing it with a little mirin/sweet sake).
Sear the fish lightly.
Repeat the same process twice more so as to cook only the surface and make it take a nice colour.
This way you will be able to taste the fish in two different ways inside your mouth!

Spread the light seaweed over the top.
Cut to size and serve immediately for maximum enjoyment!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-