Tag Archives: Ark Shell

Shellfish species 11: Surf Clam/Ubagai


The Japan Blog List

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

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UBAGAI-1

“Ubagai” or more commonly called “Hokkigai” when served as sashimi or sushi have many names in English.
Member of the Trough Shells Groups, they are called Surf Clams, or more precisely, as pertains to the varieties eaten in Japan, either Japanese Surf Clams or Sakhalin Surf Clams as they are collected both along Japan and Sakhalin Islands shores

8,000 tonnes are caught in Japan every year. 94% of fresh/live Surf Clams are collected in Hokkaido, Aomori, Fukushima and Miyagi Prefectures.
About 4,000 tonnes are imported frozen from Canada.
They are popular dried, in soups or cooked with vegeatbles and rice.

UBAGAI-2

Their “tongues” can be appreciated as sashimi, but are most popular lightly poached and cooled down.

UBAGAI-3

That is the way they are usually processed before being served as sushi nigiri, either straight, or with a few small incisions for better effect!

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Shellfish Species 10: Ark Shell/Akagai


The Japan Blog List

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

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AKAGAI-5
(Ark shell sashimi in its own shell)

Akagai or Ark Shell tends to frighten potential sheffish amateurs because of its other English name, “Bloody Shell”, not only because of its deep reddish-orange colour, but also because of the reddish water it gives off upon opening.

AKAGAI-1

Now, shellfish do not have blood in our mammal concept.
Bear in mind that many shellfish are used for dyeing cloth, and if if I’m not mistaken, ark shells fulfill both utilitarian and gastronomic needs.

AKAGAI-2

It does require some skill to open and present.

AKAGAI-3

The main “Tongue” and “Thread/Akahimo” are edible.

The best season is Autumn, although they are available all year round. They are pretty abondant along the Japan southern coastlines, but many of them are also imported from Korea and China amounting to 80% of the total domestic consumption.

AKAGAI-4

Ark shells are usually not served cooked.
Sashimi (see top picture) is very much apprecaited but sushi nigiri is definitely the most popular way to savour them!