Tag Archives: Hard Clam

Shellfish Species 9: Round Clam-Hen Clam/Bakagai


The Japan Blog List

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

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“Bakagai”, or Round clam/Hen Clam in English is found mainly in the Central part of Honshu Island.

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Actually, you have a good chance to discover it at low tide all over Japan.

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It is a versatile shellfish as it provides for two distinct morsels:

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The “Tongue” called “Aoyagi”. It is very popular in Japan for its colour and sweetness. It is both eaten as Sashimi and

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Sushi as nigiri.

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The second morsel, one of two muscle parts is called “Kobashira/Small pillar”.
Sushi chefs will keep them until they have enough to serve as sashimi or even better as suhi as gunkan!

Make sure to order either “Aoyagi” or “Kobashira” unless you want to start a long conversation by ordering “Bakagai”!

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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.

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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.

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It does require some skill to open and present.

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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.

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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!

Shellfish Species 8: Pen Shell/Tairagi


The Japan Blog List

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

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Pen Shells or Tairagi in Japanese are usually sold in winter but tend to still appear in Sping in Shizuoka.

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Also called Tairagai, it was very common not so long ago when the domestic catch amounted to 13,395 tonnes in 1976 to suddenly fall to a mere 134 tonnes in 1994!
It disappeared from the Tokyo Bay and is presently mainly caught in the Inner Japanese Sea between Shikoku and Honshu Islands.

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It has become expensive these days and when you realize there is not so much to eat for such a big shell, one can understand it is fast becoming a rare morsel.

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It is particularly delicious as sashimi or salt-grilled and is very similar to scallops, although distinctly different in shape.
Naturally it is most popular served as sushi nigiri!

Shellfish Species 7: Clam/Hamaguri


The Japan Blog List

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

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Clams come in many varieties in Japan.
They are either called Common Orient Clams or Hard Clams, whatever their mode of cooking.

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Japanese Clam Variety

In 1993, Japan produced 29,000 tonnes before suffering a steep decline down to only 1,500 tonnes in 2000.
Since then imported clams are 15 times the domestic production.
Main importers to Japan are:

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China (see variety above): 20,100 tonnes

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North Korea (see variety above): 3,33 tonnes

A great part of both Chinese and North Korean varieties are imported young and “re-planted” on Japanese beaches to be sold as Japanese varieties!

80 percent of all clams are sold over the counter at supermarkets while 20 percent are proceesed by canneries.

Clams, like everywhere in the world, are cooked/prepared inmay ways in Japan:

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Ni-Hamaguri/simmered clams served in broth with vegetables, tofu and chopped thin leeks.

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Chirashizushi/”Decoration Sushi”, very popular in Japanese homes!

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But my favourite is Ni-Hamaguri Sushi!
The clam,s large variety only, are first slowly simmered into broth, then drained and cooled before being served brushed with a sweet “tare” sauce. Sublime!

Sashimi Plate at Tomii (’09/05/20)


The Japan Blog List

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

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TOMII-09-05-20b

I suppose I need not introduce my favourite Japanese restaurant in Shizuoka City any more, as I just have stopped counting the articles I wrote about this place!

Anyway, Last night I went for a quick fix before resuming work.

Look at pic above showing what I was served as “o-sukuri/sashimi plate:
Front row:
-Uni/Sea Urchin, “Saimaki Kuruma Ebi/Shrimp variety, Aka Ika/Red Cuttle Fish, Ishidai/Seabream variety
Second row:
-Hon Maguro Akami/Blue Fin Tuna Lean Part, Kurodai/Black Seabream, Houbo/Bluefin Robin.
Note the Shiso/perilla flowers!

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Apart of the freshly grated wasabi, I was presented two kinds of soy sauces: normal soy sauce and the other a mixture of soy sauce and sweet pickled Japanese plum/Ume Shoyu. The later is great with white-fkesh fish!

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Before that I was served “Shunsai/Spring Vegetable”, a very tasty morsel for which vegans and vegetarians would swim across the Pacific Ocean!

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)