Tag Archives: Japan

Acquired taste: Namako

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

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“Namako” (in Japanese) has all kinds of English (and not so English) names: seslug, sea cucumber, trepang, beche de mer. The Chinese have always been a bit crazy about them inciting Europeans to trade them as far back as the 17th Century. The Chinese themselves have made themselves somewhat notorious for ollegal catching in Japanese seas…
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They come in various colopurs (the red one is the most popular) and names: “manamako”, “Akako”, and “Kaiso”.
They are caught all along the Japanese shores.
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Numazu Harbour in Shizuoka Prefecture is renown for its catches in winter, the best season as far as taste is concerned.
There are many ways to prepare it:
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“Namasu” or namako pickled in vinegar and 2Namako Chaburi” are the most popular ways, but many people appreciate them cut in raw slices.
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Even the insides/innards are appreciated under the name of “konowata” and are usually served as “gunkan” style sushi.

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Sashimi set at Bu-Ichi (1)

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

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My friends and I ordered this sashimi set at Bu-Ichi Izakaya, Shizuoka City, on November 12th:

Top: Kohada/small sardine variety
Clockwise: Kochi/Sand borer, Aji/saurel-pike mackerel, Shimesaba/pickled macerel (centre), Katsuo/bonito, Tako/octopus, Ika/cuttlefish

Sashimi Set at Takasagotei

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

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Here is a sashimi set I ordered at Takasagotei Restaurant in Hamamatsu City

Top middle: Aji no Tataki/chopped saurel-pike mackerel
Clockwise: Maguro/Tuna, Katsuo/bonito & Kobashira/chopped sea clam

Karasumi: Dried Mullet Roe

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

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Karasumi, known as “boutargue” in French, or as “btarga” in Italian, is the dried roe pouches of the mullet.
It is a quite expensive morsel in Japanese cuisine as well as in Europe (that is the real one!).

Numazu City is quite renown for its karasumi, and fishermen have just started drying them under the sun, after getting rid of blood vesels, carefully cleaned them and sprinkled them with salt.

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They are served thinly cut as they are in Japanese restaurants. You can expect good sushi restaurants to serve them as starters on their own.
This year’s catch was only one fourth of the usual expectation, so brace yourselves when you open your purse!

Sushi restaurant: Fuji Sushi

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

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Fuji Sushi is another one of those “kakureya” (hidden spots) you need to guided or introduced to. Actually I must have passed it hundred of times as it is very near my work place, but it took until last week to venture inside it thanks to my friend, Mr. Koyama.

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Although my first experience was a thouroughly enjoyable one, I still don’t know the chef’s name! A very quiet person, not only is he a great sushi chef, but he is also a great Japanese chef!

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Homemade Ankimo (Frogfish liver paste), broiled oysters and konbujime hirame (sole marinated in seaweed)

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Grilled torigai and kampachi head simmered for ten hours! You could eat the lot, bones and all.

Of course the sashimi (see above) was simply gorgeous.
The chef, for all his shyness, became a great source of information when asked the right questions. With 36 years of experience to profit, I certainly kept my ears wide open!
As I was a bit short of time, I had to leave Mr. Koyama alone early but still managed to enjoy a few cups of Garyubai Junmai ginjo by sanwa Brewery (Shimizu Ku).
I don’t have to tell you I will have to visit the place again soon to enjoy the sushi, too!

Fuji Sushi
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo Machi, 2-4-24
Tel.: 054-2530335
Fax: 054-2530344
Counter on first floor
Private rooms for parties upstairs

Sashimi Set

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

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I was served this set of seasonal sashimi last Friday at Tomii Restaurant in Shizuoka City.
Absolutely succulent!

From left to right:
Akami (lean tuna)
Kurodai (“black Grouper”)
Uni (sea urchin)
Aka Ika (red cuttle fish) on a bed on a bed of Tosaka Nori (Tosaka seaweed)
Hirame (Sole)

Sushi Recipe: homemade California Roll

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

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I would like to dedicate this particular recipe to Allison!
My better (worse?) half came up with this simple recipe the same day she prepared the bonito sushi (see previous post).
Once again she used traditional sushi rice added with fine pieces of pickled fresh ginger.

On a large piece of cooking cellophane paper he first placed thin strips of avocado and slices of smoked salmon, and finally the rice, keeping in mind to place as to form a regular shape cylinder.

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She then wrapped the cellophane paper around the whole as shown on above picture.

She cut the sushi roll through the cellophane paper with a sharp knife she wiped between each cut.
She finally served the cuts topped “Tobikko” (flying fish roe). Lghtly dipped in shoyu, great with more sake!