Hotategai/帆立貝, or Scallops, is another worldwide favourite and also a source of dispute caused by illegal poaching, international or domestic.
The season is summer and the shellfish is sometimes called Akitagai/秋田貝, as of Akita Prefecture.
They are caught off Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures.
The domestic production/catch is over 300.000 tonnes a year, while 400 tonnes are imported from China as whole Scallops and 700 tonnes as the muscle part only (“kaibashira/貝柱”). Japanese scallops will be significantly larger than the Chinese.
Of course, they are much appreciated as sashimi, but also as sushi:
(pic taken at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City)
They are also much appreciated cooked/grilled in the shell with just a little shoyu and sake:
Actually, a good-class sushi restaurant will serve the muscle part as sashimi or sushi, and will serve the rest of the shellfish cooked in light broth inside the shell later!
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