Category Archives: Japanese Gastronomy

Gastronomic destination : Fukuoka (1)-Lunch at Niku Niku Udon!

Service: very friendly and easy-going but attentive
Equipment: Old but very clean. Basic but clean washroom
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Great Japanese traditional comfort cuisine

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Niku Niku Udon in Kami Kawabata, Fukuoka City, is actually one of seven similar restaurants in Fukuoka City (also one restaurant each in Hokkaido, Saga Prefecture and Aichi Prefecture and Indonesia!) serving the same menu but left to the responsibility of a chef with his own name card for visitors.
Chef Seiji Nonaka/野中誠二さん is the man of the house and pays of his own person when welcoming guests.
This is what I would call a typical Japanese comfort food restaurant which you can imagine is very busy at lunch and even busier at nights as the greater majority of the customers are local.
There is a lot of variety on the menu and plenty to drink, too, but let me at least introduce to the food we had the pleasure to savor that day!

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Niku Niku Udon with gobo/burdock tempura!
The soup (they call it “black Soup” and it is strongly flavored with ginger!) contains udon, that is wheat flour noodles, long-simmered beef tendons and some really delicious burdock root tempura. You can rectify the heat/piquancy yourself or eat it as it is, that is mild but solid taste.
As for the udon, these have come from Ogura in Kita Kyushu for more than 40 years!

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Niku Niku Soba, with the same soup and long-simmered beef tendons as above, but with buckwheat noodles!

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I actually ordered the Niku Niku Soba as a Teishoku/full meal with steamed rice and karaage/deep-fried chicken.
Note that Fukuoka Prefecture and City are known all over Japan for their chicken and especially karaage!

A must for lunch for hungry people looking for true Japanese cuisine!

NIKU NIKU UDON/肉肉うどん

Chef: Mr. Seiji Nonaka/野中誠二さん
Fukuoka City, Hakata Ku, Kami Kawabata, 5-106
Tel.: 092-282-0966
Opening hours: 11:00~24:00
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Healthy Lunch at Cyohachi Coffee in Shizuoka City!

Service: Shy but very friendly and smiling
Facilities & Equipment: Very clean overall. Excellent washroom. Entirely non-smoking
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Lunch cafe! very healthy lunches with local ingredients. Open as a cosy cafe all
day!

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fortunately for the true cafes and healthy food lovers there seems to be a resurgence of establishments which offer you something different from the industrialized diners and cafes invading our streets in Shizuoka City and Prefecture!

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One such place is Cyohachi Coffee/長八珈琲店 tucked away in Sumpu Cho away from the bustling center of Shizuoka City!
It does have a lot of merits apart of their delicious coffee and healthy food!

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Most of their ingredients are local!

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You can take a seat at the counter or at a table on the first floor, but if you wish for some peace climb the stairs to the second floor!

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The decoration has been thankfully kept to a minimum with a simple and homey atmosphere!

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Not only a great place to enjoy coffee or tea, but the lunch menu is definitely worth a good look!

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And the place is entirely nonsmoking!

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I had the hand–made hamburger lunch set for my first visit!

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Soup!

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More than enough for lunch!

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Fresh greens salad!

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Home-made hamburger!

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I mean a delicious stewed open hamburger!

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Steamed rice with a nice touch!

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Stewed vegetables and tofu, potato salad and home-made pickles!

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Tea or coffee included served with real sugar and milk!

See you there again for another lunch!

CYOHACHI COFFEE/長八珈琲店

420-0856 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Sumpu Cho, 1-32
Tel.: 054-6591076
Opening hours: 11:30~20:30

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Yakitori and more Succulent Morsels at Ginza Enishi in Matsuzakaya Department Store, Shizuoka City!

There is little need to introduce yakitori, a traditional Japanese gastronomy, which has become so popular far away from its borders!
On the other hand good quality is not always evident even in Japan as there is little traceability available in most izakaya and cheap stalls.
And if you do not want to go out at night and drink at the same time, it is definitely better to look for them in a specialized shop!

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Luckily enough, we do have a great shop in Shizuoka City namely Ginza Enishi/銀座縁, conveniently located near the JR Shizuoka Station and main hotels on the Basement floor in Matsuzakaya Department Store across from the North Exit!

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You will no miss it as it found along a narrow underground corridor linking both buildings!

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Now, that sign will be very useful to foreign visitors!

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Take the time to read it!
This is a rare piece of good service!

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You will be able to purchase your favorite morsels at any time of the day, seven days a week and take them back to the hotel or along with you if you do not wish to go to an izakaya or restaurant!
Their freshness will insure a superlative taste even cold!
All the chicken comes from a contracted poultry farm in Aomori Prefecture! 
The chicken is registered under the name of Gokokuajidori/五穀味鶏!
Their offerings vary with the seasons but you will find most of your favorites all year through!
I have included an explanation of each morsel for you to copy next time you visit Matsuzakaya Department Store in Shizuoka City!
Do note that the prices may sound a bit higher than in cheap shops but the quality entirely entitles them!

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Broiled eels/unagi/鰻!

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Two types of fresh lunch boxes/bento/弁当, regularly changed!

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Chicken balls/Tsukune/つくね!

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Chicken livers/reba-/レバー!

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Broiled chicken skin/kawa/かわ!

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Broiled chicken thigh and scallions/leeks brochettes/ももねぎ!

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Broiled chicken and garlic brochettes/Ninniku/にんにく!

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Broiled chicken thigh/Momo/もも!

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Grilled chicken shoulder/Hina/ひな!

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Grilled chicken shoulders and scallions/leeks/Hinanegi/ひなねぎ!

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Chicken gizzards/Sunagimo/砂肝!

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Grilled spread chicken wings/Tebachuu/手羽中!

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Grilled chicken and garlic/Ninniku/にんにく!

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Grilled soft chicken cartilages/Nankotsu/なんこつ!

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Chicken and perilla/shiso balls/Shiso Tsukune/しそつくね!

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Grilled chicken skin/Kawa/かわ!

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Deep-fried Chicken wings/Tebasaki karaage/手羽先唐揚げ!

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Deep-fried chicken soft cartilages/Nankotu karaage/なんこつ唐揚げ! Price per 100 grams!

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Deep-dried chicken/Karaage/唐揚げ! Price per 100 grams!

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Deep-fried mini potatoes/Chibimaru poteto/ちびまるポテト! Price per 100 grams!

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Deep-fried chopped scallions/leeks and red ginger/Negi to benishouga no chigiri age/ねぎと紅生姜のちぎり揚げ!

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Dumplings deep-fried inside chicken skin/Tori kawa Gyouza/鶏皮餃子!

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Chicken balls in sweet and sour sauce/Niku dango/肉団子!

Have fun!

GINZA ENISHI/銀座縁

Manager: Mr. Takayuki Ishinagi/石椛隆之さん

MATSUZAKAYA DEPARTMENT STORE SHIZUOKA-松坂屋静岡店
〒420-0857 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki-Cho, 10-2
〒420-0857 静岡県静岡市葵区御幸町10−2
Tel.: 054-254-1111
Opening hours: 10:00~20:00
Closed on January 1st
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
HOMEPAGE (English)
HOMEPAGE (Taiwanese)
HOMEPAGE (Chinese)
HOMEPAGE (Korean)
MAP 

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Vegan & Vegetarian Gastronomy: Vegetable Sashimi at Yasaitei in Shizuoka City!

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Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: Very clean, Beautiful washroom
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Vegan and vegetarian Cuisine possible any time, Izakaya gastronomy, local products, oden. Good list of sake, shochu. Wines also available.

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Time and again I have said that vegans and vegetarians would probably have their happiest times in Japan, at least for gastronomes, because this country, and especially Shizuoka with its mild weather and abundance of vegetables all year round, can provide all ingredients all year round whose traceability is easy to prove!

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The above o-tooshi/お通し/is not vegetarian, but you aforementioned priorities will ensure it is!

There are many places in Shizuoka City and Prefecture offering alternatives to their omnivorous dishes for vegans and vegetarians who still want to enjoy their outing with friends with different priorities.
One such place, and arguably the best at it, is Yasaitei in Tokiwa Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
And here is one recommendation:

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Vegetable sashimi plate!
The above is the basic one, but you certainly may order for a bigger variety!

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View for the other side!

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Ice plant and celery!

One thing all these vegetables have in common is that they are super fresh, crunchy, juicy and so tasty!

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Tomatoes and daikon!

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Japanese cucumber!

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Onion and shiso/perilla leaf!

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Simple but exquisite dressing made with higher-class sesame oil, rock salt and miso paste!

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For friends who like seafood: cod roe steamed and marinated in rice vinegar!

YASAITEI
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 14 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
Individual orders (carte) welcome
Parties welcome

RECOMMENDED RELATED

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Japanese Fish Species 9: Kohada/Gizzard Shad

Kohada/コハダ、or “small skin” actually is not the Japanese name of gizzard shad, but a generic name for the small fish as sashimi or sushi.
The real Japanese name for gizzard shad is konoshiro/コノシロ, and even the same fish goes by other names depending on its size:
-Up to 5 cm: shinko/シンコ
-Around 10 cm: kohada/コハダ
-More than 15 cm: konoshiro/コノシロ

Although the main fishing/angling season is around November~December, it can be found in good sushi restaurants all year round.
This said, in July, it will be the small shinko season.

Choose fresh specimens. Fish with reddish eyes and flaking scales should be avoided.
The fish is particularly popular pickled in salt and vinegar before being served either as sashimi or sushi, as the smell emanating form the grilled fish is too strong for many.

Kohada maki, with no rice, is an interesting morsel for people wishing to savour it alone with a great drink.

But it is most popular as sushi!
The small size of the fish allows for all kinds of combinations, but the fun, and the skill, reside in the “shallow cutting” practiced by many chefs for best taste.

The cutting techniques are almost infinite.
I hope that the following pictures will give an idea of what to expect, or create!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Japanese Fish Species 8: Kawahagi/Thread-sail Filefish

Kawahagi or Thread-sail Filefish (or simply Filefish) is an angler’s favorite in summer, although it is caught almost all year round in Shizuoka.
Like any other fishes, it has other names such as “Gihagi, “Hagi”, “Gyuu”, “Subuta” or “bakuchiuchi”.
It is fairly common in Central and South Japan.
It is called Leather jJcket down in Australia where it is considered a pest!

The skin should be rough like that of a shark and brightly coloured.
Avoid sticky skin fish.
The bigger the size, the greater the taste (anglers, enjoy!)

In Kansai area, it replaces Fugu/Globefish when it is out of season for its similarity as sashimi.

Actually it makes for superlative sashimi as demonstrated by the above O-Tsukuri served at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City!

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The same served with its own liver dip!

It can make for a spectacular sashimi presentation as a whole fish sashimi plate!

Both its flesh and liver can served raw!

Australians would be surprised to discover it served as tartare on Italian-style crostinis!

The perfect Kawahagi sushi nigiri must have be topped with its liver!

Cut in small slices, it makes for beautiful sushi gunkan!

Cooked, it is very popular simmered in soy sauce, mirin and sugar. A great accompaniment for a nice bowl of freshly steamed rice!

If you want to serve it as tempura, first season it with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums flesh of the sweet kind.

Now, what does this remind you of? Foie gras? Almost right! Grilled kawahagi Liver!

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Savoring the full Filefish meal at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City:

Back in June, as I had to atone for some somewhat egoistical pleasure-seeking, I took the Missus to our favourite Sushi Restaurant in Shizuoka City, namely Sushi Ko,located along Aoba Park.

Although we did order the inevitable favourites, “katsuo/bonito” sashimi, “Shirako to Ankimo/Combination of Cod Sperm sacs and Frogfish/Monkfish liver”, “Pon Kara Maguro/Deep-fried tuna cubes”, “Shishamo/Spirinchus lanceolatus”, “Hotate/Scallops”, “Maguro Zuke/Marinated Tuna sushi”, and “Amaebi nigiri to Shiraebi Gunkan/Sweet shrimp and white shrimp sushi”, the star of the day was “Kawahagi/Filefish”!

The chef took a splendid live specimen (see top pic) just caught off Mochimune coast in Shizuoka City out of the “aquarium” and proceeded to serve the complete fish in three different manners:

“O-Tsukuri”:
After having taken away the inedible skin, the chef first cut the fillets into very thin slices to be served with thin leeks and dip sauce made of ponzu mixed with the fresh liver of the same fish. As now is the best season, those comparatively thin fish come up with enormous livers!

“O nigiri”:
The chef managed to keep four slices aside to prepare nigiri with the fish flesh topped with a piece of its liver, some “momiji oroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper” and seasoned with ponzu!

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“Kara age”:
The “cheeks bones” with their meat were last deep-fried and served as they are with some lemon. Simple and great!
All this with one single fish!

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 WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Japanese Fish Species 7: Katsuo/Bonito

Bonito or “katsuo/鰹” in Japanese are extensively caught by fishermen from Numazu, Shimizu, Yaizu and Omaezaki Harbors (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 favorite is probably as zuke/marinated in soy sauce, mirin, sake, etc. before being served with a slice of garlic!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City