Shellfish Species 8: Pen Shell/Tairagi

TAIRAGI-4

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

TAIRAGI-1

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.

TAIRAGI-2

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.

TAIRAGI-3

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!

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