Tag Archives: トリガイ

Shellfish Species 6: Turbo Shell/Sazae

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Japanese turbo shells with and without “spikes”

Turbo shells are common all over the world, but are not eaten everywhere. Called Sazae or Sadae in Japan, they are at their best in Winter and Spring.
About 10,000 tonnes are consumed every year.

SAZAE-KOREA

Korean turbo shells are also found in markets.

The Japanese consider that the best specimen should have a comparatively thin shell and well-pointed “head horn”.
They should not emit any noise when lightly shaken.
They should be avoided in hot weather as they tend to spoil quickly.

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They can enjoyed grilled with soy sauce.
As sushi,they can be served as nigiri either raw or cooked.
Large specimen’s livers are served raw as “gunkan”!

Note: I feel in a good mood today as I slowly manage to convince old Blogspot friends like Melinda and new ones like Rachael to modify their Comment Box! At last I can leave messages and compliments for these great sites! LOL

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Shellfish Species 5: Gaper/Mirugai

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We are just in season for Mirugai or Gaper Shellfish.
Known under many names including Mirugai, Mirukui, Mirukuigai, Mirukugai, Guidakku, Umitake or Atlantic Miru, it is a bit grotesque with its vent protruding endlessly.
In Japan it is collected mainly in the sea between Shikoku and Honshu islands.

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It can be either dark brown or completely whitish beige.
When consumed as sushi or sashimi, the dark skin is taken off.
It is widely consumed in this country and more are imported from Canada, and Korea. There is practically no difference in taste or quality whatever its origin.

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It is particularly popular with sushi lovers with a big appetite!

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Shellfish Species 4: Surf Clam/Torigai

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“Torigai” does not have a real name in English. They are approximately translated “large cockle”
They appear on the market in Spring and earlier in Shizuoka Prefecture. They are mainly found in Tokyo Bay, Ise bay and Seto Inner Sea. Some are imported from Korea, but catches can wildly vary, especially with the occurence of “red tides”. A lot are imported from Aichi Prefecture to Shizuoka.

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They must be absolutely fresh to be consumed.
One easy way to check if they are still fresh is to slam them on the wooden board. They shouldimmediately retract, even if cut out. They are at their cheapest between March and May.

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(Pic taken at Sushiya No Ichi, Shizuoka City)

They can appreciated either as tsumami with a little grated wasabi and shoyu, or as nigiri.
Beware of torigai with a thin colour! They are not fresh!

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