Simple Recipes: Bonito Sushi

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My better (worse?) half came up with this idea after she got hold of quality “katsuo tataki” (slightly grilled bonito).
She prepared the sushi rice balls according to tradition with the addition of fine pieces of pickled fresh ginger (as this is the season rigt now).

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She then placed a slice of bonito seasoned with ponzu with more thin sliced pickled ginger, “tobikko” (flying fish roe) and finley chopped thin leeks>

Great with sake!

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Japanese Restaurant: Izutsuya

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Yui (will be part of Shimizu Ku in 2008) is renown all over Japan for the only place where “sakura ebi” (“Cherry Shrimps”) are caught. In season, it is the only place where you can eat them fresh in the morning literally out of the net in local restaurants!

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Such a restaurant is Izutsuya, located along the main road called “Sakura Ebi Street” about 15 minutes away from the station on foot. It will also become a good opportunity to visit Yui which has quite a lot to offer, especially the the Hiroshige Ukiyoe Museum (which includes an interesting local products shop).
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Sumo officionados will notice an interesting latticed paper window with hand-brushed sumo designs in Chinese ink.
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Itsuzuya offers all kinds of dishes and appetizers with sakura ebi.
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As for people with hearty customers, choose one of the “set menus”. They are very good value, typically Japanese, and scrumptious!
Do make a point to try “Sakura Ebi Kaki Age” (picture above). It is a gastronomic experience!
As for sake lovers, do not worry! Itsuzuya serves a Shosetsu Brewery (Yui) nama honjozo in small 300ml bottles!

Izutsuya
Ihara Gun, Yui Cho, Yui, 314 (go down at Yui JR Station/Tokaido Line)
Business hours: 11:30~14:00, 17:00~20:00
Closed on Mondays (Tuesdays if Mondays happen to be National Holidays)
Caters for large parties.
Tel.: 0543-752039
Fax: 0543-754415

Agricultural Products: Bio Jam

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As I visited Yui City (soon to become part of Shimizu Ku), a city famous for its “Sakura Ebi”, I discovered some interesting local agricultural products.
More and more famers/growers in this Prefecture choose not to use any additives, colorings, preservatives, sucrose or whatever finishing in “tin” or “peptin”.
One of them at Matsunaga Koen, Yaizu City, concocts great jams with local fruit and no artificial ferilizers or man-made additives as mentioned above.
I chose two particular ones among his array:
(as above) Lemon jam:
Name: Marugoto Marmelade Lemon
Ingredients: lemon, sugar
Weight: 200g
Bottled: August, 17th, 2007

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Great natural colour. True lemon taste. Acidity as expected (remember, this lemon!).
Perfect on toast this morning!
Would make great ingredient in sauces or even dressing!

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Biwa (Loquat) jam:
Name: Tezukuri Jam Biwa
Ingredients: loquat, sugar, lemon
Weight: 200g
Bottled August, 10th, 2007

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Beautiful dark orange colour. True loquat taste. Sweet, but not overwhelming.
Great on its own, with cheese, cheese cake. Could also be added to sauces. Plenty of possibilities!

Matsunaga Koen (Matsunaga Kyoko)
Shizuoka Ken, Ihara Gun, Yui cho, Nishi Kurasawa, 98-1
Tel.: 054-3752297

Shizuoka Izakaya: Tonami

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Tonami originally opened in 2002 but was bought by the present couple owners mid 2005, for the better, I must say.
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The name “Tonami” means “Rabbit Wave”, and for rabbit lovers, the place is simply full of them!
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Located in the middle of the Shizuoka “Gourmet Town” Tokiwa-cho district, it is a very welcoming place where individuals or small parties of up to four will comfortably sit. I noticed that customers greatly vary in age, always a good sign.
As in any such establishments, sashimi is a good criterion for judging the quality of the fare: the sanma (saury, mackerel pike) was excellent and very fresh (they serve us the bones and head deep-fried later) and very tasty.
They do have original recipes and unusual morsels. I would like to recommend the following:
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(in above order) Deep-fried avocado and scallops Spring rolls, deep-fried whalemeat (yes, you red it!) and kushiyaki (Japanes brochettes)
They also serve a mean Japanese-style tripes curry!
All at reasonable prices for such an establishment.
As for drinks, the usual, but they also serve an excellent Shizuoka Sake, namely Isojiman Honjozo (Yaizu City): no need for dessert!
A place certainly worth a second visit!

Tonami
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 2-9, K Montania Bldg., 1F
Tel.: 054-2512012
Business hours: 17:00~24:00 (weekdays), 15:00~22:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Tuesdays

Shizuoka Izakaya: Kobayashi

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If you are hungry and thirsty, on your way to the station after a long day’s work, but not in a hurry, Kobayashi is certainly one of the most natural places to visit.
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It stands at a corner just before the back entrance of parco Dept. Store, only a few minutes walk from your train (or your next destination?). The present (young) generation looking after the establishment is the third one following the steps of its founder in the 1950’s.
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Both officionados of “oden” (fish paste balls and others slowly cooked in Japanese broth) and “kushiyaki” (japanese brochettes) will findtheir favourite morsels there. Note that the “oden” are very much “Shizuoka-style”, that cooked a long time and comparatively of daek colour, although the broth was lighter than in some other typical “odenya”
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As for drinks, local patrons enjoy the usual fare, but I had the pleasure to discover a local sake on sale, Sugunishiki Honjozo (Sugii Brewery, Fujieda City). If you on your way back to another Prefecture, make sure to taste it!

Kobayashi
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Koya Machi, 5-1
Tel.: 054-2524932
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays