Japanese Crustacean Species 2: Large Prawn/”Botan ebi”

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Botanebi/”Botan” Prawn, or “Pandalus nipponesis” for the specialists, is a large prawn found in all seas of Japan at depths varying from 300 to 500 metres. They are caught at 200~300 metres depth in Suruga Bay and along the WEstern coast of Izu Peninsula In Shizuoka Prefecture. Once abundant, they have become scarce and only small specimen are found whereas Hokkaido produces up to 20cm-long prawns.


They are known under different names: toyamaebi and Kijiebi.
It is not a cheap morsel in Sushi bars. But it is interesting to note they are essentially eaten raw as like “amaebi”, they become very sweet after some time in the refrigerator.


Now, if you are lucky enough to find them fresh with their eggs, ask your chef to dress them as above, or even better, put the eggs on top of a “gunkan nigiri”!


And one more thing, if they are fresh again, don’t forget to ask for the heads deep-fried!

Incidentally, botanebi change sex (gender) with age to end up as big juicy females!

Vegan Farandole for the New Year!

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Last Sunday, not the New Year I must admit, I had to cook dinner for my other half, and I just happened to be litterally submerged with vegetables.
Why not create something vegeterian, or even better, something vegan, at least to justify my omnivorous preferences? I thought.
Well, I came with a simple idea that can expanded at infinitum. It has the merit of making use of very healthy ingredients and help the system take a much needed rest! LOL

farandole-oil-22 farandole-oil-3 farandole-oil-1

I utilized three different oils from three different countries to add a little inernationalization: Olive oil from Italy, Walnut oil from France and Argan oil from Morocco!

In the centre of the plate I arranged a “circle” of boiled potatoes mixed in “brandade style” with plenty of olive oil, avocado, black olives, lemon juice, a minimum of salt, chopped fresh garlic, pepper, nutmeg, thyme and yuzu chili pepper. Indian friends would probably add plenty more spices.
I surrounded it with a thin crown of boiled diced brocoli stems and shiso/perilla shoots/mini leaves.


I then added plenty of dressing around the lot. The dressing was made with walnut oil, taragon white wine vinegar, soft Dijon mustard (with seeds), lemon juice, a little salt, pepper and a large amount of very finely chopped fresh parsley and basil. It was very consistent and easy to spread without “leaking” everywhere.
Around the whole, I arranged boiled green brocoli, white cauliflower and yellow cauliflower (beautiful and very tasty) all grown in Shizuoka Prefecture.
I decorated the potato core with plum tomato wedges, and sprinkled both the cauliflower(s) and tomatoes with a little dash of argan oil (take it easy with this particular oil as it is particularly fragrant!).

I hope this will give ideas to my vegan and vegetarian friends for the New Year repast! By the way, “Farandole is a dance!

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (50)

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If I’m not sorely mistaken, this is the last bento concocted by the Missus in 2008.
The next one should be onlie on January 5th!
A “classical” bento by my other half’s standards making use of whatever was in the fridge!


The rice has been the same for some time: white rice steamed with beans (and their juice) and “hijiki/sweet seaweed”. A very lealthy and hearty fare with plenty of calories!


As for the “o-yatsu/accompaniment”, deep-fried “sanma/mackerel pike” that was seasoned with sauce beforehand and complemented with plentyof lemon, cornichons and black olives, plum tomatoes, and on a bed of finely chopped vegetables, boiled brocoli and cauliflower. Very healthy, again!

I had dressing for the salad and mandarine oranges at the office to make it complete!

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter

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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2008 #27

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

We will be ushering out 2008 and drinking in 2009 with New Year’s Eve Countdown parties at both the Fishmarket and Nakameguro Taprooms. Event details are listed below.

Fishmarket Taproom Countdown Party (Wednesday, December 31, 5:00 pm start)

*All-you-can-eat Mexican buffet @ 1,000 yen per person (5:00 – 11:00 pm)
*500 yen Baird Beers throughout the evening
*Midnight debut of Hatsujozo 2009 Double IPA (complimentary glass to all patrons for 2009 inaugural toast)
*Reservations NOT required

Nakameguro Taproom Countdown Party (Wednesday, December 31, 7:00 pm start)

*All-you-can-eat buffet and All-you-can-drink Baird Beer @ 5,000 yen per person
*Midnight debut of Hatsujozo 2009 Double IPA (complimentary glass to all patrons for 2009 inaugural toast)
*Reservations NOT required

At Baird Beer we mark the transition to each new year with the release of a special Double IPA brewed uniquely in celebration of the fresh possibilities represented by the turning of the calendar. We kick off beer year 2009 with the midnight hour release of Hatsujozo 2009 Double IPA

Hatsujozo 2009 Double IPA (ABV 8.1%):

The wort produced for Hatsujozo 2009 is strong (21.5 Plato) but simple (two primary ingredients: Maris Otter malt and sudakito sugar). The hopping is equally strong (85 IBU) but more complex with four varieties of American hops (Warrior, Columbus, Centennial, Amarillo). Dry-hopping in the conditioning tank takes place with equal amounts of Columbus, Centennial and Amarillo. We kraeusen at packaging with wort from a different IPA in order to achieve secondary fermentation and natural carbonation. If Hatsujozo 2009 Double IPA is any indication, the Japan beer enthusiast is in for a fantastic year in 2009.

Hatsujozo 2009 Double IPA will be available on draught beginning January 1 at select Baird Beer retailing pubs and restaurants throughout Japan (including our own Taprooms). A limited number of 633 ml bottles also will be available for purchase at Baird Beer retailing liquor stores in Japan.

Taproom O-shogatsu Business Hours

*Fishmarket Taproom will be closed on January 1 and 2. It will re-open for business on Saturday, January 3 at noon. January 3 and 4 will feature several O-shogatsu dishes (prices ranging from 300 to 600 yen) cooked up by Takanaka Tencho and Sayuri to celebrate the New Year.

*Nakameguro Taproom will be closed on January 1. It will re-open for business on Friday, January 2 at 2:00 pm. Business hours from January 2 – 5 will be 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm before returning to normal on January 6.

Happy New Year!

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan

Open Quiche (with Leek, Bacon and Potato)

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Some people, sometimes rightly, complain that quiches, for all their quality, are a bit heavy because of the pastry. I sometimes cook them without pastry, calling them “open Quiche”. They are simple to make and are welcome by foodies with an allergy to flour.

Here is the simple one I made for the Missus last night a very cold night!)

Ingredients (for 2 to 4 people):
-Eggs: 3 large
-Fresh Cream: 400 cc (2 cups)
-Fresh leek: one large, chopped.
-Potato: 1 medium-large
-Bacon: 2 large rashers, cut in 1 cm-thin strips
-Lemon juice: 1 teaspoon
-Grated parmesan cheese: 1 large tablespoon
-Butter: 50 g for frying vegetables + enough to coat inside of oven dish
-Salt ( as little as possible), pepper, nutmeg, thyme, laurel and anything else you wish according to your preferences.

-Bring a pan full of salted water to boil, drop all the chopped leek in and boil for a couple of minutes. Take out and plunge the leek into cold water. Let cool, then drain, and put them aside in draining dish to allow any excess water to go away. This will take care of the leek’s astringency and make it softer. If too wet, press water out before adding them to the quiche.
-Boil potato to 80%, plunge in cold water (this way, it will not break or disappear inside the quiche), peel and cut into 1 cm square cubes. Put aside.
-Dry-fry (that is, do not add any oil) bacon until the colour has changed. Put aside.
-In same fry-pan, to preserve the juices left by the bacon, drop 50 g of butter and lightly sautee the leeks and potato for a couple of minutes. Put aside.
-Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (about 360 degrees F).
-In a bowl drop the leek, bacon and potato, season with lemon juice, a little salt, plenty of pepper and spices and mix well.
-In another bowl break the eggs and beat them into an omelette. Add fresh cream and mix well. Add a little salt, pepper and spices according to taste. Last parmesan cheese. Mix and check taste.
-Butter the inside of a large shallow oven dish (glass is best as you can see the inside cooking). Spread the bacon, potato and leek mix over the bottom. Pour in the omelette over the whole. Check and arrange the heavier food inside the omelette with a fork for more evenness.
-Cook for about 40 minutes


Serve hot. You should be able to cut it and transfer it easily if you have buttered the dish properly. Serve with a fresh salad and a light red wine or real ale!

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (49)

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The end of the year is always a very hectic time in Japan.
The two of us busy in spite of no university holiday, the Missus prepared a typical, if very simple bento:
On a bed of freshly steamed rice she spread some slices of soft “sha shu/Chinese-style braised pork” she quickly heated again in sweet soy sauce with a few pieces of processed cheese and sprinkled with black sesame. The sauce added welcome tatse to the rice.
One “umeboshi/pikled Japanese plum” and a few cornichons provided the saour balance to the sweetness of the meat.
For greens she included lettuce leaves and plum tomatoes and boiled spinach salad.
The dessert was providedwith plenty of “tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette”
Quite filling actually! And tasty!

One more bento on Monday and then I will post 2008 bento compilation!

Sashimi Set: Sushi Ko Restaurant

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Last night, the Missus and I went out to celebrate Christmas our own way by having dinner at Sushi Ko, our favourite sushi restaurant in Shizuoka City!
This was our first order, a “sashimi no moriawase/sashimi plate”.
All seafood came from Shizuoka Prefecture!
For the rest of our dinner, please check Shizuoka Sushi!

From left to right:
“Mebachi Maguro/Big-eyed Tuna” on a “shiso/perilla” leaf and finely cut daikon, fresh “Sakura Ebi/Cherry Blossom Shrimp” from Yui with grated ginger and cucumber, “Aburi Kinmeidai/slightly grilled Golden Eyes Snapper/Seabream”, lemon, “Shiso no Hana/Perilla Flowers, “Ishidai/Parrot bass, Stone Flounder, Striped Knifejaw” and freshly grated wasabi!

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)