Sashimi and Sushi for the Saint Valentine!


I suppose I have to bend to the Saint Valentine since I started receiving presents from other ladies (at my grand age?).
I would like to reciprocate, but in Japan men have to wait until March 14t, “White Day”, another festivity invented the Japanese Chocolate Businesses.
I will just suggest to do it more the “Japanese Way”, LOL.

Above are two heart-shaped slices of Minami Maguro/South Pacific Tuna. That is for the solid appetites.


Now, for the small appetites, how about these dainty, minuscule “genkan sushi” with ikura/salmon roe.
they are very easy to design. They are everywhere in Sushi restaurants these days!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Foodbuzz Research (for a): Fish Stocks Preservation & Repleneshing in Japan


First of all, let me say that Foodbuzz never asked me for such an article. I just wrote it out of concern for some of my Foodbuzz Friends!

It was Lou-Ann‘s surprise in particular which prompted me into more investigation to back up knowledge acquired trhough many years spent in this great country, Japan.

I use the word “great” for a simple reason:
Japan is the one country which most extensively conducts and sponsors research and development of fish stocks.
This country has also come up with some momentous discoveries related to the fishing environment:
-Japanese fishermen south of Kyushu Island discovered that planting trees on small islands increased manifold the amount of vegetal plankton carried into the surrounding sea resulting in an immediate increase of the fish population.
-Japanese researchers found out that building small pyramids on the sea floor with concrete or plastic (a beneficial dumping at last?) blocks attracted corals, sea anemones, seaweed and shellfish, thus creating a food chain for fish. Such pyramids will surely prove more beneficial to mankind than all the Egyptian pyramids put together!

The Japanese have been (unjustly) accused of emptying the seas. Actually Spain holds the world record for fish catch and consumption.
I already have written an article on whale meat. I find it galling that Japan is still villified for eating whale meat by the very countries which depopulated the globe of sea-mammals in the 19th Century: US, Canada, Russia, Australia and New Zealand (alright, Great Britain for the last two maybe!) in the Pacific Ocean. Us, Canada, Norway, Great Britain, France (my own country!), Spain and Russia in the Atlantic Ocean. And most of them again in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. What do you think Commodore Perry was before he was delegated to order Japan to “open its doors”?
This country is repeatedly thrown into the same basket of evils. I was recently “told off” because the Japanese kill sharks for their fins before throwing the dead fish back into the sea. Sorry, mate, but you will have to ask the Chinese! The Japanese eat the whole fish when they catch it.

It could go on and on, but this is not the real purpose of this article.

Now, to illustrate and justify the heading of this posting, here is a list of the fish and seafood raised in Japan as opposed to being caught in the wild:

Blue Fin Tuna/Honmaguro

Yes, you read it, Blue Fin Tuna! After 23 years of experimentation, a Kyushu fishmonger has finally succeeded in producing the fish from natural mating inside giant offshore sea parks. The fish is already sold over the counter at supermarkets.
With a ban on tuna fishing in the Mediterranean Sea being pushed through legislation by the EU, Japan will find itself one day in the rich position of actually exporting tuna!

Big-eyed Tuna/Mebachi Maguro

Human-raising Research is being conducted.

Albacore Tuna: Kihada Maguro

Human-raising Research is being conducted.

Indian Ocean Tuna/Indo Maguro: Human-raising Research is conducted abroad and such fish are imported to Japan.


Over 62,000 tons of human-raised fish consumed last year.


Over 49,000 tons of human-raised fish consumed last year.

Striped Jack/Shima Aji

Over 3,000 tons of human-raised fish consumed last year.

Horse Mackerel/Ma Aji

Over 3,500 tons of human-raised fish consumed last year.

True Mackerel-Japanese Mackerel/Ma Saba

Human-raising succeeded and fish are already sold over the counter.

True Sardine-Pilchard/Ma Iwashi

Human-raising Research is being conducted.

Isaki/Grouper variety-Parapristipona Trilinoatum

9 tons of human-raised fish consumed in Nagasaki Prefecture alone last year.

Silver Salmon/Gin Sake

Over 8,000 tons of human-raised fish consumed last year.


Over 71,000 tons of human-raised fish consumed last year as opposed to 15,000 tons caught at sea.


382 tons tons of human-raised fish consumed in Kagawa Prefecture alone last year.

Sand Borer-Sillago/Kisu

Human-raising Research is being conducted.

Bar-tailed Flathead/Kochi

Human-raising Research is being conducted.

Ainame/Alexagrammos otakii

Human-raising has succeeded and some fish are already sold over the counter.

Kelp Bass/Kue

A success story in Shizuoka and Nagasaki Prefectures where human-raised fish (one of the most expensive until then) are already sold over the counter.

Globefish-Tiger Globefish/Tora Fugu

Over 5,000 tons of human-raised fish consumed last year.

Large Prawn/Kuruma Ebi

Over 1,700 tons of human-raised prawns consumed last year.

Spiny Lobster/Ise Ebi

Human-raising Research is being conducted.

Ark Sheel-Bloody Clam/Akagai

Human-raising Research is being conducted.


Human-raising Research is being conducted

Large Cockle/Torigai

Human-raising Research is being conducted

Hard Clam/Hamaguri

Very large amounts of half human-raised shellfish consumed last year.

Surf Clam/Hokkigai

Human-raising Research being conducted

Abalone/ Awabi

32 tons tons of human-raised abalones consumed in Hokkaido and Nagasaki Prefectures alone last year.


Over 270,000 tons of human-raised scallops consumed last year.


Over 220,000 tons of human-raised oysters + over 35,000 tons of the same out of the shell consumed last year as opposed to 1,600 tons of wild oysters.

Sea Urchin/Uni

7 tons tons of human-raised sea urchin consumed in Hokkaido Prefecture alone last year.

Conger Eel/ Ma Anago

Human-raising Research is being conducted

Common Eel/Unagi

Over 21,000 tons of human-raised fish consumed last year as opposed to 610 tons caught in the wild.

Oike Conger eel/Hamo

Human-raising Research is being conducted.

The Japanes have also starting research on different varieties of octopus/tako and squids/ika.

That is all for the moment! LOL

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Today’s Lunch Box/ Bento (’9/10)


Today’s bento was definitely on the classic side!


Four big nigiri/rice balls, two them mixed with chopped Japanese-style oickles, the other two for once wrapped inside a band of nori/dry seaweed comtainig each a sweet-style umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum.
Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette, chicken dango/meat balls (explained later), cress and mini-tomatoes and home-made pickled daikon.


As for the chicken meatballs, they came in two varieties:
-minced chicken mixed with salt, pepper, spices, Japanese sake and chopped leeks, the whole rolled into black sesame seeds.
-Minced chicken mixed salt, pepper, different spices, Japanese sake, the whole rolled in chopped raw wantan skins.
Both times were then rolled into cornstarch and deep-fried.


As for the salad, it included two kinds of broccoli:


That picture is for Corre who lives in Japan, but does not believe such vegetables are grown in Japan! LOL.
Green Romanesco Broccoli and Violet Broccoli, which turn blue upon being boiled!
On a bed of chopped greens.

Quite a big bento, actually!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2009/5)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2009 #5

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Winter is a time of hibernation for many species. The Barley Wine style of beer is not one of these. Winter is the season that this big bear of the beer world comes out to play. Baird Ganko Oyaji (“Stubborn Ol’ Man) Barley Wine 2009 is being released from his cellar cave on Wednesday, February 11 (coinciding with the kick-off of our Baird Big Beer Winter Week at the Nakameguro Taproom).

Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2009 (ABV 9%):

Brewed in July 2008 and packaged upon krauesening in October, Ganko Oyaji 2009 sports a grist bill of three base malts (including some wheat), two caramel matls and Japanese red sugar. The starting gravity is high (25.3 P) resulting in a strong beer, yet the apparent attenuation is modest at 67% leaving ample residual body and sweetness. This rich texture and sweet mouthfeel is balanced by 85 IBUs of American hops (Warrior, Columbus, Horizon, Sterling). Aroma hopping was done in the whirlpool but no dry-hopping was conducted in the conditioning tank. Ganko Oyaji is an ideal after-dinner or before bed restorative. It promises to condition nicely in the bottle and keg for months and years to come.

Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2009 will be available on draught and in bottle-conditioned (633 ml) form through the fine family of Baird Beer retailers in Japan (including our own Taprooms) beginning Wednesday, February 11. In addition, limited quantities of both bottle- (360 ml) and keg-conditioned Ganko Oyaji 2008 are also available for purchase. The vertical tasting of strong beers of different vintages is both highly enjoyable and extremely instructive.

Baird Big Beer Winter Week 2009 at the Nakameguro Taproom (Wednesday, February 11 – Tuesday, February 17):

Wednesday, February 11 is a Japan national holiday and Baird Big Beer Winter Week 2009 kicks off that day at noon at our Nakameguro Taproom. This annual event is a celebration of strong beers whose power and warmth are best enjoyed in the cold chill of the winter season. Fourteen different Big Beers will be on tap at Nakameguro all week long; they will be matched with ten or so original dishes being brainstormed by Yoko-chan and the Nakameguro Taproom kitchen staff (all priced between 500 and 1500 yen). The Big Beers to be offered are:

-Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2009
-Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2008
-West Coast Wheat Wine 2009
-West Coast Wheat Wine 2008
-Dark Sky Imperial Stout 2009
-Dark Sky Imperial Stout 2008
-Yabai Yabai! Strong Scotch Ale 2009
-Yabai Yabai! Strong Scotch Ale 2008
-Hatsujozo 2009 Double IPA
-Hatsujozo 2008 Double IPA
-Kinshu Domei Double IPA
-BakaYaro! Ale (Original receipe and concept of home-brewer Chris Poel)
-Baird Dubbel
-Double Piston Bock (Dopplebock)

All Big Beers will be served in half-pint (750 yen) and taster (400 yen) sizes only. Taster Cards (including punches for all fourteen beers) will be sold for 5,000 yen (600 yen discount from the a la carte purchase price). Taster Cards are valid for the duration of the event week but not thereafter. Please plan on joining us in Nakameguro for a fantastic Big Beer Winter Week!

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Today’s Lunch Box/ Bento (’9/9)


The Missus might have got wind of (I’m sure she hasn’t, LOL) my proposal to Foodbuzz for a Budget Lunch idea as today’s bento was definitely on the budget line!

Both of us had got up late, and the Missus was not in the mood to make anything elaborate. I just told her that sandwiches would be fine.
I’m not one to complain, what with my bulging waist!


Mind you, when I opened the sandwich package, I noticed that my (?) half had added a little twist. She devised the sandwich as a “double-decker” with three pieces of toasted bread.
The first deck consisted of a layer of guacomole-style avocado paste with tobikko/flying fish roe, lettuce, and plenty of smoked salmon.
The second deck was filled with egg salad. It made for a hearty sandwich.


As for my dose of Vitamin C, I was served the usual bed of chopped greens with boiled violet broccoli (grown in Shizuoka), small pieces of violet lettuce (same grower as for the broccoli), cress, mini-tomatoes, and strawberries for dessert.

I was still hungry past 5 p.m. Oh, well…

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Foodbuzz Proposal: Submit a Budget Lunch!


Upon reading recent great postings by budget-limited ladies like Sugarbar and GirlJapan introducing appetizing recipes and including stunning pics, I felt that in these times of poor economy and reduced budgets it could be a good idea to share experience in preparing meals without emptying your purse. After all, cakes and superlative dinners at renown restaurants are great, but we still have to eat balanced food at the best value everyday!

This is where I would like to propose the Foodbuzz gurus to open another section on their “Submit” window, namely “Submit a Budget Lunch”!

As an example to illustrate the above request, here is what The Missus came up with for lunch yesterday (full pic above):


The salad was made with chopped greens, boiled green and mauve (they turn violet upon boiling, but recover their original colour when sprinkled with dressing) all bought at the local supermarket and grown locally.


The rice bowl. I had two helpings.


The Missus steamed rice with home-stewed azuki beans and violet sweet potatoes. Upon steaming it, she took the konbu/seaweed piece out, chopped it fine and mixed it back with the rice. She served it in a bowl sprinkled with white sesame seeds.
Until now, this could have become a lunch for vegans or vegetarians!


The main dish. I had two helpings, too!


The whole lot was stewed in the “oden” fashion providing for great hot soup! It contained daikon, konnyaku (devil’s tongue tuber), ito (vermicelli) konnyaku, bacon-cabbage rolls, cabbage-sausage rolls (the rolls are home-made, not frozen) and “buta bara niku/large chunks of pork”.

Cheap, fulfilling and healthy!

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Abondance’s Classic Cakes (2): Tarte Siciliene/Sicilian Tart


As promised, this is another cake created by my good friend Bernard Heberle In Hamamatsu City!

In his own words:
“Voici le gâteau que je te propose ce mois ” Tarte Sicilienne ” qui est une tarte a base de Mascarpone et de pistache avec des Fraises de notre belle région ” 紅ほっぺ” sur un fond de pâte sucrée a la crème d’amande et coulis de fraise. Toute la Sicile dans l’assiette.”

“Here is the cake I would like to propose you this month, Sicilian Tart”, which is a tart based on Mascarpone and pistacchio with strawberries from our beautiful region called “Behi-Hoppe”/”Red Cheeks” on a bed of pate sucree with almond cream and strawberry coulis/sauce. All Sicilia in the plate!”

Need I comment? LOL

Address: Hamamatsu Shi, Sumiyoshi, 2-14-27 (in front of Seirei Hospital)
Tel.: 053-4738400
Fax: 053-4738401
Opening hours: 10:00~20:00. Closed on Tuesdays.

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi