Shellfish Species 10: Ark Shell/Akagai

(Ark shell sashimi in its own shell)

Akagai or Ark Shell tends to frighten potential sheffish amateurs because of its other English name, “Bloody Shell”, not only because of its deep reddish-orange colour, but also because of the reddish water it gives off upon opening.


Now, shellfish do not have blood in our mammal concept.
Bear in mind that many shellfish are used for dyeing cloth, and if if I’m not mistaken, ark shells fulfill both utilitarian and gastronomic needs.


It does require some skill to open and present.


The main “Tongue” and “Thread/Akahimo” are edible.

The best season is Autumn, although they are available all year round. They are pretty abondant along the Japan southern coastlines, but many of them are also imported from Korea and China amounting to 80% of the total domestic consumption.


Ark shells are usually not served cooked.
Sashimi (see top picture) is very much apprecaited but sushi nigiri is definitely the most popular way to savour them!

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sake, shochu and sushi


12 thoughts on “Shellfish Species 10: Ark Shell/Akagai”

  1. Dear Robert,

    I don’t think I have seen this shells over here in Malaysia. You are so blessed to get to savor all this delicious shell fish :))

    Btw, Robert, sorry I have to ask you this, how do I get to remove the photo from my blog post. I accidently post up the wrong photo :))) Age is catching up LOL. Appreciate it if you can help me out. Kinda foolish of me and now I am damsel in distress!



    1. Dear Elin!
      Go to your post on Foodbuzz. Click on “MY PROFILE”, then on “MY RECIPES”. Look for that particular post.
      Click on the title of your post.
      Then click on edit on the scroll bar up right and modify accordingly!


  2. Well, the shell looks pretty cool but I think once inside, that would not do well with my stomach. But you have some amazing info and pictures on your site!


    1. Dear Terecita!
      I reckon this particular one might be considered an acquired taste!
      One more posting, and I start with cephalopods (octopus, cuttle fish), and then crustaceans (not finished yet!) and finally more fish!LOL


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