Whalemeat: The Bare Truth


Following some insistent queries, I felt it was about time to publish my thoughts again about whalemeat!

One can easily eat whale meat at Sushi Restaurants In Shizuoka Prefecture or even buy it directly at supermarkets.


Most of it comes from Mink and Sperm Whales/Mako Kujira.
Whale meat should not be confused with Iruka/Dolphins whose meat has appeared on Japanese tables since times immemorial. It concerns an entirely different taste and cooking.

Whale meat can be appreciated in various forms:


“Kujira Tataki”, that is whale meat cooked in small cuts ready for sashimi.


“Kujira Salad”, including Whale Tartare and Carpaccio.


“Kuijra Seikyoyaki”, a Japanese way of cooking and serving cut to be eaten with hot rice, or even instead of a beef steak.


“Kujira Karaage”, or deep-fried whale meat, great with sake!


As Sushi, it does come in many guises to accomodate various parts.
Each region has its own traditional ways and presentations.
Incidentally, whale meat is safer than any meat from land animal, as it is purely biological!


Setting the record straight:

I fully understand this article will not be appreciated by some people, but do not expect me to apologize for whatever reasons!
I would like to to remind short memories that whales were practically decimated from (under) the surface of this world in the 19th Century by US and European whalers (including French Basques as I had to remind my own brother!) for their oil used in lamps. Once the fat was collected the remains were dumped back into the sea.

When the US in particular realised that they were quickly running out, they pushed for mineral oil exploitation with the economical and political consequences we are still suffering from. In short the overkilling of whales is the direct cause and link to wars in the Middle East.

Last but not least, who and what was Commodore Perry after all?
A whaler! The US had had promoted a common whaler captain to the grand rank of Commodore for the political and diplomatic needs of the time as he happened to ply his trade in nearby seas (I mean in the vicinity of Japan)!

I mentioned that whale meat is safer than beef. Incidentally, who practically exterminated bisons as a policy for driving Indians (Amerindians) out of the way and now makes a big deal of protecting them?



I once was accused of trying to get attention, being told in the process that whalemeat was not sold in my Prefecture.
Here is what is on sale at Parche, the largest Supermarket in Shizuoka City.


Whale bacon is available all year.
Reading the label, it said the whales wre caught in Northwestern Pacific. Bacon is very popular here and can be eaten at izakaya.


Plenty of dolphin meat is avalaible. This particularly came from Gunma Prefecture.
Dolphin meat is regularly served at Primary School lunches in Shizuoka Prefecture. The meat comes from dolphins who were accidentally caught in nets, or culled because of growing numbers (like hunters do with deer in the US)

Last question: What do the Inuit think of the US and Canada limiting or depriving them of their livelihood?

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sake, shochu and sushi


12 thoughts on “Whalemeat: The Bare Truth”

  1. This was really informative. I have always wanted to try whale but because I’m in the US, it is really hard to find some(legally). I have been criticized about my supporting of whaling. But is it actually true that most Japanese don’t even eat whale or know about whaling? I am hoping to live in Japan for my mother was born there, so I need to know is it easy to get whale meat in Tokyo?


    1. Dear Lou!
      Whale meat is relatively easy to find in Japan, although it depends on the region.
      Tokyo should be ok.
      Here in Shizuoka, 2 or 3 kinds are on sale!


  2. Dear Robert-Gilles,
    I know it’s a rather controversial issue, but your post is informative and very interesting. I remember growing up eating whale bacon once in a while, not too often. I think it was not always available at supermarkets 30 years ago, or possibly because of the region where I grew up.


  3. Very interesting, Robert-Gilles. On our trip to New England we visited New Bedford’s Whaling museum and learned all about the whaling industry that used to be there so I’m certainly aware of all the history and issues. I don’t think I would ever see whale meat on any US restaurant menus now though. So, how does it taste?


    1. Dear Natasha!
      Greetings! nice to hear from you again!
      I personally like whalemeat. It tastes something halfway between beef and venison. It has very little fat and is very healthy as meat goes!


  4. cher Robert-gilles : quand j’ai regarder les recettes sur la viande de baleine , j’ai penser aie aie aie ,mais j’ai lu ton explication et la synthèse qui m a convaincue : il est vrai qu’en France on ne nous explique pas tout ça aux informations : quant au tempora c’est la meilleure des fritures car elle est légère et croustillante :Joel Robuchon le confirme a chaque fois qu-il en fait dans ses emissions a la télévision !! c’est pas peu dire !! les japonais aussi sont réputés pour la découpe des légumes :ils en font des oeuvres d’art !on ose même pas les manger tellement c’est beau :quand métrât des photos de pates-croute maison ??c’est tu que nous maîtrisons tes frères et moi la fabrication du pâté croûte ??? bisous de lolotte ;


    1. Ma chere Laure!
      Excuse-moi du retard de cette reponse. J’ai ete en deplacement pendant deux jours.
      je vais voir ce que je peux faire apropos de nos pates. Tu as raison, il est temps qu’on en parle!


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