Japanese Crustacean Species 1: Shiro Ebi-White Shrimp/白海老

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Shiroebi or White Shrimp is not as known as other shrimp/prawn varieties. However, it is a very popular crustacean in Japanese cuisine.
Also known under the the names of “Shiraebi, Hirataebi and Bekkoebi”, it is mainly caught between depths of 40 and 200 metres off the coasts of Toyama Bay on the other side of Japan and Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture.

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It is mainlly served as sashimi with some ponzu and grated fresh ginger

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or as “gunkan” topped with a dash of grated fresh ginger.

It is possible to serve it as “nigiri”, although one would need large specimen, as the usual length is only 7 cm.
Shiroebi appears on our tables between April and November in many guises:

shirebi-4

The picture above shows on the right the shiroebi in its natural flesh whereas on the left it has been kept between two sheets of wetted seaweed for a while as “kombu-jime”, another very popular way to prepare all kinds of sashimi/sushi.

White Shrimps also enter in the preparation of a kind of “Tamagoyaki”/Japanese Omelette when they are first processed into a paste and mixed thoroughly with beaten eggs, sieved and then cooked.
The Japanese also love them as soft sembei/rice crackers.

The annual catch has exceeded 600 tonnes in recent years, half of them in Toyama.
They are also exported whole.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2011/12/28): The Dawn of a New Year

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
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The Dawn of a New Year

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

It has become a Baird Beer tradition to greet the dawn of each new year with a special “First Brewed” (Hatsujozo) seasonal specialty beer. At the stroke of midnight on the evening of December 31, we — along with a host of other Baird Beer retailing pubs/restaurants in Japan — pour this commemorative Hatsujozo and share it with our fellow beer enthusiasts in a toast to the New Year.

New Baird Beer Seasonal Release:
*Hatsujozo 2012 Strong Belgian Gold (ABV 8%):

This year’s “First Brewed” is a take on a Belgian-style strong golden ale: a base-malt grist (Maris Otter, Pils, Munich, Sour) buttressed by a mammoth addition of Japanese korizato sugar that yields a strong 17.3 Plato wort; a moderate hopping regimen (30 IBU) that is conducted in five separate additions and combines nine different hop varieties (Motueka, Tradition, Perle, Vanguard, Glacier, Sterling, Hersbrucker, Saaz, Tettnanger); warm fermentation with our house Belgian ale yeast; and secondary fermentation and natural carbonation in package with the same Belgian ale strain. 2012 promises great things; Hatsujozo 2012 Strong Belgian Gold is the first it will deliver!

Hatsujozo 2012 is available this year exclusively in kegs. It is meant to be enjoyed at a fine pub or restaurant on draught and in the company of friends, family, colleagues and all the great people we count as beer enthusiasts.

Kampai to 2012!

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Vegetarian Gastronomy: My Best 10 dishes in Shizuoka City in 2011!

Vegetable Sashimi Plate at Yasaitei (Japanese Izakaya)!

Although I’m neither a vegetarian or a vegan, the City of Shizuoka is a superlative venue when it comes to vegetable gastronomy thanks to the innumerable products grown by dedicated farmers in Shizuoka Prefecture!
I was going to make it a Prefecture compilation when I realized the City was far more than enough!
I sincerely hope all those pictures will entice you to visit our City!
I made a point to specify the cuisine genre to give you a better idea!

Fennel Gratin at Porta Porta (Italian Restaurant)!

Vegetarian Plate at Locomani (Japanese Health Restaurant)!

Skillet-baked Vegetables at Solio (Italian Restaurant)!

Bania Cauda Vegetables Plate at Piatto (Italian Restaurant)!

Steamed Vegetables Plate at Cham (Chinese Restaurant)!

Daikon Katsu at Waga (Japanese Izakaya)!

Vegetable Steak at Testuya Sugimoto (French Restaurant)!

Red Moon French fries at Chez Satsukawa (French Restaurant)!

“Goro Goro” Salad at uzu (Japanese Izakaya)!

If you need the addresses and contacts of all the establishments I’ll be glad to oblige!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Crab Species 4: Japanese Mitten Crab/Mokuzugani藻屑蟹

MOKUZUGANI-1

Japanese Mitten Crab or Mokuzugani/藻屑蟹 in Japanese is also called Mokuzou, Zugani, Tsugani or Kegani.
It is caught alsmost everywhere in Japan in Autumn and Winter.
In Autumn the females come to lay their eggs at river mouths.
Plenty are found along the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.
They are caught in boxes baited with fish.

As for food, they can be eaten boiled in soups or crushed with their shell and cooked with miso. They could even be prepared as French bisque.

MOKUZUGANI-FEMALE

The female specimens are particularly appreciated for their egg sacs.

MOKUZUGANI-SUSHI

These boiled egg sacs with the meat make for delicious sushi nigiri or gunkan!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Today’s Bento/Lunch Box: The Dragon’s Best 10 in 2011!

Oyako /”Parent & Child” (Salmon) Bento!

“Dragon” is the Japanese nickname for the Missus and I can guarantee you she deserves it! LOL
Here is a very personal selection among the 69 bentos she made for me this year!

Kegani/Hair Crab Bento!

Sakura/Cherry Blossom Bento!

Chess Board Bento!

Soboro Oyako (Chicken) Bento!

Quail Scotch Eggs Bento!

Ume Inari Sushi Bento!

Umeboshi Chicken Roll Bento!

Dry Curry bento!

“Funny Face” Roll Bento!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

My best 10 Desserts in Shizuoka in 2011!

Dessert plate at Contorno, Mochimune, Shizuoka City!
Chocolate Cake, pear compote and blueberry sauce, sweet tomato, lemon sauce and organic mint.

People have a sweet tooth in Shizuoka Prefecture, but since the region is extravagantly rich in agricultural products real Shizuoka desserts are very much on offer in superlative restaurants!
These are the best ten in my biased opinion.
Note that there is no particular order to them!

Sakekasu/Japanese sake white lees sorbet at Cham, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!

Dessert plate at Il Castagno, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
Fig tart, “Pone” expresso coffee and chocolate pudding, peach and plum sorbets!

Dessert plate at Orta, Naka Ku, Hamamtsu City!
Blueberry cheese cake, chocolate cake and mango ice-cream

Fig compote and Darjheeling tea jelly at Pissenlit in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!

Pheasant eggs (Hamamatsu City) and sugar cane brown sugar caramel (Kakegawa City) and sugar cane brown sugar sorbet at Testuya Sugimoto in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!

Soy sauce (Gotemba City) mousse, frozen mikan orange and lemon sorbet at Tetsuya Sugimoto in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!

Peach Compote and vanilla ice cream at Ninosa in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!

“Splendeur” by Bernard Heberle at Abondance Cake Shop in Naka Ku, Hamamatsu City!

Carrot Creme Brulee and organic mikan orange caramelisee at Pissenlit in Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!

If you need the addresses and contacts of all the establishments I’ll be glad to oblige!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Crab Species 3: Japanese Spider Crab/Takaashigani/高足蟹

TAKAASHIGANI-1

Takaashigani/高足蟹, literally meaning “Tall Legs Crab” is the largest crab in the worldand is caught almost only around Japan especially in the Suruga Bay In Shizuoka Prefecture and Izu Islands, but numbers of the crab have diminished over recent years, and there are many efforts to protect them. In Shizuoka Prefecture, people even help them grow from the eggs before returning them to the sea!

Fully grown, it can reach a leg span of almost 4 m (13 ft), a body size of up to 37 cm (15 inches) and a weight of up to 20 kg (44 lb). The crab’s natural habitat is on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean (some 300 to 400 m deep) around Japan, where it feeds on dead animals and shellfish. It is believed to have a life expectancy of up to 100 years.

The Japanese spider crab has 10 legs. The front two legs have been adapted into claws. It has an orange body with white spots on its thin legs. In males, the limbs on which the claws are located become longer than its other limbs, and a large male can widen them to more than 3 m. The oval-shaped and vertically rounded shell can reach 30 cm in width and can be up to 40 cm long. The compound eyes are situated on the front, and two thorns stick out between them. Younger specimens feature hair and thorns on the shell, and their frontal horns are longer, but these gradually atrophy as the crab ages.

In Japan it is considered a delicacy and prices can easily jump!
The Japanese spider crab is caught using small trawling nets, and is often eaten salted and steamed.

TAKAASHIGANI-BOILED

Interestingly enough, when bolied/steamed, not only the shell but also the flesh turns red.

TAKAASHIGANI-SUSHI

They do make for impressive sushi!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery