“Torigai/鳥貝” has many names in English: Heart Clam, Surf Clam, Japanese Cockle. In Japanese it is called “Bird Shell”!
They appear on the market in Spring and earlier in Shizuoka Prefecture. They are mainly found in Tokyo Bay, Ise bay and Seto Inner Sea. Some are imported from Korea, but catches can wildly vary, especially with the occurence of “red tides”. A lot are imported from Aichi Prefecture to Shizuoka.
They must be absolutely fresh to be consumed.
One easy way to check if they are still fresh is to slam them on the wooden board. They should immediately retract, even if cut out. They are at their cheapest between March and May.
Torigai in its natural element
Torigai Ngiri sushi!
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2 thoughts on “Japanese Shellfish Species 4: Heart Clam-Torigai-鳥貝”
It looks delicious! The form reminds me of something I order in sushi here (but I haven’t been for ages so I don’t remember the name). It’s white with pink edges and a slightly “squiddish” texture. I really like it!
That one is called “Ubagai” or more commonly “Hokkigai”!
Coming! No 11!