Japanese Fish Species 7: Katsuo/Bonito

Bonito or “katsuo/鰹” in Japanese are extensively caught by fishermen from Numazu, Shimizu, Yaizu and Omaezaki Harbors (all Shizuoka Prefecture). The main fishing areas are Shizuoka, Mie, Kochi & Miyazaki Prefectures.
It is also called “katsu” (Tohoku Region), “Honkatsuo” (Kyushu Island), “Magatsuo” (Shikoku and Kyushu Islands. N.B.: the same name designates another fish in other parts of Japan!), “Suji” (Yamaguchi & Wakayam Pref.).
It appears on the markets early Spring~Autumn as “sho gatsuo” (first bonito in Spring) and “modori gatsuo” (return bonito end of Autumn).
They are traditionally line-caught but nets have been used extensively in recent years.

It can be appreciated raw, as sashimi with its skin or without it, preferably served with a saucer of soy sauce (shoyu) mixed with thin slices of fresh garlic, or with wasabi, a touch of lemon and shoyu,

or as nigiri topped with grated fresh ginger a thin slice of garlic, unless you prefer grated fresh ginger with chopped thin leeks.

The same is done with lightly grilled/aburi (or tataki) bonito as sushi nigiri.

Another very popular way to eat it that will please Europeans and North Americans alike, is “tataki”.

The fish is first seared/grilled over charcoal until it is lightly cooked on the whole outside then plunged into iced water to stop it from cooking any longer. It is then cut into large slices and served with freshly chopped garlic and thin leeks, “shiso” leaves (perilla/beefsteak plant) and wasabi.

Note 1: in restaurants specify whether you want the skin or not when ordering sashimi.

Note 2: the same fish is a staple food in Sri Lanka where it is first smoked and then prepared as soup or curry!

It is one of the most versatile fish in Japan.
It can be appreciated in many ways:
As a simple donburi/on a bowl or rice at home (see above picture),

Lightly seared and served as carpaccio,

as bogata sushi/whole fish stuffed with sushi rice,

as oshizushi/pressed sushi,

but my favorite is probably as zuke/marinated in soy sauce, mirin, sake, etc. before being served with a slice of garlic!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Beer Tasting: Aoi Brewing-Golden Ale

Aoi Brewery Co. has just come up with a new craft beer which promises to be a long seller!

SN3O0050

Golden Ale!

SN3O0053

And the other good little but important piece of news is that Aoi Brewing Co’s craft beers are served on their own coasters!

SN3O0051

Served on tap
Barley, malt, hop, yeast
Unfiltered
Alcohol: 5.5 %
Clarity: slightly smoky (normal considering live yeast and being unfiltered), very clean
Color: light orange, deep gold
Bubbles: very fine bubbles, creamy, long head, white color
Aroma: very light. Faint oranges and citruses
Taste: Deep, refreshing attack.
Complex: lemons, citruses, grapefruit.
Lingers long enough for on palate true tasting to finish on a dry note with some welcome acidity.
Elegant and very easy to drink.
Lemons and grapefruit make a strong comeback with every new sip.
Solid and reliable.

Overall: Definitely not a thirst quencher!
Complex, elegant, more solid and reliable than expected.
Ladies in particular will truly appreciate it, although gentlemen will be sorely tempted!

AOI BEER STAND
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 4-6, Den bill, 1F
Tel.: 054-260-5203
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Credit cards OK

BEER GARAGE

Aoi Brewing Co.,Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyagasaki Chyo, 30
Tel.: 054-294-8911
Opening hours: 17:00~23:00 (Monday~Friday), 15:00~23:00 (Saturday), 15:00~22:00 (Sunday)
Closed on Tuesdays
COD, Cash On Delivery only for all orders.
MAP

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

American Dessert: BBC Apple Pie at BLUE BOOKS Cafe in Shizuoka City!

Service: Very friendly, smiling and attentive
Equipment & Facilities: Great overall cleanliness. Superb washroom in same building separated from the cafe.
Prices: Reasonable for such big servings!
Strong points: Very generous cafe/bistro multi-genred gastronomy. Great variety. Great products. Very modern atmosphere. Great books!

SN3O0310

Due to a hectic schedule and an ever expanding waistline I haven’t been able to visit BLUE BOOKS Cafe in Miyuki Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City for quite a while.
But there is a limit to anybody’s patience.
The other day I needed a dessert to help me calm down although I’m no a big sweets eater.
The BBC Apple Pie on the menu was just too tempting!

SN3O0312

Really appetizing, even for the Frenchman I am!

SN3O0313

Looking at it from the side, one wonders what the recipe includes!

SN3O0314

Combined with the vanilla ice cram and cream it does make for an elegant if simple dessert!

SN3O0315

Know that it does not only contain Kogyoku apple/紅玉林檎 (a succulent Japanese apple variety), but also pear, raisins and walnuts!
Not only very tasty but also healthy!

BLUE BOOKS cafe

420-0857 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki-Cho, 4-6, Den Bldg 1F (5~10 minutes walk straight ahead from Shizuoka JR Station North Exit, around the corner at the large crossroads)
Tel.: 054-280-7644
Opening hours: 11:00~14:30 (lunch), 14:30^17:30 (cafe), 17:30~23:00 (dinner)
Credit Cards OK
HOMEPAGE
FACEBOOK
Twitter: @BlueBooksCafe

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City