Category Archives: Crustaceans

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

Having obtained more information and species, I decided to restart the Series on Crustaceans for the sake of secure information! I might end amending this series every 2 years!

Deep-fried white shrimp

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.

It is mainlly served as sashimi with some ponzu and grated fresh ginger or freshly grated wasabi in Shizuoka Prefecture.

It is popular as sushi although one needs large specimen as the biggest are only 7 cm long.
One popular way to serve them as sushi in the Kansai area is as oshizushi/preshed sushi, either raw or marinated with seaweed as shown above.

One easier way to serve it sushi is gunkan/mothership and it allows for great decoration with flying fish roe and grated ginger for example!

Shiroebi appears on our tables between April and November in many guises:
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.

An original recipe that will please Japanese and expats alike: Shiro Ebi Hamburger!

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

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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

Sushi: Kawahagi-Filefish Sashimi & Sushi at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City!

Service: Very friendly and always accommodating
Facilities: Great overall cleanliness. Superb washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Great use of local seafood. Will try hard to accommodate any requests!

Kawahagi, or Filefish or Leather jacket in the Land of Oz, must be one of the most underrated fish in the World!
Some people go as far as to say that penny for penny it is worth more than overpriced globefish/fugu!

As we sat at Sushi Ko, our favorite Sushi Restaurant in Shizuoka City we noticed “Kawahagi Tsukuri”/カワハギ造り/Filefish sashimi Plate written on the small board featuring the “specials” of the day!

The live filefish taken out of the tank by the chef!
The fish had been caught off Sagara in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Sushi Ko has a great list of local sake, but I had to order one from Masu Ichi Brewery in Shizuoka City as this might well be the last bottle as the brewery closed down following the untimely death of its owner/master brewer. An incredible loss for the Shizuoka Sake World!

Tuna Tartare as the snack for the first drink!

The filefish sashimi plate!

You roll the fine slices of filefish around some thin leeks before dipping it in its sauce!

The dip sauce!
It was made with the fresh raw liver of the filefish finely chopped and mixed with ponzu!
A true delicacy!

The chef had kept apart a little sashimi and liver for two more morsels!

A nigiri with chopped thin leeks under the fish topped with its liver!

A gunkan/”mother ship” with the sashimi topped with its liver and chopped thin leeks!

And the deep-fried jowls of the fish you eat with your fingers (that you lick later!) to cap it all!
Have I convinced you to look for that fish next time you see it on a market?

“Pon kara maguro”/deep-fried tuna cubes with grated daikon seasoned with chili pepper!

Of course the filefish was only the beginning of our dinner.
So for the record here we go including the above picture!

Maguro Zuke/Marinated lean part of tuna!

Hotate/Scallops!

Amaebi/Sweet shrimps!
(sorry for the fuzzy pic, as my mind was getting a bit fuzzy with all the sake!)

Geso karaage/Deep-fried squid tentacles!

The same, to eat with your fingers!

Ankimo/Frogfish liver or “Japanese foie gras”!

Anago to kyuri maki/Broiled Conger eel and cucumber roll!

Ika shiso to mentaiko maki/Squid, perilla leaf and cod roe pickled in chili pepper roll!

Shirako yaki/Baked cod sperm sacs!

Rainbow California Roll!

Containing: avocado, tamagoyaki/Japanese omelet, salmon, salmon roe, prawn, cucumber and akami/lean tuna! Seven of them of course!

Kanpyou maki, the roll for the vegetarians and vegans!
Kanpyou is made with the shavings of a gourd, first dried and then marinated in sweet sauce!

Asari miso shiru/Miso soup with cockles!

To be continued…

SUSHI KO
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Gastronomy: Ebi Furai/Deep-fried Prawns

The Japanese love to deep-fry their food to the point that many izakaya propose full deep-fried food sets and menus including vegetables and seafood, and the ubiquitous prawns.
The Japanese will usually utilize kuruma ebi/Imperial prawns or Black Tiger variety for the latter.
There is nothing complicated about preparing deep-fried prawns. The key is to use fresh ingredients and serve everything as soon as ready.

INGREDIENTS:

-Imperial Prawns/Black Tiger Prawns
-Salt and pepper: to taste
-All-purpose flour
-Egg (s)
-Breadcrumbs or panko (the rough style). Real fresh breadcrumbs are the best.
-Tartare sauce for serving. or tare/bulldog sauce and mustard.

RECIPE:

If the prawn is absolutely fresh take the shell off leaving the head and tail on. Note that the shell can be deep-fried for a crunchy snack!
If not, take the head off but leave the point of the the tail on for “handling” when eating it.

Take off the innards with a toothpick by inserting it under the blackish thread and pulling it out. Don’t worry about “breaking the back” of the prawn. Actually this is the trick which prevents the prawn from bending upon frying!

Actually, continue with the trick by making a few shallow cuts acrosss the back of the prawn to make sure it will not bend at all!
Sprinkle with salt (a little only!) and pepper to taste.

Roll prawns in flour.

Then in the beaten eggs.

Apply plenty of breadcrumbs/panko all over the prawns, head and tail included. Pat them lightly between you palms to help breadcrumbs to adhere.

Heat the oil at 170 degrees (less is unsuitable, 180 degrees is the very maximum). Drop the prawns gently into the oil head first.
Avoid manipulating them while frying.
Don’t fry too many at one time as the temperature of the oil will suddenly decrease.
Take them out with chopsticks. Place them on a grill for a few seconds to get rid of excess oil.
Serve with sauce and eat at once!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Crustacean Species 6: Spiny Lobster/Ise Ebi/伊勢海老

ISE-EBI-1

Ise Ebi/伊勢海老 or Japanese Spiny Lobster is one the Spiny Lobster varieties so popular all over the World.
The Japanese variety is smaller, or more precisely is more popular under a certain size.

Also called Kamakura Ebi, it is caught off the shores of Chiba, Wakayama, Mie and Shizuoka Prefectures.

The best specimens are aught in Winter, although imported lobsters can be found at other seasons.

The annual catch is fairly stable at 1,000 tonnes a year.
Imported specimens account for 10,000 tonnes, mainly from Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.
In the latter case they are also called Minami/South Ebi.

The Japanese appreciate their lobsters raw.

ISE-EBI-SASHIMI

As o-tsukuri/sashimi plate they are quite spectacular!

ISE-EBI-SASHIMI2

For a closer look!

And of course as sushi nigiri!

No need to mention that the Japanese also love them as gratin!

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

Memorable Gastronomy with Shizuoka Products in 2011!

Fujiyama Wagyu Beef, Utogi Wasabi and Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes!

2011 was an eventful year for many reasons, some unwanted, even dreadful, and others more conducive to social happiness. I would prefer to remember the latter to help nurture a positive attitude towards a future we cannot predict! Being a convinced agnostic hedonist does help but I’m sure that gastronomes, whatever their credo, will realize how lucky we are in Shizuoka to be able to attain to ever-growing pleasures with seemingly simple local ingredients!
Here is a proposal for a full course, albeit a long one, representative of a dinner I would have enjoyed in 2011!

APPETIZERS/STARTERS:

Rainbow Trout Sashimi Plate!
These rainbow trouts are raised by Mr. Kunugi in Fujinomiya City!

in any repast drinks are most important as they are they insure the link between the dishes!
Japanese sake brewed by Takashima Brewery in Numazu City!
These labels are of a particular interest as they advertized the edible seaweed varieties found in Shizuoka Prefecture!
Note: For friends who may not drink alcohol I would recommend ginger ale made with Shizuoka-grown ginger or Shizuoka green (and black!) tea under various forms!

Tomato Tempura!
Uzu Izakaya in Shizuoka City serves it regularly with organic tomatoes seasoned with home-made yuzu koshio paste!

Sakekasu tempura!
Setsugekka Soba Restaurant in Shimada City serves this tempura concocted qith sake lees produced by their neighbors at Oomuraya Brewery!

Carrot Soup and Carrot Leaves Mousse on a Tomato Bed!
All vegetables are organic served at Pissenlit in Shizuoka city making use of the whole vegetables!

Vegetables in Banya Cauda style!
As served at Piatto in Shizuoka City! All vegetables are organic and grown in Shizuoka!

FISH & SEAFOOD

Steamed Black Bass/Suzuki/鱸 from Suruga Bay and vegetables by Mr. Furuya in Asabata, Shizuoka City!
As prepared and served by Cham Chinese Izakaya in Shizuoka City with a light warm vinaigrette!

True Seabream/Madai/真鯛 with cockles and vegetables, all from Shizuoka!
As served Italian-style by Il Castagno in Shizuoka City!

Imperial Prawn/Sakura ebi/車海老 Tempura!
As served by Setsugekka Soba Restaurant in Shimada City!

MEAT

Fujiyama Wagyu Beef, Utogi Wasabi and Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes!
As prepared by the Missus and I!
Fujiyama Wagyu is one of the thirteen varieties of wagyu bred in Shizuoka Prefecture which positively compare to Kobe Beef!
The wasabi is grown by Maruichi Farm in Utogi, the birthplace of this most remarkable ingredient!
The Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes are grown in Iwata City!

Foie gras poele on Corn Galette with Madeira Sauce!
This can qualify as an extravagant appetizer too!
The galette was concocted at Pissenlit in Shizuoka City with high-grade Kankanmusume Corn grown by Chouchou Farm in Iwata City!

Jidori Chicken Poêlé served with a Old Mimolette Cheese topping!
Fuji City is famed for its Jidori Chicken and Gentil in Shizuoka City serves it in extravagant simplicity with a topping of 24-months old Mimolette Cheese!

DESSERTS

Soy sauce and Brown Sugar Mousse Cake, Frozen Organic Mandarine and Lemon Sorbet!

Tetsuya Sugimoto in Shizuoka City is a master of off the beaten track desserts!
The soy sauce is created by Amano Company in Gotemba City and the brown sugar is made with sugarcane grown in Kakegawa City. As for the mandarine and lemon, they are of course organic!

Carrot Crème Brulée and Mandarine Caramelisée!

As served at Pissenlit in Shizuoka City. Both the carrot and mandarine are organic!

Organic Carrot ice Cream!
This could be served as an appetizer, a refresher between dishes or a dessert at Comptoir de Bios in Shizuoka City!

Pheasant Egg Pudding and brown Sugar ice Cream!
Again created by Tetsuya Sugimoto in Shizuoka City with pheasant eggs produced in Hamamatsu City and brown sugar made from sugarcane grown in Kakegawa City!

Naturally I still have missed a lot and I sincerely hope I will be able to introduce other discoveries by the end of this year!

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 Crustacean Species 5: Kuruma Ebi/Japanese Imperial Prawn/車海老

KURUMA-EBI-1

Kuruma Ebi, or Japanese Imperial Prawn, is probably the most popular prawn in Japan!
It has different names depending on its size: Saimaki (up to 5 cm), Maki (up to 10cm)

Its season lasts from late Autumn to the end of Winter.
It is found south of Hokkaido Island down to the Indian Ocean until depths of 50 metres.
It had been successfully artificially bred for some time until diseases put a momentary stop to the venture.
The prawn has steadily become a rare morsel. Altogether, natural and domestic specimen, the annual catch amounts only to 2,000 tonnes.

KURUMA-EBI-1a

Raw, or

KURUMA-EBI-2

boiled, they make for great decoration on top of suucculent taste!

Now if you have the chance to eat them raw, try and eat them alive!

As for sushi, especially nigiri,

savor the raw,

Or boiled!

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 Crustacean Species 4: Amaebi/Alaskan Pink Shrimp-Pink Shrimp/甘海老

Amaebi (in Japanese) or by its Latin name Pandalus borealis (also called Pandalus eous) is a species of shrimp found in cold parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Many different English names are used, with little consensus (deep-water shrimp, cold-water shrimp, northern shrimp, Alaskan pink shrimp, pink shrimp, northern red shrimp, Greenland prawn (UK)). Often the word shrimp is replaced by prawn, albeit incorrectly.

Amaebi Sashimi!

In Japan, it is also known as Hokkoku Akaebi/North Country Red Shrimp, Nanban Ebi or Tongarasahi.

The season in Japan is Winter, although it can be found all year round thanks to large imports from Greenland and Canada. Yearly domestic catch amount to 2,000 tonnes in Hokkaido and 800 tonnes in Ishikawa Prefecture.

Amaebi Sushi Nigiri!

It is a species famous for its sexual properties: the shrimps are hermaphroditic. They start out male, but after year or two, their testicles turn to ovaries and they complete their lives as females. However, if there is a predominance of female Pandalus shrimp, the males will delay their transformation. Likewise should there be a shortage of females, the male shrimp will begin their transformation earlier, all for the sake of maintaining balance for procreational purposes.

They are called “Ama Ebi/Sweet Shrimp” in Japanese as they will turn very sweet after a couple of days in the refrigerator, whereas they will show no sweetness at all when fresh!

Amaebi Springroll!

They are great as sashimi on their own, in salads or as part of a larger sashimi plate such as served i Tomii in Shizuoka:

Of course, as sushi, they are a superb morsel!

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 Crustacean Species 3: Shako-Squilla/蝦蛄

shako1.jpg

The Squilla or “Shako” (蝦蛄in Japanese) is a delicacy that appears on the sushi bar counters from April to Summer, although different varieties can be found in Hokkaido markets (Otaru City in particular) almost all year round.
You will discover it under names such as “Shaku” and “Gazaebi”.
They are actually caught in almost all Japanese seas, but the best are supposed to originate from Hokkaido.

Like any crustaceans, they can be eaten in many ways.
The Japanese favour the small kind with a violet back. I had the opportunity to buy some very large specimen in Otaru, and eat them just boiled and served with rice vinegar mixed with a little Japanese mustard, or in salads.

They almost disappeared from Tokyo Bay in the 1960’s but reappeared in the 1970’s. Most fishermen in the Kanto area will place them in boxes themselves to sell them directly at fish markets. The market value can vary wildly, but look for the genuine harbour markets and buy them yourself.

Naturally, they are most popular as nigiri sushi. Customers jokingly ask for “garage” (in English) as “shako” also means (different kanji, of course) “garage”!

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 Crustacean Species 2: Botan Ebi-Large Prawn/牡丹海老

botanebi1.jpg

Botanebi/”Botan” Prawn/牡丹海老, or “Pandalus nipponesis” for the specialists, is a large prawn found in all seas of Japan at depths varying from 300 to 500 metres. They are caught at 200~300 metres depth in Suruga Bay and along the Western coast of Izu Peninsula In Shizuoka Prefecture. Once abundant, they have become scarce and only small specimens are found, whereas Hokkaido produces up to 20cm-long prawns.

sushiko-08-12-25-31

They are known under different names: “Toyamaebi and Kijiebi”.
It is not a cheap morsel in Sushi bars. But it is interesting to note they are essentially eaten raw as like “Amaebi”. They become very sweet after some time in the refrigerator.

oda-4.jpg

Now, if you are lucky enough to find them fresh with their eggs, ask your chef to dress them as above, or even better, put the eggs on top of a “gunkan nigiri”!

sushiko-08-12-25-5

And one more thing, if they are fresh again, don’t forget to ask for the heads deep-fried!

Incidentally, botanebi change sex (gender) with age to end up as big juicy females!

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

shiroebi1.jpg

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.

shiraebi-22

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

shiraebi-3

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