Category Archives: Shellfish

Japanese Shellfish 5: Geoduck-Mirugai-海松貝

MIRUKUI-1

We are just in season for Mirugai or Gaper Shellfish.
Known under many names including Mirugai, Mirukui, Mirukuigai, Mirukugai, Guidakku, Umitake or Atlantic Miru, it is a bit grotesque with its vent protruding endlessly. Its common English names are Pacfic Gaper, Geoduck or Trough Sheel.
In Japan it is collected mainly in the sea between Shikoku and Honshu islands.

MIRUKUI-2

It can be either dark brown or completely whitish beige.
When consumed as sushi or sashimi, the dark skin is taken off.
It is widely consumed in this country and more are imported from Canada, and Korea. There is practically no difference in taste or quality whatever its origin.

A real monster!
But plenty to eat!

As sashimi!

As nigiri sushi!

For sushi lovers with a big appetite!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Japanese Shellfish Species 3: Oysters-kaki-牡蠣

Oysters! One would be hard put to find a produce from the sea more internationally recognized as a gourmet’s choice! Moreover, it is the only shellfish you could survive on if you got marrooned on a desert island! It is a complete food in irself if consumed raw.
For a long time (that is before coming to Japan), I had thought that my country, France, was the place to eat them. Well, I must admit it was a little pretentious from me, especially in the light that more than half of the oysters consumed back at home originated from Japan!

Now the Japanese has come with many ways of appreciating them:

As in the picture above they would eat them as sashimi with a dash of wasabi and soy sauce.

-Or just a little lemon juice as in Euope, Americas or Oceania.

-Or in another Japanese fashion, with ponzu and momijioroshi (succulent!)

-Or, and here Japanese and foreigners are simply crazy about them, as “kakifrai”, deep-fried oysters in batter and breadcrumbs with a nice tartare sauce!

-Or finally, and I would recommend the experience to all foreigners, as “kaki-gohan”, either with oysters steamed together with the rice, or cooked apart in light broth poured over a bowl of freshly steamed rice!

Of course, any good sushi restaurants will serve oysters as nigiri or gunkan!

In Japan, oysters come from various areas, mainly Hiroshima, Iwate and so on.
As for Shizuoka Prefecture, oysters mainly come from Hamanako inland salted lake near Hamamatsu City.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Japanese Shellfish Species 2: Scallops-Hotategai-帆立貝

hotategai.jpg

Hotategai/帆立貝, or Scallops, is another worldwide favourite and also a source of dispute caused by illegal poaching, international or domestic.
The season is summer and the shellfish is sometimes called Akitagai/秋田貝, as of Akita Prefecture.
They are caught off Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures.
The domestic production/catch is over 300.000 tonnes a year, while 400 tonnes are imported from China as whole Scallops and 700 tonnes as the muscle part only (“kaibashira/貝柱”). Japanese scallops will be significantly larger than the Chinese.

Of course, they are much appreciated as sashimi, but also as sushi:
HOTATENIGIRI

(pic taken at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City)

They are also much appreciated cooked/grilled in the shell with just a little shoyu and sake:
HOTAGE-GRILLED

Actually, a good-class sushi restaurant will serve the muscle part as sashimi or sushi, and will serve the rest of the shellfish cooked in light broth inside the shell later!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Japanese Shellfish Species 1: Abalone-Awabi-鮑

AWABI-KURO-2
Kuro Awabi/”Black Abalone

With the weather definitely turning hotter, the first abalones or “awabi” start appearing on the markets.
The Japanese are great connoisseurs and amateurs of abalones, and they do have to import a lot to satisfy their demand!
There are many varieties of different quality avalaible in the markets and restaurants.
Most are eaten raw, especially as sushi on nigiri!

AWABI-KURO-1
Kuro Awabi/”Black Abalone”

As for the main varieties, you can sample expensive Kuro Awabi or “Black Abalones”

AWABI-EZO-1

Another expensive variety is Ezo Awabi/”Ezo Abalone”

AWABI-EZO-2
Ezo Awabi as sushi.

Lesser varieties include:

AWABI-MADAKA-1

Madaka Awabi

AWABI-MADAKA-2

Madaka Awabi as sushi

AWABI-MEGAI-1

Megai Awabi

AWABI-MEGAI-2

Megai Awabi as sushi.

AWABI-VICTORIA-1

Victoria Awabi imported from Australia.

AWABI-VICTORIA-2

Victoria Awabi as sushi.

Do not forget that catching abalones in any place in Japan without a proper license is a severly punished poaching offense!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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