Category Archives: sushi

Sushi Restaurant: Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City (June 2011)

Umazura tsukuri/ウマズラ造り/Filefish sashimi plate!

Sushi Ko in Aoba Park Street in Shizuoka City is the sushi bar owned by Sushi Ko Main Sushi Restaurant in Ta-machi in the same city.
Mr. Oda has just been asked to take charge of the main restaurant while his very capable second, Mr. Kenta Birukawa/尾留川健太さん has been promoted Head of the Sushi Bar in Aoba.
The Bar is as good as ever, but now I will also have to check the main restaurant!

While the Missus drank her Chardonnay, I was sipping my sake brewed by Takashima Brewery in Numazu City. The above shows the snack coming with the first drink: octopus/tako/蛸 served with seaweed, momijioroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper, chopped thin leeks and ponzu!

We managed to get our favorite seats at the counter, but one half of the tatami room was busy with a group of 11 hungry salarymen!
Loads of consecutive work!

Our seats gave us the perfect view of the chefs at work!
They know us well, so they actually welcome the photography (without flash!), but make a point to ask for permission if you are a new customer (the latter applies for any restaurant!)!

On the menu of the day they had umazura tsukuri/ウマズラ造り/Filefish Sashimi Plate.
This fish whose name literally means “Horse face” is a kind of filefish found in Suruga Bay.
It was taken alive out of the fish pond!

Filefish in general is not that popular in other countries, but it definitely deserves attention.
Although it has not much meat, it makes for beautiful sashimi!

For a closer view!

Here it is, served with a dip made with its fresh liver and ponzu!
A real morsel!

Its cheeks were served deep-fried!

Chef Birukawa has kept a little to serve the perfect filefish nigiri topped with its liver and momijioroshi and some thin leeks and wasabi between the neta/topping and the shari/rice!

The Missus always asks for the maguro ponkara/鮪ぽんから/deep-fried tuna served with momiji oroshi, ponzu and sliced red onions!

Whatever the sushi restaurant we always ask for magurozuke/鮪漬/marinated tuna as each establishment has a different recipe!

Sushi Ko always have great botan ebi/牡丹海老/large sweet prawn from Hokkaido in season!

Their freshness means we are guaranteed their deep-fried heads. They make for beautiful crackers!

When we asked for anago/穴子/conger eel, they came in the perfect combination of one piece shio-aji/塩味/salted and the other one, tare-aji/たれ味/brushed with sweet sauce!

Another favorite: tachiuo aburi nigiri/太刀魚炙り握り/Seared scabbard fish nigiri seasoned with ponzu!

Chef Mirukawa’s specialty: Sushi Millefeuille!

The Millefeuille was made with maguro akami/lean tuna, cucumber, avocado and topped with flying fish roe!

A vegetarian/vegan sushi roll with natto, shiso and umboshi!

Another vegetarian/vegan sushi roll with kanpyou/干瓢/dry gourd shavings and plenty of wasabi!

Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette!

We usually finish such meals with hot food.
The Missus had nameko mushroom miso soup with plenty of seaweed.

As for me I had chyawanmushi/茶碗蒸し/Japanese-style hot salted pudding!

And we were graciously offered Shizuoka-grown musk melon as we paid our (very reasonable) bill!

To continue…

SUSHI KO
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 2-3-1 (Aoba Park Street)
Tel.: 054-251-9701
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (in Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
POPCORNHOMESTEAD in Tokyo by Joan Lambert Bailey,
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

Sushi Restaurant: Narukawa in Shizuoka City

“Namida Maki/涙巻/Tear Roll” made with fresh wasabi root from Shizuoka!

Service: Professional and very friendly. Keen to please customers
Facilities: Very clean overall. Great washroom
Prices: Appropriate
Strong points: Extensive usage of local fish. Shizuoka sake.

Hiroki Narukawa/生川広樹さん

I’ve known Chef Hiroki Narukawa for ages since his apprentice days.
Since then he has flown on his own wings and has recently opened his restaurant Narukawa/なるかわ at a new and more spacious address.

In spite of the higher class atmosphere and the increased staff, the prices have not changed and can be considered as reasonable for the quality he serves even in this very difficult to please Prefecture!

Although the seating is modern and almost western in concept it is still very much a traditional atmosphere!

There are naturally menus and sets, but I would encourage you to have a look at the offerings of the day under the glass display and talk with Narukawa San before you start ordering!
Personally I do not bother looking at menus and prefer a more social introduction. The fact that I know the chef also helps! LOL

The Missus and I usually starts with sashimi!
The above is hirame konbujime/平目昆布〆/sole lightly preserved in konbu seaweed. From Shizuoka!

Aka mutsu/赤むつ/Rosy Seabass from Shizuoka.

Kaisui uni/海水海栗/Sea Urchin in his original seawater eaten as it is! Extravagant! From Hokkaido!

Hotate nigiri/帆立握り/Scallops Nigiri. Large! From Northern Japan!

The filaments, roe and liver of the same scallops. A dish that would please a lot of people all over the world!

Madai nigiri/真鯛/True seabream/grouper-Red Seabream/grouper nigiri. From Shizuoka!

Magurozuke nigiri/鮪漬/marinated tuna (akami/lean part). Probably from Shizuoka or North of Japan (I forgot to ask as I always ask for this morsel in Shizuoka!).

Asupara mentaiko maki/アスパラ明太子巻/asparagus and hot cod roe (with mayonnaise) roll. For the Missus! The asparagus is from Shizuoka, the mentaiko from Kyushu island!

While the Missus had her mentaiko I had a kanpyou maki/干瓢巻/gourd shavings first dried, then marinated. With real wasabi from Shizuoka, almost a dessert!

Suwagani nigiri/諏訪蟹/snow crab nigiri from Hokkaido!

Shiroebi kakiage/白海老あき揚げ/white shrimps tempura from Toyama Prefecture!

</

Namida Maki/涙巻/Tear roll made with freshly sliced wasabi root from Shizuoka. Extravagant!

For a closer view!

Menegi nigiri to daikon zuke/芽葱と大根漬/leek sprouts and pickled (lime) daikon. All from Shizuoka!


Ikura Mini Donburi/イクラミニ丼/mini bowl of salmon’s roe!

To be continued…

NARUKAWA
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-5-2
Tel.: 054-221-1689
Business hours: 11::30~13:30, 17:00~02:00
Closed on Mondays
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE

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

Sushi & Sashimi: The Basics 4/3: Sushi Presentations-Donburi (Amended & Updated)

donburi-09-02-13

Donburi made by the Missus:
-She marinated thin slices of raw tuna in ponzu, sake and what else. The leftover marinade was poured over the rice to season it before she placed the pieces of tuna on top.
-Smoked salmon with capers.
-A spoon of “tobikko/flying fish roe”
-A generous portion of locally-made (up the Abe River in Shizuoka City) “Wasabi zuke/chopped wasabi stems and flowers fermented in “sake kasu/sake white lees” (all from Shizuoka Prefecture!)

There is another form of sushi, partly similar to Chirashizushi called Donburi Sushi.
It is popular not only at sushi restaurants, especially in Hokkaido Island, but also in Japanese homes all over Japan!
The moment you know how to prepare sushi rice, it is great fun!
You can make donburi vegan, vegetarian, seafood or even meat.
It is entirely up to your imagination!

Here is another example by the Missus:

DONBURI-HOME

Plain steamed rice topped with slices of “akami”/ lean tuna part, avocado salad with mayonnaise and wasabi pickles (the latter provided a nice balance with a spicy touch), boiled sirasu/whitebait sprinkled with “hijiki” seaweed and “tobikko”/flying fish roe.
The tobikko added a nice colour finish touh. It is quite cheap down here in Shizuoka City.
I poured a little Shizuoka-made wasabi dressing on top. This dressing is a lot milder than pure grated wasabi with a little sweetness which combines well with the fish!

I go very often to Hokkaido and have collected quite a few samples of Donburi:

The following three were taken near Abashiri a short distance from Shiretoko, one of the Japanese World Nature Heritage in the far North:

DONBURI-HOKKAIDO-1
“Oyako” Donburi/”Mother and Child”. In this case it means Salmon and Salmon Roe!

DONBURI-HOKKAIDO-2
“Uni” Donburi, Sea Urchin Donburi. Absolutely extravagant!

DONBURI-HOKKAIDO-3
Uni to Ikura Donburi, even more extravagant!

The next four were savoured in Sapporo City, the capital of Hokkaido:

DONBURI-SAPPORO-1
From bottom, clockwise:

“Uni” (Sea Urchin), “Kani Tsume” (Crab legs), “Maguro” (Tuna), “Nanban Ebi” ( large prawn variety)

DONBURI-SAPPORO-2
From bottom, clockwise:

“Hotate” (Scallops), “Uni” (Sea urchin), “Ika” (Squid), “Kani Tsume” (Crab legs)

DONBURI-SAPPORO-3
From top middle clockwise:

“Ikura” (salmon roe), “Kazu no ko” (herring roe), “Kampachi” (Amberjack), “Tako” (octopus), “Sake” (raw salmon), “Hotate” (scallops), in the centre, “Uni” (sea urchin)

DONBURI-SAPPORO-4
From bottom, clockwise:

“Hotate” (Scallops), “Ikura” (Salmon roe), “Kazu no Ko” (Herring roe), “Kampachi” (Amberjack), “Uni” ( Sea Urchin), “Kani Tsume” (Crab leg), “Ebi” (Boiled prawn)

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Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Sushi & Sashimi: The Basics 4/2: Sushi Presentation-Rolls (updated & amended)

SUSHI-ROLL-2-SIZES
Futo-Maki/Large sushi roll with normal size nori-maki for comparison

I stopped counting the number of complaints I received about the so-called sushi rolls they serve in other countries. “Gross”, “Impossible to finish”, “Nothing to do with sushi”, and so forth.
This is like any “ethnic” food served outside its country of origin: some unscrupulous restaurateurs/businessmen catch on the fad and immediately serve “authentic” cuisine to gullible/unknowing customers.
But soon or later, thanks to better and faster global communications, the same customers will realize their mistake and stop patronizing such establishments.
The problem is that very often they are left with no decent sushi restaurant to visit.
About time to learn to make these famous rolls and enjoy them at home or parties until that great real sushi restaurant comes to town!
Here are some examples of sushi rolls to help you with your own crations!

SUSHIKO-08-12-25-9
California Roll by Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City

-Sushi do not have all to be of the”California Roll” type.
Below are typical examples of “futo maki/large maki” with the seaweed/nori outside.

SUSHI-ROLL-HOME-TYPE-1
Home-type futo-maki/large sushi roll 1

SUSHI-ROLL-HOME-TYPE-2
Home-type futo-maki/large sushi roll 2

They can be larger of course, but there is limit to size.
Below are great examples of what can be achieved with large types:

SUSHIK-09-08-31-1
Futo maki roll: (Large) Rainbow Roll at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

SUSHIKO-09-25-2
Pirikara Hotate Futo maki/large spicy scallops roll at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

SUSHI-ROLL-TONKATSU
Tonkatsu sushi roll

Nori-maki style rolls are probably the easiest to make, serve and eat.
And there are so many possibilities as you can devise them with a single ingredient!

SUSHIK-09-08-31-19
Negi-toro nori maki sushi roll at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

vegan-sushi3
Kanpyo maki/dried gourd shavings roll

Making “decoration rolls” for the family can be great fun!
Look below for some examples:

SUSHI-ROLL-DECORATION

SUSHI-ROLL-DECORATION-2

Another type of roll very popular in Japanese restaurants and homes is te-maki/手巻き, literally hand-roll.
They have the advantage that you can choose your own ingredients at will!

TE-MAKI-ZUSHI-HOMESTYLE
Home-style te-maki plate!

TE-MAKI-2
Te-maki set served at a sushi restaurant.
Can you recognize the ingredients?

TE-MAKI-3
How about this one, also served in a sushi restaurant! Looks very healthy!

TE-MAKI-1
Japanese home-style te-maki made with cheese, shiso and canned tuna!

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Sushi & Sashimi: The Basics 4/1: Sushi Presentations (updated & amended)

SUSHIK-09-08-31-7
Sushi Millefeuille at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

Sushi does come ito many guises and shapes (and colours).
Too many people think it is only all nigiri and rolls.
Any chef worthy of his/her name will prove you otherwise!

Alright, then. What do they have to offer?

SUSHIK-09-08-31-9
Magurozuke/Marinated tuna (Akami/lean part) Nigiri at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

NIGIRI/NIGIRIZUSHI:

Nigiri/握り literally means “grip/grasp/press” in Japanese.
The shari/シャリ is made by scooping the right amount of sushi rice in one hand (usually the left hand) and making a “ball” of it. Actually it is more oblong than round. Size varies with the chef and restaurant, but an experienced chef is capable to reproducing such a ball to the same exact amount of grains. They say it takes seven years to become a master at making shari!
The next step, but not always, is to smear a little wasabi on top of the rice ball and then top it with an ingredient of your choice. Finally the chef will press it around the top of the shari before depositing it on a plate (or on a bamboo leaf) or on small wooden plate in front of the customer.
In some cases the wasabi will be placed in the from of a small ball on top of the neta/ネタ (topping) as on anago/アナゴ (conger eel).
All kinds of neta/toppings can be wrapped around the top.

SUSHIK-09-08-31-10

Sakura Nigiri/Horsemeat Nigiri at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City

More ingredients will be added as seasoning on top of the topping such as grated ginger and chopped leeks (see above),

SUSHIK-09-08-31-14

Pickled Japanese plum/umeboshi/梅干 as above (on op of boiled mitsuba/trefoil at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City)

SUSHIK-09-08-31-15

Grated lime zest as above (on top of pickled/marinated daikon at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City),

SUSHIK-09-08-31-17

Grated daikon and chili pepper as above (on top of aburi sanma/lightly grilled mackerel pike)

ANAGO-SUSHI

Or tare/sauce as above(on top of anago/アナゴ)

TAMAGO-NIGIRI

A strip of dried seaweed/nori/海苔 can be used to secure the neta as with tamagoyaki/卵焼き above.

SUSHIK-09-08-31-8

The same strip of nori can circled around a really round shari as above (thinly cut ika/烏賊/squid arranged into a tsuru/鶴/crane shape)

SUSHIK-09-08-31-16
Boiled trefoil/Mitsuba and fresh cucmber/Kyuuri Gunkan at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City

GUNKAN/GUNKAN SUSHI:

When a wider strip of nori is wrapped around a shari to prevent the topping to fall over, it is called a gunkan/軍艦/mothership.

UMIBUDOGUNKAN
Umibudo/Sea Grapes Gunkan

It is also useful to emphasize the neta as above,

SUSHIKO-08-12-25-12

or it can be designed as purposefully overflowing as above (ikura/salmon roe gunkan)!

ST-VALENTINE-SUSHI

What about this tiny St-Valentine Gunkan?

For more gunkan fun go HERE!

SUSHIKO-08-12-25-11

Chirashizushi served in Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

CHIRASHIZUSHI:

Chirashizusi/散らし寿司 means “decoration Sushi”.
It is very popular in homes where large quantities can prepared for the family and still designed as to please the eye.

MILLEFEUILLE-EX

Millefeuille sushi served in Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

Millefeuille is anaother typ of chirashizushi! Very easy to make and so impressive! (use a baking circle!)

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Sushi & Sashimi: The Basics 4/4: Sushi Presentations-Te-Mari Zushi (updated and amended)

Te-Mari Sushi made by the Missus for my bento!

A comment by my new friend Sissy at With a Glass convinced me it was time to re-publish explanations of the techniques behind a very enjoyable form of sushi, namely Te-Mari Sushi/手まり寿司!

Te-Mari Sushi was apparently made poular in Kyoto first where gastronomy is more “feminine” than in any other part of Japan. It is very easy to make, present and carry around.
It is more welcome when you realize people in Kyoto have more socializing to do than anywhere else, including eating and drinking. Making portions smaller and more artistic are a necessity there!
Actually Te-Mari Sushi can be made in any size and may include any ingredients, be it for omnivores, adults, ladies, children, vegetarian or vegans!

TECHNIQUE:

The technique is simple enough: having prepared the sushi rice, take a piece of cellophane paper and first put the tane/topping outer surface down, then place some rice over it. Close the cellphane paper by twisting it and press the sushi into a ball (“mari”) in your hand (“te”)! Unwrap it, place it on a plate, tray or in a box and add some more topping if neceassary!

Look at the demonstration pics below for better understanding!
In that case the rice ball is made first inside a piece of cellophane and wrapped again with the toppings!

Tai/Seabream

Ebi/boiled shrimp

Smoked Salmon

Pickled fish

SUGGESTIONS & SAMPLES:

Below are suggestions and samples for Te-Mari Sushi.
Frankly speaking, varaiations are endless. Have good fun!

For a tea party?

For a Lady’s bento?

For a Gentleman’s bento?

For a special occasion?

For a European/American style party?

For Ladies only?

Sweet te-mari for Children!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!