Category Archives: tuna

Japanese Gastronomy: Lunch at Totoya in Shizuoka City!

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Service: Friendly and attentivr. Easy-going.
Equipment & Facilities: A bit old but overall very clean. Clean washroom
Prices: Reasonable~Slightly expensive
Strong points: Traditional Japanese gastronomy. Great local fish and seafood. Excellent sake and shochu list. French spoken!

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I had been intrigued by this particular Japanese restaurant as it has stood for a long time in a location near my work. I knew it was a busy place but I just couldn’t get the opportunity to give it a try!

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As I cycled past it I noticed they were also busy at lunch time, usually a good sign at such an establishment!

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Great noren/暖簾/Entrance curtain with a big catfish!

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I discovered these karasumi/botarga/boutargue/mullet roe drying just past the entrance! The fish were caught in Suruga Bay off Numazu harbor! It confirmed the good impression!
And I had a really unusual surprise: I found out that the lady serving me was speaking fluent French! A rarity as she is only the second such lady I know work for a Japanese restaurant in Shizuoka City!

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One can eat on four different floors in a very traditional Japanese atmosphere depending on priorities and affluence!

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I had lunch on the second floor for my first visit but next time I might be tempted to eat at the minuscule counter on the first floor to have a good look at the chefs!

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I opted for the full lunch “Totoya Zen/ととや膳” to taste as many things as possible!

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here is my lunch, although two more dishes came later!

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Steamed rice and cold hijiki seaweed kinpira!

I looked at my neigbors’ other orders and I found out they were even bigger than mine! Very generous portions indeed!

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Red miso soup and home-made pickles!

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A Shizuoka specialty: Sakura ebi kakiage/Cherry shrimps deep-fried in batter!

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Tuna skin salad with vinegar and miso dressing!

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The sashimi plate and the salmon roe!

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Bottom left to right: uni/sea urchin, tako/octopus
Second row: hotate/scallops, kanburi/winter amberjack
Back row: freshly caught sakura ebi/cherry shrimps

Actually my neighbors ask for them as a supplement when they saw served to me! Obviously they were not from Shizuoka as they ate them one at a time!

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A specialty at Totoya! Broiled tuna cheek!

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Another sign of excellence: Succulent home-made almond blanc manger!

I’ll have to go there alone in my own good time in the evening again soon!
Until then…!

TOTOYA
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tenmacho, 8-9, Kubota Building
Tel.: 054-274-0077
Opening hours: 11:30~14:30, 17:00^22:30
Parties welcome
Small private room up to 8 guests, party room for up to 24 guests
Credit cards OK (dinner only but warn them before ordering!)

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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, Pierre.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

Tuna Stocks Preservation: Farm-bred Bluefin Tuna released in The Pacific Ocean!

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Courtesy of Shizuoka Shinbun, December 14th, 2012

The Japanese, in spite of their being reviled for eating tuna, especially bluefin tuna, have been ever so busy experimenting and farming bluefin tuna in three locations, Kinki University, Shimizu Marine Studies University and in Kyushu Island.
Not only have they succeeded in raising the bluefin tuna from the eggs, but they have bred them to a sufficient weight to release them in The Pacific Ocean to find out if the repopulating of fish stocks in the ocean could be effectively done in a two-stage process from farms to the seas!

Kinki University had released 1,800 young fish in Wakayama Prefecture in October.
In December 8 of them have been caught between Shizuoka and Wakayama Prefectures and brought back to Kinki University for further study.

Since the experiment started in 2002 it has been confirmed for the first time that bluefin tuna farm bred from the egg could be safely released into a natural environment, namely the Pacific Ocean!

It just shows that Japan has been showing more responsibility towards restocking endangered species than many countries which criticized them without doing anything to redress the situation!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.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: 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!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-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

Tuna Species (amended & expanded)

I noticed that many friends all over the World are anglers and fish lovers.
Here is some useful information on the most popular fish in Japan (and in Spain, too), namely Tuna!

Kuromaguro/Blue Fin Tuna

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Tuna or “Maguro” is the most popular fish for sushi and sashimi lovers in Japan (and abroad). It is said that more than 60% of total catch is consumed in Japan alone (and probably a lot higher depending on species). Incidentally, Japan is not the single bigger consumer of fish. Spain is!

Now, there is tuna and tuna. Briefly said, there are many species with many names and very different price tags as well!

The first species I would like to introduce is “Kuromaguro”, or Blue Fin Tuna (or Tunny).
It has many other names in Japanese: Honmaguro, Maguto, Meji,Yokowa, Shibi, Imoshii, Shibimaguro, Kuroshibi, and Hatsu!

The best are caught in Winter mainly in the seas off Kochi (Shikoku Island), Miyagi (Honshu Island) and Hokkaido Prefectures.
This variety is the most expensive and can reach astronomical prices, especially caught in Winter off Hokkaido.
Imported Kuromaguro usually reaches Japan frozen, but in recent years the fish has been successfully raised in semi-wild environments in Spain, Australia and Croatia and arrives in Japan fresh by plane.
Import and sale of Kuromaguro are monopolised by the Japanese trade associations, unless you are lucky enough to catch one (careful here, as poaching is a major offense in Japan!).
Between you and me, if you want to eat Kuromaguro sashimi, it might come cheaper if you do it while travelling in Spain!
Did you know that Japanese importers will fly to Spain and other countries just to check that the fish are bled properly?

Now the good news for people who think that Bluefin Tuna might disappear from the oceans is that Japan has successfully raised the fish from the egg till fish reaching more than 30 kg in no less than three locations in Japan!
I predict that Japan will export tuna within 10 years!

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Kuromaguro Otoro (fat part)

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Kuromaguro Chutoro (semi-fat part)

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Kuromaguro Akami (lean part)

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Mebachi/Big-eyed Tuna

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Mebachi or Big-eyed Tuna, a fairly reasonable kind of tuna, is especially popular for its “akami” (lean part)

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It has different names according to the areas: “Darumashibi” (Mie Prefecture), “Mebuto” (Kyushu). In Tokyo, Shizuoka and Wakayama, it is called “Daruma” when caught at a young age.
The best seasons for catching are during the rainy season or the Fall.
This kind of tuna is mainly caught off the shores of Miyagi, Kagoshima, Kochi, Shizuoka, Kanagawa and Hokkaido Prefectures.

As said before, it is mainly appreciated for its lean beautiful red flesh, but also cooked and grilled as “kama”:
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In the fall it is also a source of toro (fatty part) when kuromaguro is not available.
In recent years it has been extensively caught in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans and in the Mediterranean Sea. It also comes frozen from Chile, Peru and North America. It is also flown fresh from Australia, Indonesia and New York. A lot equally comes frozen from South Korea and Taiwan.

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Kihada: Yellowfin Tuna

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“Kihada maguro” or Yellowfin Tuna” will appear on our tables from early summer.
It is mainly caught off Shizuoka, Miyagi and Kochi Prefectures coasts.
Like all other fish it is called other names in different regions:
Kiwada, Itoshibi (Wakayama, Kochi, Kyushu), Shibi (Kyusyu, Osaka), Ban (Osaka) and Tuna Kajibi (Okinawa)
Kihada roams over many seas between 30 degrees north latitude and 30 degrees south latitude and even wider depending on the season.
Most of the fish caught in Japan is served locally as sashimi:
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Very recognizable for its pinkish colour.
It is also widely appreciated as Zuke (first lightly grilled, then dipped into ice water before being cut into thin slices) on nigiri:
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A lot is imported frozen.
In Shizuoka try to go for the freshly caught samples coming from Yaizu or Numazu Fishing harbors.

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Minamimaguro/Southern Blue Fin Tuna

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Minamimaguro or Southern Blue Fin Tuna could be called a true Shizuoka Prefecture tuna as our Prefecture accounts for 30% of the total in Japan!
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Like all fish it has different names: Indomaguro, Goushyumaguro, Bachimaguro.
In Autumn it is mainly caught off Australia, New Zealand, Capetown (South Africa) in the Southern Hemisphere and off the coasts of Shizuoka, Kochi, Kagoshima and Miyagi Prefectures in Japan.
Mianmimaguro is comparatively cheaper than its fellows as it contains little fat, which on the other hand makes it very easy to freeze and preserve.
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Regardless of the lack of fat, it makes for excellent sashimi, sushi and various parts are succulent grilled or cooked.
The parts discarded by humans make for a lot of cat food!

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Binnaga/Albacore Tuna

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Binnaga or Albacore is very often called Tonbo Maguro in Japan. It is also known under the name of Binchyou.
It is caught in the Summer off the coasts of Miyagi, Kochi, Mie and Miyazaki Prefectures.
This is probably the cheapest kind of tuna available in Japan apart of Marlin.
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It makes for most of the cheaper tuna sashimi in supermarkets.
I personally like it fried in large slices before eating them as tuna hamburgers. Absolutely delicious and far healthier than a McDonald’s (let them sue me!)!
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For people who want to try their hand at making “tataki”, it would be the perfect first step into Japanese gastronomy.
It is also vastly used by canneries under the name of “Sea Chicken”.
It is probably the most popular tuna species outside Japan.

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Mekajiki/Big-eye Marlin

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Strictly speaking, marlins are a different branch from tuna, but as it is so often offered as a substitute for true tuna, I decided to introduce it as such.
There are many types of marlins all over the world, but the most commonly caught and eaten is “Mekajiki”/Big-eye Marlin.
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It is found in various supermarkets and cheap izakaya. Still it is a very popular as sashimi as well as grilled fish. Even in my home country, France, it is served as “Carpaccio”.
It is caught all around Japan from Atumn to Winter.
It is also called “Meka” in Tokyo or “Mesara” in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Sashimi varieties came in two main kinds: “kuro” and “shiro”.
“Makajiki” (“true marlin”) is peach pink while “Mekajiki” (“big-eye marlin”) is of a whitish orange.
More than 1,000 tonnes are caught off Japan, whereas imports amount to more than 1,100 tonnes.
In Europe and America it is popular as canned food or grilled.
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One can enjoy it as cheap “nigiri” in sushi restaurants.
Fresh marlin should be shiny and show veins bright red.
It is mainly caught at night as it swims near the surface then.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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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 Izakaya: Maguro-Ya (Honten)

Service: Shy but friendly
Facilities: old but clean. Traditional
Prices: Appropriate
Strong points: Tuna! Tuna! Tuna! Good list of sake and shochu

A lot, and I mean varieties as well as volume, of tuna swim past Shizuoka Prefecture and it simply becomes evident that a Japanese izakaya would specialize in tuna gastronomy, be it raw or cooked!

We have such a place in Shizuoka City called Maguro Ya/まぐろ家, that is “Tuna House”!
It is located on the second floor of a venerable building in Takajyo, an area replete with izakaya as well as first-class restaurants.

Their menu is certainly worth taking photographs as the explantations become a real study!

Even the snack coming with the first drink includes cooked tuna (featured above with duck and pickled cucumber and octopus salad)!

The following will give you a good indication of you can sample at reasonable prices:

“Three-colored Tuna Sashimi Plate”!

Hon-maguro Akami/Blue Fin Tuna lean part (back).

Hon-maguro Chu-toro/Blue Fin Tuna semi-fat part (belly).

Tonbo-Maguro Toro/Albacore Tuna fat part (belly).

Maguro Kushiyaki/Tuna brochette with plenty of mayonnaise and chopped scallions.

There are plenty of sake, shochu and more for all according to their tastes and priorities!
They also serve 4 different sake from Shizuoka Prefecture in the traditional Japanese way: overflowing glass!

The menu is not all tuna! Try their deep-fried prawns!

Sizzling hot, they will please all, Japanese and expats!

Negitoro and daikon salad. Grated tuna with plenty of thin daikon sticks.

A healthy salad served with an egg yolk you mix with all beforehand!

They offer a six-nigiri sushi plate according to the season!

But the personal reason for my visits is their tuna hamburger (called slider in some countries!)!

A slice of tuna is prepared as deep-fried seafood and sandwiched inside a bun with lettuce and tartar sauce!

Far healthier and tastier than many offerings in notorious diners! LOL

To be continued…

MAGURO-YA
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi ku, Takajyo, 1-11-8, 2F
Tel.: 054-251-410
Business hours: 17:00~24:00
Credit Cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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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