Tag Archives: 由比

Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps: Catching Season Opened in Yui!

The Sakura Ebi Gate just outside Yui JR Station!

The sakura ebi/cherry shrimps catching season was finally opened on April 6th with some delay!

Sakura ebi and Shirasu Shop

Son Thursday April 7th I went to Yui to see the fishermen leave on their second day of fishing.
I came a bit too early (14:00) but nonetheless took my time and observe things at ease.
Once you get off at Yui JR Station, get out and turn left. You will see the Sakura Ebi Gate opening the way to the harbor and the Eastern part of the Village.

The street is actually called Yui Sakura Ebi Street/由比桜えび通り!

The entrance to the harbor is almost concealed. Make sure you don’t miss it!

Not easy to notice as the entrance is under the railway track!

Mind you head!

What’s that map under the sign saying to look out for earthquakes and tsunamis?

Four destinations. The ships will run there in shifts and teams. Each group is assigned 8 bags of ice.

All ships leaving port at 5:30 p.m. sharp.
They will be catching sakura ebi between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. before being back at around 10:00 a.m.

Ships still at anchor and nobody to be seen around…

This gave me chance to have a closer look!

The ship’s name means “Great Luck”!

Yui is not all about sakura ebi.
Having plenty of time on hand I took a stroll through the Village.
A beautiful little Japanese cake shop!

But we know what that shop sells!

They also catch all kinds of fish in the Suruga Bay. A lot are dried to become succulent himono/干物!

Yui is also famous for its citruses.
Organic oranges!

Most of those vegetables are locally grown!

When I came back around 4:00 p.m. the fishermen started arriving.

Boarding the ships.

One shipman on each boat will sprinkle different part with salt and Japanese sake every day for good luck!

This is all team work and the fishermen enjoy sharing a word before leaving. The only time of the day they can really socialize!

Official visit from the city hall. The fishermen are not really bothered…

I knew you were going to ask: these are the toilets!

All ships are powered by Yanmar Diesel engines.

This is night only fishing when the sakura ebi come up from the deep. Plenty of lights needed!

Antennae and flashing lights for mutual recognition.

Very powerful lights!

The next morning each catch will be weighed on named scales.

The actual sales will take place there.
I’m planning to witness those soon!

The crews (6 to each ship) are slowly getting ready.

The grilles protecting the propellers are hoisted up.

Each ship is equipped with a stove and chimney to heat water for hot drinks on cold and long nights!

Starting putting on protective gear.

The pilots are all the veterans of each team. These two are 75 years old!

Big wheels for such fine nets!

Not all ships are equipped with nets. Instead they have syphons for an easy and careful haul of the shrimps. Don’t forget all is done in teams!

Almost 5:30 p.m.!

Here they go!

Good luck guys, and great catch to you all!

Next, I will pay them a visit in the morning!

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Warren Bobrow, 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!

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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Kanzawagawa Brewery-Shosetsu Futsushu

Kanzawagawa Brewery is also an old establishment located very near the sea at Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shziuoka City along the old Tokaido Road.
They have the merit to still make absolutely extravagant “futsushu/regular sake” at ridiculous prices.

Like most of all futsushu (only 18% of the total production, probably the lowest in Japan), the bottles are adorned with old traditional designs!. As they are easy to conserve thy would make the perfect souvenir back home in the rest of world!

Kansawa Brewery: Shosetsu Futsushu

Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Rice milled down to 70%
Bottled in January 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: transparent
Aroma: Strong attack upon opening the bottle. Tends to dissipate quickly.
Fruity. Bitter chocolate, banana, macadamia nuts
Body: fluid
Taste: Dry attack backed up by delicious alcohol and a basket of dry nuts and bananas.
Complex/not straightforward for a fustushu.
Pleasantly warming up back of the palate with plenty of dry almonds, finishing on a pleasant acid note.
Holds its own well with any food with an accentuated dryness.

Overall: A sake for all meals, although eminently drinkable on its own.
Certainly not the “image” of the futsushu, but futsushu are simply extravagant in Shizuoka Prefecture, considering that the rice millage would qualify it as premium sake!

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-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Eikun Brewery-Eikun Futsushu

Eikun Brewery is an old establishment “lost” in the mountains facing the sea at Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shziuoka City.
They have the merit to still make absolutely extravagant “futsushu/regular sake” at ridiculous prices.

Like most of all futsushu (only 18% of the total production, probably the lowest in Japan), the bottles are adorned with old traditional designs!. As they are easy to conserve thy would make the perfect souvenir back home in the rest of world!

Eikun: Futsushu
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Rice milled down to 70%
Bottled in January 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: transparent
Aroma: Fruity, ricey
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dry and soft attack. Discreet.
Fruity and nutty: macadamia nuts, almonds, coconuts.
Disappears quickly with dry nuts.
tends to come up with new facets with the second and third sip (glass).

Overall: Very elegant and extravagant for a futsushu.
Goes well with any food.
A sake for everyday home drinking!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Warren Bobrow
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Lobster: Basic Sashimi Preparation

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To answer Christina’s question (visit her great blog at Lobster Queen!) who asked if a lobster could be eaten raw, here is the basic recipe for preparing it.
Note that lobsters are fine, but spiny lobsters are best, especially small/medium specimens!

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The lobster should be still alive before you start proceeding.
First clean the live lobster under running clear cold water.
Note that live lobsters are very “lively”!

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Use a short and sharp wide blade knife.
Maintaining the lobster securely in one hand, stab the lobster with the knife point deeply just behind the head at a slant forward.

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You should be able to easily twist the tail away from the head.

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Put the head aside (will come onto the plate later).

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Turn tail over and cut bewteen soft underbelly part and hard shell part.

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Cut along both sides.

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You should be able to easily pull out the underbelly shell. If you have problems pulling it out, insert a spoon between the shell and the flesh.
Should come out easily then.

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Pull the flesh out the shell.
Peel off the thin brown skin and discard.

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First cut tail flesh lengthwise through the middle.
Take innards out and discard.
Ten cut the flesh across into one bite size (small size by European/American standards!).

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Drop into iced water and clean off the sticky juices. As the flesh will turn white if you leave it in the water too long, this process should not last more than 1 minute!

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Take water off in kitchen paper.

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Using the shell (cleaned in cold running water and wiped), arrange sashimi as above. Very easy!
You will find out that the flesh is sweet.
A little wasabi and soy sauce (ponzu is even better) is all you need!

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Local Sushi & Sashimi only at Ginta!

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The particularity of Ginta, a minuscule sushi restaurant located near the harbour of Yui in the eastern part of Shizuoka City is that it proposes sushi and sashimi plates from fish exclusively caught in Suruga Bay only a few miles and fathoms from the very shore!

The other day I convinced the Missus to pay Ginta a belated (for me as it was a first for her) visit and sample the fish of the moment.

Iforgot to say that the prices are ridiculously low when taking the quality and rarity in consideration!

The “Jizakana/Local Fish” set of 8 above is priced at 1,800 yen/ 19 US $!

Here is a description of the sushi (Picture above):

Above, from left to right:
-Tora Fugu/a popular species of globefish, served pre-seasoned (no need to dip it in the soy sauce)
-Hanadai/A kind of grouper, served pre-seasoned
Mr. Hara actually deep-fries the scales of that particular fish before inserting them under the slice of raw fish!
-Tachiuo/Scabbard Fish, v
-Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps, served in “gunkan” style.

Bottom, from left to right:
-Kanpachi/Albacore
-Kurodai/another kind of grouper
-Kurozawa Aji/Saurel caught in Kurozawa area, next to Yui.
-Kose/a purely local fish also called “kushikinme or goso (in Numazu City). It is apparently a local variety of grouper.

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Having enjoyed kose for the first time, we decided to order it as a full sashimi plate.
A real beauty: firm, almost crisp, not a hint of “fishy taste” and absloutely delicious!

No wonder customers come all the way from Tokyo!
Now, the advantage I have on such customers is that Mr. Hara is so enthusiastic sharing his knowledge with local patrons!

GINTA
421-3111 Shizuoka Shi, Shimizu Ku, Yui cho, Imajuku, 165. (get off at Yui Station and walk to your right. Only a few minutes away)
Tel.: 0543-75-3004
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Closed on Tuesdays
Reservations on the telephone recommended!

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The Pride of Shizuoka: Sakura Ebi/Cherry shrimp!

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With Spring comes the season for a specialty found in Shizuoka Prefecture only!
“Sakura Ebi” or Sakura shrimp is a vey small (maximum 5 cm) crustacean caught in the Suruga Bay of Shizuoka Prefecture. Most of ships are anchored in Yui City (part of Shizuka City city) and Fujikawa Harbours.

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The shrimps are caught in special net baskets. They are then siphoned through special “tubes” with the baskets kept just above the water. Later all sea creatures inadvently caught in the nets are released alive back into the sea! Who said the Jpanese are not environment-conscious?
Moreover, for the first time in Japan, the Association of Cherry Shrimps Fishermen decided in 1965 to strictly limit their yearly total catch to preserve stocks. A salutary initiative long before normal citizens became aware of conservation and environment!

According to long traditions they are put on the market immediately for auction.
Many fishermen open their own sushi restaurants, bars and often their catches of the night until early in the afternoon before taking a well-earned sleep.

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For people who prefer them as sushi, the gunkan style is the most appreciated!
Most French and Italian Restaurants in Shizuoka City and around will serve them in quiches!

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(Pic taken at Izutsuya Restaurant, Yui)

Another popular way to eat them is of course as a tempura called kaki-age, either with fresh sakura ebi in season or frozen/dried ones.
Fishermen use to dry their catch for sale and export until the government had the great idea to run an expressway just along the harbour!
The shrimps are now dried along nearby Fujikawa River at the foot of Mount Fuji, creating large quaint rose expanses in the most useen for locations!

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Sakuraebi Spring Fishing Season started!


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(Courtesy of Shizuoka Shinbun, April 3rd, 2008)

The Sakuraebi/Sakura Shrimp Spring Fishing Season was officially started two days late because of inclement weather but the first batches were auctioned in the early hours of April 2nd in Yui, the only harbour having the license to do so.
The catch has been good as three times as much as usual was sold, that is a total of 67 tonnes.
Their price went on the average 40,000 yen per case (about 15 kg).
Don’t forget you can sample them directly at Yui Harbour’s food stands!

Vietnamese Cuisine: Holiday Lunch at Annam


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For all their popularity, real Vietnamese restaurants are far and between in this country. Actually, I will go as far as to say that Annam in Shizuoka City is probably the only genuine Vietnamese Restaurant in the whole Prefecture of Shizuoka!
Therefore, I was only too happy to pay them a long overdue visit for lunch last Sunday.
Luckily enough, they propose a “set lunch” for Sundays and holidays. At 2,800 yen (about 24 US$), it may sound a bit steep to some, but the quality, if not the quantity, does warrant it. Even on a Sunday, past 13:00, the restaurant was still half full with more customers coming in. Therefore a lot of people tend to agree!

The menu was served as follows:
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“Sup Mimosa”: a very elegant, tasty, soft soup to sharpen your appetite.
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“Ba men khai vi”/ Set of 3 hors d’oeuvres:
“Cha guo”/Fried Spring Roll
“Goi du du”/Green Papaya salad
“Goi cuon bom”/Prawn Spring Roll
Served with 2 kinds of dressing. Delicious!
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Main dish: “Ga mong mat ong”/Chicken sauteed with honey. A bit small, but cooked to perfection. Very Vietanamese!
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Pho Soup: I had a choice of “Pho bo huoc”/Beef Pho or “Pho ga”/Chicken Pho.
I chose the Chicken Pho. A bit small again, but delicious.
Foodhoe would have loved that!
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Dessert: “Trang miong”/diifficult to describe. maybe a sweet potato vichyssoise? gGeat!
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As for drinks, I had a choice between Vietnamese Coffee or Lotus Flower Tea. I chose the latter. Extremely refreshing, even drunk hot. I would recommend it to anyone!
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You can buy it at the restaurant.

I had a glass of Shosetu sake from Kansawagawa Brewery in Yui to go with the meal (extra).
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Gaijin Tonic would have been interested in the drink the owner graciously offered to me after I had finished my sake (I always pay my bills in full, but sometimes “service” comes in!): A Vietnamese “Shochu” (called “Vodka” in Vietnam. Communist influence?) called Nep Moi. At 36.5 degrees (they have two more, at 25 and 45 degrees), quite heady, but eminently drinkable on the rocks. Tastes more like a liqueur with reminiscences of flowers, coffe beans and bitter chocolate. A dessert in itself!

Annam
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Tenmacho, 17-9
Tel.: 054-2502266
Fax: 054-2502323
Lunch: 11:30~14:30
Dinner: 17:00~22:00 (last orders: 21:30)
Closed on Mondays and day after National Holidays
Homepage
Slightly expensive
Credit cards OK