Tag Archives: Amagi Shamo

Amagi Shamo Chicken at Uzu!

Service: Excellent and very friendly. Very Japanese atmosphere.
Facilities: Excellent washroom facilities. Great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable.
Strong Points: Great sake from Shizuoka and Japan Great Shochu. Home-made umeshu. Mainly local products, especially organic vegetables.
Non-smoking on Sundays and National Holidays

Amagi Shamo is arguably the best chicken in Japan and it is bred by only one farm run by Toshiyaki Horie and his father.
The chicken are bred free of stress for 120~150 days up in the Amagi mountains in Izu Peninsula and being fed with grains, soy milk and wasabi leaves, the latter both from Izu Peninsula!

Not many restaurants can serve Amagi Shamo Chicken as the quantity is limited. You do need a personal introduction before you can purchase it!

Kenya Yoshimura of Uzu in Shizuoka City is one of the rare chefs who has a regular if limited supply of this succulent chicken!

So the other day we felt ourselves lucky to be able to savor at least some parts of the chicken. Practically the whole animal is eaten raw, semi-raw, seared, grilled or whatever. I’m afraid that people from Tokyo will have to travel all the way!
To make a long story short we sampled it in three different manners.
First as shown as above in broiled “tebasaki/手羽先” style remiscent of buffalo wings, but far more sophisticated!
The skin is crackling and the meat so tender and smooth!

The second dish was served in “aburi/炙り/seared style.
This is chicken thigh grilled only from the skin leaving the meat half raw.
Served with plenty of chopped scallions and fresh wasabi (from Umegashima, Shizuoka City), it is a morsel worth travelling miles for!

Finally we had a dish of fried hot/piquant innards including the liver and gizzards cut in small pieces and stir-fried with plenty of chopped chili pepper!

For another view….

The combination of crunchy gizzards and soft liver is just impossible to describe!
To be continued…

Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00=23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

410-3203, Shizuoka Ken, Izu Shi, Yaguma, 296
Tel.: 0558-87-0644
Mobile: 090-7449-5655
Fax: 0558-87-0763
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)


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

Amagi Shamo Chicken Farm in Izu City: Toshiyaki Horie

Toshiyaki Horie (extreme right) with his father and employee

Shizuoka is probably more famous for its high quality chicken outside than inside the Prefecture, but the locals are beginning to realize what kind of treasure they have been sitting on all that time!

The reason that Shizuoka people don’t know much about their avian treasures is that such high quality chicken has to be raised away from the cities, in altitude and in close contact with the nature for rigorous hygienic conditions.

We conducted the interview before paying a visit to the chickens inside a visitors room Toshiyaki had been himself where I discovered his hobby: drum/taiko/太鼓 making!

Third-generation farmer Toshiyaki (33) made all these by hand from scratch. Playing the drums is a good past time that keeps him fit for a work that requires constant attention!

Ventilators for the summer.

Toshiyaki’s father started raising shamo/軍鶏 chicken, originally a species from Thailand, 23 years ago.
Whereas their chickens are labeled Amagi (from Amagi Plateau) Shamo, they are a species derived from the Ikkoku Shamo/一黒軍鶏 raised in the Western part of the Prefecture.
They are raised from just-born chicks sent by Hoshino Chicken Farm in Shimada City.
The main difference with their cousins in the west is that Toshiyaku adds natural food to the usual grain feed such as wasabi leaves (Izu City is the largest producer of wasabi in Japan) and soy milk from a local tofu shop. Their water comes from a river raging down just along the farm. Moreover, the hygiene is strictly maintained with soil between the shacks being cemented over and regularly spread with liquid chalk.
They keep the chickens in four different locations according to their age. Every time they move one age group, all the soil on which the chickens live is moved and renewed entirely. The removed soil will find its way into the natural fertilizer shack to be sold to local farmers.

The chicks will be kept in enclosed areas until 30 days old as they have to be kept warm then.
Incidentally, I had to take the pics without a flash as the chickens must be kept free of any stress!

The feed silo.

They will be moved to another shack until 60 days. They will be inoculated once during that period.
The total number of chickens is around 3,000 at all times, half of them male.
Toshiyaki has also started selling their eggs 3 years ago.

They will be moved to a third shack until 90 days old. Males and females will be separated then. All the chickens will be vaccinated a second time before being moved to their third shack.

The blue container is filled with soy milk.

Female chickens.
They will be culled between 120 and 150 days,
This is hard and very precise work. Except for the taking of their feathers done in a water-filled spinning machine, all has to be done by hand from bleeding (unavoidable or the meat would irremediaby spoiled) to dressing. Their livers and hearts and shirako/白子 are all delicacies that have to be of the uttermost cleanliness. Raw Amagi Shamo sashimi and livers are a delicacy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

The male chickens.

Now, I know at least four restaurants which serve this unique Amagi Shamo Chicken.
Moreover, Toshiyuki takes part in many gastronomic events. Expect a series of articles soon!

410-3203, Shizuoka Ken, Izu Shi, Yaguma, 296
Tel.: 0558-87-0644
Mobile: 090-7449-5655
Fax: 0558-87-0763
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi