Tag Archives: Asian

Spiny Lobster: Basic Sashimi Presentation

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Spiny lobsters can 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 between 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.
It 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!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, 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

A Japanese Tradition: Jouren/\-常連-Regular Customers

At Yasaitei,….

The Japanese are in perpetual search for harmony.
This constant pursuit of “wa/和” preoccupies them not only at the office with their fellow workers, at home with their family, but also, and probably most, when taking a pleasurable respite at the table or counter of their favorite restaurant or bar.

Whereas in many other countries patronizing the same establishment on a regular basis might be considered at best as an ostentatious show, and a disreputable habit at worst, eating and drinking out in Japan is a sine qua non prerequisite to a successful life, both professional and social.

“Jouren/常連” can be loosely translated as “regular customer”, although the term does not give justice to its real meaning.
The jouren is an essential feature at any establishment worth its salt. He oe she will usually sit quietly at the end of the counter if he/she is the only one present at the time, or next to another regular.
Now, if you observe him/her carefully (unobtrusively) you will notice that he/she is served food and drinks without orders or enquiries. There is a clear reason to that: the oyakata/chef or ofukuro/lady owner knows what the jouren likes to eat and drink within a tacitly agreed budget.
The jouren is not necessarily a well-off person, but he is a vital actor in the gastronomic theater because he/she will occasionally comes out of his/her reserve to gently recommend a dish or concoction when he/she notices a new customer experiencing some difficulty in choosing from an unknown menu. Very often a Japanese client will (politely) ask the local jouren for advice and enquire on the very food he/she is eating or on the best drink available.

At Tomii,…

Another peculiarity you will not fail to mark is that the jouren usually takes his leave without paying. He simply has a bill in the books that he will pay at a more or less determined date away from the inquisitive eyes of other diners and drinkers. This last arrangement is more practical for the owner’s accounts and tax returns. You will know that you have become a jouren the day or night the owner tells you to pay later, which of course means that he/she expects you to grace the place again soon!

Be it a posh kaiseki restaurant, an expensive sushi bar, a simple but popular izakaya, or a late night cocktail lounge, the “rules” are the same.
The jouren possesses an unfailing instinct as to the timing of his visits. He will avoid the really busy period of the evening, and will retreat with a smile and wave when his favorite haunt is unseasonably busy. He will also take leave when other customers start flowing in. On the other hand, a jouren will get full satisfaction and no questions asked if he requests a few seats for a party or some friends. Simply put, he is priority.

Jouren usually has his/her “bottle keep”, or own bottle of favourite spirits in situ, although the notion can be double-edged. Some izakayas or Japanese restaurants and bars make it rule for all customers, regular or not to acquire their own bottle with the attached condition that it must be consumed within a certain time limit. But a real jouren at an establishment worthy of its salt will probably keep a hard to find whisky or an extravagant shochu for his/her sole usage. On the other hand, if the jouren kindly offers you a glass of his/her own nectar, you may assume you will be part of the selected clientele very soon!

At Ekimae Matsuno Sushi,…

Japanese owners value their jouren very much for another reason.
In a tightly preordained world where the customer and the owner/chef are literally sitting on either side of a rigid fence, the jouren becomes an indispensable interlocutor you can talk shop with or even ask for advice. Japanese chefs have very little free time to spend outside work and take the pulse of their society to keep in touch with the prevalent trends of their fellow citizens. The jouren will bring in the news and information on any subject and the answers to questions that the chef will not hesitate to ask.
It works both ways: high-class geishas in Kyoto, who are not mere entertainers, do make a point to read at least two or three daily newspapers every morning, including one financial tabloid to ensure they can not only follow their clients’ conversations but give their own advice when solicited.

The nationality of a jouren is of little importance. Being a Japanese-fluent foreigner is actually an advantage as some social restrictions inherent to the Japanese society can easily be done without.
As a case in point a great majority of celebrated resident foreign chefs spend most of their free time patronizing local sushi and kaiseki restaurants for the dual purpose of relaxation and study in great company!

As a final word do not think jouren are exclusively male clients. There are certainly many ladies among them, although they will generally patronize a different type of establishment. But the same “rules” and traditions apply!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, 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 Cuttlefish/Squid Species 3: Bigfin Reef Squid-Aori Ika-障泥烏賊

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Aori Ika/障泥烏賊, or Bigfin Reef Squid is another extremely popular cuttle fish not only in Jpaan but also in many othere countries.
In French languedoc and Roussillon they call them “piste” and eat them raw marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and spices on top of freshly toasted bread!

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America Aori Ika/Caribbean Reef Squid

Of course they come by various regional names in Japan: Mo Ika, Bashoo Ika, Kutsu Ika, Misu Ika, Shiroi Ika.
They are fairly large as they can attain 40~45 cm length for a weight up to 6 kg.
Their season is from Summer to early Autumn. They are mainly caught in Central and South Japan along the Southern shores.
The catch has never been big (mainly by trawling nets), making them a choice morsel.
They are considered the best cuttlefish as far as sashimi is concerned.
The Japanese often catch them as a hobby to process and sell at local markets.

Artful Aori Ika sashimi!

Naturally, they make for beautiful succulent sushi!

here is another delightful way to serve it as a pre-seasoned sushi nigiri!

They can be cooked in many ways including tempura!

Jaoanese-style pasta with udon!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, 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

Food & Drink Bloggers in Japan (Spring 2012)

The number of foreigners and Japanese nationals who write about the food and drinks in Japan in English (or at least answer comments in English) has remarkably increased lately.
I thought it was about time to start some kind of round-up to help people discover these deserving foodies and their blogs!The list below is far from exhaustive, but I’m planning to update and announce it regularly!
Of course if you know more foodies residing in Japan, do please direct them to me and I will introduce them gladly!

HOKKAIDO TRIBE
(Hokkaido Island)
Meishu no Yutaka by Carlin

TOHOKU TRIBE
(Northeastern Japan: Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima)
Cooking with Mama Miyuki in Sendai
Slow Food From Japan by Nigel Fodgen in Miyagi Prefecture.

KANTO TRIBE
(Eastern Japan: Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa)
Watch Japan in Tokyo
Little Japan Mama in Tokyo
Japan Eats (featured on request)
47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities By Sara and Roshni in Tokyo
Eating Out in Tokyo with DominicTokyo Through The Drinking Glass by Melinda Joe in Tokyo
Tokyo Foodcast by Etsuko Nakamura in Tokyo
Sake World by John Gauntner in Tokyo: The inernational Reference for Japanese Sake!
Tokyo Terrace by Rachael in Tokyo
Gaijin Tonic in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture
Nonjatta by Chris Bunting in Tokyo
The Soul Of Japan in Kanagawa Prefecture
Sake, kimono and Tabi In Tokyo
Tokyo Kawai, Etc… in Tokyo
Blue Lotus in Tokyo
The Japanese Food Report by Harris Salat in Tokyo
The Sake Chronicles in Tokyo
Watashi to Tokyo by Mari Kanazawa in Tokyo
Japanese Food-Food Lover’s Guide by Yukari Yamamoto in Tokyo
Gaijin Life by a Canadian gentleman in Tokyo
Leo’s Japan Food Blog in Tokyo
Eating Out In Tokyo With Jon
Fugu Tabetai in Tokyo
Japan Style in Tokyo
COCO’s Oriental Kitchen by angela Cooper in Tokyo
Free Online Japanese Food Recipes in Tokyo
Reminiscenec in Tokyo
Cooking Japanese Style By Naoko, in Tokyo

CHUBU TRIBE
(Central Japan: Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Yamanashi, Nagano, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi)
Good Beer & Country Boys in Aichi Prefecture
Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonbayashi in Shizuoka City!
Damonde Life by Matt Ryan in Hamamatsu & Enshu, shizuoka Prefecture
Mangantayon in Shizuoka Prefecture
Shizuoka Gourmet, Shizuoka Sake, Shizuoka Sushi, Shizuoka Shochu in Shizuoka Prefecture
Bryan Baird’s Beer & Brewery in Numazu in Shizuoka Prefecture
A Modern Girl from Niigata and all over Japan!

KANSAI TRIBE
(Western Japan: Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Kyoto, Wakayama)
Yellin Yakimono Gallery by Robert Yellin in Shizuoka Prefecture, just moved to Kyoto!
Colorfood Daidokoro in Osaka (Englis & French)
Dominique Corby In Osaka (in French, but can answer and read in English)
Nagaijin in Osaka
Kyoto Foodie in Kyoto
Our Adventures in Japan by K and S Minoo in Osaka
Japan Food Addict by Mai in Kyoto

CHUGOKU
(“Central Country”: Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi)
Get Hiroshima Blog in Hiroshima
The Wide Island Review, The JET Programme Webzine Of Hiroshima Prefecture (includes food & drink articles)

SHIKOKU
(Shikoku Island: Kagawa, Kochi, Ehime, Tokushima)
Obachan’s Kitchen & Garden Balcony in Kochi Prefecture
Still Clumsy With Chopsticks in Kochi Prfecture (Continuation of Obachan’s Kitchen & Garden Balcony)
Rocking in Hakata by Deas Richardson

KYUSHU
(Kyushu Island: Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Saga, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima)
Finding Fukuoka
Food from Fukuoka, Kyushu and Japan by Fumiko Soda
Fukuoka Sake Guide by Daisuke Ito

OKINAWA
(Okinawa Archipelago)
HWN Pake in Okinawa in Chatan, Okinawa
I’m sorry to say that Nate has just passed away and that his blog has disappeared, but I’ll keep it there as it is in his memory!
Dojo Bar in Naha
Eating Okinawa
Okinawa Hai!
Total Okinawa

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, 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 Gastronomy: Somen-The Basics

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The hot weather will come quickly to Japan and it is already time to think about refreshing recipes!
Sōmen (素麺) are very thin, white Japanese noodles made of wheat flour. The noodles are usually served cold and are less than 1.3 mm in diameter. The distinction between sōmen and the next thicker wheat noodles hiyamugi (冷麦), and even thicker Japanese wheat noodles udon (饂飩) is that sōmen is stretched while hiyamugi and udon are cut.

SOMEN-COLD

Summer-style cold somen

Sōmen are usually served cold with a light flavored dipping sauce or tsuyu. The tsuyu is usually a katsuobushi-based (鰹節/dried bonito shavings) sauce that can be flavored with chopped thin leeks, ginger, or myoga. In the summer, sōmen chilled with ice is a popular meal to help stay cool.

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Somen Meal Sample

Fish stock can easily be replaced with konbu/seaweed stock if you vegetarian or vegan.

SOMEN-NAGASHI
Nagashi Somen flowing down a bamboo pipe.

Some restaurants offer “nagashi sōmen” (流しそうめん flowing noodles) in the summer. The noodles are placed in a long flume of bamboo across the length of the restaurant. The flume carries clear, ice-cold water. As the sōmen pass by, diners pluck them out with their chopsticks and dip them in tsuyu. Catching the noodles requires a fair amount of dexterity, but the noodles that aren’t caught by the time they get to the end usually aren’t eaten, so diners are pressured to catch as much as they can. A few luxurious establishments put their sōmen in real streams so that diners can enjoy their meal in a beautiful garden setting.

SOMEN-NYUMEN
Nyumen

Sōmen served in hot soup is usually called “nyumen” and eaten in the winter, much like soba or udon are.

SOMEN-CHAMPURU
Somen champuru.

In Okinawa, somen champuru are very popular with goya and tofu.

SOMEN-PLAIN

Plain somen

Somen are probably the easiest style of noodles to prepare.
Plain chilled somen with cold ponzu are such a great snack in summer.

SOMEN-KOREAN

A very similar variety of thin wheat flour noodles are called somyeon in Korea and are used in a dish called bibim guksu.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, 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 Cuttlefish/Squids Species 2: Sword Tip Squid-Kensaki Ika-剣先烏賊

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“Kensaki Ika/剣先烏賊 goes by the Latin name of Loligo (Photololigo) edulis Hoyle,1885, but that complicated name does not prevent this particular squid to be extremely popular in Japan!

It is of course known under other local names: Aka Ika/Red Squid, especially in Shizuoka, Budo Ika/Grapes Squid, Shiro Ika, Gotou Ika.

They will soon appear in the markets in Summer.
They are mainly caught by line.
They are more and more available live, so great specimens can be easily bought.

A whole sword tip squid sashimi plate!

Grilled, great with a beer!

They are a very versatile kind of squid as they can be appreciated as sashimi, sushi, simmered, boiled, broiled, dried, and especially as tempura!

Beautiful sushi nogiri topped with sea urchin!

As for me, it is a bit of a dilemna as I like them both as sushi nigiri and sashimi!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, 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

Shizuoka Festival Food Stands and Dancers!

Cute lady selling dango/団子!

The last three days saw the annual Shizuoka Festival which was held all over town.
It is slowly becoming better organized thanks to contributions from the whole Prefecture and volunteer citizens, although the city and authorities do very little…
Anyway yesterday, a beautiful Sunday, I took the opportunity to take a few (a lot actually) pictures to show you all what a local (in Shizuoka City) festival looks like!

I first went to the Sumpu Castle (a 2/3 scale copy of the original) and Sumpu Park!

The entrance to the main “square” where most of the food stands were located.

The map of the whole park!

A small traditional band manned by physically-impaired children!

Tough-looking girls on the Japanese drums!

Drummers start young in Japan!

Unimpressive and idle Shizuoka policemen…
Shizuoka policemen (actually traffic wardens in spite of their guns and plates…) are notorious as a lazy breed…

Now, what is that castle for?

A giant air cushion for kids to play on!

Fancy a tour with a “jinrikisha”?

Some people also call this Festival the “Shizuoka Spring Cherry Blossoms festival”!

These knee-high stockings are very much in fashion this year!

Plenty of food and drinks under the cherry trees! Ever heard of “Hanami/花見”?

Bento stand!

Japanese-style country food!

Yomogi wagashi Japanese cakes!

Shizuoka Oden!

Tsubuan Manju!

Shizuoka-style okonomiyaki!

Floating balls for the kids!

Try your luck!

Shizuoka specialties: dried sakura ebi/cherry shrimp and shirasu/sardine whiting!

A treat that kids all over the world look for!

More Shizuoka Oden!

Very well organized event with many public dustbins!

Kimonos are still very much in fashion!

A whole range of fancy okonmiyaki!

Japanese-style soft ice creams!

Korean-style karaage/deep-fried chicken!

Preparing o mochi and kinako wagashi cakes!

More okonomiyaki!

No, they are not selling kangaroo meat!

Shizuoka is strawberry country!

The Japanese too love their hamburgers!

Yakisoba!

Famous Shizuoka’s Hatsukame sake!

Takoyaki/Octopus dumplings!
I took a break to enjoy some with a cup of the above sake!

Charcoal-grilled ayame and ayu trouts!

Dango/団子!

Hiroshima-style Suwaganiten and nigiriten!

Utsunomiya gyoza!

Japanese-style corn on the cob!

Mini okonomiyaki?

More Shizuoka-style oonomiyaki!

Sausages!

Giant Sasebo (Kyushu) hamburgers!

Yakitori and oden!

“Love and Peace Ice Cream”!

I finally moved out to a quick look at Aoba Park Street where the kids were having on giant air cushions!

Right in front of the city hall! I suspect that many a civil servant’s kid was there!

And then I walked and made myself a nuisance taking pics of dancing groups in the middle of the main thoroughfare!

Sexy dancers! Sorry for the fuzzy pic, I was not really looking at my camera….

Mothers and kids waiting for their turn!

The Japanese love to be taken in photographs but the setting sun was a bit of a nuisance!

Is that a gentleman in the middle?

My personal first prize for colorful costumes!

The last pic!

Looking for and forward to the next local festival!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, 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