Tag Archives: Sakura ebi

Japanese Appetizer (O-toushi/お通し): Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps & Pickled Wasabi Stems!

O-toushi/お通しis actually a bit difficult to translate.
In a Japanese (in Japan) izakaya it is an appetizer that is served with the first drink and that you pay for in general in lieu of a cover charge.
I have nothing against such a notion as it gives you a good idea of the chef’s skills!

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The sakura ebi/cherry shrimps season in Shizuoka Prefecture has just started, but they are stil few in and between, so when we can find some, we just grab them!

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Wasabi is in season all year, but this is a time of the year when we can easily get their fresh stems here in Shizuoka!
Since the stems, leaves and flowers are even more beneficial to the human body than the roots, it is one more item we grab as soon as we can see it!

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A little light soy sauce is enough to season the sakura ebi. A little grated ginger and finely chopped scallions will complete well enough the seasoning!

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If you can get fresh wasabi stems, just cut them in small pieces and pickle them in rice vinegar!

A simple, but beautiful combination, very healthy and so tasty!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pie
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, 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

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Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps Catching in Yui. Still Hard Work!

Large painting of a sakura shrimp at the Yui Harbor Fisheries Association Building in Yui, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City

Yui fishermen will tell you that life has become a lot easier with the advent of technology including motorised boats, radar, radio, machine-cotrolled nets and syphons, but they agree it is still a toil to go out every evening during the two seasons in Spring and Autumn.
Now, how hard was it not so long ago?

pulling the nets by hand!

Now, if you stroll along the street running along the shore of Yui, you will discover some vending machines adorned with copies of all paintings on the life of Yui Cherry Shrimps Fishermen which will give you a good idea of the hard toil local fishermen had to go through!

Pulling up the nets full of sakura shrimp.
It has always been a team work!

Pulling the boats to shore by hand!

Unloading the baskets full of Cherry shrimps.
The fishermen used to spend half of the night separating the shrimps from small fish.
Only ten years they started syphoning up the shrimps directly from the nets inti the the boxes.
A lot of damage to the quality as they dropped baskets inside the nets and shoveled their contents into boxes.
Now the job is far more efficiently done with very little damage.

Every morning after the cheery shrimps had been sorted out the fishermen had to auction their catch.
Now it is all taken care of by the Association and fishermen can hit the sack after midnight!

in the old days, fishermen gathered around food and drink before sleeping in daytime!
Now, they can sleep between midnight and noon!

Now the habor is completely walled in and the ships do not have to pulled upshore everyday except during the off seasons when they are being scrapped and repaired.

And now the Association is taking care of allotting the departure times and destinations everyday!

If you happen to be in Yui make a point to visit the new Yui Harbor fisheries Association Building where you will discover some interesting photographs!

It is located the new part of the harbor!

People there are shy but I’m sure you will find an old hand willing to relate old times!
All these pictures were taken back in 1963!

Pulling the boats upshore!

Unloading the Cherry shrimps!

Boats coming back to harbor!

Unloading the catch!

Blood, sweat and tears!

Traditional Fisherman’s gear!
Now they wear what they want under waterproof overalls and boots!

The beavhes have now been replaced with a safe harbor!

But for all the great improvements my old samurai friend will be the first to tell you this is still bleedin’ hard work!

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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, 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!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Crustacean Species 7: Sakura Shrimp-Sakura Ebi-桜海老

My favorite, sakura ebi sashimi served with grated ginger!

SWakura Ebi Portal in Yui!

“Sakura Ebi” or Sakura shrimp/桜海老 is a vey small (maximum 5 cm) crustacean mostly caught in the Suruga Bay off the shores of Shizuoka Prefecture. Most of ships are anchored in Yui, formerly a city recently merged to Shizuoka City in Shimizu Ku, and also Oigawa Harbor in Yaizu City.

Sakura ebi ships leaving Yui before dusk!

The modern technique is to catch them in a net between two ships and next to syphon them out of the net for a neat separation from other seafood.
The shrimps are displayed in special net baskets according to long traditions before they are put on the market immediately for auction.
Many fishermen open their own sushi restaurants, bars and often serve their catches of the night until early in the afternoon before taking a well-earned sleep.

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!

Another popular way to eat them is of course as a tempura called kaki-age, either with fresh sakura ebi in season or dried ones.

The same in my bento!

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, creating large quaint rose expanses in the most useen for locations!

Next time you visit Shizuoka don’t forget to buy sakura ebi senbei as a souvenir!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

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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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!

sakura-ebi-drying.jpg

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

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Sakura Ebi: Autumn Catch


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(Shizuoka Shinbun)

November 5th saw the first haul of Sakura ebi/Cherry blossom Shrimp of the Autumn being auctioned at Yui Harbour and Oikawa Fish Market.
12 tonnes were sold, that is about three times as much as last year.
Stocks have been plentiful thanks to very strict enforcement of catch limits self-imposed by the Sakura Ebi Fishermen Association, the first-ever such association in the whole of Japan to impose such voluntary limits of their catches!
Sakura Ebi are exclusively caught in the middle of Suruga Bay.
They are sucked into the boats directly from the nets, ensuring a later release of all unwanted catch live and unharmed into the sea.
Who said the Japanese were depopulating the sea?

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!