Tag Archives: tuna

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!

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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

kuromaguro.jpg

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!

kuromaguro-otoro
Kuromaguro Otoro (fat part)

kuromaguro-chutoro
Kuromaguro Chutoro (semi-fat part)

kuromaguro-akami
Kuromaguro Akami (lean part)

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Mebachi/Big-eyed Tuna

mebachi.jpg

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

mebachi-akami

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”:
mebachi-kama
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

kihada1.jpg

“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:
kihada3
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

minamimaguro.jpg

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!
shizuokaminamimaguro
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.
shizuokaminamimagurochu
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

binnaga.jpg

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.
binnagatonbo
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!)!
efbd82efbd89efbd8eefbd8eagatataki
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

mekajiki.jpg

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.
kajiki1.jpg
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.
mekajiki-sushi
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.

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-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

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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

Marinated Tuna Sushi/Magurozuke Sushi

Whenever tuna is available one ought to taste it raw as sashimi or sushi.
Now, avaibility does not always mean quality.
On the other hand, the Japanese have a simple and delicious way to accomodate tuna of any quality: magurozuke, which basically means marinated tuna, a concept easy to understand anywhere in our world!
Here is a basic recipe you can easily improve and adapt. I can guarantee you that your friends will look at you with a different eye!

INGREDIENTS:

-Tuna: raw for sashimi, enough for a plate of sushi
-Sushi rice: as appropriate. Check Sushi Rice Recipe here!

-Marinade/Zuketare:
-Soy sauce: 2 tablespoons
-Japanese sake: 2 tablespoons
-Mirin/Japanese sweet sake: 1 tablespoon
-Chopped thin leeks: as appropriate
-Wasabi paste: as appropriate

RECIPE

-Prepare the marinade: In a bowl drop the soy sauce, Japanese sake, mirin and chopped leeks. Mix quickly.
Slice the tuna for sushi. Take care of slicing it in equal size (especially thickness) slices!
Drop all the slices inside the marinade. Stir gently so as all fish is marinated. Cover with cellophane paper and leave inside the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

-Prepare the rice balls/shari in a slightly elongated size. Remember that the rice balls/shari should be slightly narrower and shoter than the tuna slices.
Smear a little wasabi paste on top of each rice ball. Skip if you don’t like wasabi. On the other hand you could top the nigiri (taht is on top ofthe fish, not the rice ball) with a little grated ginger!
Take tuna slice out one by one, shake them over the marinade bowl to let run excess marinade (do not sponge it off!), place a slice on each rice ball firmly enough (no need to overpress it between your hands, or you will have marinade everywhere!).
Place on a service dish and eat as soon as possible.

Easy and so impressive!

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Wild Blue Fin Tuna Catch Ban: So What?

-Bottom left: “honmaguro/本鮪/Kuromaguro/黒鮪”, blue fin tuna from Oma (Aomori Prefecture), chu-toro/semi-fat part.
-Top left: O-toro/belly fat part of same fish
-Bottom centre: “Aori Ika/あおり烏賊, Great Fin Reef Squid from Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture.
-Bottom right: Akami/lean part from same tuna.
(Picture taken at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City, Japan)

For all his own research done the old iconoclast geezer once again runs the risk of being lambasted for tackling head on incrasingly poltically incorrect issues…

Attempting to show the larger picture as recently done with whalemeat and suplements certainly struck the wrong chord in some circles, be they faithful friends or avowed enemies.
On the other hand such vital issues as marine and fish stock preservation and replenishement have failed to attract expected comments.

It seems that food is slowly becoming a bone of contention whereas for eons shared meals and drinks were considered the birth and proof of culture in any so-called civilized country or nation.
Moreover, this divisive state of affairs is being further exarcerbated by populist politicians seizing the opportunity for an easy vote gain. Has smoke-belching Arnie ever seen the geese and ducks queueing for more food? Has he ever witnessed the conditions chicken are kept before being served in cartons at KFC diners?
Only very recently a group of politically and religiously-motivated group of vegans have threatened me with a concerted internet attack if I did not mendmy ways immediately (they forgot I can use a spam filtering box…).
Considering personal efforts in featuring regular vegan recipes and information on vegetables and fruits, I was slightly disappoited with the utter lack of tolerance (and civility).
It won’t be mong until a violence-prone activist is arrested for running a bullozer into the the house of a famer who had dared mistreating a cow into giving her milk to make cheese.

japan bashing in all fields has become an increasingly fashionable way to make people forget far more pressing issues.
But the same people are forgetting the resilience and ingenuity of the inhabitants of this island nation. The Japanese kep quiet, bend their backs under the deluge and continue against overwhelming odds to produce arguably the best-balanced diet in this world. After all they are also the longest-living humans on the globe. Many conveniently tend to forget too easily that Japan is one, and probably the only one, of a few countries which can daily provide for all culinary tastes, be they vegan, vegetarian, halal, kosher, or plainly omnivore.

The Japanese also a great grasp of the future.
To cut a long story short, they were the first, and probably the only ones, to research and succeed in raising blue fin tuna from the egg. Such fish are now reaching the weight of 30 kg in Kagoshima Prefecture,and are fast closing to the same figure in Kinki and Tokai Marine Universities. Kagoshima blue fin tuna is already on sale at Parche Supermarket in Shizuoka City!
Businessmen have already registered blue fin tuna rasied at Tokai Marine University under the name of “Shimizu Toro”!

The Japanese don’t feel compelled to impose their views, laws and restrictions in the lands and seas of other nations, but they will be the first to export human-raised blue fin tuna abroad.
Consequently, the ban on wild blue fin tuna will have spawned the perverse result of Japan and importers abroad getting their hands on a new lucrative business!
I can see myself one day guiding rich foreign tourists on a sushi tour of Shizuoka, which not only raises its own blue fin tuna but is also blessed by a sea replete with the same fish!

Now, I totally agree that blue fin tuna catch, and that of any other fish for that matter, should be (have been) strictly regulated, but the present unilateral ban will only bring about two negative outcomes:
-on one hand, what is going to happen to all these fishermen and workers in harbours along the coasts of Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Mauritania, Angola and the workers at Hunt’s Point, Boston?
-on the other hand, the same fishermen and workerswill have no other recourse left but but to catch more of the “lesser” tuna species to survive.

The vicious circle has only begun…

Unrelated at may sound, nobody seems to have the guts to question China and her fishermen who kill more than a million (yes, you read well!) sharkes for the sole benefit of cutting off their fins (the rest of the fish is callously thrown back into the sea).

I kept this posting short for the sake of impact, but I will gladly answer any comments as long as they are formulated in a polite, coherent and constructive manner. Otherwise they will be trown to the (remaining) sharks!

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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, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, Vegansarus

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Vegan Peach & Luccola Salad

PEACH-LUCOLLA-1

Fruit are great as desserts, but they have so many benefits that they aso make for some great combinations with vegetables, especially salads!
Her is an example as peaches and luccola are in season:
Vegan Peach & Luccola Salad!

INGREDIENTS: For 1 person
-Peach: half a fresh one
-Luccola: 3 leaves
-Lemon: 1 sixth/1 wedge
-Salt: a pinch (to taste)
-Ground black pepper (to taste)
-Olive oil (EV): 1 large tablespoon

RECIPE:
-Chill a plate.

PEACH-LUCOLLA-2
-Cut each luccola sprig in 8 cm long parts. Drop into a bowl.

-Peel peach, and cut 1 half into 5 wedges (if you do not eat the rest right away, sprikle with lemon juice, wrap in cellophane paper and keep in the fridge!).

-Add in the bowl lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Lightly toss.

-Add peach wedges and toss again just a little. Place onto a plate with an eye for decoration.

-Grind black pepper over the salad!

Simple, easy and healthy!

NOTE:
Eat at once or luccola will change colour and turn soggy.
Don’t forget to bring some white wine!

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Tuna and Watermelon Salad

TUNA-WATERMELON-TARTARE-1

This particular salad is actually called “Yukke” in Japanese, and it is inspired from Korean gastronomy, the most influential foreign gastronomy with the Chinese one in Japan’s everyday meals!
“Yukke” could be roughly (many people might disagree there, sorry!) as “Tartare”.
Great in summer with a glass of sake or shochu!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 persons
-Watermelon: Including the red and white parts/150 g
-Raw tuna: 100 g
-Sesame oil: one and a half large tablespoons
-Miso: 2 small teaspoons
-Soy sauce: 2 small teaspoons
-Powdered/ground sesame seeds: 2 large tablespoons
-Grated garlic: to taste
-Fresh egg yolks: 2
-Leaf vegetables: shiso/perilla, Myoga, thin leeks, etc (to taste)

RECIPE:
-Cut tuna and two thirds of the watermelon (red part without the pips/seeds) to small enough sized pieces.

TUNA-WATERMELON-TARTARE-2
-Cut the white part of the watermelon into thin strips as shown above.

-Grate the remaining watermelon (red part) and mix well with sesame oil, Miso, soy sauce, powdered/ground sesame seeds, and grated garlic.
Add the cut tuna and red watermelon pieces and mix.

-On to different plates, palce the watermelon white strips first and then the tuna and watermelon as sown in top picture. Make a small well on top and delicately drop an egg yolk. add chopped leaves for better effect and taste.

NOTE:
-As watermelon tends to give away water, eat as soon as prepared.
-For people whole like their food spicy add ingredients of your liking!

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