Tsukiji Market’s Take no Shokudo 多け乃食堂

Take no Shokudo - yaki kamasu

Grilled barracuda at Take no Shokudo

It is said that there are 500 shops and restaurants at Tsukiji Market’s outer market. Finding a particular one can be a challenge. A friend had told me that I had to check out Take no Shokudo. “It is just down one of those narrow streets just before the stoplight”, he had advised. Problem is that there are three narrow streets. We snaked our way up and down and were relieved to find it, just as our search was coming to an end. The noren, cloth banner that marks the entrance, was pushed together so the kanji was hard to decipher, but we had arrived.

Sliding open the door we asked if there were seats available. The three tables were full but we could be seated at the counter, which we preferred so we could look into the open kitchen. A cutting board was filled with boiled potatoes, which was made into potato salad, a classic izakaya side dish.

The lunch menu included tuna sashimi, seafood fried as tempura or breaded with panko and deep-fried, called “furai” in japanese, grilled fish and arani, simmered fish heads. We asked what fish they recommended for grilling and were advised either the collar of salmon which was very fatty, or kamasu, barracuda. I ordered the kamasu (1,100 JPY) and was surprised at how bit it was. It comes with some grated daikon. Pour some soy sauce onto the daikon and eat with the grilled fish. Great garnish to the simple dish.

Takeno Shokudo - arani

Fish heads simmered in soy at Take no Shokudo

Shinji, the fishmonger, ordered the arani (1,300 JPY), which was four different types of fish heads simmered in an intense sweet soy broth. The fish heads included salmon, yellowtail, and two smaller fish. Eating this dish requires dexterity with your chopsticks and lots of sucking bits and pieces from the bones. Diners must also be very careful as there are many small bones in the dish so eat with caution.

Take no Shokudo menu

Take no Shokudo menu

The meals were rounded out with a small dish of pickled cabbage and carrots, rice, and miso soup made with clams. I hear this spot is a great spot for drinking at night as there are many small plates to be ordered, mostly made with Tsukiji seafood. A shokudō is a cafeteria and often serves up home-style dishes. The walls of the shop are lined with signs listing many seafood dishes. It would be great fun to carefully peruse the selections over a beer and order dish after dish. In order to survive in a restaurant like this you not only need to be able to read Japanese, you need to know about a wide variety of seasonal Japanese seafood. Oh the fun. :-)

Absolutely no English here, so come with a Japanese speaker. Take no Shokudo is not open for breakfast, just lunch and dinner.

Take no Shokudo

Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 6-21-2

November Seasonal Japanese Seafood

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Salmon roe, pulled out of its sac and simply marinated in the sweet soy sauce of Kyushu, is irresistible this time of year. We love it so much it is on the table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Crabs are also coming to market. Another highlight this time of year is fresh scallops and oysters, both best when raw.

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Kawahagi may not be the most beautiful fish to look at, but when cut of its leathery skin, and served as sushi with its liver, it is heavenly.

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Shirako, or milt, is often from cod fish, but Japanese chefs I speak with say that the best milt comes from fugu. Many people who try this love its creaminess and velvety texture. But, once you tell them what it is they sometimes change their mind. Here it is steamed and then served with a tart ponzu and grated daikon with chili.

Amadai  赤甘鯛  tilefish (Branchiostegus japonicas)                                       

Ankō 鮟鱇 monkfish (Lophiomus setigerus)                     

Asaba karei 浅羽鰈  rock sole (Pleuronectes mochigarei)                                 

Chidai   血鯛  crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)                     

 Hata はた grouper  (Epinephelus septemfasciatus)                                    

Hata hata 鰰 sailfin sandfish (Arctoscopus japonicus)               

Higedara ひげたらsnubnose brotula (Hoplobrotuda armata)   

Hi ika ひいか winter dwarf squid  (Nipponololig (Loliolus) japonica)     

Hirame 鮃 olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)                 

Hotate 帆立貝 scallops (Patinopecten yessoensis)                  

Hon kamasu 本カマス barracuda (Sphyraena pinguis)             

Hon kawahagi 本皮剥 thread-sail filefish (Stephanolepis cirrhifer)   

Ibodai 疣鯛  Japanese butterfish (Psenopsis anomala)                  

Ise ebi 伊勢海老  Japanese spiny lobster (Panulirus japonicas)                   

Ishi karei いしかれい Stone flounder (kareius bicoloratus)                                

Itoyori イトヨリGolden threadfin bream (Nemipterus virgatus)         

Kanpachi  間八 amberjack (Seriola dumerili)                       

Kou ika こういか cuttlefish (Sepia (Platysepia) esculenta)                       

Kuro karei くろかれい black plaice (Pleuronectes obscurus)              

Kurumaebi 車海老   Japanese tiger prawn (Marsupenaeus japonicas)

Kaki 牡蠣 oyster (Crassostrea gigas)                                                         

Matara 真鱈 codfish (Gadus macrocephalus)                           

Masaba  真鯖   Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus)                 

Matsuba gani  松葉蟹 spiny crab (Hypothalassia armata)           

Mebachi maguro  目鉢鮪 bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)         

Medai  目鯛  butterfish (Hyperoglyphe japonica)                                       

Meita karei  めいたかれいfine spotted flounder (Pleuronichthys cornutus)  

Mekajiki  かじき swordfish (Xiphias gladius)                      

Mongouika  もんごういか  cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas)                               

Mutsu  むつgnomefish  (Scombrops boops)                

Nametagarei  婆鰈  slime flounder (Microstomus achne)       

Sawara  さわら Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)

Sanma 秋刀魚  Pacific saury (Cololabis saira)             

Shiba ebi  芝海老  Shiba shrimp (Metapenaeus joyneri                   

Shiro ika  白烏賊swordtip squid (Loligo (Photololigo) edulis) or kensaki ika   

Shirosake  白鮭   chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)                

Souda katsuo  宗田鰹bullet mackerel (Auxis rochei)                                  

Sujiko  筋子  chum salmon roe                              

Sukesou tara  助宗たら pollockTheragra chalcogramma)           

Suma katsuo  すまかつお  black skipjack (Euthynnus affinis)         

Surume ika  スルメイカ Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus)   

Tairagai  平貝 penshell (Atrina (Servatrina) pectinata)                 

Wakasagi  若細魚 Japanese smelt (Hypomesus nipponensis)                        

 Warasa  ワラサ  yellowtail  (Seriola quinqueradiata)            

Yoshikiri same  よしきりさめ blue shark (Prionace glauca)              

Watarigani  渡蟹   swimming crab (Portunus trituberculatus)                     

Zuwaigani  頭矮蟹  snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio)

October Seasonal Seafood

sanma

At Tsukiji Market we are seeing many autumn seafood like oysters, wakasagi for deep-frying, and finally sanma for grilling with salt. Some of our favorite sashimi this time of year include katsuo, isaki, and if you get a kawahagi with a big liver we will mix the liver with soy sauce and dip the sashimi in the creamy mixture. Many of the fishy fish like saba, iwashi, and aji are in abundance.

Akagarei 赤鰈 flathead flounder (Hippoglossoides dubius)        

Amadai 赤甘鯛 tilefish (Branchiostegus japonicas)

Ayu 鮎 sweet fish (Plecoglossus altivelis)

Bora flathead mullet or Gray mullet (Mugil cephalus)               

Chidai 血鯛 crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)

Hon kamasu 本カマス barracuda (Sphyraena pinguis)       

Hon kawahagi 本皮剥 thread-sail filefish (Stephanolepis cirrhifer)   

Hon shishamo 本ししゃもcapelin or longfin smelt (Spirinchus lanceolatus)

Ibodai疣鯛 Japanese butterfish (Psenopsis anomala)

Isaki 伊佐木threeline grunt (Parapristipoma trilineatum)

Itoyori イトヨリgolden threadfin bream (Nemipterus virgatus)

Kaki 牡蠣 oyster (Crassostrea gigas)

Katsuo  鰹   skipjack tuna or oceanic bonito (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Kohada 小鰭   gizzard shad (Konosirus pumctatus)

Kurumaebi 車海老   Japanese tiger prawn (Marsupenaeus japonicas)

Maaji 真鯵 horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicas)        

Maiwashi  真鰯  sardine (Sardinops melanostictus)

Masaba真鯖   pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus)

Mebachi maguro 目鉢鮪 bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)

Medai 目鯛 butterfish (Hyperoglyphe japonica)

Mekajikiめかじき swordfish (Xiphias gladius)        

Sanma 秋刀魚 Pacific saury (Cololabis saira)

Sawara さわら Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)

Shirosake 白鮭   chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)                              

Sujiko筋子 salmon roe still in the sac                         

Surume ika スルメイカJapanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus)

Tachiuo   太刀魚   cutlassfish or largehead hairtail (Trichiurus lepturus)

Takabe タカベ yellow-striped butterfish (Labracoglossa argentiventris)

Wakasagi 若細魚 Japanese smelt (Hypomesus nipponensis)                                        

Warasaワラサ yellowtail  (Seriola quinqueradiata)        

Watarigani 渡蟹 swimming crab (Portunus trituberculatus)    

 

Other fish you may see in the market

 

Ainame 鮎魚女fat greenling (Hexagrammos otakii)                         

Akagai 赤貝 ark shell (Scapharca broughtonii)

Asari 浅利 Japanese littleneck clams (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Ayu     ayu or sweet fish ( Plecoglossus altivelis)                

Hotate 帆立貝 scallops (Patinopecten yessoensis)

Hoya ホヤ sea squirt (Halocynthia roretzi)

Kihada maguro 黄肌鮪 yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)  

Kinki 黄血魚 thornyhead (Sebastolobus macrochir)

Kinmedai or kinme 金目鯛 splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kurumaebi 車海老   Japanese tiger prawn (Marsupenaeus japonicas)  

Maaji  真鯵  horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicas) 

Madai 真鯛 sea bream (Pagurus major)

Makarei 真鰈 Japanese common flounder (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

Mebaru 目張 rockfish (Sebastes inermis)

Mirugai 海松食 geoduck (Tresus keenae)           

Sazae 栄螺 turban shell (Turbo cornutus)

Tairagai 平貝 penshell (Atrina (Servatrina) pectinata)

Tobiuo 飛魚 flying fish (Cypselurus agoo agoo)

Tsubugai   螺貝   whelk (Buccinum undatum)

September Seasonal Japanese Seafood

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Kamasu barracuda

Kamasu and sanma are two fish in season now that we love to simply season with salt and grill.

katsuo sashimi

Katsuo sashimi

Katsuo we love as sashimi, or if we find it in the market seared on the outside (tataki) we’ll cut it into thick slices and garnish with garlic and ginger and serve with the sweet kanrō soy sauce from Kyushu.

Following are other seafood in season in September in Japan.

Amadai 赤甘鯛 tilefish (Branchiostegus japonicas)

Ayu 鮎 sweet fish (Plecoglossus altivelis)

Bora flathead mullet or Gray mullet (Mugil cephalus)    

Chidai 血鯛 crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)

Hon kamasu 本カマス barracuda (Sphyraena pinguis)

Ibodai疣鯛 Japanese butterfish (Psenopsis anomala)

Isaki 伊佐木threeline grunt (Parapristipoma trilineatum)

Itoyori イトヨリGolden threadfin bream (Nemipterus virgatus)

Katsuo  鰹   skipjack tuna or oceanic bonito (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Kohada 小鰭   gizzard shad (Konosirus pumctatus)

Kurumaebi 車海老   Japanese tiger prawn (Marsupenaeus japonicas)

Maaji 真鯵 horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicas)        

Masaba真鯖   pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus)

Sanma 秋刀魚 Pacific saury (Cololabis saira)

Shirosake 白鮭   chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)

Sujiko筋子 salmon roe still in the sac                         

Surume ika スルメイカJapanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus)

Takabe タカベ yellow-striped butterfish (Labracoglossa argentiventris)

Warasaワラサ yellowtail  (Seriola quinqueradiata)        

Watarigani 渡蟹 swimming crab (Portunus trituberculatus)

Other fish you may see in the market

Ainame 鮎魚女fat greenling (Hexagrammos otakii)                         

Akagai 赤貝 ark shell (Scapharca broughtonii)

Asari 浅利 Japanese littleneck clams (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Hotate 帆立貝 scallops (Patinopecten yessoensis)

Hoya ホヤ sea squirt (Halocynthia roretzi)

Kinki 黄血魚 thornyhead (Sebastolobus macrochir)

Kinmedai or kinme 金目鯛 splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kihada maguro 黄肌鮪 yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

Makarei 真鰈 Japanese common flounder (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

Madai 真鯛 seabream (Pagurus major)

Mirugai 海松食 geoduck (Tresus keenae)

Mebaru 目張 rockfish (Sebastes inermis)

Sawara 鰆 Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)

Sazae 栄螺 turban shell (Turbo cornutus)

Tairagai 平貝 penshell (Atrina (Servatrina) pectinata)

Tachiuo 太刀魚 belt fish or largehead hairtail (Trichiurus lepturus)

Tsubugai   螺貝   whelk (Buccinum undatum)

Tobiuo 飛魚 flying fish (Cypselurus agoo agoo)

August Seasonal Japanese Seafood

 

katsuo

Katsuo tataki

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Katsuo sashimi topped with myoga, shiso, and garlic

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Katsuo as done by chef Zaiyu Hasegawa at Den

Look for seafood from this list when eating out in Japan or in the supermarkets or at your fishmonger. Most of the seafood listed here you can enjoy as sushi or sashimi. At home we like to have tachiuo as sashimi with a bit of sesame oil and sea salt. Ayu is best salted and grilled. And while we don’t cook hamo at home we look forward to having it out at restaurants, especially with a bainiku (umeboshi) dressing. At home we often have katsuo topped with lots of yakumi like shiso, myōga, and garlic then dress it with a soy sauce and sesame oil dressing. Katsuo can be bought raw or seared on the outside as tataki).

Ayu 鮎  sweetfish (Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis)

Dojou 泥鰌 loach (Misgurnus Anguillicaudatus)

Hamo   pike eel or pike conger (Muraenesox cinereus)

Hiramasa 平政 yellowtail amberjack (Seriola lalandi)

Hoya  ほや sea squirt(Halocynthia roretzi)

Inada 鰍 young amberjack (or yellowtail) (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Stages of buri: wakashi, inada, warasa, buri

Indo maguro Southern Bluefin tuna 

Isaki 伊佐幾 chicken grunt (Parapristipoma trilineatum)

Kanpachi  間八 amberjack or yellowtail (Seriola dumerili)

Katsuo 鰹 skipjack tuna (or bonito) (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Kensaki ika 剣先烏賊 swordtip squid (Loligo edulis)

Kihada maguro 黄肌鮪 yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

Kisu 鱚 Japanese whiting (Sillago japonica)*or shirogisu

Kochi 鯒 bartail flathead (Platycephalus)

Koyari ika槍烏賊  baby spear squid (Loligo bleekeri)

Kuruma-ebi 車海老 Japanese tiger prawn (Penaeus (Melicertus) japonicus)

Ma-aji 真鯵 Japanese jack mackerel (Trachurus japonicus)

Ma-anago 真穴子 whitespotted conger (saltwater eel) (Conger myriaster)

Ma-iwashi 真鰯  Japanese sardine (Sardinops melanostictus)

Managatsuo 真名鰹 silver pomfret (Pampus punctatissimus)

Ma-tako 真蛸  common octopus (Octopus vulgaris)

Nijimasu 虹鱒 rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Shiira  しいら 鱪 dorado or mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus)

Shima aji  島鯵 striped jack or white trevally (Pseudocaranx dentex)

Shinko (Konoshiro) 鰶 dotted gizzard shad (Konosirus punctatus)

Surumei ika するめいか Japanese common squid (Todarodes pacificus)

Suzuki すずき 鱸 Japanese sea bass (Lateolabrax japonicus)

Tachiuo 太刀魚  cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus)

Takabe たかべ yellow-striped butterfish (Labracoglossa argentiventris)

Unagi 鰻 Japanese freshwater eel  (Anguilla japonica)

June Seasonal Japanese Seafood

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The waters are warming up around Japan and many of the fish coming to market now are lean like katsuo. Here is a sashimi platter at our home, Izakaya Sakamoto. The big fish in the back is Tokyo Bay aji, iwashi, lean katsuo, kisu, and shiriyake-ika.

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This tsubugai sashimi was served at a izakaya specializing in shōchū, Bettako. One of the joys of eating sashimi in Japan is the wide variety of shellfish. Tsubugai has a rich texture. Here it is served with some grated daikon, julienned myōga, and green onions.

Taste of TohokuAt a recent class at Elizabeth Andoh’s A Taste of Culture, we made a full meal from her latest collection of recipes, Kibō Recipes and Stories from Japan’s Tohoku. The rice dish is made with tokijake (chum salmon) and ikura.

ika

Young surumeika are just now coming into the market. They are very soft and tender. You can eat it as sashimi without peeling the skin. Here we had it barbecued. It is stuffed with its innards and legs and simply grilled.

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This is a sashimi platter we made on June 1st. Shinji’s father went fishing that morning in Tokyo Bay and all of the seafood, except for the Hokkaido scallops in the middle, were caught in the waters near Tokyo. This sashimi is even fresher than what customers are eating at Tsukiji Market sushi shops. Here we have aji, kochi, madako, and kisu.DSCN6299

Also, from Tokyo Bay, is this beautiful saba. Pacific mackerel is often cured in vinegar and served as shime-saba. It’s not often seen like this, but was amazing. Not as fishy as we associate with mackerel. We served it with julienned pickled ginger, myōga, and shiso and dressed it with a citrusy ponzu.

Another fish in season right now is anago. There is a restaurant in Nihonbashi that specializes in anago. A visit to Tamai, which is just behind Nihonbashi Takashimaya, is a treat, especially this time of year.

Ainame  鮎魚女  Fat greenling (Hexagrammos otakii)

Akagai 赤貝   Ark shell (Scapharca broughtonii)

Amaebi 甘海老 Pink shrimp (Pandalus eous)

Aoyagi   青柳   Surf clam (Mactra chinensis) 

Asari  浅利   Japanese littleneck clam (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Ayu      Ayu or sweet fish (Plecoglossus altivelis)

Chidai   血鯛   Crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)

Ginzake 銀鮭   Silver (Coho) salmon (Oncorhynchus kisuts)

Hamo 鱧 Pike conger  (Muraenesox cinereus)

Hiramasa 平政 Giant amberjack (Seriola lalandi)  

Hoya  ホヤ   Sea squirt (Ascidiacea) 

Isaki 伊佐木 Threeline grunt (Parapristipoma trilineatum)

Ishigarei 石鰈 Stone flounder (Kareius bicoloratus)

Katsuo      Skipjack tuna or oceanic bonito (Katsuwonus pelamis) 

Karauni   殻雲丹   Sea urchin (Anthocidaris crassispina)

Kinki 黄血魚   Thornyhead (Sebastolobus macrochir)

Kinmedai 金目鯛   Splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kisu キス Sillago (Sillago japonica)

Kochi 鯒 Flathead (Platycephalus indicus)  

Ma-aji  真鯵   Horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicas)

Ma-anago 真穴子 Conger eel (Conger myriaster) is a salt-water eel

Madako真蛸   Octopus   (Octopus vulgaris)

Maiwashi 真鰯 Sardine (Sardinops melanostictus)

Makokarei   真子鰈  Marbled flounder (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

Mebachi maguro  目鉢   Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)

Mebaru 目張   rockfish (Sebastes inermis)

Minami maguro 南鮪 Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii)

Mirugai  海松食   geoduck  (Tresus keenae) 

Mongouika紋甲烏賊   Kisslip cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas)

Okoze 虎魚   Scorpion fish (Inimicus japonicus)

Saruebi 猿海老  Southern rough shrimp  (Trachysalambria curvirostris)

Sazae   栄螺   Turban shell (Turbo cornutus)

Shako   蝦蛄   Mantis shrimp (Oratosquilla oratoria)

Shiiraシイラ Mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus)

Shiroika 白烏賊 Swordtip squid (Photololigo edulis)

Shitabirame舌平目 Red tongue sole (Cynoglossus joyneri)

Surume ikaスルメイカ  Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus)

Suzuki 鱸 Japanese seabass (Lateolabrax japonicus)

Tachiuo   太刀魚   Belt fish or Largehead hairtail (Trichiurus lepturus)

Tokisake   時鮭   Young chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)

Torigai   鳥貝   Cockle (Fulvia mutica)

Tsubugai   螺貝   Whelk (Buccinum undatum)

 

May Seasonal Japanese Seafood 5月旬の魚

katsuo tataki

The cold waters still bring fish rich with fat that shines in sashimi or is nice for grilling. Asari clams are great for making into a quick vongole style pasta. And perhaps my favorite this time of year is katsuo simply seared on the edges, sliced thickly, and served with some soy sauce and garlic. This time of year, the katsuo is referred to as “hatsu-gatsuo”. Katsuo actually is in season two times a year. This is the first time we see it, hence the name “first katsuo” in Japanese. The meat in the spring is very rich and intense in flavor and is lean without any fat which makes it refreshing. Katsuo tataki is particularly nice if you can garnish it with fresh myoga and dress it with a citrusy ponzu sauce.

Hotate we like as sashimi or cooked meuniere style. Takikomigohan of scallops is also a nice change-up. Mebaru is a light, white fish that is nice as himono. Don’t throw away the head of tai as it is lovely when salted and grilled. Shinji also likes to keep the bones of tai after he has filleted the fish to make a broth. Simply make some kombu dashi, add the bones and simmer for about ten minutes. A delicate broth, but rich with the umami from the fish bones and kombu.

Iwashi (sardines) and isaki (threeline grunt) are just starting to become rich with fat as we approach the rainy season.

Ainame  鮎魚女  Fat greenling (Hexagrammos otakii

Akagai 赤貝   Ark shell (Scapharca broughtonii) 

Aoyagi   青柳   Surf clam (Mactra chinensis) 

Asari  浅利   Japanese littleneck clam (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Ayu      Ayu or sweet fish ( Plecoglossus altivelis)

Chidai   血鯛   Crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)

Ginzake 銀鮭   Silver (Coho) salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutsh )

Hiramasa 平政 Giant amberjack (Seriola lalandi)

Hotate 帆立貝   Scallop  (Patinopecten yessoensis)

Hoya  ホヤ   Sea squirt (Ascidiacea) 

Minami maguro 南鮪 Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) 

Isaki 伊佐木 Threeline grunt (Parapristipoma trilineatum )

Ishigarei 石鰈 Stone flounder (Kareius bicoloratus)

Katsuo      Skipjack tuna or oceanic bonito (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Karauni   殻雲丹   Sea urchin (Anthocidaris crassispina)

Kinki 黄血魚   Thorny head (Sebastolobus macrochir)

Kinmedai 金目鯛   Splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kihada maguro  黄肌鮪   Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) 

Kisu キス Sillago (Sillago japonica)

Kurodai 黒鯛   Japanese black porgy (Acanthopagrus schlegelii)

Okoze 虎魚   Scorpion fish (Lnimicus japonicus(Cuvier))

Maaji  真鯵   Horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicas)

Maanago 真穴子 Conger eel (Conger myriaster  )

Madai  真鯛   Red sea bream (Pagurus major)

Maiwashi 真鰯 Sardine (Sardinops melanostictus)

Mirugai  海松食   geoduck (Tresus keenae)

Mebaru 目張   rockfish (Sebastes inermis)

Makogarei   真子かれい   Marbled flounder (Pleuronectes yokohamae Gunther)

Mongōika もんごういか   Kisslip cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas) 

Sakura ebi  桜蝦    Sakura shrimp (Sergia lucens)

Sawara      Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)

Sazae   栄螺   Turban shell (Turbo cornutus)

Shirauo 白魚   Whitefish or ice goby (Salangichthys microdon)

Shira ebi 白海老   Glass shrimp (Pasiphaea japonica)

Sumiika   墨烏賊   Cuttlefish (Sepia (Platysepia  esculenta Hoyle)

Tairagai   平貝   Pen shell (Atrina (Servatrina) pectinata)

Tachiuo   太刀魚   Belt fish or Largehead hairtail (Trichiurus lepturus Temminck&Schlegel)

Tokisake   時鮭   Young chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)

Tsubugai   螺貝   Whelk (Buccinum undatum)

Shako   蝦蛄   Mantis shrimp (Oratosquilla oratoria)

Shiro ika 白烏賊 Swordtip squid (Photololigo edulis)

Torigai   鳥貝   Cockle (Fulvia mutica)

 

 

April Seasonal Japanese Seafood 4月旬の鮮魚

uniuni

uni pasta

uni pasta

spring sashimispring sashimi by Shinji Sakamoto

kinme sushi 

kinmedai sushi

Tai Carpaccio

madai carpaccio

Saikyo masu

Saikyo miso marinated honmasu

The cherry blossoms have peaked in Tokyo as the weather has warmed up. This time of year we are seeing the last of the creamy shirako (milt) that we love so much as well as many fish eggs. The nabé hot pot is put on the higher shelf in the kitchen as we are not using it a few times a week as we were just last month. Being married to a Japanese fishmonger we eat a lot of seafood, from our breakfasts, usually with a grilled fish like a salted salmon or a himono (salted and air-dried fish) and seasonal sashimi at dinner. Here are some of our favorite dishes this time of year followed by a list of Japanese seasonal seafood you’ll come across if visiting Japan in April.

There is so much to love about Japanese seafood in spring. In particular, there is a a pink-fleshed kinmedai (splendid alfonsino) that has a supple texture which is spectacular as sashimi or sushi. If you are lucky the sushi chef will just sear it to bring out a unique texture and aroma. Kinmedai is also often served as nitsuké, simmered in a sweet soy broth until just cooked through. In Japan, look for kinmedai from the port of Choshi in Chiba as it is line-caught and harvested in shallow waters so it is rich with fat.

Uni on its own may be hard for some to swallow, but once it is cooked with garlic, olive oil, and tomato paste and topped over pasta it becomes a luxurious lunch. A very easy dish that anyone can whip up in minutes with this recipeKatsuo is in season in the spring and then again in autumn. This time of year it is lean, while in fall it is rich with fat. We love it this time of year as sashimi.

 Madai (sea bream) is available all-year long as it is a commonly farmed fish. But, this time of year we can get wild madai that has a better texture than the farmed fish which can be flabby. We love the wild madai for a simple carpaccio (above) topped with shiso, myōgabenitadé, and chives. Myōga is in the ginger family and adds a fresh pop to the dish, shiso adds a minty aroma, and the benitadé adds a bit of pepper. Shinji also loves the honmasu (cherry salmon) this time of year. Here he marinates it in a sweet Saikyō miso marinade overnight and then grills it.

Most of the Japanese fish names are linked to a photo of the fish.

Ainame  鮎魚女 fat greenling (Hexagrammos otakii

 Akagai 赤貝 ark shell (Scapharca broughtonii)

 Aoyagi   青柳  surf clam (Mactra chinensis)

 Asari  浅利  Japanese littleneck clams (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Bora    flathead mullet or gray mullet (Mugil cephalus)

Chidai 血鯛  crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)

Chiayu 稚鮎  young ayu or sweet fish (Plecoglossus altivelis)

Honmasu 本鱒 cherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou)

Hotaru Ika   蛍烏賊擬   firefly squid  (Enoploteuthis chunii)

Hotate 帆立貝 scallops (Patinopecten yessoensis)

Hoya 海鞘 sea squirt (Halocynthia roretzi)

Ishidai  石鯛  black seabream (Oplegnathus fasciatus)

Katsuo   鰹  skipjack tuna or oceanic bonito (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Kasago   笠子  scorpion fish (Sebastiscus marmoratus)

karauni  殻雲丹  sea urchin (Anthocidaris crassispina)

Kinki 黄血魚  thorny head (Sebastolobus macrochir)

Kinmedai 金目鯛 (sometimes called kinme) splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kihada maguro  黄肌鮪   yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

Kohada  小鰭  gizzard shad (Konosirus pumctatus)

Kurokarei 黒鰈   flounder or black plaice (Pleuronectes obscurus)

Kurodai 黒鯛   Japanese black porgy (Acanthopagrus schlegelii)

Maaji 真鯵 Japanese jack mackerel (Trachurus japonicus)

Magarei 真鰈 littlemouth flounder (Pleuronectes herzensteini)

Madai  真鯛  sea bream (Pagurus major)

Mategai   真手貝  razor clam (Solen strictus)

Mirugai  海松食   geoduck (Tresus keenae)

Mebaru 目張   rockfish (Sebastes inermis)

Nishin     Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii)

Okoze 虎魚   scorpion fish (Inimicus japonicus)

Sakura ebi  桜蝦  sakura shrimp (Sergia lucens)

Sawara    Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)

Sayori   針魚  halfbeak (Hyporhamphus sajori)

Sazae   栄螺   turban shell (Turbo cornutus)

Shako  蝦蛄  mantis shrimp (Oratosquilla oratoria)

Shirauo 白魚  whitefish or ice goby (Salangichthys microdon)

Shira ebi 白海老 glass shrimp (Pasiphaea japonica)

Sumiika  墨烏賊  cuttlefish (Sepia (Platysepia) esculenta)

Tachiuo 太刀魚 cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus)

Tairagai 平貝  pen shell or fan shell (Atrina (Servatrina) pectinata)

Tobiuo 飛魚 Japanese flying fish (Cypselurus agoo agoo)

Tokisake 時鮭   young chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)

Torigai 鳥貝 heart clam (Fulvia mutica)

Tsubugai  つぶ貝 whelk  (Buccinum undatum)

March Seasonal Japanese Seafood

tairagaiTairagai, hokkigai, and kinmedai in a tairagai shell

March is a delicious month for seafood. The cold waters still bring fish rich with fat that shines in sashimi or is nice for grilling. Asari clams are great for making into a quick vongole style pasta. Grilling salted fish heads of buri or tai is quick and simple and the perfect accompaniment to sake or shochu. Bitesize tiny hotaru ika can be quickly blanched and then served with a sweet and vinegary sumiso dressing. Nishin can be salted and grilled. And perhaps my favorite this time of year is katsuo simply seared on the edges, sliced thickly, and served with some soy sauce and garlic.

 

If you click on the Japanese name of the seafood you should be directed to a link with a photo.

 

Akagai 赤貝 ark shell (Scapharca broughtonii)

Akagarei 赤鰈 flathead flounder (Hippoglossoides dubius)

Amadai 赤甘鯛 tilefish (Branchiostegus japonicus)

Ankou 鮟鱇 monkfish (Lophiomus setigerus)

Aoyagi  青柳  surf clam (Mactra chinensis)

Asari 浅利 Japanese littleneck clams (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Benizuwaigani 楚蟹  red snow crab   (Chionoecetes japonicus)

Buri 鰤 Japanese amberjack (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Chidai  血鯛  crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)

Fugu 真河豚 blowfish or pufferfish (Takifugu porphyreus)

Hamaguri 浜栗 common Orient clam (Meretrix lusoria)

Hira suzuki 平鱸   blackfin Japanese seabass (Lateolabrax latus)

Hirame 鮃 olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)

Honmaguro 本鮪 bluefin tuna (Thunus thynnus)

Hoshigarei 星鰈 spotted halibut (Verasper variegatus)

Hotaru Ika 蛍烏賊擬 firefly squid  (Enoploteuthis chunii)

Hotate 帆立貝 scallops (Patinopecten yessoensis)

Iidako 飯蛸 ocellated octopus (Octopus ocellatus)

Itoyori 糸縒鯛 golden threadfin-bream (Nemipterus virgatus)

Kaki 牡蠣 oyster (Crassostrea gigas)

Kanburi 寒鰤 winter Japanese amberjack (see buri) (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Kasago 笠子 scorpionfish (Sebastiscus marmoratus)

Katsuo 鰹 skipjack tuna or oceanic bonito (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Kawahagi 皮剥 thread-sail filefish  (Stephanolepis cirrhifer)

Kihada maguro 黄肌鮪 yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

Kinki 黄血魚 thornhead (Sebastolobus macrochir)

Kinmedai 金目 (sometimes called kinme) splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kohada 小鰭 gizzard shad (Konosirus pumctatus)

Madai (or Tai) 真鯛 seabream (Pagurus major)

Makogarei 真子鰈 marbled sole (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

Matsuba gani 松葉蟹 spiny crab (Hypothalassia armata)

Matsukawa 松皮鰈  barfin flounder (Verasper moseri)

Mebaru 目張 black rockfish (Sebastes inermis)

Mirugai 海松食 geoduck (Tresus keenae)

Nishin 鰊 Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii)

Oma honmaguro 大間鮪 bluefin tuna from Oma in Aomori (see honmaguro)

Saba 鯖 Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus)

Sakura ebi 桜蝦 sakura shrimp (Sergia lucens)

Sawara 鰆 Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)

Sayori 針魚 halfbeak (Hyporhamphus sajori)

Sazae 栄螺 turban shell (Turbo cornutus)

Shijimi 大和蜆 corbicula clams (Corbicula japonica)

Shirauo 白魚 whitefish or ice goby (Salangichthys microdon)

Soudagatsuo 騒多鰹 frigate mackerel  (Auxis thazard)

Surumeika  鯣烏賊  Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus)

Tairagai 平貝 pen shell or fan shell (Atrina (Servatrina) pectinata)

Tara 真鱈 codfish (Gadus macrocephalus)

Tarabagani 鱈場蟹 Alaskan king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)

Umazurahagi 馬面剥 filefish scraper (Thamnaconus modestus)

Wakasagi 若細魚 Japanese smelt  (Hypomesus nipponensis)

Yanagi dako 柳蛸 chestnut octopus (Octopus conispadiceus)

Yari ika 槍烏賊 spear squid (Loligo (Heterololigo) bleekeri)

Zuwaigani 頭矮蟹 snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio)

 

 

 

February Seasonal Japanese Seafood 2月旬の魚

 

ankimo monkfish liver

February is one of the coldest months in Japan, so it is a wonderful time for hot pots (nabé). Monkfish (ankō) is one of Shinji’s favorite types of nabé. We always save the liver and serve it separately. Ankimo is often called the foie gras of the sea. It’s very easy to steam – see a simple recipe hereWakasagi is nice lovely when lightly battered and deep-fried.

As the waters are very cold this year, and as fish get ready to spawn in spring, they are rich with fat. This translates well into dishes like sashimi and nabé.

Image

hotaru ika

Some of the local seafood we look for this time of year include hotaru-ika and shira-ebi from Toyama Bay in the Sea of Japan. In Hokkaido there is of course cod (matara), ankō, and a very unusual fish called gokkōGokkō is a local fish in Hokkaido that is often used for nabé.

cod roe

cod milt with Urakasumi saké

As for matara (Pacific cod), there are so many delicious parts of it, from the meat to the shirako (milt) and matara no ko (roe). Milt is a delicacy, and for some, an acquired taste.

 

Kanburi at Himi Port in Toyama

Hokkaido wild buri sashimi

As for sashimi, we love kinmedai, hirame, kanburi and tairagai. If you get a fresh kawahagi for sashimi, save the liver, mash it in a mortar and pestle, and add it to some ponzu for a creamy dipping sauce. Shijimi miso soup is a wonderful way to start any day. Best of all may be all the succulent crabs that are in season like taraba-gani, benizuwai-gani and zuwai-gani.

A classic winter dish is buri daikon. (recipe here)

If you click on the Japanese name of the seafood you should be directed to a link with a photo.

Akagarei 赤鰈 flathead flounder (Hippoglossoides dubius)

Akōdai 赤魚鯛 rockfish (Sebastes matsubarae)

Amadai 赤甘鯛 tilefish (Branchiostegus japonicus)

Ankō 鮟鱇 monkfish (Lophiomus setigerus)

Ankimo – monkfish liver

Benizuwaigani 楚蟹  red snow crab (Chionoecetes japonicus)

Buri 鰤 Japanese yellowtail (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Fugu 真河豚 blowfish or pufferfish (Takifugu porphyreus)

Gokko 布袋魚 smooth lumpsucker (Aptocyclus ventricosus)

Hamaguri 浜栗  common Orient clam (Meretrix lusoria)

Hata hata 鰰  sailfin sandfish (Arctoscopus japonicus)

Hirame 鮃 olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)

Hokke 𩸽 arabesque greenling (Pleurogrammus azonus)

Honmaguro 本鮪 bluefin tuna (Thunus thynnus)

* also called kuromaguro

Hotate 帆立貝 scallops (Patinopecten yessoensis)

Houbou 魴 gurnard (Chelidonichthys spinosus)

Iidako 飯蛸 ocellated octopus (Octopus ocellatus)

Kaki 牡蠣 oyster (Crassostrea gigas)

Kanburi 寒鰤 winter Japanese amberjack (see buri) (Seriola quinqueradiata)

* The port of Himi in Toyama is famous for its kanburi.

Kasago 笠子 scorpionfish (Sebastiscus marmoratus)

Kawahagi 皮剥 thread-sail filefish  (Stephanolepis cirrhifer)

Kinki 黄血魚 thornhead (Sebastolobus macrochir)

Kinmedai 金目 (sometimes called kinme) splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Madai 真鯛 seabream (Pagurus major)

Matara 真鱈 codfish (Gadus macrocephalus)

Matsuba gani 松葉蟹 spiny crab (Hypothalassia armata)

Matsukawa 松皮鰈 barfin flounder (Verasper moseri)

Mekajiki  女旗魚  swordfish (Xiphias gladias)

Mirugai 海松食 geoduck (Tresus keenae)

Mizudako 水蛸 North Pacific giant octopus (Octopus dofleini)

Mutsu gnomefish (Scombrops boops)

Namako 生子 sea cucumber (Stichopus japonica)

Nametagarei 婆鰈 slime flounder (MIicrostomus achne)

Nishin 鰊  Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii)

Saba 鯖 Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus)

Sawara 鰆 Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)

Shijimi 大和蜆 corbicula clams (Corbicula japonica)

Shira ebi 白海老 glass shrimp (Pasiphaea japonica)

Shirako milt from fugu or tara

Shirauo 白魚 whitefish or ice goby (Salangichthys microdon)

Tairagai 平貝  penshell (Atrina (Servatrina) pectinata)

Tara 真鱈 codfish (Gadus macrocephalus)

Tarabagani 鱈場蟹 Alaskan king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)

Tsubugai つぶ貝 whelk  (Buccinum undatum)

Umazurahagi 馬面剥 filefish scraper (Thamnaconus modestus)

Wakasagi 若細魚 Japanese smelt  (Hypomesus nipponensis)

Yanagi dako 柳蛸 chestnut octopus (Octopus conispadiceus)

Yari ika 槍烏賊 spear squid (Loligo (Heterololigo) bleekeri)

Zuwaigani 頭矮蟹 snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio)