Gotta Get – Nori Cups at Tsukiji Market

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Once in a while you come across something that changes your food life forever. A Japanese chef girlfriend who now lives in California told me about these nori cups at Tsukiji Market. They are sold at a store that I walk by every time we do a Food Sake Tokyo tour, which is about 3-4 times a week. It is a store that we often stop by as they also sell the sushi erasers that are popular gifts. I was kicking myself for not noticing these before. These are perfect for bite-size sushi. Perfect for parties or for a fun night at home.

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The version above are unseasoned, while these are flavored with salt. I prefer the salty ones.

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Nori cups are circles of nori shaped into small cups like cupcake papers. Just add rice, or better yet, vinegared sushi rice, and top with sushi toppings.

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The first time we tried these we were celebrating a special occasion at home and Shinji pulled out all of the stops. Topping options this night included: clockwise from top left: sujiko (soy sauce marinated salmon roe in the sac), mentaiko (salted and spicy cod roe), kombu, seafood salad, maguro (tuna), kazunoko (herring roe), tobiko (flying fish roe), tuna salad, salmon, tamagoyaki (omelet), crab, and shirasu (baby anchovies boiled in salt water).

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Everyone makes their own as they like.

nori cup1

On this night we simply did salmon sashimi to celebrate the new saké cups we purchased.
Orimatsu

There are a few shops selling the nori cups at Tsukiji Market. The easiest one to find is Orimatsu in the outer market. While here, be sure to also take a look at the erasers in designs like sushi, bento, and wagashi (Japanese confectionaries).

Orimatsu

Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 4-9-15

3:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Followers of the Food Sake Tokyo blog have written to me to say that the nori cups can also be found at Tokyu Hands in the bento section as well as at Kappabashi.

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Food Sake Tokyo Upcoming Market Field Trips

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Kappabashi

Tuesday, March 12th

10 a.m. to noon

Whether you are looking for new kitchen gadgets or for tableware, you’ll find it all at Kappabashi, the wholesale district for chefs and restaurateurs. Kappabashi is reknowned for its plastic food samples, made into keychains and refrigerator magnets. This guided field trip will introduce you to kitchenware and tableware unique to the Japanese kitchen.

Price is 7,000 Japanese yen and includes a copy of Food Sake Tokyo.

Additional copies of Food Sake Tokyo are available for 2,000 Japanese yen.

Each tour is limited to four participants.

To register e-mail: yukari dot shinji dot sakamoto at gmail dot com

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Tsukiji Outer Market

Tuesday, March 19th

9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Tsukiji Market is the world’s largest seafood market. The outer market of Tsukiji, which is open to the general public, is filled with many food shops and restaurants. This guided field trip will introduce you to ingredients essential to the Japanese kitchen; a visit to a knife shop and a kitchenware shop is included.

This tour does NOT include a visit to the inner market where seafood is sold to wholesalers.

Price is 7,000 Japanese yen and includes a copy of Food Sake Tokyo.

Price is 12,000 Japanese yen if attending both Kappabashi and Tsukiji tours.

Additional copies of Food Sake Tokyo are available for 2,000 Japanese yen.

Each tour is limited to four participants.

To register e-mail: yukari dot shinji dot sakamoto at gmail dot com

Food Sake Tokyo

GENERAL CANCELLATION POLICY: Should Food Sake Tokyo need to cancel any or all segments of a program, every effort will be made to re-schedule sessions at a mutually convenient time. If that is not possible, a full refund will be made promptly for sessions canceled by Food Sake Tokyo.

If an individual or group is unable to attend a Food Sake Tokyo program for which they have already enrolled, that person or group may designate a substitute for him/her/them. No additional fees are charged to the participant (substitute attendee). Any financial arrangements made between the original participant and his/her/their substitute is at the discretion of the person originally enrolled. All requests to have a substitute attend a program, however, must be received by phone or e-mail at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled class meeting. When making such a request, please provide the full name and (local, Tokyo) contact phone number and e-mail address of each person who will be taking the place of the originally enrolled individual or group.

LIMITATIONS on LIABILITY: Every possible precaution is taken to ensure your personal safety and the safety of those in your group. However, registration for, and attendance at, all programs is subject to the following condition: the director and staff of Food Sake Tokyo, are released from, and specifically disclaim, all responsibilities for injuries or illness incurred traveling to and from sessions, during sessions, or resulting from food prepared at, or according to recipes distributed during, cooking & tasting sessions, market tours or other field trips, including restaurant meals.

NOTE: Tuition fees for cooking workshops, market tours, and other field trips conducted by Food Sake Tokyo do NOT INCLUDE food & beverage not specifically mentioned in the program description. Tuition does NOT include the cost of local transportation. Any purchases made by participants during class, market tours or field trips are at the discretion of each participant. Participants in all programs are responsible for making arrangements for, and making payment for, their airfare, lodgings, and transportation to/from/within Japan. Participants are also responsible for obtaining and paying for any travel/trip/health insurance coverage they would like to have.

 

Kappabashi Tour

Kappabashi is where chefs and restaurateurs come to get everything they need to set up shop. I will be guiding a group through Kappabashi with Elizabeth Andoh’s Taste of Culture on Friday, November 16th.

Colorful hashioki for resting your chopsticks.

Plastic food samples is perhaps what Kappabashi is most famous for. These frosty mugs of beer are some of my favorite.

I also can not resist lacquer for soup, rice and side dishes.

This tour will explore the many shops of Kappabashi. The tour includes a copy of my book, Food Sake Tokyo. Register for the tour at Elizabeth Andoh’s Taste of Culture website.

Tsukiji Tour

Ningyocho Tour

Depachika Tour – There will also be a tour of a depachika, the epicurean gourmet food halls in the department stores. I worked at Nihonbashi Takashimaya for two years and will share many things that you may miss while visiting on your own. The depachika tour will look at all of the areas including sake, confectionaries (both Western and Japanese), osouzai (prepared foods including bento), meat, seafood, bakeries, and the supermarket area.

Kappabashi – Okuda Shouten Shiten for Bamboo Products

Okuda Shouten Shiten in Kappabashi

Okuda Shouten Shiten in Kappabashi

Okuda Shouten Shiten is on the rightside

This shop features bamboo products. Strainers, steamers, bamboo baskets for soba, tempura, or for large strainers, chopsticks,handai for making sushi rice, bento boxes, bowls for miso soup.

Okuda Shouten Shiten オクダ商店支店

Taito-ku, Nishi-Asakusa 1-5-10

Phone: 03-3844-4511

www.kappabashi.or.jp/shops/32.html (Japanese)

Japanese Knife Shops in Tokyo

Tsukiji Masamoto

Tsukiji Masamoto

There are several knife shops in the market. Some of them are friendlier than others. Fifth generation Tsukiji Masamoto (opened in 1891) has always been on the friendly side and has an English speaking staff on some days. This is where my husband and I have purchased knives in the past and we love the service here. It’s a very busy shop with not only tourists, but also with the fishmongers from Tsukiji. Presdient Hirano-san in the photo below is there most days. The staff that work there are very knowledgeable about knives. Hirano-san has said that when the market moves to its new location at Toyosu that his shop will remain in place in the outer market.

Tsukiji Masamoto

Hirano-san of Tsukiji Masamoto putting initials on a knife

Tsukiji Masamoto 築地正本

Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 4-9-9 中央区築地4-9-9

Tel. 03-3541-7155

www.tukijimasamoto.co.jp/ (Japanese)

Kiya Knife Shop 木屋 *Note – this is the NEW address for Kiya Nihonbashi

Nihonbashi-Muromachi 2-2-1 中央区日本橋室町 2-2-1

Chuo-Ku Tokyo Coredo-Muromachi. 1F

Tel 03-3241-0110

STORE HOURS
10am – 8pm seven days a week
Closed only on New Year’s Day.

www.kiya-hamono.co.jp/english/index.html (English)

The corner shop, opened in 1792, has a sign in English, “World’s Finest Cutlery” over the door. The compact shop displays a shining collection of knives, pots, pans, and many things for the kitchen. Here you will find graters, pepper grinders, tweezers for pulling bones out of fish, as well as scissors and gardening tools. The friendly staff is patient and will help you to find exactly what you are looking for.

Kamata in Kappabashi

Kamata in Kappabashi

Kamata Knives かまた

Taito-ku, Matsugaya 2-12-6 台東区松が谷2-12-6

Tel. 03-3841-4205

www.kap-kam.com/english/ (English)

Kamata has a large selection of Western and Japanese knives, Japanese wet stones for keeping your knives sharp, and other kitchen gadgets. They will also sharpen your knives here if you live in Tokyo.

Aritsugu 有次

Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 4-13-6 中央区築地4-13-6

Tel. 03-3541-6890

www.aritsugu.jp (Japanese)

Aritsugu has a much larger shop in Kyoto’s Nishiki Market. If you are going to Kyoto then you do not want to miss this store.

Be sure to read this short primer on Japanese knives:

Japanese Knives 101

Kappabashi Gotta Gets

Shochu Cups

Shochu Cups

I love these shochu cups in the winter when I drink shochu with hot water. These have the type of base ingredient written on the cup 芋 for imo jochu (sweet potato shochu) or 黒糖 for kokuto jochu (brown sugar shochu).

Teacups

Teacups

These teacups will get lots of use in any home. The cup on the far right has different types of sushi drawn on the cup. The second from the write, the white cup with blue calligraphy, has the popular types of fish written on it, as could be found at sushi restaurants.

Lacquer Bowls

Lacquer Bowls

These lacquer bowls are most often used for miso soup but we also love them for serving ice cream.

Natto Bowl and Chopsticks

Natto Bowl and Chopsticks

For natto (fermented soybean) lovers this bowl and chopsticks are indispensable. Natto is put into the bowl and stirred up with special chopsticks that bring out the slippery and slimy texture of the natto.

Kappabashi Gotta Gets

Refrigerator Magnets

Refrigerator  Sushi Magnets

 

Kappabashi is filled with treasures, gadgets, and tools for anyone passionate about cooking. These refrigerator sushi magnets are always fun gifts.

Iron Tea Pots

Iron Tea Pots

Iron tea pots are said to soften the water that result in tea that is round on the palate. These sturdy pots retain heat and are gorgeous on any table. Some do rust easily so they are a little bit high maintenance but worth it for anyone who drinks a lot of tea.

Ceramic Rice Cookers - Donabe

Ceramic Rice Cookers – Donabe

I love the results of my ceramic rice cooker. The aroma of the rice is better than rice cooked in electric rice cookers. And, the best part is that if cooked properly, there is a lovely “okoge” or charred crust that develops on the bottom of each pot. Before you purchase ask about the sizes. The smallest ones cook two cups of rice which is good for one or two people, but if you are cooking for a larger group you will want to invest in a larger size pot.

Chopstick Rests - Hashioki

Chopstick Rests – Hashioki

These lovely chopstick rests (hashioki) brighten up any table. Sizes and shapes run the spectrum. Best of all, there are seasonal varieties which keep me coming back to see what I can add to my collection.

Kappabashi – Okuda Lacquer Shop 合羽橋のオクダ

Okuda

Okuda

Okuda

Okuda

Okuda Lacquer 漆器のオクダ商店

Taito-ku, Matsugaya 3-17-11 台東区松が谷3-17-11

Phone: 03-3844-1606

www.kappabashi.or.jp/shops/31.html (Japanese)

Lacquer shop including miso soup bowls, chopsticks and more as well as a nice selection of wooden products including manaita, wooden cutting boards that are very gentle on knives, steamers, and otoshibuta (drop lids) that are essential in any Japanese kitchen.

Kappabashi – Nishiyama for Lacquer

Nishiyama Lacquer

Nishiyama Lacquer

Nishiyama in Kappabashi has a wide array of lacquer dishes as well as affordable vessels for daily use. These red and black bowls in the left box are advertised as something that you can put in the microwave.

Nishiyama Lacquer

Nishiyama Lacquer

These wooden bowls are good for miso soup, but also great for ice cream.

Nishiyama Lacquer

Nishiyama Lacquer

Nishiyama also has a selection of bento boxes, trays, and much more.

Nishiyama Shikki 西山漆器

Nishi-Asakusa 3-24-3

03-3841-8831

www.shikki.jp/ (Japanese)

Kappabashi – Komatsuya for Pottery 合羽橋の小松屋

Komatsuya

Komatsuya

Komatsuya

Komatsuya

Komatsuya

Komatsuya

Komatsuya 小松屋

Nishi-Asakusa 2-21-6

03-3841-2368

www.tctv.ne.jp/members/moto/ (Japanese)

This may be the most photographed shop on the street. There is a wide selection of pottery, ramen bowls, teapots, serving dishes, nabe, sake cups, tokkuri. These are all durable and sturdy.