Happy (very belated) St. Leonard’s Day!

No eunuchs, Morris dancers or even bearded ladies appeared at my house, but I did want to upload some photos of cuttlefish cooking on the day.  First things first, on Captain Ohta’s recommendation I made a dish of cuttlefish legs braised in mashed cuttlefish livers, chilli oil and sake – a heady dish that brought gout to mind.

kimoni

After this there was a salad of raw cuttlefish, onions and peppers with Sicilian green dressing (finely chopped coriander leaf and capers, olive oil, vinegar) which perhaps offset the unhealthiness of the previous dish.

salad

The day’s proceedings were brought to an end by a stir-fry of cuttlefish and vegetables in XO and yellow bean jian.

stir fry

Of course breakfast next day was cuttlefish!  Mixed with natto and a raw egg and shiso leaves: death to some, Ambrosia to others…

ikanatto

Perils of squid fishing

apart from the obvious (being snatched and dragged into the depths of the sea by the Kraken, thus avenging his cephalod brothers).  The cuttlefish squirt a lot of water and, a lot of ink.  In fact in Japanese this species of cuttlefish is simply called “ink-squid”.  The ink gave a slight tang to my shochu mixer but I drank it anyway, but I am afraid the can holder/cooler will never be the same again.

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Cuttlefish-fishing

Great day out on the water today.  Many thanks as always to Captain Ohta of the Asanagimaru (and for the photo too)!  More photos to come when I have finished eating/drinking.

Addicted to ikura making!

It is not that bad an addiction to have.  I managed to take a photo using the memsahib’s digital SLR camera so it came out looking nicer than my usual pics.  The great taste is the same, though, no matter what camera you use!

Ikura time

Now is the season for nama-sujiko (raw salmon roe) and my local supermarket was selling it, so I bought some.  I am always amazed living here in Japan at the quality of fresh seafood you can obtain just from a regular neighbourhood store, without having to go to an expensive fancy fishmonger or department store.  The salmon roe was no exception and I gloated over my purchase.

I turned them into ikura, one of my favourite sushi toppings and general delicious things.  It is much more economical than buying it ready made, you can control the amount of salt that goes in (and leave out the artificial preservatives) and the ikura freezes well so you can store it too.  I followed the recipe of the amazing Donachys who as well as being skilled cooks, anglers, sailors and travellers are skilled curers of salmon eggs into ikura.

The eggs go whitish-yellow when you wash them in warm water and you have to get rid of the membranes surrounding the eggs.  Once they are clean and separated then the eggs can be salted down and they are basically ready to eat.  The only thing I did different to the Donachys’ recipe is I swapped half of the salt for soy sauce, to make shoyu-zuke ikura. The ikura turned out quite delicious – of course.  Thank you Barbra & Jack Donachy!

Ring of Fire

Usually I go herabuna fishing on my birthday (an outdated celebration for someone my age – merely a year closer to my own demise), but three consecutive typhoons hitting Japan put paid to any angling plans.  Instead I celebrated by burning some assorted shellfish to death and eating them; washed down with copious amounts of shochu native firewater.  So it goes.

Saucisson sec

Sliced and ready to eat.  It came out a lot richer than I expected!  This sausage took about two months in the drying chamber before it was ready.