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Usually I go herabuna fishing on my birthday (an outdated celebration for someone my age – merely a year closer to my own demise), but three consecutive typhoons hitting Japan put paid to any angling plans.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.

New charcuterie

For the grinder…

Pig skin, pig fat and some unfashionable cuts of pig meat (scalp, cheek, heart and belly trimmings) all seasoned overnight and ready to be ground, medium die.  Have you guessed what charcuterie this is?  Cotechino!


My cotechino were made according to the Ruhlman & Polcyn recipe, though with about 50% less fat (just because I didn’t have enough fat sitting in the freezer).  Made with odd cuts of pig it is highly economical but very tasty all the same.  The texture is amazing, if you like wibbly skin and strong Italian spices – which I do.  I tried one when it came out of its poaching stock and it was (in all modesty) amazing.  Chilled overnight and lightly grilled or browned I think it will be not bad either.

Playing Indonesians

Guess what dish is in the making?  Upper photo is ground red chillies, lemon grass, galangal, garlic, ginger and shallots in the pan with kaffir lime leaves, before the bucket of coconut milk and chunks of economical cut of beef go in…

It’s beef kaliyo!  Kaliyo is what you have shortly before it turns into beef rendang.  The recipe is Madhur Jaffery’s.