The final part of my Kyushu adventure…the eating of the catch. I must thank Nigel for letting me use his kitchen and for doing all the washing up.
Itoyori (rear) and madai (front) sashimi. It is very unusual to be able to eat itoyori as sashimi (I have never once seen it on offer at a restaurant here) so it is a fisherman’s luxury. The madai was of course, quite excellent; incomparable to the slimey farmed rubbish that you get in supermarkets and most restaurants.
The skin of the madai deep-fried till crisp; a rather luxurious accompaniment to beer.
Itoyori shioyaki (grilled). A couple of kisu too.
Itoyori chunks pan-fried in olive oil and butter. The skin was very crispy and tasty.
Kawahagi filefish deep-fried. Very sweet fleshed and pleasant.
One of favourites: the liver of the kawahagi filefish (drained of blood) chopped and mixed with soy sauce. Strips of deep-fried kawahagi are dipped into this mixture before eating. Very rich, like a sort of fruits de mer version of foie gras.
When I got back to the hotel, I did some laundry (so I wouldn’t have to carry fish-smelly clothes in my bag on the train home). Curiously enough in the laundry room there was a vending machine selling beer and the unusual Japanese creation chu-hai, so while I waited for my clothes I drank one of the latter and smoked a pipe in my room. It just hit the spot as I was little dehydrated from the day’s fishing, and proved excellent preparation for a good night’s sleep.
The hotel cable television had the most immense selection of pornography. There was even a third menu that didn’t fit in the picture.
Suitably refreshed after an excellent night’s sleep, it was time o say goodbye to Kyushu. My train was scheduled for 11am, so after checking out from the hotel I had plenty of time to buy some souvenirs and my bento lunch (the flat white plastic bag tied to the top of my gear) for the train. I bought some sweets (for my work colleagues), mentaiko (see previous diary), Shimonoseki fugu, mentaiko-stuffed squid and packaged ramen.
My bento proved to be an absolute feast, containing multiple representatives of fish, meat, vegetable, fruit and rice…if my powers of digestion were not so great naturally, I would have struggled to finish it. I got back home to my place in Tokyo at about 5pm.
Sadly work commitments meant I could stay no longer than two nights in Fukuoka. My visit was fantastic and I would love to have stayed longer, and the trip was made all the better by the excellent company: Nigel Paquin was a most gracious host (basically driving us everywhere) and a most knowledgable angler (I will try that new jigging knot next time). Next time I’d love to try out some ayu fishing (judging by the amount of ayu gear on sale at Fishing World, there must be some good spots) as well as have another go offshore. The weather conspired to prevent any jigging for monsters in the Tsushima Kaikyo, but there is always next time.
Whilst not unusual to find a madai or other fish harbouring one of these Rhexanella parasites, I have never found more than one infecting the same animal (actually there were three, but I sliced one in half when cutting open the head). This is the view from bottom of the fish head, as I was opening the head up to remove the gills.
Catch of the trip: Hakata Bay shikoiwashi caught on a aji sabiki rig. It can’t have been more than about 5cm long, so the hook itself would be about a quarter of its body length.