dealt with: drenched in sumiso (with wakame and lightly pickled cowcumber):
and finally a pasta dish, where the last remnants of the octopus, offcuts and all, were chucked into a pot with tomatoes, onions, red wine, green olives, smoked paprika, parsley and four cloves of garlic…
The tako-ojisan makes an appearance (I’m wearing a mask because of a cough and I am preparing food for all the family, not because I am some germ-obsessed lunatic). Here the octopus have been de-slimed (using Captain Yutaka’s secret method) and are ready for eating/cooking…
Somewhat inevitably, the takoyaki machine was wheeled out.
Dessert was takomeshi (one-pot octopus and rice) made conveniently in the rice cooker:
My memory after these dishes becomes a little patchy, but the octopus was delicious and it is all thanks to Captain Yutaka of Yutakamaru, sailing from Nakaminato Harbour, Ibaraki!
Courtesy of Mr. S., a gift from Hokkaido!
Most of the fish were disposed of in the orthodox manner:
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.
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.
The day’s proceedings were brought to an end by a stir-fry of cuttlefish and vegetables in XO and yellow bean jian.
Of course breakfast next day was cuttlefish! Mixed with natto and a raw egg and shiso leaves: death to some, Ambrosia to others…
Usually I go herabuna fishing on my birthday (an outdated celebration for someone my age – merely a year closer to my own demise), but three consecutive typhoons hitting Japan put paid to any angling plans.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.
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.