The opposite of C. gigas, i.e., these are best eaten during the hottest months of the year, or those without an “r” in their name. Some of these oysters can grow to immense sizes but I bought these fairly average-sized ones as they are cheaper. Still, the flesh inside is much larger than regular Pacific oysters. These are from Miyagi Prefecture, and were quite delicious and strong-tasting.
The most orthodox method of dealing with haze: tenpura. Eaten with just good sea-salt, there are few fish dishes I enjoy more than tenpura straight out of the pot. If anything the batter was a little too thick but still came out pretty well.
The next dish is another favourite of mine when dealing with white fish: kobu-jime. Here fillets of fish are salted and then pressed with a great weight between layers of konbu kelp leaves that have been moistened with vinegar.
To serve, I always eat it with finely chopped umeboshi plum. These too are homemade. Kobujime for me is always a bear-trap as it goes uncommonly well with almost all alcoholic drinks, often leading to over-indulgence. I managed to control myself and drank only three cans of chuhai spirits.
Finally, as we left Matsushima in a characteristically generous gesture my rod making teacher said ‘I have no need for this’ and gave me the big blue swimmer-crab he had caught. Good thing I didn’t mock him for falling over (see previous post)!
A hefty sized hen crab, which I split in two and made into miso soup; the taste was unbelievably good and rich.
Lastly, one of the curiosities of Matsushima Bay was the number of shako mantis shrimps we caught as by-catch. I boiled mine in salted water and it made an excellent snack.
Well I finally had the chance to take some summer holiday so I headed north to scenic Matsushima Bay, the famous goby, flatfish and conger eel fishery in Miyagi Prefecture. This time I would be travelling with my rod making teacher, with whom I had been discussing making such a trip since last year.