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!
The sea it was a-boiling!
It’s tako time!
Cut into chunks and deep-fried, in the dish known as kara-age.
First up is traditional Japanese nitsuke, or octopus slow-stewed in a liquor of sake, mirin and dashi. Big chunks of octopus can grow decidedly horny, and so this need a good few hours of simmering. If you add big chunks of daikon radish, these soak up the delicious stewed juices:
With plenty of octopus left over, even after gifts of octopus to my colleagues at work and entertaining a gaggle of the memsahib’s friends who came to eat takoyaki and takomeshi (see previous post), I thought I would try something new. Octopus (although probably a slightly different variety) is a local specialty of Liguria, and one way the natives eat it is stewed with tomatoes, olives and garlic: a perfect match! I soon knocked this together with a minimum of fuss and was very good on pasta, on rice or even by itself:
Last but not least, there was always Captain Yutaka’s special ikura, something I seemed to eat standing in the kitchen whilst drinking Yebisu as my stews were in progress. Visually they are not particularly spectacular, but they certainly taste good.
Had another great day out on the Yutaka-maru, this time fishing for the local seasonal specialty octopus.
Offshore Ibaraki, octopus-fishing on the Yutaka-maru.