Tag Archives: Rare & Unusual Foods

It’s aji time!

Sorry for the erratic posting lately.  Anyway, here are the fruits of my last aji fishing trip.  November isn’t really the best time to eat aji (for the gourmand, the best eating season is late spring/early summer) but if you are lucky like I was this trip, you usually catch some mackerel as by-catch. At this time of year mackerel is considered so good there is a Japanese proverb: aki saba yome-ni kuwasu-na, lit. don’t feed your wife autumn mackerel.  Considering there is also a proverb “don’t feed your wife autumn aubergines”, I don’t think either should be taken too seriously…but anyway, on to the eating!

Sashimi! (with a side order of walnutwood-smoke salmon)

Shoyu/mirin deep-fried mackerel chunks (sorry for the blurriness, but by this time it had been a long day)!

The “secret” tartar sauce was made and wheeled out to great acclaim…

…and dolloped on the breadcrumbed aji in generous amounts.

Leftover aji fillets were salted down:

…flavoured with mirin and toasted sesame seeds and left out on the balcony to dry overnight.  Winter here is so dry the fish is ready in about eight hours, just in time for breakfast!


Latest craze

Cold-smoked salmon.  It is cold enough now at night to cold-smoke fish on my Weber with no special equipment.  This batch was made with Costco salmon, maple syrup-cure (also Costco), onigurumi (Japanese walnut, from Amazon) smoke.  This was my best batch yet.  Whilst I would never be able to slice at the counter of Russ & Daughters, I have done enough salmon now that I can slice the smoked fillet thin enough to be respectable:

Playing Californians

Did a Tri-tip on the Weber, with lots of sakura smoke; it came out okay.  This is the thin end.

Just a bit of cuttlefish

Now is the season for cuttlefish-fishing here in Tokyo.  I never grow tired of it, or of eating them.  This time round, I had four kinds of sashimi to start with:

For me, off-cuts/scraps such as sashimi trimmings, tentacle-ends and nozzles, are mixed with hot chilli oil and the livers of the cuttlefish extruded into the pan.  I am the only person in my house who eats this:

A more conventional dish: spaghetti dressed with cuttlefish, mentaiko and sliced shiso leaves.

Few things are as tasty or better suited to ending a long day of sitting in the sun drinking beer fishing as cuttlefish ink risotto; or rather, crni rižot, made according to the recipe of regular blog reader Maninas (thank you!).

Lower East Side pilgrimage

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Cheap beef intestines for me…

And for my guests, wagyu on a stick!

Apparently it was quite good!

It ain’t half hot, Mum

Or, I love chillies and spicy things (I used to grow my own jolokias).  Hot things from Kyoto, omiyage from the memsahib: “most hot” ground chillies from the famous Kyoto chilli-purveyors Hararyokaku, and yee-haw hot sauce made from Kyoto-grown habaneros, by the first people to commercially grow habs in Japan.