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!
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…
It is not that bad an addiction to have. I managed to take a photo using the memsahib’s digital SLR camera so it came out looking nicer than my usual pics. The great taste is the same, though, no matter what camera you use!
Now is the season for nama-sujiko (raw salmon roe) and my local supermarket was selling it, so I bought some. I am always amazed living here in Japan at the quality of fresh seafood you can obtain just from a regular neighbourhood store, without having to go to an expensive fancy fishmonger or department store. The salmon roe was no exception and I gloated over my purchase.
I turned them into ikura, one of my favourite sushi toppings and general delicious things. It is much more economical than buying it ready made, you can control the amount of salt that goes in (and leave out the artificial preservatives) and the ikura freezes well so you can store it too. I followed the recipe of the amazing Donachys who as well as being skilled cooks, anglers, sailors and travellers are skilled curers of salmon eggs into ikura.
The eggs go whitish-yellow when you wash them in warm water and you have to get rid of the membranes surrounding the eggs. Once they are clean and separated then the eggs can be salted down and they are basically ready to eat. The only thing I did different to the Donachys’ recipe is I swapped half of the salt for soy sauce, to make shoyu-zuke ikura. The ikura turned out quite delicious – of course. Thank you Barbra & Jack Donachy!
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.
Sliced and ready to eat. It came out a lot richer than I expected! This sausage took about two months in the drying chamber before it was ready.