Karasumi: Dried Mullet Roe

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Karasumi, known as “boutargue” in French, or as “btarga” in Italian, is the dried roe pouches of the mullet.
It is a quite expensive morsel in Japanese cuisine as well as in Europe (that is the real one!).

Numazu City is quite renown for its karasumi, and fishermen have just started drying them under the sun, after getting rid of blood vesels, carefully cleaned them and sprinkled them with salt.

They are served thinly cut as they are in Japanese restaurants. You can expect good sushi restaurants to serve them as starters on their own.
This year’s catch was only one fourth of the usual expectation, so brace yourselves when you open your purse!

Sushi restaurant: Fuji Sushi

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Fuji Sushi is another one of those “kakureya” (hidden spots) you need to guided or introduced to. Actually I must have passed it hundred of times as it is very near my work place, but it took until last week to venture inside it thanks to my friend, Mr. Koyama.


Although my first experience was a thouroughly enjoyable one, I still don’t know the chef’s name! A very quiet person, not only is he a great sushi chef, but he is also a great Japanese chef!

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Homemade Ankimo (Frogfish liver paste), broiled oysters and konbujime hirame (sole marinated in seaweed)

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Grilled torigai and kampachi head simmered for ten hours! You could eat the lot, bones and all.

Of course the sashimi (see above) was simply gorgeous.
The chef, for all his shyness, became a great source of information when asked the right questions. With 36 years of experience to profit, I certainly kept my ears wide open!
As I was a bit short of time, I had to leave Mr. Koyama alone early but still managed to enjoy a few cups of Garyubai Junmai ginjo by sanwa Brewery (Shimizu Ku).
I don’t have to tell you I will have to visit the place again soon to enjoy the sushi, too!

Fuji Sushi
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo Machi, 2-4-24
Tel.: 054-2530335
Fax: 054-2530344
Counter on first floor
Private rooms for parties upstairs

Sashimi Set

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I was served this set of seasonal sashimi last Friday at Tomii Restaurant in Shizuoka City.
Absolutely succulent!

From left to right:
Akami (lean tuna)
Kurodai (“black Grouper”)
Uni (sea urchin)
Aka Ika (red cuttle fish) on a bed on a bed of Tosaka Nori (Tosaka seaweed)
Hirame (Sole)

Sushi Recipe: homemade California Roll

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I would like to dedicate this particular recipe to Allison!
My better (worse?) half came up with this simple recipe the same day she prepared the bonito sushi (see previous post).
Once again she used traditional sushi rice added with fine pieces of pickled fresh ginger.

On a large piece of cooking cellophane paper he first placed thin strips of avocado and slices of smoked salmon, and finally the rice, keeping in mind to place as to form a regular shape cylinder.


She then wrapped the cellophane paper around the whole as shown on above picture.

She cut the sushi roll through the cellophane paper with a sharp knife she wiped between each cut.
She finally served the cuts topped “Tobikko” (flying fish roe). Lghtly dipped in shoyu, great with more sake!

Sushi Recipe: homemade bonito sushi

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My better (worse?) half came up with this idea after she got hold of quality “katsuo tataki” (slightly grilled bonito).
She prepared the sushi rice balls according to tradition with the addition of fine pieces of pickled fresh ginger (as this is the season rigt now).


She then placed a slice of bonito seasoned with ponzu with more thin sliced pickled ginger, “tobikko” (flying fish roe) and finley chopped thin leeks>

Great with sake!

Seasonal Fishes 11: Mackerel/Saba

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Mackerel or saba is fish eaten over the whole Northern Hemisphere and does come under many varieties and names.
In Japan it is mainly called “Saba”, “Masaba” or “Sekisaba”.
Herre it is mainly caught off Oita, Saga Prefecture, although quite a few are caught off our coasts. They feed on plankton mainly.
(mackerel catch in Yaizu Harbour)
They are prepared and cooked in many guises. In France, my birthplace they are steamed and then pickled in white wine and spices. In Northern Europe they also eaten half raw as smorgasbrod and pickled fish.
It can be appreciated as sashimi, but it must be absolutely fresh and is best served with grated fresh ginger and lemon:
As far as sushi is concerned, “masaba” variety is best:
It is especially popular as “oshizushi” (pressed sushi).
My prefernce goes for konbu zume saba. the mackerel is kept inside a variety of wet seaweed for an hour or so before put whole on top of a long “bar” of rice, then cut to size:
(picture taken at Tomii estaurant, Shizuoka City)