Although sardine is still cheaper than most of other fish, plus available all seasons, it was way cheaper decades ago. Sometimes fisherman had to threw it away, since the costs of fuel, getting to the market and stuff is much more than the price of sardine itself. Now that the volume of landing decrease, the price is getting higher and higher. But still, sometimes we can find a quality of sardine, which can be eaten in raw like sushi, in a good price such as $3 for 6 of them.
I bought it one day, carefully cleaned it the kitchen, then grilled. Served with thick sweet Teriyaki sauce, it was so yummy :)
Whenever buying sardines, I always put their bones into heat oil, cooking deep fries (We call it hone-senbei in Japanese). Seasoned with salt, black pepper and lemon juice, it's the best going with beer! :)
This was the week I once again came back to my hometown to enjoy my weekend. Coming across the Mt. Fuji, the highest mountain in this country Japan, getting to the city of Nagoya takes 5 hours by car.
So....How about taking some rest in a Japanese-style cafe "lamp"? (Official site is here) With a cup of espresso in the morning, I found myself getting back on where I used to be.
I'll be back to Tokyo within several days :)
This was a week when I put much of my energy on cooking as ever. Not only Japanese food, but also Italian food is joy to do. Among those, I'm a big fan of making gnocchi, rolling the dough, cutting pieces, then pushing a folk on each of them, like a child playing in the kitchen. With hand-made tomato sauce on top, it was really an enjoyable afternoon for me :)
And here it was. I steamed rice with yellow corn, which is now in the season in this country. Adding some salt and alcohol sake before boiling, this dish deeply reminded me of my sweet old days.
While cooking, I heard of a huge explosion-like sound miles away from my room. I first thought it might have been a thunder of lightning or something. Maybe it would be soon raining here in Tokyo. As sounds continued, however, I realized it wasn't: it turned out to be lots of fireworks taken place somewhere not far away from here. I grabbed my camera and my tripod, dashed onto the street to find a flat place, then began to shoot. The fireworks themselves were rather tiny, almost like lighthearted ones. Well, I enjoyed it though, since I haven't seen them over a year at that time :)
The fish Nodoguro sounds special for many Japanese, especially who deeply love sushi. This red color fish is also called "Aka-mutsu"(赤むつ), which means red as well. What makes the fish more outstanding is its sweet fatty taste comes with sticky texture, but not like Toro, fatty tuna.
A week ago, I had a chance to have Nodoguro fish with a variety of styles of cooking with my friends at the restaurant Nakamata (中俣), located in Ginza, near Tokyo Station (Their web site is here). So why don't we take a look at a gorgeous course of Nodoguro fish, shall we? :)
They began with showing us "Today's Nodoguro fish". Since the size and amount of fish they can serve depend on the weather conditions and trading price, it wasn't as big as my friend had seen last time he visited there.
"There are two types of fish in the world. The bigger, the more delicious fish comes one side, and another side is the opposite: the smaller, the better. And I believe Nodoguro fish is the former one" He added.
We ordered smoked Nodoguro fish before beginning of the course. Smokey taste containing fish' taste, and it's the best to go with sake. So....
We had some wonderful sake. The clerk gently poured it smiling on his face. It was so fascinate that I asked him if I could take some photos over the course of the dinner. "Sure you can. You have such a cool SLR camera, so please, take nice ones". During our visit, he and the restaurant were so kind and warm :)
The appetizer was a plate of grilled green vegetable (I forgot the detail, unfortunately), a boiled brown shellfish, and the liver of Nodoguro fish. The last one surely amazed me. I'd eaten many kinds of fish liver in a bunch of restaurants as well as made by myself, and yet I never came across such a dense and tasty one before. Totally, it was paradigm-shift dish!
Okay, it's the main of today's course: A whole raw Nodoguro fish!! What a gorgeous it is! Since the fish is so rare and expensive, ordinary we can only have a piece of sliced one or two. But here it is, we have a plenty of them! Some pieces were grilled on their surface to increase its flavor, and the others were sliced either thick or thin, so that we can enjoy different texture.
And after that...
Five kinds of "today's-fresh-raw-fish" plate. A piece of Toro, a big shrimp (Japanese truly love shrimps by the way), and such. As I take one by one, I was so satisfied that I even thought I could dye right now without any regret. But again, that wasn't all.
Here, it's two plates of grilled Nodoguro fish. The skin was well grilled and crispy, but once I bit the fish meat, rich fatty texture gradually spread in my mouth. It was as if I was listening to a fine music. Gorgeous, indeed.
While chatting and having great dishes, the clerk served this:
Shrimp's Deep fried heads, which we had just eaten before. With dense taste of their brain, we ate them up all. It was definitely the best with alcohol. So why don't we take some more? (I have to admit that I had too much that night, haha)
Now, it's a fish cake Satsuma age (薩摩揚げ)!! I love it! Surprisingly enough, it's also from Nodoguro fish. Considering the fact that the dish is usually made of leftover fishes, I was so amazed. (The taste? NEVER BETTER! :)
Finally, we had Takikomi gohan (炊き込みご飯), which is usually seasoned with soy sauce, dashi, and other stuff. What makes this dish more extraordinary was that they put another Nodoguro fish on top of that. By this time, I gave up counting how many Nodoguro fish I had at that night ;)
We had such a wonderful evening in the restaurant: Lots of yummy dishes, endless talking over three hours. (Three hours weren't enough for us, AT ALL!!) Well, let's talk soon. And I'm sure I'll post on this blog about another wonderful restaurant when we eat out next time :)
Thank you about everything!!