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A Local Sushi Shop in Niigata


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Even at 6 in the morning, everything looks so, so good. Hiroyuki, you are an advertisement for living in Japan! :biggrin:

My husband and I just returned from a vacation in Mexico where there was a supposedly Japanese restaurant at our resort. All I have to say is that if you have the opportunity to order sushi in Mexico, DON'T DO IT! The selections on the menu were appalling. Eel roll with cream cheese, anyone? Deep-fried California roll (with mushrooms in it, no less)? It was frightening. We're happy to be back in a city with some decent sushi, but it can't begin to compare to the gorgeous sushi Hiroyuki is showing us.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Had sushi dinner at this sushi shop tonight with my two children on my way back from the hospital. (My wife has been in and out of hospital since April last year, and she is in.)

My daughter had an Okosama Sushi Set (840 yen), with panna cotta instead of regular custard pudding.

No photo (because I have already posted photos of the Set).

My son had a sazae no tsubo yaki (turban shell cooked in its shell) (400 yen), a negi toro don (donburi with minced fatty tuna and chopped green onion) (2,4?? yen), and a complimentary panna cotta.

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Closeup of the negi toro don:

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I had today's nigiri:

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Hirame (left-eye flounder), shime saba (mackerel pickled in vinegar), nama tako (raw octopus), sakura masu (cherry salmon), awabi (abalone), and nanban ebi (sweet shrimp).

1,300 yen.

Hirame is actually hirame engawa (fin muscle). It's good to be a regular.

I also had sakura masu no isobe furai (cherry salmon with laver breaded and deep-fried)

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700 yen. It was so good I almost order another.

I also had a "jo" sushi:

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1785 yen.

Closeup of the hotaru ika (firefly squids), which are now in season:

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I looked at the menu carefully, and noticed this set for the very first time (silly me):

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Pickled vegetables, miso soup, appetizer (octopus roe seasoned with soy sauce today), and dessert (houji cha (roasted green tea) ice cream), all for only 150 yen.

(I already had one complimentary miso soup before ordering this set.)

Closeup of the octopus roe:

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The chef showed me one nanban ebi again. It was still alive.

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I finally ordered four sakura masu nigiri, one each for my children and two for myself:

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210 yen each.

Sakura masu and other fish in the show case:

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I just had to order sakura masu nigiri, because it is in season right now.

I had the dessert (roasted green tea ice cream) at the end.

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My children had the same dessert for free. Lucky children!

The bill came to 8,505 yen. We all liked the sakura masu nigiri!

Made some corrections.

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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hiroyuki i've noticed the top end sushi restaurants only does the gyoku in datemaki style, do you know anything abt this???

OK, another egg question from you. I did some googling the last time you asked a similar question; nothing relevant came up then. I did some more today, and I found this passage from the Tokyo Sushi Academy staff blog:

今でも老舗の寿司屋ではカステラ風や伊達巻を焼いて

店の自慢にしていますよね!

Even today, old established sushi shops make kasutera-style (gyoku) or datemaki and are proud of it!

I don't think this is necessarily true. I'll ask someone who knows about sushi better than I do.

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I didn't have to ask anyone.

One person says here that:

本来の江戸前寿司の玉子焼きは、芝海老のすり身や山芋などを加えた卵液を四角い玉子焼き器に流し入れて焼いたものです。いま主流の出し巻き卵とは、材料も焼き方も全然違います。どちらかと言えば伊達巻やカステラに近い…。

The original tamago yaki of Edomae zushi (Edo style sushi) is made by pouring egg liquid with minced shiba shrimp, yams, etc. added to it into a rectangular tamago yaki pan and frying it. It completely differs from dashimaki tamago, which is prevalent today, in ingredients and the method of frying. It's more like datemaki or kasutera...

Another says here that:

寿司屋の玉子焼きって、魚か海老か貝が中に入っていないといけないって、アタシの祖父は言ってました。
My grandfather used to say, "Tamago yaki at sushi shops must have fish, shrimp, or seashells in it."

Thus, it can be said that kasutera- or datemaki-style tamago yaki was a traditional neta of Edomae-style sushi, while atsuyaki- or dashimaki-style tamago yaki was not.

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Your sushi picture makes me cry. I wish I had a place like that to go to. Thank you for letting us eat vicariously with you. Sorry to hear about your wife, hope she gets better soon. I've never heard of the cherry salmon. Is that something only found in Japan? Could you tell me the taste? Is different from regular salmon?

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Your sushi picture makes me cry. I wish I had a place like that to go to. Thank you for letting us eat vicariously with you. Sorry to hear about your wife, hope she gets better soon. I've never heard of the cherry salmon. Is that something only found in Japan? Could you tell me the taste? Is different from regular salmon?

Thanks for your kind words about my wife. :smile:

I'm not sure if cherry salmon are native to Japan.

Here is a description of them in English.

It was delicious! It's less fatty than other species of salmon, and is flavorful.

Cherry salmon are interesting in that if they stay in the river (freshwater) throughout their entire life, they are called yamame and if they go down the river and into the sea, they are called sakura masu.

Images of yamame.

Yamame (ヤマメ, 山女魚 or 山女) means female (fish) in the mountains.

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I wish I had a place like that to go to and a teacher to help me learn the nuances! We know that all the different dishes must taste, well, different, but without actually being able to experience them, it's all sort of magical.

Best wishes for your wife's recovery.

Life is short. Eat the roasted cauliflower first.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This evening, my wife finally made it to this sushi shop. We reached there 15 minutes before 5:00 p.m., when it opens. The chef kindly let us in.

We sat on a raised, tatami (straw mat) floor for the very first time in this sushi shop.

I ordered one of today's specials, shiromi sashimi (white fish sashimi):

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Left to right: Mebaru (rockfish), hirame (left-eye flounder), tai (sea bream)

900 yen

The mebaru had a distinctive firm (kori-kori) texture.

White board listing today's specials:

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Kaisen sarada (seafood salad):

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630 yen. I think it's really economical.

Sazae no tsuboyaki (turban shell cooked in its own shell):

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400 yen each. My son had one, while three of us shared the other.

My son selected nami:

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1,050 yen. Cheapest of the four nigiri set meals that this sushi shop offers.

Closeup of kanpyo (dried gourd shavings) maki:

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My wife likes them. My son gave her most of his kanpyo maki.

My daughter selected Okosama Sushi Set, as usual:

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840 yen.

Everyone received a complimentary miso soup:

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which contained two ama ebi heads.

I ordered today's nigiri:

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Hon maguro chu-toro (medium fatty bluefin tuna), tai (sea bream), sakura masu (cherry salmon), bai gai (Balylonia japonica), tako (octopus), and nanban ebi (ama ebi)

1,200 yen

Closeup of chu-toro:

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My wife ordered chu:

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1,470 yen. Second cheapest of the four nigiri set meals (nami, chu, jo, and toku-jo).

Additionally, I ordered two sakura masu nigiri and two ma-soi (also known as ma-zoi, kitsune mebaru, etc.; Sebastes vulpes)

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200 yen each. I really liked sakura masu.

Asari no saka (not sake) mushi (short-neck clams cooked in sake):

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525 yen. It's a very popular dish in Japan. Simple yet very tasty.

Finally, my daughter got this kuro goma aisu (black sesame seed ice cream):

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She said it was super-tasty (cho-umai).

The bill came to 7,455 yen. Another satisfying meal. I never know when I'll get tired of eating sushi.

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gorgeous as usual Hiroyuki...must have been a very special family meal for you all together, bet the kids were delighted...I hope your wife manages to keep well...

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Yes, the pictures are beautiful, but I'm more thrilled to learn that you were all out eating together. That's wonderful!

I really have to try making almejas (clams in Spanish) with sake.

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What a wonderful occasion! Glad to hear that you were able to introduce your wife to a favorite spot!

We had my brother in law staying with us over Golden Week too, and it was a pleasure to think of tasty treats for him, and to rejoice that he was able to enjoy them. Happy to hear that we weren't the only people enjoying family time this weekend!

I was interested to see the sakura masu, always wondered why I didn't see it in sushi shops.

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Thanks everyone for their kind words about my wife.

Sakura masu: It's a new fish to me, although I am familiar with masu zushi. I like it!

Salmon is not a traditional edomae style nigiri due to parasite problems.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This Monday, I learned from the chef's wife's blog that they would offer a complimentary item, either one piece of chicken kara age or black sesame seed ice cream, to anyone who ordered lunch this week (May 19 to 23) to celebrate the second year of serving lunch, and I thought I had to go there for lunch some day this week. Another big factor was that an unexpected number of small-size bluefin tuna had recently been caught off Sado Island on consecutive days. I also learned from her blog that they had purchased one of those tuna. According to the May 17 issue of Yomiuri Shimbun, good, fattier, large-size (> 30 kg) tuna were sent directly to Tokyo, while smaller ones were sold locally. The price was > 2000 yen per kilogram.

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I looked at the show case, as I always do, and found this:

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Kawahagi (filefish) liver. They say that kawahagi liver tastes better than ankimo (monkfish liver). I must have it some day!

Hotaru ika (firefry squids):

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The chef said they were getting out of season. He said he would stop (buying) them any time soon.

I ordered maguro sanmi don:

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1,380 yen. Three types of maguro (tuna) in a single bowl: Negi toro, zuke (marinated tuna), and toro.

As I said in my first post here, it comes with a bowl of miso soup, chawan mushi (egg custard), salad, and a cup of coffee. Plus, complimentary black sesame seed ice cream today.

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Compare the toro with the one in the same donburi I had previously:

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I also ordered two sakura masu (cherry salmon) nigiri

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and two kohada (gizzard shad) nigiri

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The chef said that sakura masu was also getting out of season. I feel so sad about this.

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Such wonderful pictures of your meals Hiroyuki! I'm glad that your wife is better and has been able to go out and be with you and your kids. I thought about you when I went to my local sushi shop here in my little town. I had a mixed set that had little octopus suckers/tentacles on the sushi rice. I am really curious how the firefly squid would taste like.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Such wonderful pictures of your meals Hiroyuki! I'm glad that your wife is better and has been able to go out and be with you and your kids. I thought about you when I went to my local sushi shop here in my little town. I had a mixed set that had little octopus suckers/tentacles on the sushi rice. I am really curious how the firefly squid would taste like.

Thanks, DG.

Hotaru ika tastes like any other squid, but it's very tender.

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I asked the chef's wife if I could provide a link to the blog entry that shows photos of the tuna, and she said yes. So, here it is.

Great toro. The last photo shows Uono River, which runs near the sushi shop.

The shop offers maguro o-toro nigiri for 630 yen per piece. She says they can hardly make any profit at that price. This is true of most traditional sushi shops.

Jiro Ono, who runs a three-star sushi shop in Tokyo, says in Yorimiuri Shimbun that his shop offers o-toro nigiri for 3,000 yen per piece. You may think he rips you off, but the fact is, he loses money for every piece he sells.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hiroyuki, this is an enlightening topic for me - I've just scrolled through the 170 posts!

What strikes me most is the way ingredients are treated so minimally and with great care. The Japanese tradition makes use of so many sea creatures, and recognizes food value where others don't. Seven tools of monkfish! I'm lucky when I can get a tail, skinned and boned - that's barely half a tool. Like Domestic Goddess, I have an order in for a whole monkish!

I'm also struck by the consistent presentation - your recurring nigiri set is almost identical each time. I'm also glad to see french fries and ketchup on your daughter's plate, it tells me it's not a "sushi snob" place to use use your expression.

Are mussels used by sushi chefs? If so, how?

I have to ask: Godzilla roll - Japanese or American invention? I had one last week and it was cho-umai!

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Hiroyuki, this is an enlightening topic for me - I've just scrolled through the 170 posts!

Same here Hiroyuki i'm loving this thread, can't wait for the next instalment.

BTW cod sperm sac can also be called cod milt. I've never tried it raw but have all sorts of fish milt lightly steamed and it is delicious.

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Hiroyuki, this is an enlightening topic for me - I've just scrolled through the 170 posts!

Same here Hiroyuki i'm loving this thread, can't wait for the next instalment.

BTW cod sperm sac can also be called cod milt. I've never tried it raw but have all sorts of fish milt lightly steamed and it is delicious.

you mean milt is sperm?............. OK.....

edited for poor punctuation due shock

Edited by insomniac (log)
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