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Monthly Archives: May 2008

Mirugai, Giant Clam

Mirugai is called Giant Clam but real name is geoduck clam. It comes from West Coast. You might see this at TV, “Dirty Job”.
We normally eat outside part of shells. I cook inside meat normally.
Mirugai is really sweet but chewy. I do same process as live scallop. Dip in hot water and cool down in ice water. Then take skin off from body. It lives 5 or 6 days. Very strong power.
How many people like this? Not much and price is high. Many restaurants cannot make money with mirugai . We dump sometimes because of freshness. I always touch and check it is alive or not. If it moves, OK and can use. It it does not move, it is already dead and dump. Freshness is important for mirugai.

This is a live scallop. It is available most of the time.

It comes with shells and I need remove the meat from the shells.

It is a kind of dirty job to clean scallop. There are dirt and small fishes inside of shells. I take a meat and seals. I also take ovary in winter- spring time. Seal is called himo, string in Japanese . I wash with salt and clean completely and cook it with soy sauce, mirin, sugar and water. Then dry under the Sun. This is our chewing gum. I say Japanese chewing gum. If you would like to try, let me know. It is free and nothing to lose.

How about meat? I dip in a hot water for a moment and cool down in ice water. This process is very important. I can say most of shell fish are really dirty. 1st, kill bacteria , 2nd get tasty. So is this fresh scallop after dip in a hot water? Yes, it is. believe or not, it lives for 3 or 4 days.

It is just Tamago, but Tamago

Tamago, Japanese egg omelet is not a fish item but is a nice supporting item. We are the only restaurant here in Atlanta to make tamago everyday. Do we sell everyday? No much. But I don’t want to sell this for next day like other restaurants do. I have a special feeling against tamago. Around 1995, I was working at SOTO Japanese restaurant in Buckhead. I was just a beginner. I couldn’t make tamago with chopsticks only. One Saturday night, I asked Soto to take home a tamago pan for practice. And I went home with it and bought a lots of eggs at Disco Kroger. I did a lots of exercise on Sunday. I finally made it. It was a fun for me to serve hot or warm tamago to the customers. That’s why I make tamago everyday. A tamago pan is made with copper. Copper is good for pan because keep fire power well. You see how we make tamago. First of all, make a sheet and roll up a little by a little. Then, push to forward and pour egg and roll up again. I use 5 or 6 eggs for daily.
I can say, “Good sushi restaurant has tasty tamago.” If you eat tamago at sushi restaurant, you can tell it is good or bad. Tamago shows well it. Many sushi chefs cannot make tamago and buy frozen one from grocery suppliers. Sad, isn’t it!

Aji, Japanese Jackfish

Aji is called Japanese horse mackerel but I call Japanese jack fish. 1st reason is negative image of mackerel. Americans don’t like mackerel. I can say 95 % of people don’t like. It is sad. They don’t know the way of eating. If you eat it as sushi or sashimi, it is tough because of fishy flavor. But if we grill it, yummy because of fish oil. Saba contains a lots of oil. It burns and make smoke when it grill and can make a smokey flavor. Saba and jack fish are same family. It is called blue skin fish. Blue fish contain tons of DHA and EPA. It makes you clever and smart, good for your brain and body. You have to eat them more.

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Yari Ika, Spear Squid

This is Yari Ika, Spear Squid. Japanese like Ika. It is for sashimi, sushi, dried and more.Ika is low fat, low calorie and high protein. That means good for overweight, diabetes people. Taurin is rich in Ika and it reduces cholesterol in blood.
We make Ika sushi with shiso leaf and pickled plum, umeboshi. Also I have Uni Ika Kelp, Ika noodle with uni sauce. Americans like fried calamari but they don’t like much sushi, sashimi.

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