Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Sashimi

Yokosuka for a Day

Over the past few weeks, Tuesday has become my “Yokosuka” day because I am the substitute for an English class. Today, I decided to make a whole day of Yokosuka. I started with lunch at a new Sushi – go – Round restaurant near the Yokosukachuo train station. The Sushi was delicious! Tuna, tofu, and more tuna! I’ll definitely revisit! 


The delivery method of the Sushi was adorable. The small plates of Sushi were delivered via a Shinkansen train! Kawaii!


After lunch, I walked over to the main base for a manicure and pedicure at the salon. You don’t need to see a picture of my gnarly running feet, trust me. They look a lot better and so do my nails! 


After my nail experience, I walked back to the Yokosukachuo Station for my English class. The good news there, only one more remaining! I feel like summer break is close by! Ha. 

The highlight of the entire day was having dinner with Dave. We enjoyed dinner with several people from his command at Doma Doma, our favorite Izakaya restaurant in Yokosuka. Unfortunately, the menu selection wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t go away hungry… but, I wasn’t impressed. It was as if they tried to make it “American” or something. It started out well, edamame, daikon salad, cabbage salad, and sashimi. 

Then the courses were bizarre. Starting with bland fried shrimp crackers and fried chicken (mostly skin).  

Then chicken legs strangely resembling a duck and roast beef slices. Nah. I stopped after the bland shrimp chips. 


Like I said, my favorite part of the day was dinner with Dave, despite the menu. Followed by a ¥756 ($7.50) sashimi lunch. Obviously, pre manicure. 


Only one more Tuesday in Yokosuka until my substituting commitment is over. I feel I need to make a go of it. Bring on summer vacation! And wine. 

Patio Weather

The weather has been so delightful the past week. I like to describe it as patio weather. For lunch, Dave and I went to one of our favorite patios in Yokosuka. Napoli’s pizza. We started with a salad. 


And ended with a pizza. I ordered a four cheese pizza. They suggest honey to be added. It sounds weird but, tastes amazing. 


Patio, pizza, and beer. It was a nice lunch. 

For dinner, we decided to avoid the crowds of Golden Week and instead visit our favorite patio in Zushi. Ours. We set up our table top grills and enjoyed our Japanese style meal. We started with edamame and Sake.


Dave was my personal chef. He made veggies (cabbage, carrots, and bean sprouts) on the hot plate in the ceramic bowl and grilled steak and pumpkin. I nicely displayed the tuna sashimi and tuna rolls. 


It was a team effort of deliciousness. 


I hope when you visit we are able to enjoy patio weather. 

PS. Saturday we had the pleasure to welcome friends from Great Lakes who just moved to Japan. It was very fun to see familiar faces. We took them to the first place we had ramen in Yokosuka. Seemed appropriate. Welcome, Jenn, Heath, Hayden, and Mady! We are happy to have you in Japan with us!! I also promise to take a better photo next time we are together! 😉 in the meantime, ramen. 

Izakaya

Friday night, Dave’s work held a “Department Head” outing at an Izakaya restaurant in Yokosuka. Izakaya is a Japanese style restaurant that offers an all you can eat and drink set menu for a set period of time. The Izakaya restaurant we went to was called わん or One.  The cost was 4,200 yen (~$42.00) per person. For that price, we enjoyed 10 courses of tapas and drinks for 3 hours. This wasn’t our first experience with Izakaya, just the first time I knew what to expect and was prepared to snap pictures!

At わん, we dined at low tables with benches. There was space for our legs to go under the table so we didn’t have to sit cross-legged for three hours. We were given an oshibori (wet towel) to clean our hands prior to eating. Wet towels are served at most restaurants in Japan. Along with heated toilet seats in the winter, wet towels are a favorite “Japan thing” of mine! The table top gas grill will be used to cook the crocodile pot – course 9. Each setting had two bowls, a plate, a dipping plate, chopsticks, and a glass for your cold beer!

Izakaya is different than other Japanese styles of eating because the food is shared, similar to Spanish tapas. The portions in each of my pictures (except the sashimi and ice cream) was shared by 4 people.
Our 10-course menu included:
1) Edamame


2) Bang-Bang Chicken Salad


3) Sashimi Set (Tuna, Fatty Tuna, Octopus, Salmon) This was my favorite course, of course!


4) Deep-fried Sea Eel


5) Chicken Ball Grilled Avocado Cheese – I didn’t get a picture of the tray before the Chicken balls were served. This is my plate of meat and the chicken ball is on top. Food started arriving quickly and I had to load my plate because I couldn’t keep up!


6) Fatty Tuna Flavor Rice Sushi – This was my second favorite.



7) Karaage Chicken


8) Beef Steak


9) Crocodile Pot – The crocodile pot was cooked on the table top gas grill featured in the first picture. Seriously, the crocodile tasted just like chicken.


10) Desert is Green Tea and Vanilla Ice Cream

As we walked through the Honch to the train station to head home, we ran into Darth Vader. Never a dull moment in the Honch!

Sushi Lesson

Dina and I went to visit our friend, Miki, for a lesson on how to prepare Sushi. The first piece of Sushi equipment she showed us was a large wooden barrel called a hangiri. A hangiri is a traditional Japanese wooden tub that is used in the final steps of preparing sushi rice. The flat bottom and short sides allow for the sushi rice to be spread out and cool quickly. Also pictured is a Japanese towel which will be used to cover the rice as it cools, nori sheets and a bamboo roller mat. I am adding a hangiri to my list of items I need to purchase in Japan. Fortunately, Miki said I would be able to purchase this at the Homes store.


First, we prepared the rice for the rice cooker and then mixed the vinegar and sugar. Pictured below is the recipe for Sushi rice.


Miki selected a variety of sashimi for us to enjoy. A picture of the sashimi we would be eating.


Miki has received extensive training to be a chef. She ordered a knife with her name engraved on it. Yet another item I need to add to my list of Japan items to purchase.


Miki also showed us what to look for when purchasing sashimi grade fish. Notice the three symbols in the brackets on the second line. Those mean sashimi grade fish – meaning it is ok to eat raw.


She also gave us the other important hint about sashimi grade fish. She said it will usually come with a pack of wasabi! Dina and I both agreed it would be much easier to look for a pack of wasabi in the fish than trying to read the Japanese writing.

Dina was put to work slicing the fish. We had two types of tuna and salmon.


Pictured here is tamago (sweet egg), a wasabi pack, canned tuna fish, Shiso leaves and sliced radish in the strainer. All of these items would eventually be displayed neatly and available for consumption.


Miki showed us how to clean the WHOLE squid. She made it look so easy. Here she is holding onto the tentacle part, peeling a strip down the back of the squid and then pulling out the “guts” from the inside. The guts remain attached to the tentacles.

Guts and tentacles remain in the sink. The part of the squid we will eat is on the cutting board.

Using a paper towel for traction, she peeled the tough outer brown skin off the squid.

Next she carefully sliced open the squid and worked to remove the next layer of tough skin on the squid. Removing these layers makes the squid easier to chew.

The squid properly prepared and sashimi ready!

Not letting anything go to waste, Miki cleaned the tentacles by removing the eyes! I asked if they were used in squid eye soup. She laughed. No! Gross! I couldn’t agree more!

Squid sashimi sliced and ready! Dina and I were amazed with her ability to quickly and easily clean the squid. We asked her how she learned to clean the squid – did she learn in her cooking training or from her mom. She said from her mom! We both were yet again impressed. Neither of our mothers would be able to teach us that skill nor would they be interested in even eating the squid raw! No offense Mom… You have taught me plenty in my life and for all of it I’m grateful!


Once the rice was finished, Miki showed us how to prepare the hangiri. Using the vinegar sugar mixture, she coated the bottom to prevent the rice from sticking.

She told us a very funny story about the rice. When the rice comes out of the cooker, it is very hot. It is then given a vinegar bath to cool down. To cool it further we fan it. She acted each phase out. It was adorable. I wish I could have recorded her!

Using the rice paddle, she separated it. You can see the steam rising!

Miki gradually added the vinegar rice mixture. The cool bath!

And then she carefully cut the rice with the vinegar and sugar mixture. She was very gentle taking care not to smash the rice.

Next up, we fan the rice!! Haha!


Once the rice was prepared, Miki covered it with a damp linen towel and then set it in a cooler part of the house to continue cooling down. Once it was cool enough, we prepared the table for our meal. Our platter of sashimi.

A little bit of everything we ate for lunch! Under the plastic wrap is ground tuna.


We ate our Sushi family style. We used nori (seaweed) sheets to spread rice and selected our choice of fish to place on top. It was a casual and fun way to enjoy our sashimi and time together. Dina and I were relieved we didn’t need to make sushi rolls. When you come to visit, we will definitely enjoy sushi together made at home by ME!

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