08 January 2017

Tsukiji

pronounced ski-gee

This most famous in the world massive wholesale fish market
provides astoundingly fresh sushi, sashimi and shopping
in a couple of large blocks worth of lanes of shops and stalls next door.

I haven't actually been to the inner market, but have had breakfast at the same stall twice in the outer market. It was the only place open when I went there in October 2015 and even though absolutely everything was open in September 2016 I went straight back there again - I just seemed to gravitate to a place I had already been as comforting and familiar.

I ate these two plates for breakfast at one sitting on my second visit!


The orange balls are salmon roe, ikura, which means fish eggs in Russian - balls of salty sweet tasty zestiness. Best from early September until mid-October. "Ikura?" is also how you ask, "How much?" in Japanese.


The brown goo, or gold-coloured delicacy if you prefer, is uni, the gonads of sea urchin, uber-umami flavour.

Neither ikura or uni began to be consumed in Japan until after World War II. They may not be around today if they had been on the menu for hundreds of years. I read science whch said it will be very surprising if the seas contain such tuna as are fished today a few hundred years hence, maybe sooner.

After all, vast swathes of Australian coral have been lost due to just 0.8 of a degree rise in the ocean's surface temperature, but still the Premier of Queensland bows to Adani. But don't be fooled, it wouldn't matter who was playing that role for there is nothing so venal as the relationship between current and former politicians in Australia across a range of industries, including the resources sector.

Otherwise, fatty tuna and super fatty tuna is definitely what these sets were all about. Super fatty tuna comes from the throat of the fish apparently.

The egg is called tamago.

If you visit Tsukiji, I also recommend wandering and eating little at a lot of places to try more of the variety of things on offer. It was possible to just order the items in my bowls individually as sashimi without rice, I just didn't think of doing it at the time.

Do your research if you want to go. it's not open every day of the week and you will want to get there early. Tsukiji was slated to be moved by the end of 2016, but it hasn't happened yet.

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