Japan is renowned for its sushi and sashimi, but the world of raw seafood delicacies goes far beyond these popular dishes. With a coastline stretching over 29,000 kilometers, it’s no wonder that Japan has an incredible variety of fresh and flavorful seafood to offer. In this guide, we will delve into some lesser-known but equally enticing raw seafood delicacies that you must try on your visit to Japan.
Let’s start with Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, which is known for its abundant seafood and pristine waters. One of the jewels of Hokkaido’s culinary scene is Uni, or sea urchin. Rich and buttery, Uni is often served as sashimi or as a topping for sushi. Its unique taste and texture make it a must-try for any seafood lover.
Moving south to Aomori Prefecture, we find another delicacy that is highly prized in Japan – Hoya or surf clam. Known for its sweet and tender meat, Hoya is often served raw with a splash of soy sauce and a squeeze of lemon. Its natural sweetness and freshness make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
Now let’s head to the western part of Japan, where we find the city of Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture. Kanazawa is famous for its pristine seafood, and one delicacy that stands out is Kaisendon. Kaisendon is a bowl of rice topped with an assortment of sashimi, including fresh fish, sea urchin, and salmon roe. The combination of flavors and textures in Kaisendon is simply divine, making it a must-try dish in Kanazawa.
No guide to Japanese raw seafood delicacies would be complete without mentioning Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. Although the market has moved to Toyosu, the culinary tradition lives on. At the market, you can experience the freshest and most diverse selection of seafood imaginable. From sushi to sashimi, you can indulge in the finest cuts of fish and shellfish, expertly prepared by skilled sushi chefs.
Finally, we cannot forget about Fugu, or pufferfish, a delicacy that requires special expertise to prepare. Only licensed chefs are allowed to handle and serve Fugu due to the presence of a deadly toxin in its organs. When prepared correctly, Fugu is a true delicacy, with a texture that is often described as melt-in-your-mouth. If you are feeling adventurous, be sure to try Fugu during your visit to Japan, but choose your restaurant wisely.