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Tsukiji jogai events

Tsukji shows two faces to the world. First is jonai, the giant, enclosed wholesale fish and vegetable market area–this is what most people think of as Tsukiji. But, there is also jogai, this includes all of the shops and restaurants running down the streets adjoining the regular wholesale market. It is easy to focus on the jonai and miss out on everything the surrounding jogai has to offer. To me, Tsukiji, all of it, is the most exciting area in Tokyo for shopping or for just a visit. Whatever day you go is like Christmas shopping–but, with so much more adrenalin.

Going to a special event at Tsukiji, as you can imagine, packs even more of an adrenalin rush. On a sunny fall weekend in October, there was a two day food event at Tsukiji Jogai where more than 30,000 people sampled food from fine jogai restaurants and shopped for kombu or katsuobushi from specialty wholesale-only and mixed trade retail-wholesale shops. On the second day, the event was all about food education; kids were the center of the universe in all activities while us adults were diverted and kept busy eating and shopping. Kids learned how to shave a block of dried bonito katsuobushi, to fillet fish, and to make the specially rolled-style tamagoyaki eggs. There was even a little plastic pool, making an instant fishing hole, where both kids and their parents enjoyed angling for all of 7 minutes.

I went to the event on the second day and wished I could have qualified as a kid to take special cooking and knife sharpening lessons from pros! Instead, I left the main event area with a blue fan shaped serving plate and a couple more serving bowls, then continued on shopping for fish at jogai shops since I wasn’t allowed to try to catch my own.

As I wandered around the open air market, I first bought hakkaku from Hokkaido from a fishmonger who also gave me a couple of omake, or extra aji to make himono. Then, I stopped at my favorite shop run by Nagasaki Fishermen’s Co-op. There I saw a grotesquely shaped live shrimp, uchiwa ebi. I’d seen these in Australia and Shikoku, but never before in Tokyo. So, I picked up two to make sashimi, if I was lucky, or more likely to make miso soup. By this time, I had a dinner menu idea and picked up kombu and regular miso, which I had run out of some time ago.

Hakkaku, Uchiwa Ebi, AjiHakkaku Yasai Ankake

I learned to like this rather strange looking fish hakkaku a few years ago, when a lady at my local fish market told me it’s best either fried or grilled, and she added that the skin can be deep fried for a unique and tasty tsumami.
So, I made yasai ankake with deep fried hakkaku and starchy broth with vegetables over the fish.

Uchiwa Ebi Misoshiru
Attempt to sashimi those bugs, or uchiwa ebi, failed and those pieces turned into a nice, intensely flavorful miso soup.

To accompany these dishes, we opened Omuraya Shuzo’s “Nagai Ki-no-Hashi” Junmai Ginjo from Shizuoka at room temperature. Someone is definitely turning us a Shizuoka sake fan. Yes, RG, we have had this wonderful bottle and it went so well with the seafood dinner!

Making Himono
And the omake aji turned to himono to appear on the dinner table another day.


5 Responses to “Tsukiji jogai events”

  1. Dear Et-Chan!
    Have you ever wondered how much fish in Tsukiji actually comes from Shizuoka Prefecture?

    Posted by Robert-Gilles Martineau | October 25, 2008, 4:52 pm
  2. Robe-chan!
    I am sure you have the figure at your fingertips…

    Posted by et-chan | October 27, 2008, 5:25 pm
  3. I will not tell you, or you’ll be forced to convince the MOTH to move to Shizuoka!

    Posted by Robert-Gilles Martineau | October 29, 2008, 6:40 pm
  4. Mmm… o.k. you get to keep Shizuoka to yourself, I promise.

    Posted by et-chan | October 30, 2008, 10:03 pm


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