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Food

Wajima Morning Market – Continued

Aside from the old ladies that make the Wajima asa-ichi so different from any other markets you see around Japan, the variety of seafood at the market is quite different too, even different from Kanazawa’s nearby Omicho Market. I imagine most of the items you see on the street in this little coastal town haven’t changed as long as the market existed.

Here are some things I spotted in Wajima at the end of March.

Seaweed

Kajime and tsurumo seaweed balls. Instructions say put them in miso soup or nabe, or cook with a soy-based broth.

Dried foods

Dried abalone and kuchiko, or dried ovary of sea cucumber. These abalone are not super dry like the ones you typically see at a Chinese market. I have never had kuchiko because it’s such an expensive delicacy!

Pickled Seafood

Kawahagi-no-nukazuke, filefish pickled in rice bran and salt.
Fugu-no-ranso or fugu ovary pickled in rice bran. My favorite! You can see the prominently displayed certificate from the health agency that all the deadly poison is gone.

Shimi ika – I could not find out exactly what this is, but I believe it’s squid pickled in salt.
Sazae-bushi, whelk pickled in salt and probably chili pepper.

I am sure I missed even more interesting items. All these preserved seafood may not be something most people would drool over, but these are the foods that the locals have passed down generation to generation that make Wajima culture distinct.

Please visit my last Wajima Morning Market post to see what the early morning streets of the little fishing town in Ishikawa is like.

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