How to Grow Koji 麹

The word koji (Kouji/麹) in Japanese is a general term of a grain that has been inoculated with a species of fungus known as Aspergillus oryzae. In a way, the complex and savoury flavours that koji provides is what makes the food at Noma different as it no longer needed to make animal stocks the…

On Ageing Maguro (鮪) Tuna and Various Information

Maguro (鮪) Tuna Information and How to Dry Age Tuna. Maguro, or Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is the species of tuna that is consumed in Japan, most famously as sashimi. Formerly sold at low prices, the price of Maguro started to skyrocket after World War 2, with it sometimes being attributed to the increase…

Introduction to the science of ageing fish

One of the main misconceptions when it comes to sushi served at high end sushi establishments is that the quality of the fish is dependent on how fresh it is. In reality, only certain fishes served at these sushi establishments (sushiya/寿司屋/ 鮨屋) are prized based on their freshness whilst the majority of the fish are…

Anago sweet sauce Recipe (Anago Tare/アナゴ たれ)

This recipe follows on from making simmered Anago here. Reserved eel broth Remaining eel bones and heads 50ml Soy sauce 20ml Sake 20g Sugar 50ml Mirin Clean the eel heads by removing the gills and wash off any blood in the head and bones. Dry on a paper towel before placing on a metal tray….

Anago (穴子/アナゴ), Japanese Style Simmered Sea Eel Recipe

Easily mistaken as Unagi (日本鰻), Anago is another eel commonly eaten in Japan with the main difference being that Anago lives in the sea their entire lives while Unagi only returns to the sea to spawn and lives predominantly in freshwater. Almost all Anago is caught wild in the sea as their natural population levels…

On Ikejime 活け締め

What is Ikejime? Ikejime (Ikejime/活け締め;Ikijime/活き締め) is a technique for killing fish that was developed in Japan specifically designed to preserve the quality of the fish. The technique consists of a 2 step process, the first step being the swift insertion of a spike into the hindbrain of the fish, followed by the threading of a…

Takenoko Gohan 竹の子ご飯/ 筍ご飯

As spring comes around, young bamboo shoots can be found gently peaking out of the ground in Japan’s dense bamboo forests. Takenoko are the baby bamboo shoots that’s main body is still underground. Because of this, they need to be dug up and cleaned before eating. They can be found all over Asia and are…