Food Chronicles of Japan, Chapter 1: Tokyo Fish Market

There aren’t many food places in this world as mythical as the Tokyo Fish Market.  Here, all the strangely alien beings from the other side of the ocean are dredged up to meet the eater face to face, eyeball to eyeball.

Powerful, silver, muscled food.  Pablo Neruda, my favorite culinary poet, calls the tuna a “torpedo from the ocean” and “the only true machine of the sea: unflawed, undefiled, navigating now the waters of death.”

Too many tuna are now navigating the waters of death.  The Tokyo Fish Market processes 2000 tons of fish per day, and we are eating are way to the end of this species. Once again, hunger is destroying.

 

On one side is the imminent disappearance of a species, and on the other side is the honed cultural art form of sushi making.  Just as in another era, the samurai were driven towards achieving perfection in the art of war, sushi chefs such as the legendary Jiro are driven towards an ephemeral ideal in the art of sushi making.

Jiro Dreams Of Sushi – Trailer from curious on Vimeo.

Oishi, or 美味し, means delicious. And, unfortunately for the blue-fin, it is oishi.

Different types of pepper for sale in the market.

List of Foods I Ate in the Tokyo Fish Market:

  • Pear Juice
  • The biggest fresh oyster of my life with lemon juice
  • Some jelly soy roasted green tea things on a stick, that was apparently the favorite of a famous Shogun whose name I forgot
  • A tiny boiled lobster
  • A white strawberry
  • Sweet egg omelet with seaweed
  • Big, steaming pork bun
  • Roasted green tea
  • Squid jerkey, which was a big hit with the students
Whole baby boiled lobster for $10.00. At times like this, I know that I could be happy living in Japan forever.
Fresh oysters larger than my palm for about $4. Certainly the biggest oyster I’ve ever eaten.

 

Leave a Reply