Wednesday, June 3, 2009

初鰹 Hatsugatsuo

We say that it is good for health to eat foods in season. We call these foods in season "Shun" 旬 no tabemono (food). "Shun" is especially important for Japanese life and we use this word for each season.

Katsuo (Bonito) is "Shun no tabemono" now. We call it "Hatsugatsuo" 初鰹. We normally eat it as one kind of sashimi. We call it Katsuo no Tataki. Katsuo no Tataki is raw, however, only surface of a piece of Katsuo is grilled. The relish of Katsuo is grated garlic. I like sashimi and Hatsugatsuo is so delicious.

There is a famous Haiku of Katuo.

目に青葉 山ほととぎす 初鰹
(Meni aoba Yama hototogisu Hatsugatsuo)
It expresses early summer in Japan.
We can see a lot of green leaves (青葉) outside, Lesser Cuckoo (ほととぎす) chirps in mountains and Bonito is in season (初鰹).

What is "Shun" of early summer in your countries ?

3 comments:

dtedac said...

Ohayoo.

Here in Jacksonville FL we are seeing a lot of berries right now. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. They make a nice dessert or side dish. There were some crops here that were affected by too much rain. We had a week and a half of rain a while ago and it hurt the potatoes and the cantaloupe.

I have a question when you have a chance to answer it. I like tofu very much. I sometimes get a block of tofu and eat it as is, maybe with a sauce to dip. How do you eat tofu? Do you fry it?

David -

Sweet Memory said...

Ohayoo Gozaimasu おはようございます

Hiyayakko (cold tofu)冷や奴 is very typical and traditional tofu dish during summer season.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiyayakko

It might be difficult to find Japanese ingredients for relish in other countries. However, it is essencial to eat Hiyayakko, I think. Katsuobushi 鰹節(sliced dry bonito),perila leaf (大葉), leek or grated gishredded leek and grated ginger. They are topping and pour a little soy sauce.

Can you find these Japanese ingredients at your grocery store?

It is simple but very delicious.
Please try it in hot summer.

dtedac said...

Thank you for the ideas. We have some "Asian" stores in the area, so I will look around and see what is avaiable. I like cold tofu so these toppings sound like they would be very delicious.