Monday, March 24, 2008

Hokkaido Winter Feast

Just to share more of the scrumptious bounties of Hokkaido! It's strange but the one word that best sums up the taste of Hokkaido seafood is "sweet". Seafood of all variety - crab, scallop, sea urchin, fish roe, all taste incredibly ... sweet!

1. Hokkaido crabs ("Kani" stands for crab in Japanese)

Kegani (Hairy crab), to be cooked nabemono (hotpot) style

Tarabagani (King crab)

2. Squid ("Ika")

Fish for them yourself at the Hakodate Morning Market and have them sashimi-ed on the spot in a flash, by the deft hands of the storekeeper.

3. Salmon ("Sake")

Slabs of salmon cooked nabemono style

Salmon, prawns, scallops, plus the delightfully sweet (there's that word again!) sweet corn ("Tokibi") waiting to be grilled.

4. Chirashi Don (ricebowl with topping of raw seafood)

With seafood this fresh in Hokkaido, they are best savored raw!

Mock-ups of a variety of Chirashi Dons adorn the entrance of a stall at the Hakodate Morning Market. Just point and order!

The holy trinity - Uni (sea urchin), Ikura (salmon roe) and Kani (crab). Three must-tries that I highly recommend. Definitely try them sashimi-style. A taste-sensation not to be missed!

5. More raw (i.e. fresh) goodies

Sashimi platter of Amaebi (sweet prawn), Ika (squid) and Hotate (scallop). Again, you can try them at the Hakodate Morning Market - on my list of favorite Japanese markets now for incredible tasting sashimi and sushi, after the distinguished Tsukiji (Tokyo) market of course.

6. Ramen

The famed Ramen Yokocho (Alley) in Sapporo. A narrow stretch packed with the tiniest Ramen stalls that sit at most 8 -10 customers per stall.


A steaming bowl of noodles in broth, with the usual servings of char siu (roast pork slices) and egg. Perfect pick-me-up for that winter night supper.

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