We are ready to embrace the warmer weather, blossoming flowers and longer days of spring and summer! March is an exciting time, filled with springtime fish, a unique Japanese dessert for two, and a chance to win two seats at our highly coveted sushi counter. All this and more happening at Shiro’s this month!
Noresore (Young Sea Eel) – Spring has sprung, or at least Noresore or Young Sea Eel, has. This seasonal eel is only available for a few weeks during March, and then disappears for another year. These tiny transparent, odorless creatures are only 2 – 2.5 inches long and are becoming increasingly difficult to find, let alone catch. We serve this eel raw, with soy sauce or ponzu.
Noresore (Young Sea Eel)
Hotaru Ika (Firefly Squid) – Hotaru Ika, or Firefly Squid, is not only sensational as sushi, but it’s absolutely beautiful to see in-person. Firefly Squid are bioluminescent fish that give off a natural blue light. They use this light primarily as a defense mechanism to ward off predators and large fish. These deep-ocean creatures come to us from the Northern coast of Japan and are only available during their mating season (spring to early summer), when they migrate to the surface of the water.
Hotaru Ika (Firefly Squid)
Bincho Maguro (Albacore Tuna) – Albacore tuna is enjoyed all over the world in a variety of different cuisines, from Mediterranean dishes to classic American-fare and of course, Japanese cooking. Known as a migratory fish, albacore tuna travels hundreds of miles each year looking for areas that are ideal for spawning and hunting. These large white fish have a slight pink-peach tone and a firm texture that makes them ideal for nigiri. Try our albacore as sushi, sashimi or in our famous Albacore Tataki.
Bincho Maguro (Albacore Tuna)
Sake (Salmon) – Healthy and delicious, it’s no wonder salmon is one of the most popular fish ordered at Shiro’s. Every year large numbers of fresh water salmon travel upstream to the ocean to spawn. During this process, their colors dramatically change due to the shift from fresh to salt water. Loaded with Omega 3’s and fatty acids, salmon is delicious in a variety of sushi and Japanese dishes.
Koshi no Kanbai – This month’s sake special is crisp, sophisticated and modern. Koshi no Kanbai or “Blue River” sake comes to us from the Niigata region of Japan. This Niigata-style sake is known for its umami flavor, subtle aromatics and incredibly satisfying finish. Experience a bottle of this breathtakingly smooth and refreshing sake for a limited time.
Japanese Food Traditions
Fatty Tuna in the Edo Period of Japan – Today, fatty tuna (Toro) and medium fatty tuna (Chu-Toro), are considered the two most popular parts of tuna. However, this was not always the case. Back in the Edo period of Japan before proper refrigeration, “Akami” (red meat) was preferred due to its lean consistency. Marinating Akami (or referred to as regular “Maguro”) with soy was much easier than the fatty part of tuna and was a better way to extend the fish’s shelf life, making it ideal for sushi chefs to serve. Nowadays, both fatty meat and leaner meat are enjoyed by tuna connoisseurs and sushi enthusiasts, alike.
Fatty Meat vs. Red Meat
Japanese Raindrop Cake (Shingen Mochi) – Get your cameras ready! This month we will be offering a special dessert: Japanese Raindrop Cake or Shingen Mochi. This light, delicate cake made from agar and water is a Japanese delicacy and must be enjoyed within 30 minutes or it will simply melt. The dessert’s name stems from its similar texture and look to that of a raindrop. We serve our cake with a traditional side of kuromitsu (Japanese dark brown sugar syrup) and kinako (roasted soy bean powder), and opt for a spoon instead of the usual toothpick to eat it with.
Dumpling Fest – We are honored to be taking part in Tom Douglas’ sold out Dumpling Fest on March 11. We will be serving two different Japanese-style seafood dumplings: shrimp and scallop dumplings with soy vinegar & mustard sauce. If you’re attending Dumpling Fest, stop by and try our teams’ special Japanese dumplings.
The New Vintage – We are thrilled to be taking part in Taste Washington’s The New Vintage event on Friday, March 23 at Fisher Pavilion. Chef Tsuyoshi will be serving our melt-in-your-mouth sushi, alongside dozens of other talented chefs, and gorgeous wines from across our state.
Profiling your favorite sushi chefs with a short interview
This month: Takeshi Kaneko, Sushi Chef
What is your favorite sushi? Anything with white fish and so-called “blue fish,” such as sardines, mackerel, saury, and more.
What do you pair your sushi with? I like Hidakami from Miyagi and Mutsu Hassen Isaribi from Aomori, which both heighten the umami of white fish, in my opinion.
Besides sushi, what else do you enjoy eating? I like miso soup with cabbage. Unlike the miso soup served in restaurants, in Japanese households we make miso soup with all sorts of vegetables in it. I love the sweetness of cabbage mixed with the saltiness of the miso.
What are your hobbies? Listening to music! Everything from classical music, specifically Mozart, to pop music, and more. I also used to play drums when I was younger.
What is your favorite time of year (here or in Japan) and why? Spring and Autumn. Spring is the season when everything blooms and comes alive, and Autumn is when everything quiets down.
Instagram Trivia Contest
This month we are hosting a Trivia Contest on Instagram! The winner will receive two seats to our famous sushi counter. How does this work? Every Thursday through March, visit our Instagram page and answer the trivia question correctly to be entered into a drawing to win. We will be drawing one winner on April 2 at 10 a.m. on Instagram. Good luck!
- March 10-11: The Seattle Kennel Dog Show
- March 16-18: Seattle Public Library Spring Book Sale
- March 23: Taste Washington’s New Vintage
- March 30-April 1: Sakura-Con