As we move toward the holiday season, we take a moment to appreciate what fall brings, from rich hues of red, orange and yellow, to ingredients that make it a favorite time of year for many. As the days get shorter and darkness arrives earlier, we provide the convenience of our takeout menu, an expanded tea menu, and a premium wasabi for those that enjoy a little heat. Stay warm!
Shiro’s Takeout Menu
Our takeout menu is something that started out of necessity but has grown into a very popular way to enjoy our food. Most of our menu is available for takeout (same day ordering), including omakase, nigiri, our famed black cod, and more. While we serve a platter filled with tons of sushi for takeout, as well as a 19-piece or 12-piece chef’s choice nigiri box (the same as you enjoy in our dining room), we also take orders for single pieces of nigiri. So, whether you prefer the chef to select for you, or you’d rather choose your favorites piece-by-piece, our takeout menu means that you can order however you’d like!
Our takeout menu is available for online ordering nightly.
Tea Menu at Shiro’s
We are excited to announce that we recently expanded our tea offerings! We are now serving the esteemed Genmaicha and highly popular Hojicha ($6.50 each). These hot teas will enhance your experience at Shiro’s while also taking off the seasonal chill we are all accustomed to this time of year.
Genmaicha is made by roasting steamed rice soaked in water and adding equal parts Bancha (green tea) and Sencha (green tea). The roasted rice and tea leaves mix with the smooth, creamy umami of the Matcha to create an irresistible blend. And did we mention it’s good for you? Genmaicha has a nutty and toasted aroma from the roasted rice. The addition of rice also serves to reduce the amount of leaves used, resulting in a tea with less caffeine.
Hojicha is typically roasted green tea such as Sencha, Bancha and Stem tea. The process of roasting at high temperatures turns the leaves to a brown color. The Hojicha that we’re serving is made from the steams collected during the tea making process, producing the tea’s main characteristic of mellow sweetness that is easy to drink. You may also notice a bitter component, which comes from the catechin created during the process of leaf photosynthesis. Stem tea a very traditional Japanese tea that is rich in antioxidants and carries many other health benefits, too.
Wasabi is a common accompaniment for sushi and sashimi, but do you know when it became so popular and why?
Wasabi first appeared as a medicinal herb believed to have antibacterial properties in the era of Asuka (592AD to 710AD) through Heian (794AD to 1185AD). Later, when nigiri sushi became popular, eating sushi with wasabi also rose to prominence when it proved to remove any fishy smells from sushi.
Wasabi’s sharp flavor and strong smell are generated by grating the wasabi. Usually, wasabi is grated, which is how it is commonly sold in tubes in grocery stores. However, prior to grating, wasabi is called Nama Wasabi (row wasabi). Some Asian grocery stores have Nama Wasabi, however it is very expensive, selling for about $250/lb.
We use Nama Wasabi from Japan at our Sushi Bar. It is delivered to us in this form, and then grated by our chefs’ own hands to ensure the freshest flavor and aroma possible.
If you prefer lots of wasabi with your Shiro’s sushi, please don’t hesitate to ask for additional wasabi and our servers will be happy to provide it!
Scenic Spots for Autumn Color in Seattle
Autumn has arrived, bringing the changing of leaves to beautiful yellows and reds all around Seattle. In Japan, mid-November is the best season to see the fall foliage and get outside to enjoy the autumn views. For example, Mt. Takao, Meiji Jingu Gaien, and Showakinen Park are all popular places for people to enjoy autumn in Tokyo. Here are a few places around here that impress us with the burst of fall colors:
- Seattle Center
You can see the Space Needle surrounded by the colors of autumn.
- Washington Park Arboretum
Where Japanese scenery can be enjoyed in Seattle.
- Green Lake
Autumn views on the lake are spectacular.
There are more, including the University of Washington campus, Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park, city-view Kerry Park, picturesque Discovery Park, peaceful Kubota Garden, the shores of Gene Coulon Park, and so on. A picnic among the fall colors wouldn’t be complete with our latest Autumn Sushi Platter! Or enjoy your own selections from our takeout menu, too. Beautiful views and seasonal sushi are all that’s necessary for a perfect fall picnic!
Autumn is the Best Season to Eat
In Japan, autumn is sometimes referred to as Shokuyoku-no-Aki (fall of appetite), meaning “autumn is the best season for eating.” When the hot summer is over and the weather is more comfortable, appetites often increase. With that comes the onslaught of many delicious seasonal ingredients, therefore, fall earns its name of “Shokuyoku-no-Aki.”
The typical ingredients of the fall season in Japan are autumn salmon, autumn mackerel, autumn salmon egg, pacific saury (秋刀魚：秋 means fall), mushrooms, Japanese chestnut, sweet potato and squash. You’ll find many of these on our menu with Matsutake mushrooms used for tempura, and autumn salmon and egg, and *Kinka Saba (Kinka Mackerel) Nigiri all featured at our sushi bar.
*Kinka Saba (Kinka Mackerel) is large, seasonal mackerel caught around the Kinka-san area and brought in at Ishinomaki Port. To be a Kinka Saba, it must be caught in a specific harvesting area, and must be a specific size, which is 500 grams (1.1 pounds), or bigger. It is a rare and valuable brand of mackerel that we are lucky to serve at Shiro’s!