The month of September is a time of transition. As we embrace the cooler weather and the upcoming autumn equinox, we also embrace a rich bounty of seasonal foods during this harvest month, including an abundance of fresh vegetables, fruits and delicious fish that we only get to enjoy this time of year. Read on for more details about our seasonal delicacies, tips from the chef and the tradition of using soy sauce in Japan.
Shima-aji (Trevally) – Shima-aji, or white trevally, is considered a luxury in Japan. Only available in the summer and fall, it’s a very versatile fish prepared in a variety of ways, such as grilled, tempura, in hot pot and of course, as sashimi and sushi. It’s also very rich with Vitamin B and B6.
Mirugai (Geoduck) – Geoduck is native to the coastal waters of western Canada and the Northwest. As the largest burrowing clams in the world, the name “geoduck,” is derived from a Lushootseed (Native American) word meaning “dig deep.” Much of the local supply is exported to China, Korea and Japan where its briny flavor and crunchy texture is considered a delicacy.
Our current sake special is Seitoku Genshu. A junmai ginjo, Seitoku brings interesting notes of lychee in a graceful, refined and balanced sake. At 17 percent alcohol the sake is perfect to enjoy with food, pairing especially well with scallops, mirugai, abalone, squid and other mollusks. Our chefs will pair the perfect sushi with Seitoku Genshu to intensify the briny flavors of the seafood and the enticing notes of the sake.
Japanese Food Traditions
Katsuobushi (Dried Bonito Flakes) – Katsuobushi is a basic ingredient in Japanese cuisine made from Skipjack Tuna (also known as Arctic and Oceanic tuna). To make katsuobushi the tuna is steamed, dried, smoked and then cured. This process turns the fish into a wood-like block that is then flaked, all which significantly increases the amount of Umami flavor contained within the fish.
Katsuobushi (Dried Bonito Flakes)
Shoyu (Soy Sauce) – Soy Sauce, or “Shoyu”, is a traditional seasoning sauce made from fermented soy beans. Japanese people have long been using Shoyu for centuries. It originated in ancient China and has changed over time. There are many types of Shoyu available in Japan, but below are the most common:
Koikuchi Shoyu (regular or dark soy sauce): Koikuchi Shoyu is the one we always see at sushi bars, Japanese restaurants, and supermarkets. It’s an all-purpose soy sauce and can be used on every occasion.
Tamari Shoyu (thick soy sauce): Tamari Shoyu was the mainstream of soy sauce until the early Edo period (1603 – 1861). It’s thicker and subtly sweeter than regular soy sauce and goes well with sashimi.
Usukuchi Shoyu (light colored soy sauce): The color of this shoyu is lighter, but it’s often saltier than regular shoyu. The main application of this shoyu is Dashi broth. Thanks to the pureness of the color, the other ingredients prepared with the broth can stay natural.
Discover quick and easy tips from our talented sushi chefs! Having worked in Japan, they bring us interesting and educational tips each month of the centuries-old customs related to sushi. We feature these favorite tips each month to help you keep your sushi knowledge sharp!
- Use your fingers to eat nigiri!
- Hold nigiri with your thumb and middle finger, and support with your index finger on top.
- Tilt and dip the tip of the fish in soy sauce.
- If you are using chopsticks, tilt the fish with the left chopstick, support the bottom with the right. Pick it up, dip tip of the fish in soy sauce.
- Never dip the rice in soy sauce (it will fall apart).
- Eat with one bite.
- Eat gari (pickled ginger) in between nigiri to freshen your palate.
How to Order Open-End Omakase – available at our sushi counter
- Open-end means there’s no set pricing.
- Tell the chef if you have a budget.
- Tell the chef how hungry you are.
- Do mention your dislikes or dietary restrictions.
- Your chef will consider all of the above and serve you accordingly.
Seattle Magazine Reader’s Choice Poll: Best Sushi
Seattle Magazine asked readers to vote for their favorite Seattle restaurants. We are humbled to win ‘Best Sushi’ in Seattle. Thank you to everyone who voted for us! To read more and see all results, visit seattlemag.com.
- August 31-September 23: Washington State Fair
- September 8: Chinatown-ID Night Market
- September 22: Luminata Light Parade
- September 21-23: Fremont Oktoberfest