AUTUMN FOOD HOKKAIDO
Uni Ikura Don (Sea Urchin and Salmon Roe Rice Bowl)
If you go to Hokkaido, something you absolutely must try is the uni ikura don, a Japanese rice bowl topped with plenty of sea urchin and brilliant plumped beads of orange salmon roe.
The rice is especially well matched to this ingredient, since sea urchin and salmon roe is salty.
The sea urchin and salmon roe in this dish should be prepared in the Japanese way, which involves marinating fresh, uncured salmon roe in soy sauce, usually with mirin (sweet sake rice wine) or sake and sometimes with dashi (broth soup stock).
There are a plenty of Hokkaido Restaurants serving Uni Ikura Don. Although the flavours change depending on the restaurants, the taste is primarily succulent on the condition that the ingredients are fresh.
Nijo Fish Market
Nijo Fish Market is a public market in central Sapporo that occupies about one city block.
It was first opened in the early Meiji period when fishermen who worked at Ishikari beach started selling fresh fish.
At that time, various fish markets were found along the Sosei River, which flows in the center of Sapporo and eventually, noodle shops, dining bars, and vegetable shops opened laying the foundations for today’s Nijo Fish Market.
Over a century later, the market continues to serve the local resident’s culinary needs.
Due to its central location, the market is popular among locals and tourists who visit the market to shop for fresh local produce and seafood.
The market is open from 7.00am to 6.00pm on all days of the week, with individual shops maintaining their own opening hours and closing days.
Several restaurants can be found among the shops, including a collection of small drinking places and restaurants along a narrow corridor called Noren Yokocho.
A recommended way to visit is by having a fresh seafood breakfast at one of the market’s restaurants. Among the most popular menu items for starting the day is the uni ikura donburi, sea urchin and salmon eggs on rice.
Shishamo (Smelt Fish)
Shishamo is a unique small-scale fish of about 6 inches in length that can only be caught in the Pacific coast of Hokkaido.
Although it is commonly eaten grilled or fried, it is also served as sushi or sashimi during the October – November harvest season because of its freshness.
It goes well with soy sauce, however, eating with just a pinch of salt brings out the flavour according to many sushi chefs in Hokkaido.
Raw shishamo has a pinkish hue, a soft texture, and is characterized by an elegant and bright flavor that is slightly sweet.
Don’t miss this delicious experience you can only get from fresh foods.
Chan Chan Yaki (Grilled Salmon with Vegetables Recipe)
Chan Chan Yaki is a hot pot dish, which is a popular food in the Hokkaido region.
It’s a Hokkaido fisherman’s hot pot full of salmon and cooked with lots of vegetables, such as onion, cabbage, bean shoot, carrot which are mixed together with miso based sauce.
It is usually served in a big pan to share among family and friends.
It may be difficult to find Chan Chan Yaki at a restaurant as it is usually cooked at home.
There are many stories regarding the origin of the name, but one of them came from a Japanese mimetic word “cha cha”, which means quick action because it is so easy to cook.
All you need is a large pan and serve with piping hot rice.