Kochi Prefecture is known for its bonito (katsuo), a mackerel-like fish traditionally caught by fishermen using the ipponzuri method, which is to fish with a pole. Bonito is an important fish in Japan; when dried, it is one of the main ingredients in dashi stock, which is essential to many Japanese cuisine. It is also commonly used as a flaky topping for delicacies such as Takoyaki. Bonito is also eaten in many ways: raw, as tsukudani which is preserved in a sweet-salty sauce, or as shiokara, where it’s cured in salt, or coated in flour and deep-fried.
Kochi’s signature dish is seared bonito (Katsuo no tataki), which is a fresh piece of bonito seared on the outside and still raw on the inside. It is then sliced and eaten like sashimi. At Tosa Tataki Dojo, the only dish on the menu is freshly-caught bonito that visitors get to grill themselves over a sweet-smelling straw fire. After searing for a minute and a half under the watchful eyes of the experienced staff, the fish is professionally sliced and to be eaten with ponzu sauce and your choice of toppings, like ginger, onions, or garlic. Alternatively, it can also be enjoyed as a tosa-don (seared bonito on rice)!
Tosa Tataki Dojo
Address: 201-2 Niida, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
Hours: 10:30am to 3pm (closes when bonitos are sold out)
Price: 1,300yen for single serving of seared bonito; 1,600yen for a set meal of seared bonito (Both include searing experience)
Website: Official Website