Asari Short Neck Clam (400g)
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Seasonal high quality Asari Clam
Direct from Toyosu Market in Tokyo
By professional buyer, picking the quality that is most worth for the price this season.
These native shellfish called asari can be found in inlets all across Japan and are a seafood delicacy. They are quite small spanning a shell length of around 4 centimetres with a rough surface.
Patterns can hugely vary, but ones that are lighter in colour with clearly defined markings are generally fresher and higher in quality. The flesh is firm, yet plump and succulent, bursting with flavour.
Having been a part of the Japanese diet for thousands of years, there is an abundance of cuisines across the country that employ the prominent taste of asari.
How is Japanese Asari special?
Rich and intense umami flavor
Japanese asari have a distinctive flavor profile and rich umami taste.
This could be attributed to the abundance of nutrients and the high-quality seawater in Japanese coastal areas.
When used in cooking, Japanese asari enhance the broth and create a delicious and flavorful experience, making them an indispensable ingredient in various Japanese dishes and washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine).
Minimal shrinkage of meat
Japanese asari have a unique characteristic of minimal meat shrinkage.
This could be attributed to the clam variety, their natural environment, and the fishing methods employed.
Clams that don't shrink significantly retain their size during cooking, resulting in an appealing appearance and texture in the final dish.
From Hokkaido to Kyushu:
Exploring Japan's Bountiful Asari Harvest and Nutritional Richness
While asari is harvested from the top in Hokkaido all the way down to Kyushu, the prefectures of Aichi and Hokkaido hold supreme as some of the highest producers of asari in the nation.
In season starting at spring to autumn, they are the finest in spring when glycogen and succinc acid levels increase. This heightens the umami and overall flavour of the shellfish.
On top of that asari are very nutritional.
They are full of vitamin B12, iron, and calcium that helps boost the immune system. Brimming with protein density that is higher than most other food it is also low in fat.
Asari's Enduring Presence in Japanese Cuisine and Traditional Dishes
Believed to have been eaten by the Japanese dating back all the way to the Jomon period thousands of years ago, asari has been a long staple in the food culture.
‘Asari no Sakemushi’
One of these is a traditional dish that you can oftentimes find at an izakaya.
A simple dish where the clams are steamed in a pot with sake, soy sauce and other extra seasonings, it brings the raw taste of asari to fruition without overcomplicating the process.
Another example originating from an area called Fukagawa in Tokyo. Birthed in the Edo period where kai was a specialty in this part, it is essentially a combination of steamed asari and miso soup poured onto a bowl of rice.
Additionally, the most common example of a food with the shellfish is
miso soup with asari.
With its high umami content, it perfectly complements the subtle flavours of the miso soup, where you can even find that it can make great use as dashi.
Toyosu for seafood, Ota for fruits
Japan's two representative largest markets
Both Ota and Toyosu Market play crucial roles as Japan's major fruit and seafood markets, contributing significantly to the country's food supply.
Located in the heart of Tokyo, both markets enjoy excellent transportation access, making them popular choices for numerous retail businesses and restaurants to source their products.
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