During our week in Kyoto we went to the Nishiki Market every day. I've shared about the incredible vegetables and the delicious tamago both of which I ate plenty of while grazing my way through this food center in Kyoto. Another principal food item is the fish which is abundant.
Unlike Tokyo and the Tsukiji Fish Market, most of the fish here comes from the rivers around Kyoto. That is not to say that they don't have seafood they do, but there is more of the local, seasonal items, which is why I love this region of Japan so much, they celebrate the abundance that is available to them.
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There are a lot of different techniques for ensuring that seasonal items last several month, such as smoking or curing. A lot of the fish are dried with marinates and I love snacking on them like chips!
Like these tiny dried shrimp or the eel in the photo above that. A lot of the fish I had never seen before (in my opinion that is a good thing, hyper-local to the area, what is the global footprint if they start shipping them everywhere in the world?).
Something in the anchovy family? These tasted delicious with something like teriyaki seasoning on them.
Salmon that went perfectly with a dried rice cake.
Lots of fish on sticks are perfect for snacking, which is exactly what I did! Every day!
How about bonito flakes? Do you ever eat them on rice? So delicious. Also, my vet says if you have an overweight cat (like Jessica) these are a great snack for them! I always get them “already flasked” in a bag, they look like this:
Or a little smaller in size. But I had never seen how they actually start, which is as a dried fish that looks like this:
Of course, some things I avoided, like shirako, whale sperm, which I already tried once in Tokyo and have no intention of trying again (I didn't like the taste!). My hubby didn't get a good picture of it, it is the pinky stuff on the far right corner of this photo.
I would love to have a market as large as this available to me on a daily basis. I have already spoiled with great farmers' markets all around and a small Japanese fish market in Berkeley, but I dream of having this one in my own backyard!
How about you? Fan of fish? Got any fish tales you want to share?
Author Bio: Andi Fisher
Yes, I am a francophile, but after that, I love Japan, especially the food! I have been to Tokyo many times, and spent 2 weeks in Kyoto and a week in Osaka exploring and eating!