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Get Ready to Feast: Tokyo's Largest Seafood Festival Returns

Indulge in Japan's finest catch at Tokyo's seafood extravaganza with two top picks: the Maple Salmon rice bowl and the Jobanmono rice bowl with eight toppings.



Rice bowl with three types of tuna. (Kuroshio Market, Wakayama)

Yoyogi Park in Tokyo is set to host two exciting seafood festivals from February 22 to 25. The annual SAKANA & JAPAN FESTIVAL 2024 will showcase a variety of seafood dishes from across Japan, while the Discover! Fukushima Seafood Festival aims to support communities in their recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Here's a closer look at some of the must-try dishes the event will offer:

Maple Salmon Rice Bowl

Nishigo, a village in Fukushima Prefecture, will return to the festival with the Maple Salmon rice bowl. It features Maple Salmon, a premium brand of salmon trout raised with the utmost care in the pristine waters of the Abukuma River. The dish is topped with tokkuri imo, a local specialty yam, grated fresh and poured generously over the salmon for each visitor.

Maple Salmon Rice Bowl with grated tokkuri imo yam. (Provided by Nishigo, Fukushima Prefecture)

With its perfect balance of moisture and texture, tokkuri imo complements the succulent salmon perfectly. The fish and yam are served on a bed of locally sourced Genryu-mai Koshihikari rice. This ultimate rice bowl offers rich flavors cultivated in Nishigo's soil and river, all for just ¥1500 JPY (around $10 USD).

Jobanmono Rice Bowl

A highlight of the Discover! Fukushima Seafood Festival will undoubtedly be the Jobanmono rice bowl. Jobanmono refers to seafood sourced from Fukushima Prefecture's coastal waters. Visitors will be pleased to find that the 2024 version of the rice bowl will boast an unprecedented eight types of seafood toppings.

Jobanmono Rice Bowl with eight toppings, including blackthroat seaperch. (From the Kani-sen Fukushima seafood rice bowl stall)

Among these are the seared blackthroat seaperch, often likened to the prized fatty tuna, and the marinated flounder, the most famous of the Jobanmono seafood. The conger eel boasts a melt-in-the-mouth texture. Additionally, the minced tuna topping is sourced from tuna caught by students of a Fukushima prefectural fisheries school aboard their training ship Fukushima Maru.

Other toppings include fresh Japanese icefish, available exclusively during this time of year, and locally nurtured shrimp from Katsurao village, accompanied by vibrant salmon roe. Together, these toppings create a dish that truly encapsulates the richness and diversity of Jobanmono flavors in one delicious bowl.

There will be plenty of other great dishes to try out at the two festivals, including this Alaskan salmon roe rice bowl. (Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute)


Author: The Sankei Shimbun

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