Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tsukiji

Have I mentioned before that the outer market at Tsukiji is fun? I mean, the fish parts are cool and all, but the market part is great. It's like an open-air market in southeast Asia, but with higher quality stuff, more variety, and hygiene.

Fresh wasabi, in quantity, at low prices. Can't beat the fresh stuff; if you've never had it, you're missing out. The very smooth, pastelike product that you get from tubes (or at your local sushi place) is mostly made with horseradish. Once you try the real stuff, you'll recognize the difference right away.

Fresh shirataki! Kinda fun even though they look like wacky little jellyfish.

Knives big enough to carve a whale! No, I think these are tuna knives. Sometimes you can see guys in the wholesale area of the market carving up tunas, and they'll be using things like this.

Fresh, seasonal bamboo! Whatever size you want, from tiny to monstrous. I picked up some normal size ones for dinner, smaller than these.

Likewise I bought a bunch of hana wasabi, which I think is the stalks, leaves and flowers of wasabi. The bunch I got (and pickled in soy sauce) didn't taste as strongly of wasabi as the versions I've had before, but I had those in the mountains around Matsumoto right near Japan's biggest wasabi farm.

Go check it out! It was pretty crowded with tourists, mostly Asian, and there were a lot of lines at the sushi and seafood shops, but if you want to shop and sightsee and buy knives or kitchen goods or weird foods, this is your place.

2 comments:

  1. Very nice. Never been to Tsukiji. How does it compare with Ameyoko?

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  2. Maybe more fun than Ameyoko...well, actually they both have good points. I think the fresh food is better in Tsukiji, and the kitchenwares are certainly better, and you can probably get better fish (for home) and kaisendon (for there).

    Ameyoko has the Asian specialty stores (basement of the building at the north end, behind the Doraemon statue), the spice stores, and the kinda menacing guys selling cheap fish (I've never tried it - looks to good to be true, so probably isn't!). Plus in Ameyoko I like the inside stores a lot - the funny clothing, leather, silver jewelry and cowboy shops, pens and gadgets. I would probably eat at the famous gyoza place next time I'm in Ameyoko even though there are cheap kaisendon places there too.

    Seems like I'm having trouble comparing. I never thought of them as similar, but you're right. Anyway, Tsukiji for fresh stuff+kitchenware, Ameyoko for museums+dried and ethnic foods+weird shopping (and Kappabashi closeby for the best in kitchenware).

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