Skipjack Tuna and Women’s Social Status in Japan

Posted on Aug 2, 2013 in Hiroko's Blog

5 photosContinuation of skipjack tuna, katsuo. By the way, during the Edo period (1600-1868) Edokko (citizens of Edo, the present Tokyo) went crazy for the first taste of katsuo, skipjack tuna. Hatsugatsuo (the first season skipjack tuna) was very expensive. So, the famous saying was born; “Nyobo wo Shichi ni Iretemo Hatsugatsuo” (I have to taste the first season skipjack tuna, even if I had to pawn my wife.) Well, if my men during the Edo period really pawned their wives for the taste of first season skipjack tuna, I don’t know. But, women’s social status in Japan back them were miserable. Today we are still a second citizen. My female population in Japan vividly remember the story about how badly Japanese women’s football team was treated by the male chauvinistic society. Here is a quote from The Independent, July 2012: “Japan’s world champion women’s football team took exception to flying economy while their male counterparts sat in business class on a flight to Europe for the Olympics. The Japan Football Association said the men flew in business because they are professionals.” At the Olympics Women’s team actually won silver, while men’s team loosing all of the games. I did not further keep up if women’s football team flew back business as a result of this win, and men’s team, flew coach as a punishment. I do not think so.

Now back to katsuo, skipjack tuna. Here is what I did. I made Arani with the center bone, color and head. This was delicious, but Buzz uttered while busily picking tiny bits of meat between bones that I should not recommened my readers to try this recipe. First of all, it is dangerous that a small bone may stuck at one’s throat while eating if a person is not accustomed to eat fish with bones. Second, it is too much work with too little reward that only Japanese people appreciate it. Buzz, who lived in Japan over 14 years, may be right.

I expected that the belly part of fillet is a kind of fatty, so I put the cut pieces on skewers, sprinkled some salt over them and cooked under the broiler. Towards the end of cooking I basted with BBC Sauce (Hiroko’s American Kitchen) several times until each piece is layered with the sauce. This dish was a disappointing. The belly part did not have any fatty, sweet flavor.

Finally, the back part of fillet. If this part had sashimi quality, I definitely made into “tataki”. (Here you can see some of the process of how tataki is prepared: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaRR9sLCk9k&feature=player_detailpage)

Tataki is a dish in which thinly sliced skipjack tuna is served with condiments – grated or sliced garlic, grated ginger, chopped scallion and julienned shiso – and vinegar flavored shoyu sauce.

So, here is my dish. I coated skipjack tuna with corn flour and cooked in olive oil coated skillet. The sauce is a mixture of tataki condiments which is tossed with Super Sauce (Hiroko’s American Kitchen) and rice vinegar. This was perfect dish.

Again I wait for the skipjack tuna in September.