Hase Shokudo – Kamakura’s shirasu cuisine




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Recognized for its nutritional properties good for health, the shirasu (white bait in English) designates in Japan the anchovy or sardine fry. These translucent baby fish that measure up to 2 centimeters can be swallowed whole and are rich in protein and calcium.

Highly appreciated in Japanese gastronomy, fingerlings are fished along Pacific coastal towns, from Kagoshima prefectures in the south to Miyagi in the north; 62,900 tons were caught in 2016. Located in Sagami Bay on the Shonan coast, Kamakura stands out as one of the most popular tourist destinations and the closest to Tokyo to discover the shirasu.

Fresh fish and seafood restaurant

Along the Enoden railway lineat the exit of the Hase station and west of Kamakura, choose the Hase Shokudo restaurant for lunch or dinner. Located not far from the great Buddha of Kotoku-in and the magnificent Hase-dera temple, the establishment is practical for a gourmet and local stopover.

The tables set on a outdoor terracesheltered from the rain ☔️ and the sun, attract customers who wish to enjoy a pleasant meal in the open air. Inside, there is a bright and welcoming dining room. The refined decoration in light tones, in wood and well planted, recalls the natural side towards which the seaside resort is undoubtedly turned. The presence of the ocean is emphasized by the surfboards displayed at the entrance and in the room.

Hase Shokudo (Kamakura), Japanese restaurant with outdoor terrace

Complete menus typical of Japanese cuisine

The Hase Shokudo menu offers a range of different menus all composed in the same way:

  • a main course particular ;
  • with the accompaniments following: miso soup, condiments tsukemono and other Japanese prepared vegetables.

The whole makes up a succulent meal that is very well balanced and sufficiently hearty. The menu includes a minimalist translation into English of the names of the dishes but sufficient to make your choice if you do not read Japanese.

The dishes are mainly based on shirasu and served:

  • over a bowl of white rice don buri ;
  • with noodles udon hot or cold;
  • or even with vegetable fritters tempura 🍤.

As for the fry themselves, they can be cooked according to 4 main preparations:

  • nama-shirasuthe fresh fish caught of the day is consumed believedmost often served the way don burion a bed of white rice and seasoned with soy sauce shoyu ;
  • kama-age shirasuthat’s to say cooked in boiling water ;
  • shirasuboshithe fish is boiled and partially dehydrated ;
  • Where chirimenjako, boiled and completely dried.

The lower the water content, the greater the flavor umami Fish 🐟 reveals. The ideal season to consume shirasu fresh runs from March to December, but its availability largely depends on the morning catch; this one being able to be null in the event of bad weather.

Hase Shokudo (Kamakura), Donburi Shirasu and Sashimi menu of fish and shellfish from Shonan

We recommend the menu don buri with the 2 most common ways to eat shirasu in Kamakura, that is, raw and boiled. The restaurant also honors the local seafood cuisine and thus completes the don buri with other local fish such as bluefin tuna, octopus or cuttlefish. As a drink, we recommend the beer 🍺 Local Kamakura Beer (Kamakura Star), available in several variations and which was awarded in 2019 at the international “World Beer Awards” competition.

Finally, for people (especially children) who might not be tempted by fry, Hase Shokudo presents a limited but tasty choice of other dishes japanese curry 🍛 or from the hawaiian cuisinefor example “loco moco” with rice, ground beef and egg or even the appetizing “malasada” donuts in rainbow.

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