Home > Japanese Culture > Raw fish? No, sashimis of jellyfish and horse

Raw fish? No, sashimis of jellyfish and horse

Have you ever tasted sashimis(raw fish) before? Now that you can see the word ‘sashimi’ in English dictionaries. My Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary says ‘sashimi’ is a Japanese dish consisting of slices of raw fish, served with sauce. The geographic location surrounded by the ocean enables us to develop our seafood cultures. Hmm, you’ve already tried sashimis. Okay, how about this, then? Sashimi of jellyfish.

I met this strange dish by chance when I dropped by a tavern with my friend. The words ‘sashimi of jellyfish’ on the menu just drew my attention. Here, it is.

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Actually, it’s difficult to describe the taste of this dish. I would like you to imagine and enjoy the texture rather than the taste. Let me search for an adequate expression about the texture from my limited vocabulary. How does it sound: crunchy?

Only a few kinds of jellyfish are used as sashimis: bizen jellyfish and echizen jellyfish. As I said, you can’t expect the taste too much from this cuisine; however, it is said that this cuisine is hearty as a Chinese medicine.

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In contrast, I would like you to enjoy the taste rather than the texture: sashimis of horse. We call it basashi.

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There is an anecdote regarding basashi. It is believed that samurai warriors fighting at Korean Peninsula in 1592-1598 were forced to eat horses due to the lack of food. After the war, the samurai warriors brought the custom back to Japan and spread it from Kumamoto prefecture: the hometown of the high-ranked samurai warrior at the war, Kiyomasa Kato.

The taste of basashi is different on parts of horse. You can enjoy basashi with soy sauce, sliced leeks, etc.

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