Domestic wild seafood is normal material for sushi at ‘Ryu-zushi’
Luxurious seafood materials for their sushi are based on the quintessence of traditional ‘Edome-style’.
‘Ryu-zushi’ is one of the most long-established ones among sushi restaurants in the market since it was founded more than 50 years ago in their parents’ generation. Freshness and quality of seafood is one of the best among existing sushi restaurants in the Tsukiji market, because the late proprietor of the sushi restaurant was very strict about choosing seafood materials and the present chef followed his precepts.
They usually purchase the best quality of wild seafood from intermediate wholesalers in the market, who also deals with famous Japanese restaurants inGinzaarea. They prepare this best quality of seafood materials in long experienced cooking skill. Larger size of prawn and ark shell, halibut and sea bream served with salt, and noted dish of conger eel are cooked in the traditional ‘Edo-mae-style’. Sushi rice is seasoned with delicately flavored vinegar ‘akasu’ which is made from Japanese apricot and red beefsteak plant.
It is said that the late Mr. Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic co. had been fond of their noted dish of conger eel. Fresh conger eel is slowly simmered over 3 hours until the meat is cooked completely tender including small bones. The conger eel is looked in fair lustrous and its tender feeling in eating is really marvelous. You can enjoy eating the essence of traditional style ‘Edome-zushi’ at Ryu-zushi, which is said to also attract chefs from famous Japanese restaurants.
The long established sushi restaurant has kept close relationship with intermediate wholesalers in the market and puts complete confidence on them. They never purchase farmed fish for their sushi so you can enjoy really fresh wild seafood at Ryu-zushi.
“We trust our intermediate wholesalers, because they usually bring us the best quality of domestic wild seafood among their auctioned off seafood at the market.” Ms. Shiina, the proprietress, said in smile.
Especially they stick to Pacific blue fin tuna for their sushi. Pink part of meat from it tastes something like melting on your tongue. When they firm up the meat of ‘kohada’ (dotted shad) and mackerel by soaking them in vinegar, they try to reduce salt and vinegar for preserving their original tastes.
An octopus is also cooked soft in original way. These special ways of cooking were created by Mr. Ryutaro, the late proprietor of the restaurant (Ryu-zushi is named after him). Young successors have kept his original cooking method even now.
‘Shako’ or squilla
Squilla from Okayama is served with homemade dipping sauce.
‘Hamaguri’ or clam
Larger sized clam from ‘Boshu’ in Chiba prefecture is served. It is served after steamed with ‘sake’ rice wine together with homemade dipping sauce. Its elastic chewing sense is just out of this world.
‘Modori-katuo’ or fatty skipjack tuna
Skipjack tuna has tow seasons, one in spring (called nobori-or up gatsuo) and another in autumn (modori-or return gatsuo). Skipjack in the beginning of autumn form fishing ports in Sanriku (East-noorthernJapan) area is considered one of the best. It served with grated ginger and chopped green onion.
In addition, the best quality ‘wasabi’ horseradish also helps to make these fresh seafood materials more delicious, which is from ‘Nakaizu’ in Shizuoka Prefecture. Special horseradish gives slightly sticky sweetness after grated. Nigiri-zushi cooked with a rather small piece of rice and this horseradish creates refined special taste.
“Guests could enjoy eating our nigiri-zushi in the most delicious condition.” The proprietress says. ”We never cook fresh seafood materials without putting a great care.” The chef says who has inherited cooking methods directly from Mr. Ryutaro, the late proprietor of ‘Ryu-zushi’.
The inside of “Ryu-zushi’ is rather quiet and calm so you can enjoy original taste of fresh seafood. ‘Ryu-zushi’ attracts a large number of regular gourmet guests. About half of their guests are people concerned to the market, and rest of half is general customers, including a large number of foreign visitors.
Hard-type and soft-type rice are blended together for their sushi, and they never use rice more than 5 or 6 days past after polishing. Palatable of rice is one of the crucial points of their nigiri-zushi that is inherited from Mr. Ryutaro.
Chef Ryutaro, the late proprietor, had carefully prepared fresh seafood materials every morning and put them on balls of rice with grated fresh ‘wasabi’ horseradish when he cooked nigiri-zushi. Their steamed rice is blended with ‘akazu’ vinegar which is made from well matured ‘sakekasu’.
*Sake kasu are the lees left over from sake production. It can be used as a pickling agent, the main ingredient of amazke, a cooking paste to add flavor to food and as a marinade.
The late proprietor had usually said, “That’s the usual way of serving good quality fresh seafood here in the market, I like to cook tasty sushi not only concerning making profit.
His thought of serving good quality sushi is still kept now and therefore there is always a long waiting line before opening every morning.
Assorted Nigiri ‘Ran’ 3,150 Japanese yen
7 pieces of fresh seafood, such as pink tuna, cuttlefish, ark shell, flatfish, prawn, horse mackerel, and conger eel, and two kinds of roll sushi such as red tuna roll and ‘nakaochi’ or pieces of tuna meat from backbones and string-cut cucumber roll. (Seafood materials will be changed seasonally.) The course is one of the most popular menu items which consisted of variety of seafood materials cooked under traditional methods of nigiri-zushi. Soy sauce is homemade ‘nikiri-shoyu’ prepared by the proprietress.
Assorted Nigiri ‘Kiku’ 2,100 Japanese yen
It is consisted of 7 pieces of fresh seafood and two kinds of roll sushi.
‘Omakase-sushi 3,990 Japanese yen
Assorted Sashimi 2,100 Japanese yen
Tsukiji-marukajiri published by the Mainichi
Tsukiji-o-kiwameru published by Aspect co.
■For travelers from overseas
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