Tsukiji outer market - recommended vendors?
I haven't really found much in terms of specific shops/vendors that are recommended for food and/or utensil shopping - did I search poorly? I'm not averse to browsing through a lot of fluff until I find something great (like having to go through a lot of full price stuff on Kappabashi before finding the occasional great deal), but there seems to be a lot to browse through... so anything from Katsuobushi to knives through great fish, miso... where to go?
I usually go these shops,
Fish, Club, Oyster,
Tsukiji Miyuki-Do: http://www.tsukiji.or.jp/modules/shoplist/shop_detail.php?shop_id=283
+1 on the place to buy Konbu. When we visited all I could say to the owner was Konbu for dashi and he knew exactly what I needed to get (since then I have been back to Japan and know a little more about the ingredients).
For utensils I found the prices there much better than Kappabashi but there was a much smaller selection. Overall we were able to buy all the plates and utensils we needed at the Tsukiji market except for some gift boxes of chop sticks that we picked up in Kappabashi,
For miso check out the department store food halls one of them - I think Takashiyama - had great miso sold out of barrels. They have a black miso that I can only find in Japan that was delicious.
Please post after you return. We are heading back to Tokyo in a few months and Tsukiji is on our list.
Tsukiji market is for special occasions like end new year ! I command white yoke eggs (kome tamago), maguro bushi (shaving of smoke tuna)., it will be an adventure for you to use these ingredients, though I will try to resume some..
- Nakatou : for their King Salmon saikyozuke
- Kibun : for the 'hamo satsuma age(hamo fish cake)', eaten with wasabi, shoyu, flakes of maguro bushi. The plain type is reacher in flavor, and has my preference due to the French traditional 'quenelle de brochet' !
- Kousen speciality is 'mentaiko(spicy cod roe)', the ways to eat it are various : slightly grilled, with potato, spread on tartines,..
or the 'shio kombu' that works very well with white sashimi and marine dashi (no soy sauce
- Shirasuie : this small shop has the best shirasu, and rice topping mix '12 blend chirimen(mix of 12 ingredients : ume, goma, wakame, shirasu,..)' !
These items can be frozen, and keep refrigerated 3-5 days.
Ok, so it took more than a few days, but having gone several times already - thank you Ninisix, irukaunyu, those were excellent recommendations. The only item I couldn't bring myself to buy back in fall because I have no idea how to evaluate, was Matsutake, where the price (and implicitly, quality) range was very high for what seemed like very similar mushrooms.
Was there before the end of the year. For snacking, I came across a vendor selling 'uni-man'- a black nikuman bun stuffed with uni. I wasn't expecting much other than a circle of uni on the surface but actually, the bun is pretty well stuffed. It could have used a little bit of seasoning but was actually quite creamy and good. They cost 800 YEN each...Not sure what makes the bun black...
Likely squid ink was used to make the bun black, though in recent years the use of sumi (charcoal) in powdered form seems to be on the increase. Bet is WASN'T liquorice, though.
Very crowded on the 30th doesn't surprise me -- that would be about the peak of shopping for materials used in New Years foods.