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Tuna and Maguro are Two Different Foods?! Get Your Fill at Misaki’s “Kurobatei”

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Tuna and Maguro are Two Different Foods?! Get Your Fill at Misaki’s “Kurobatei”
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Maguro is often translated to mean tuna in English, but for the Japanese, maguro and tuna are two different foods.

For the Japanese, when someone says “tuna” they think of canned tuna, which is basically the processed version of the red fish maguro. It is for this reason that lean tuna (maguro), cannot be called “tuna”. “Maguro” is “Maguro”. What’s interesting to note, is that one quarter of maguro caught in the world, is consumed by the Japanese, which means we can safely say that the love that Japanese citizens have for maguro, far exceeds that of any other country.

With the cutting-edge transportation technology that’s available now, packed maguro is available for purchase at any supermarket in Japan, but if you’re going to go out of your way to eat maguro, you might as well eat it fresh, so that you can enjoy it in its most delicious state, right? With that said, our girls KumikoFunayama, Ai Matsumoto and Hikari Shiina set off to Misaki Port; somewhere where they can get plenty of delicious, fresh maguro. Misaki Port is a fishing port located in Miura-shi, Kanagawa-ken. There are many maguro restaurants in the vicinity of Misaki Port, but the one place that has received a lot of media coverage in recent times is “Kurobatei”.

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At “Kurobatei”, there are more than 200 different types of dishes available that use maguro and other fish that have been freshly caught from the Misaki Port area. The restaurant’s most famous maguro dish is “Kabuto-yaki” (which is fried maguro head), so our three girls decided to order it! This menu item must be reserved in advance, but it runs on a first in first served basis. As soon as the “Kabutoyaki” was laid out in front of them, the girls had these looks on their faces! The dish really was just as it was described; a straight out maguro head. It looked to be as heavy as 4 or 5kg!

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But it’s too early to be surprised! At Kurobatei, there is a certain ritual that must be performed before you can eat your “Kabutoyaki”.

The boss of the restaurant (commonly referred to as “oyaji” brings out a big string of prayer beads. Then, after giving thanks to the maguro, he begins to pray that the maguro will rest in peace. He then plays a trumpet shell and starts incanting in a loud voice. When the “oyaji” did so for our girls, they seemed to forget about the existence of the maguro, and were fixated on the “oyaji” and all of his actions.

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At the completion of the ritual, it was time to cut up the maguro. This of course, was completed by the “oyaji”.
As it was being cut up, the girls got more and more excited!

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And finally it was time to dig in! The girls could even eat the skin, eyes and bones, so there was basically almost no part of the fish that they couldn’t eat. What’s more is that the taste and the texture differed depending on which part they ate, so all three girls were completely absorbed in their meals as they ate.

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With food as delicious as this, you’ll find yourself pulling faces like these!

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Not only were their stomachs satisfied, but their hearts were too as a result of the unique dish that is “Kabutoyaki”. For a tasty, fun experience, please be sure to visit Kurobatei in Misaki!

Photo by kobadog
Translated by Cheryl Coyle

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Information

Kurobatei
Address : 1-9-11 Misaki, Miura-shi, Kanagawa
Nearest Station : Misakiguchi
TEL : 046-882-5637
URL : http://www.kurobatei.com/

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