Asari (Japanese littleneck clam)
Juicy “asari” on rice in a little bowl
“Asari” (Japanese littleneck clam) is the most popular shellfish for the Japanese. They inhibit widely from Hokkaido all the way south to the Ariake Sea of Kyushu. There are various ways to enjoy asari, cook with rice, as an ingredient for miso soup, or simmer with soy sauce and sugar.
It is common in Edomae sushi to flavor asari by leaving in seasoned mixture, like “hamaguri” (hard clam).
However Mr. Kanai does not use sugar for the mixture but adds only soy sauce and “mirin” (Japanese sweet sake) to the stock left from steaming the asari.
“Steaming good asari makes excellent stock, so it shouldn’t be made too sweet or otherwise kills the taste. I serve them in a small bowl with rice instead of nigiri style so that guests may enjoy asari with the broth.”
Little asari soaked with special broth is entertaining from the second you bite and the taste so delicious that you might even want to devour it.