Mizudako (Giant Pacific octopus)
The more you chew, the sweeter
“Mizudako” (giant Pacific octopus) is the largest octopus in the world, reaches up to 3 meters long. It has very rich flavor and tender texture despite the size, so more restaurants prefer using mizudako nowadays. The master of Sushi Nanba at Asagaya, Mr. Shunsuke Takaoka, is one of them.
“We use ‘madako’ to make ‘nidako’ (simmered octopus) but use fresh mizudako for nigiri sushi. I like the refreshing taste of mizudako and use often in winter when other sushi ingredients are fatty and a little heavy. People have the impression that octopus is difficult to chew when raw but mizudako is very tender you wouldn’t have to worry about not being able to chew.”
Nigiri of mizudako is served with just a pinch of salt and a squeeze of “sudachi” (a kind of Japanese citrus), which is enough for the deep flavor that spreads in the mouth.
“I really want my guests to taste the freshest so I use them within a day, or the next day at most. The guests who try mizudako for the first time are astonished at the fresh texture and taste unlikely of octopus.”