An axis for artistic and creative-types of the Asian persuasian… Redefining Otaku Culture.

Tsukiji countdown: Clock ticking on Tokyo’s famed fish market

All-You-Can-Eat salmon for 999 yen (US$8.30) at IKEA Japan’s Salmon Festival!

RocketNews 24:

Fans of the famously delicious fish salmon in Japan should grab your bibs because the Salmon Festival is rolling into IKEA stores all over the country. On this joyous occasion we may dine on 16 different kinds of salmon dishes.

Of course it wouldn’t be a festival if it weren’t all-you-can-eat as well, so IKEA is making that happen for the attractive price of only 999 yen (US$8.30) for a limited time.

The lineup, available at all IKEA stores in Japan, will contain sixteen salmon dishessuch as Hot Smoked Salmon Caesar Salad, Najad Salmon & Potato Fritters, Smoked Salmon & Potato Pasta, Salmon Wraps, and two kinds of Salmon Pudding.

▼ Salmon Wraps

▼ Najad Salmon & Potato Fritters

▼ Salmon Pudding

If that wasn’t enough of a deal, IKEA will also give out coupons for 300 yen ($2.50) to anyone who orders the Salmon Festival buffet.

Event information
Salmon Festival
Location: All IKEA locations in Japan
Hours: 11:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (last order at 7:30 p.m.)
Closing times may vary at some locations
Price: 999 yen
Time limit: 60 minutes

McDonald’s Singapore introduces the Fish McWrap



McDonald’s Singapore has released a fish-inspired variation of their Chicken McWrap. You guessed it, the Fish McWrap.

Made with slice of tomatoes, single leaf lettuce and a fried fish patty. The McWrap is served in a flour tortilla with a spicy chili sauce. Essentially, it sounds like a Chicken McWrap with the protein swapped out of a Filet-O-Fish.

While US McDonald’s are cutting all kinds of wraps from their menus, it looks like the Singapore locations will feature them for at least a limited time.

The wrap itself will set you back $5.40. A little on the pricier side, but most seafood items are.

A Manhattan sushi restaurant introduces a flight featuring all local fish

The sushi counter at 15 East

Bloomberg (by Tejal Rao): 

15 East is a quiet little Japanese restaurant just off Union Square, where I find the mood is always quite civilized and serious. That was the case on a recent evening, until a junior sushi chef started playing with two massive prawns, whirling them together on the cutting board as if they were ballroom dancing. Another sushi chef grinned widely, then politely told him to stop that.

The restaurant opened in 2006 and it’s a consistently good spot for sushi (along with dishes like poached octopus, and delicate soba noodles with duck and scallions). The newest menu item, a “local fish flight” ($55 for 10 pieces), was introduced a couple of weeks ago and features fish from Long Island and its environs. Earlier this week, that meant lightly smoked mackerel, and a piece of fluke wrapped in a shiso leaf, each presented as nigiri on long, slender clusters of warm rice.

Owner Marco Moreira is a big fan of the local squid from Long Island, served raw. “It’s just gorgeous,” he told me over the phone. “It’s unbelievable with a little citrus zest and sea salt, but unfortunately we don’t always have it in house.

The kitchen purchases fish from all over the world—Japan, Spain, Portugal—but Moreira explained that he wanted to introduce a new option that would celebrate local scallops, and a couple varieties of whitefish, as well. A tuna from North Carolina, which Moreira admits is only relatively local, may occasionally make an appearance.

If the kitchen runs out of the local stuff before you get to your tenth piece of nigiri, you’ll have the option to try other fish at the counter. You may find yourself with a wide slice of crunchy sea clam, a sweet raw shrimp, or a couple of oysters marinated in olive oil and rosemary (works!). With tiny wedges of the pickled ginger Shimizu makes in house in between each bite, it all makes for a lovely, light, clean-living kind of dinner.

This flight isn’t the most luxurious one in town, but it doesn’t bill itself as that, and in many ways that’s part of its appeal. The experience is straightforward and inexpensive, and so is the seafood. This is everyday sushi done well—if you’re looking for something more deluxe, go with the excellent $110 omakase, which roams farther and wider.

15 East Restaurant is at 15 E 15th Street (Flatiron); +1 212 647-0015 or

Smoked mackerel nigiri, from 15 East’s new local fish flight

Abandoned shopping mall In Bangkok has been taken over by fish


Bored Panda:


This abandoned mall in Bangkok, Thailand, hides an unlikely secret behind it’s walls – it is home to thousands of fish, which freely roam the mall’s flooded floor. The mall was closed in 1997, and a fire in 1999 left it without a roof. During the rainy season, the mall quickly flooded with water, which created a perfect environment for a mosquito outbreak in the area. To get rid of them, the locals came up with a great idea – to breed freshwater Catfish and Koi fish in the mall’s water so they could eat the insects.

Now the mall hides one of the biggest natural aquariums in the world. Professional cook, writer and photographer Jesse Rockwell visited this mall to take some photos, which tell a disaster movie-like story of nature reclaiming the land.



“Without a good knowledge of Bangkok geography, one would be hard pressed to believe anything interesting lies behind this gate”, writes James on his blog.

“At some point in the early 2000′s an unknown person began introducing a small population of exotic Koi and Catfish species. The small population of fish began to thrive and the result is now a self-sustained, and amazingly populated urban aquarium”



Goldfish shine in Nihonbashi Art Aquarium


Aquarium art

RocketNews 24:


Goldfish, with their long tails resembling delicate brushstrokes painted in water, look like tiny works of art on their own. But place them in uniquely shaped vessels and you truly have a beautiful piece. Patrons will be able to experience just that at the ECO EDO Nihonbashi Art Aquarium 2014.

The exhibition houses nearly 5,000 goldfish in special art exhibitions that incorporate LED lights, projection mapping, music and scents, allowing patrons to experience “refreshing coolness” and “Japanese beauty” with all five senses.


The poster advertising the Art Aquarium event promises magical sights:

Aquarium art8


This year’s exhibit, produced by Hidetomo Kimura, is inspired by the Edo Period and the “refreshing coolness of goldfish”. There is also a night aquarium planned with special late-night hours. Here are a few of the exhibitions that will be on display:


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Aquarium art

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We’ve never seen an exhibition quite like this. The Nihonbashi Art Aquarium will be open from July 11 until September 23 at the Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall. Don’t miss this chance to view living art in the heart of Tokyo!


Nihonbashi Art Aquarium
Open: July 11 – September 23
Hours: Art Aquarium (11:00 – 19:00), Night Aquarium (19:00 – 23:30)
Entrance fee: Adults (1,000 yen), Children (600 yen), Under 3yo (free)
Location: Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, Tokyo


Check out this link:

Goldfish shine in Nihonbashi Art Aquarium


Japanese scuba diver solves “Underwater Crop Circle” mystery on the sea floor at Marine Station Amami

They’ve been called the crop circles of the ocean floor—seven-foot diameter patterned circles that were first spotted in 1995 off the coast of southern Japan. But their origin was an enigma, and local divers termed them “mystery circles.”

The mystery persisted until 2011 when the culprit, a male pufferfish just five inches long, was finally caught in the act. And recently scientists studied the process of how the species creates these elaborate designs in order to woo females.

The research team observed a total of 10 construction events carried out by somewhere between 4 and 8 males. (Pufferfish don’t have very memorable faces, apparently.) Males spent seven to nine days building their respective circles by repeatedly swimming in and out of the circle, using their fins to dig valleys in the sandy bottom.

Aesthetics were clearly important. The spirograph pattern was meticulously created and males were observed decorating the peaks with shell and coral fragments. But the design had a practical purpose as well: the male’s swimming pattens stirred up fine sand particles and pushed them toward the middle of the circle, which served as the actual nest.

This was the part of the circle where he entertained lady callers. When a female pufferfish approached the circle, the male stirred up the sand in the middle and darted back and forth through it. If she judged him a suitable mate, she would lay her eggs in the sandy central zone, the researchers reported last month in Scientific Reports.

Scientists say it’s likely that the quality of the circle helps determine a female’s mate choice, though they have yet to demonstrate how. But once mating is completed, the male ceases his upkeep of the circle, and after the eggs hatch, he abandons the nest altogether.

But after all that effort, you may ask, why not just reuse his earlier circle? The authors speculate that the male’s forceful wooing depletes the area of its fine sand particles, which are necessary for the next round of egg-rearing. And then it’s back to the drawing board for these amorous artists.


Japanese Twitter user stumbles across legendary deep-sea fish, cooks and eats it four different ways

RocketNews 24:


Every once in a while the Japanese media picks up on the story of an extremely long deep sea fish that washes up on its shores. Called an “oarfish,” it is long believed to be a harbinger of earthquakes.

But for one Twitter user it was a harbinger of an impressive four course meal. While out before sunrise, he stumbled along one of these allegedly supernatural fish washed up on shore. After contacting several marine institutes and finding none to claim the large fish, he tossed superstitions aside and acted on the belief that when life hands you an oarfish, you make oarfish fillets.

According to a series of tweets chronicling the find and subsequent gourmet experiment, Twitter user Yamasemi measured the fish at 4.2m (13’7″) and still fresh when found. He got to work and removed the tail sections which revealed a jelly-like cartilage that was remarkably clean and white.

Although that didn’t seem edible, there were still a few good meters of fish to be had. First, Yamasemi prepared some amazingly white fillets of oarfish meat with a mild soup on the side. He said that the meat had an egg-white texture to it, but also had a bit of a strong flavor that might be off-putting to some. However, he also remarked that it had a sweetness to it similar to cod and was highly delicious overall.

Next, Yamasemi tried to fry up some pieces of oarfish with butter. He said that due to the highly moist meat it toughened up very quickly when fried or boiled. This method of cooking gave it a firmer, more substantial texture than it had with the soup. He thought it was really good, but maybe it was just because he was the one doing the cooking.

However, all of this was just a harbinger of the earthshaking deliciousness of the oarfish’s heart. According to Yamasemi, this was easily the best part. He said that it had a limp texture but with some rinsing in hot water it firmed up nicely.

As you can see in the above image, the heart has three sections. Yamasemi says that each section has a unique texture to it for a delightful dining experience. The lightest-colored part was like cow intestines while the large part tasted like chicken heart.

Still basking in the glow of the oarfish heart, Yamasemi then prepared its liver by boiling it in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, ginger, and sake for 15 minutes. Then it was served with some green onion and grated daikon doused in citrusy ponzu.

Many netizens who saw this expressed concern that little is still known about the oarfish and a potential for poison or parasites in the meat exists. However, as of this writing, Yamasemi still appears to be alive and tweeting.

Others harkened back to the superstitious past of the oarfish saying “that thing looks cursed.” While one comment thought of a more real menace writing, “I can hear the Sea Shepherd’s engines starting up right now.”

I’m going to go out on an old-school limb and say that by eating the heart of the oarfish, Yamasemi will have taken its legendary power of earthquake prediction. So beware people of the world: If you happen to find a dead Japanese Twitter user washed up on a beach near you, it’s time to get your disaster kits ready!

Source: Twitter via Itai News (Japanese)

Check out this link: 

Japanese Twitter user stumbles across legendary deep-sea fish, cooks and eats it four different ways


20 Delicious “sea monsters” eaten in Asia…

1. Red Frog Crab


Tastes like: the most succulent, springy crab you’ll ever have.

Eaten in the Philippines, Japan, and all around Southeast Asia. The meat is semi-translucent and lighter than most Atlantic crabs.

2. Triggerfish


Tastes like: a fish that bench-presses 300 pounds.

In Chinese, they’re called “flayer’s fish” — peeling its rough and stony skin is a chore, but the firm and sweet meat makes it worth it. Eaten in all forms around the Pacific Rim.

3. Miscellaneous Whelks and Sea Snails


Tastes like: savory rubber bands with a dollop of chalky innards.

I bought bagfuls of these at movie theater concession stands the way you’d buy popcorn. Dig the flesh out with a toothpick, or suck it out of the hole. Great in a spicy wine broth.

4. Sunfish


Tastes like: swordfish, but even drier and tougher.

Often found stuck gruesomely in the propellers of boats, or snared as bycatch in fishermen’s nets. In Japan and Taiwan, they’re sometimes eaten as sashimi or in a spicy basil stir-fry.

5. Giant Clam


Tastes like: between clam and octopus.

Warning: Giant clam is ecologically threatened in many parts of the Pacific, so make sure it’s sourced responsibly. Otherwise, it is (or was) a staple in Filipino and Polynesian cuisine.

6. Mantis Shrimp


Tastes like: a crawfish’s creepy cousin.

Never mind that mantis shrimps have the most sophisticated eyes in the animal kingdom, or claws that can crack some aquarium walls. They taste great sautéed in a bed of garlic and peppers.

7. Chinese Swamp Eel


Tastes like: a slippier, chewier, springier unagi.

Cooked in chives and rice wine. A signature dish of Shanghainese and Southern Taiwanese cuisine.

8. Jellyfish


Tastes like: if a squid mated with a cucumber.

Jellyfish is almost always dried and cured before it’s prepared as food. Eaten in Japan, Korea and China. Great in a drizzle of sesame oil and vinegar.

9. Slipper Lobster


Tastes like: lobster.

Looks like a facehugger. Tastes like Pacific lobster (which is prawnier than Maine lobster). Found heaped in mountainous abundance in fish markets across Southeast Asia.

10. Sea Cucumber


Tastes like: a tenderized and marinated rubber tire.

Soaring demand for it in China has sparked gang wars in Mexico and illegal overharvesting in Alaska.

11. Beltfish


Tastes like: yikes.

Eaten from Korea to Pakistan. An often unbearably fishy staple of Taiwanese school cafeterias.

12. Mudskipper


Tastes like: slimey fish

Often stewed in a light ginger chicken broth in Southern Taiwan. I’m not sure anyone else eats them.

13. Porcupine Fish


Tastes like: chewy jelly (skin) and plain old whitefish (flesh).

The skin of porcupine fish can be boiled and marinated in fish skin salads. The flesh makes a good Okinawan tempura.

14. Parrotfish


Tastes: light and flakey.

Called loro in the Philippines, and often grilled or stewed with onions. Also eaten in Hong Kong and southern China.

15. Horseshoe Crab


Tastes like: plastic (apparently).

According to this report, the roe is a delicacy in Thailand and Malaysia and sometimes added as an ingredient to spicy som tam salads. Otherwise, there’s not much flesh to eat.

16. Penis Fish


Tastes like: firm and crunchy.
Looks like: well, now.

A type of worm that burrows in ocean beds. Most often eaten raw with soy sauce and sesame oil in Korea.

17. Skate


Tastes like: a surprisingly mundane whitefish.

Grilled in banana leaf in Indonesia. Fermented like lukefisk in Korea into one of the most hellish-smelling delicacies. Often eaten in French cuisine too.

18. Angler Fish Liver


Tastes like: witchy foie gras.

Mostly eaten in a light drizzle of shaved red ginger, scallions, and ponzu soy sauce in Japan.

19. Rabbitfish


Tastes like: between fish jerky and fish and chips.

Served dried, fried, spiced with garlic and pepper, and with a side of eggs and rice in Filippino dansilog.

20. Hagfish


Tastes like: very chewy.

Only eaten in Korea, and often found waggling in the frayed corpses of whales and sharks on the ocean floor. When threatened, a single hagfish can release enzymes and turn a barrel of water into pure slime. When grilled, it reportedly tastes mild and chewy.


Check out this link:

20 Delicious “sea monsters” eaten in Asia…