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Trails to Tsukiji

Trails to Tsukiji

TRAILS TO TSUKIJI is a series that focuses on Japanese food available at the iconic Tsukiji Market, the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market is located in Tokyo, and in addition to supplying wholesale, is a major tourist attraction. In TRAILS TO TSUKIJI, reporters trace a food ingredient from the market back to its origins, while also exploring its cultural significance and preparations.

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A fish known for its glittering pink body, tender meat and rich umami flavor, amadai is one of the stars of Kyoto cuisine. We take a journey to the coast near Kyoto to learn how amadai is caught, then to a traditional Japanese restaurant to see it prepared in ways that utilize every part of the fish. Dive in and learn all about amadai and the magic touch that makes it even more delicious.

Anago, or white spotted conger, has maintained its beloved status among the Japanese for over three centuries. Summer is the prime season for this vitamin-rich and high-protein snake-like fish prized as the perfect remedy for summer fatigue. Anago also plays an integral role in the refinement of the nations' most iconic dishes - sushi and tempura. Together, let's explore the allure of anago by learning about its unique trapping method using pipes, and taste a variety of traditional anago dishes.

Anko, or anglerfish, look like something from another planet. But despite their shocking appearance, these fish have a rich yet delicate flavor and are known as the main ingredient in anko hot pot, a winter treat. We visit a small village in Aomori Prefecture known for its anko, and witness a giant, once-in-a-year catch. We also discover unique cultural traditions, including a ritual in which anko are filleted on top of snow, plus homegrown dishes based on anko liver, considered a great delicacy.

Leafy green cabbage has the largest trading weight among the produce sold at Tsukiji. When it comes to servicing occidental dishes in Japan, thinly sliced cabbage is indispensable. Join us in the harvest of tender spring cabbage, a national favorite among raw vegetables, and learn simple recipes from those who grow them. Also discover the novel ways they are used in desserts, and learn more about the savory okonomiyaki pancakes, a Japanese comfort food fast becoming a mainstream item overseas.

The theme this time is the sweet, red fruits that sparkle like rubies: cherries! In Japan, cherries are expensive, high-end fruits popular for gift-giving: one box can go for over 500 dollars. The host visits Yamagata Prefecture, Japan's largest cherry-producing region, to see how its high-grade cherries are cultivated and selected. She also discovers cherry-based desserts, French dishes and more.

The most appealing thing about Japanese corn is its fruit-like sweetness. Hokkaido's large corn fields are home to many varieties, including one that's soft enough to eat raw, another with kernels as white as snow, and a flint corn with large, rich kernels. In addition, we showcase a popular cornbread people line up for hours to get their hands on, unique French dishes that feature corn's sweetness and texture, and much more.

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