Fish joint near Misawa base serves it up fresh and raw

Fish joint near Misawa base serves it up fresh and raw

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

If you are located on Misawa and want to enjoy delicious, local fresh raw fish around base, Minato Shokudo is the place to go.

Located near JR Mutsuminato Station, or a 45-minute drive from Misawa AB, this tiny joint is one of the most popular seafood restaurants in Aomori Prefecture, and has been attracting a lot of locals, as well as tourists.

With the recommendation of local MLC employees of Misawa AB, I and my coworkers dropped by the joint for our breakfast on the way back from our TDY to Misawa AB.

With its old wooden façade and the tattered noren curtain, Minato Shokudo is situated on a street with countless fish shops and often filled with local fishermen. After taking a stroll down the famous street in Mutsuminato Town, we made our way to Minato Shokudo around 9 a.m. Although we heard the popular joint was always crowded, we were able to beat the rush and get ourselves a seat.

The interior looked like it could accommodate more than 20 customers, and had a cozy, relaxing atmosphere with wooden chairs and tables to go along with its simple and artless façade.

A hand-written menu on the wall informed us that there were just a few options, including hirame-duke don (flavored raw flatfish bowl) for 1,350 yen ($14) and ryoshi-duke don (fishermen’s flavored raw fish bowl) for 1,700 yen ($17).

I ordered the flatfish bowl and added some sea urchin and tuna for 2,000 yen ($20).

After a quick 5-minute wait, I received my beautiful bowl along with miso soup and vinegared yam.

All the raw fish in the bowl were a freshly brilliant color. Vibrant reddish tuna, shining white flatfish, ochre sea urchin and pinky fish eggs, along with yellow egg yolk and green wasabi were packed like a jewelry box. The bowl is truly made with the fishermen’s appetite in mind.

Duke-don often looks dark brown, as the raw fish is usually marinated in a brown soy sauce-based broth. The bowls at Minato Shokudo applied the broth under the raw fish, so all the ingredients keep their original fresh colors.

After mixing all the ingredients well, we dug into the mound of food. The fish, especially flatfish, had a great taste to go along with a chewy texture. Thick and rich egg yolk paired well with the flavored rice, which helped the various raw fish tastes stand out.

Prices ranged from $15-20, which may be a little too expensive for a regular breakfast, but they are worthy of the fee.

Visit Minato Shokudo and enjoy one of the real tastes of Japan.

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