During the middle of our trip, we took the train to Shirahama for a local fish market experience and a chance to relax in a hot spring next to the beach. Before settling into our hotel, our first stop was the famous, Tore Tore Fish Market. I have never been to a fish market in Japan but since Japan is surrounded by water, I had very high expectations for their seafood.
Tore Tore Fish Market had that wow factor. The hygiene control was phenomenal with barely any fishy or stinky smells from the seafood. The market was so clean that half of the market was a seafood food court. We were relieved that the market was air conditioned, making our visit a satisfying one.Once we stepped into the market, the first stall in front of us was a man cutting a large blue fin tuna. The man divided the blue fin tuna into different sections of its meat ranging from the cheaper sashimi orders to the most expensive part of the fish. The “skin” of the blue fin tuna was hard like a stone tile and after the staff was done with the entire process, he placed the giant tuna’s head right in front of me.
The seafood at Tore Tore Fish Market was so fresh that if you wanted to eat raw scallops, the staff would immediately open the scallop and hand it over to you so you can eat it straight from the shell. The price was also relatively cheap for such ocean fresh seafood.
Assorted raw seafood was also available to eat while you were walking around the fish market or for your groceries.
Given their display of seafood, I was very impressed with their olfactory and hygiene control.
The entire market was split into half. On one side of the market, it was all of the fish tanks and seafood stalls while the other side was a seafood food court.
Squid and Scallop Deep Fried Shrimp Paste
The concept is similar to a large fishball but the taste was definitely not of the average.
The shrimp paste literally had large scallops inside and you could taste the juiciness as you bite into it’s sweet and soft exterior to its warm and savoury interior. The fishpaste also had squid tentacles inside so you could just imagine how packed this was with seafood decadence.
Grilled Scallops on Shell
One of the most popular options at the Tore Tore Fish Market was their grilled scallops on shell. Cooked over a robatayaki grill with sweet sauce poured on top, I’ve never had such fresh, delicious and savoury scallops. It was cooked perfectly with charred and natural flavours.
Without a doubt, this was one of the best sushi I have ever had. None of the fish had any fishy taste to it and all of it was unbelievable fresh. Their salmon had a toothsome texture without any hints of fishiness and I was converted to love tuna nigiri after the meal.
The uni was also one of the creamiest I have ever had. I’ve eaten fresh caught uni in the Philippines where they open the sea urchin and I ate it straight from the shell but this was another type of creaminess without the salty ocean flavours.
We weren’t sure what type of crab this was but since it was a local gem, we decided to try it. Caught straight from the ocean, the staff cut the crab in half and steamed it for us. The meat was tender, soft and very flavorful unlike the meat from a Dungeness crab.
Blue Fin Tuna Sashimi
When you’re in Japan, you’ve got to try their blue fin tuna sashimi. We did not get the richest part of the fish but the sashimi we had was quite fatty and very refreshing. Unlike the refrigerated and un-fresh tuna, this sashimi was actually toothsome and very savoury in its own natural way.