Established either on or nearby the Sea of Japan’s shores, people from Kaga are grateful for having on their hand a wealth of exquisitely fresh products that enhance the taste of the local cuisine. If various species of seaweed, fish, crustaceans and shellfish are to be found all year long on the stalls, each season has its own highlights and promises for renewed gastronomical sensations.
As the waters cool down with winter upcoming, myriads of crabs migrate down from the northern snowy regions to settle in the muddy sea beds from 40 to 200 meters off the coasts. With cold deep water being particularly close from the shores in the area, fishing boats go sail in the cold morning to haul hundreds of crustaceans, only to return at night to unload their catches down at the Hashitate fishing port. Caught only a few miles from the port, the snow crab’s incomparable freshness is the secret of its enduring reputation. Quickly whole sold out during very picturesque evening auctions directly at the port, it is commonly served in local inns on the same night. The snow crab fishery season opens each year on November 7th and continues up to the end of March.
Commonly dubbed as the “King of winter flavors”, the snow crab (zuwaigani in Japanese) is truly one of the most exquisite culinary sensations one can ever experience in Japan. Either steam-cooked in hotpot dishes or dipped in kani-miso sauce (the green and slightly bitter guts heated with sake in the emptied carapace over a low flame) are two of the best ways to experience the snow crab’s exquisite flavor.
Making use of the Kobakogani, the female snow crab, five restaurants in Kaga have come up with the Kaga Kani-gohan: a set menu that enhances the crab’s flavors through a multiple course of small dishes. Much less expensive than its male counterpart, the female snow crab is particularly appreciated for the deep rich taste of its roe either fertilized (“sotoko”) and unfertilized (“uchiko”).
After the crab’s white flesh has been taken out, all that is left in shell forms a green color paste called “kani miso”. This concoction of internal organs is certainly far from being appealing but actually turns out to be delicious and a perfect match to a local dry sake.
The Kobakogani crab being particularly well suitable for flash freezing, the Kaga Kani-gohan menu can be enjoyed all year round.
Please note that the Kaga Kani Gohan set menu has limited daily availability. We recommend you to make a reservation until the day before otherwise the restaurant might not be able to fulfill your order.