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By using as many fish species as possible and fish from fishermen who promote sustainable efforts

Japan’s chefs build on the growing market for sustainable seafood

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Sunday, September 27, 2020, 17:00 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by The Japan Times:

At Sincere Blue, a restaurant inside the newly opened Jingumae Comichi dining complex, dinner unfolds like an edible ode to the bounty of the sea.

An opening salvo of raw albacore tuna, rolled into cornets atop whipped celeriac, is followed in quick succession by a delectable array of piscine-focused plates. There’s a basket of golden beignets made with pangasius (a freshwater fish from Southeast Asia), oysters sauteed in brown butter and scallop croquettes served on a bed of dried nori (seaweed). They serve as a prelude to the main dish — a fish-shaped savory waffle stuffed with sea bass, swimming in a pool of clam-infused cream sauce.


Supporting seafood: Key members of seafood sustainability advocacy group Chefs for the Blue | Courtesy of Chefs for the BLue

Seafood sustainability is central to the restaurant’s concept, and owner-chef Shinsuke Ishii takes great care when sourcing ingredients. The tuna is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a global nonprofit organization that sets standards for sustainable fishing, while the oysters, scallops and pangasius are approved by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), which establishes best-practice protocols on farmed seafood. The sea bass comes from purveyors working with scientists and nongovernmental organizations to improve fishing practices.

“All of the information is written on the menu. We’re happy to answer questions, but we don’t want the guests to feel like they’re studying,”Ishii says.

The aim, he says, is to encourage people to eat a wider variety of fish, instead of relying on species in decline, such as Pacific bluefin tuna.

Annual landings of seafood in Japan have plummeted from a high of 12.8 million tons in 1984 to 4.39 million tons in 2018, according to a 2019 report from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. While several causes contribute to the problem, experts agree that overfishing is one of the main drivers behind depleted fisheries.


Sustainable sourcing: Sincere Blue’s main dish — a fish-shaped savory waffle stuffed with sea bass — uses seafood sourced from purveyors working with scientists and nongovernmental organizations to improve fishing practices. | SINCERE BLUE

The restaurant’s name, Sincere Blue, is a reference to Chefs for the Blue, a group Ishii helped establish in 2017 to raise awareness of marine resource preservation among the restaurant industry and consumers. Comprising more than 30 chefs and industry professionals, the organization works with international research groups and entities such as NGO Sailors for the Sea and consulting firm Seafood Legacy. Since its launch, Chefs for the Blue has held 25 public events, including a seminar last October featuring renowned French chef Olivier Roellinger. Next year, it hopes to assist in facilitating a version of Roellinger’s European culinary contest, which focuses on conserving marine resources, in Japan.

Thanks in part to the efforts of advocacy organizations, consumer awareness about sustainable seafood in Japan is increasing gradually, says Chefs for the Blue co-founder Hiroko Sasaki.(contnued...)

Author: Melinda Joe / The Japan Times | Read the rest of the story by clicking the link here



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