January 12, 2010

Sazae no Tsuboyaki (Turban Shell Cooked in its Own Shell/サザエの壷焼き(つぼ焼き)

As I mentioned in the Local Sushi Shop in Niigata thread on eGullet, my son likes sazae no tsuboyaki very much.
There are two types of sazae no tsuboyaki:
1. Put some soy sauce and sake in sazae, grill sazae, and when it's done, the diner takes out the flesh and eats it, except the sunabukuro (lit. sand bag).
2. First take out everything from the shell, remove the sunabukuro (and other inedible parts), cut the edible parts into small pieces, put them back in the shell, season with soy sauce and sake (top it with a quail egg), grill it, and serve.
I bought two sazae today, and tried sazae no tsuboyaki of the latter type for the first time.
eGulletのLocal Sushi Shop in Niigataスレッドで述べたように、息子はサザエの壷焼きが大好きです。

I tried to follow the instructions provided here (Japanese only), but I failed to take out the flesh from the shell.

I gave up making sazae no tsuboyaki of the latter type, simply put some soy sauce and sake in the shell, and grilled in the toaster oven.

Two grilled sazae:

I learned only today that the sunabukuro is the part with some concentric circles, not the dark green part.

(Sorry for the blurry photo.)
Edited to add these photos:
Sophisticated version of sazae no tsuboyaki that my son had at the above-mentioned local sushi shop two years ago.

Photo taken from a different angle:

Note that at this sushi shop, the flesh and innards are cooked before being put back in the shell and the fire is set immediately before being served to the customer.
Sazae sashimi on the left and awabi (abalone) sashimi on the right:

Close-up of the sazae sashimi:

I personally prefer sazae sashimi to tsuboyaki.


fabergreen said...

Thanks for your interesting posting! I enjoy reading it!

Yangsze said...

I've had this in a restaurant, but they cooked it until it was hard and rubbery, but somehow your pictures make it look very delicious! I wonder if it's more tasty the way you cook it, or is it always hard?

Hiroyuki said...

fabergreen: Thanks for your compliment. My first attempt failed, but I'll make another try, with a better tool!

Hiroyuki said...

YSC: Sazae is "kori kori" (コリコリ), nice and crunchy. Natually, it will become hard if cooked for too long. Grilling in a toaster oven is a great way to prevent overcooking!