History, meaning, definition and recipe of Shirasu-don

shirasu-don raw shirasudon shirasudon with egg

Enoshima island is famous for Shirasudon!

Shirasudon is a Japanese traditional donburi dish which consists a bowl of rice tooped with whitebait called Shirasu fish in Japan. It is one of Kaisendon which is also donburi dish topped with several seafood. In general, Shirasu is often the young of sardines, but it incleds the young of eel and sweetfish sometimes. The Shirasu catch is declining year by year.

There are many restaurants near these fisheries serve not only Shirasudon with boiled shirasu fish but also Shirasudon with raw shirasu fish. The latter is called Nama-Shirasudon(raw Shirasudon) to distinguish it from Shirasudon with boiled Shirasu. These restaurants can serve it because they can be supplied with fresh Shirasu by fishery. The feature of raw Shirasu is a slippery and fresh texture. People can eat raw Shirasudon only in restaurants near fishery.

nama shirasudon

Kanagawa, Wakayama and Hyogo prefecture of Japan are known as the fishery of Shirasu. Especially, Enoshima which is a small offshore island in Fujisawa city of Kanagawa prefecture is famous as the tourist spot with raw Shirasudon. Not only raw Shirasudon but also pizza with Shirasu are popular for tourists.

They often buy boiled Shirasu called Kamaage-shirasu, dried Shirasu called Chirimen-jyako or dried Shirasu flattened like paper called Tatami-iwashi as souvenir. The shelf life of Kamaage-Shirasu is several days with keeping refrigerator, but the shelf life of Chirimen-jyako and Tatami-iwashi are half a year at normal temperture.

In general, the recipe of Shirasudon is very easy. Japanese people cook it made from boiled Shirasu and rice. They put boiled Shirasu on top of rice, and often add seaweed, chopped green onion, green shiso(Japanese basil), sesame, dried bonito or egg york to it. They usually pour soy sauce and butt egg york when they eat it.

shirasudon with egg

By the way, some restaurants serve Rui-be Shirasudon. Rui-be(Ru-ipe) means slices of frozen seafood, Ruibe Shirasudon consists frozen Shirasu and hot rice. That looks easy but that is actually difficult because of parasites. Parasites died at minus 20 degrees Celsius(at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit), but common refrigerator can not keep at minus 20 degrees. Only commercial refrigerator can do it.

There are many Japanese restaurants serving Shirasudon in Japan, especially in Fujisawa city of Kanagawa prefecture. It takes about 50 minutes from Shinjuku station or Tokyo station to Fujisawa station, takes about 10 minutes from Fujiawa station to Enoshima station. In addition, there is Kaisendon restaurant chain named Donmaru in Japan. It opens their restaurants all over Japan and serve Shirasudon. When you travel Japan, it might to be a good idea to eat Shirasudon. You can experience Japanese culture through it. If you can not eat it in Japan, you can cook it easily with buying soy sauce and horseradish.