Torigai Red Tides

In Japanese they are called “bird shellfish” and I guess because they look like a birds beak. Hands down this is a shellfish that I consider one of my top picks. It is slightly chewy but that’s part of the flavour experience. Perhaps its the sliced onion and ponzu that is balanced on top, it has a sweet and spicy taste to it.


They appear mostly on the market in Spring and earlier in Shizuoka Prefecture during the occurence of “red tides”. They are also found in Tokyo Bay, Ise bay and the Seto Inner Seas and are exceptional when fresh.

Red tide: is a phenomenon caused by algal blooms a Wikipedia definition during which algae become so numerous that they discolor coastal waters hence the name “red tide”.