Kumejima Kuruma Prawns

It’s no secret that Japanese food is popular outside of Japan.  Not only is the food in-country highly rated, but there are Japanese restaurants all over the world.  A lot of people wonder, why is Japanese food so good?  It’s a complex answer.  Many will tell you it’s umami, others the care and thought put into food, and yet more that it’s the simplicity of the dishes that highlights natural flavors.

I’m not a food expert, but I think it’s a bit of all the above.

When I lived in the States, I never ate fish.  Maybe it was because I lived in the desert and all we got were frozen or river fish.  Whatever the reason, I’ve had an aversion to most fish since I was young.  Then, 5 years ago, I got dropped on a little island in the Pacific, their second industry being fishing.  Their food was fresh, delicious, and amazing.

IMG_6225A week ago I had a shrimp that was still moving a bit.  And IT WAS SO GOOD.  My family will tell you what large strides my palate has taken over the last five years.  So why was that prawn tail I had so much better than any other shrimp I’ve ever had?  How did a bit of still moving shrimp overcome 23 years of stubborn dislike?

Simplicity.  The shrimp was peeled, and served with a bit of soy sauce.   There were no other flavors to get in the way, no cross-contamination from sauce pans, pasta, or other fish.

Umami. The briny flavor combined with the bite of soy and the sweetness of the meat meant create that unique sixth taste that everyone raves about.  It’s a balance easily lost when the simplicity is left out.

Quality.  Kume Island is known for miso cookies, sugar cane, and white sand beaches, but it’s also home to many kuruma prawn farms.  Kuruma Prawns are similar to tiger shrimp, but a slightly different species.  They’re the kind of shrimp Jiro’s restaurant used in Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

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So what makes Kume Island’s shrimp so good?  Checkout the video below then head over to the Ultimate English Guide to Kume Island… Kumeguide.com to learn more about Kume Island Prawns.

**Please note: At least 3 shrimp were harmed in the filming of the video and writing of this post.  They were delicious.**