The Best Way to Enjoy a Seafood Rice Bowl in Hokkaido Is to Create It Yourself
Customize your bowl with fresh ingredients straight from the market.
13-25 Kuroganecho, Kushiro City, Hokkaido
Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed during Sundays of January to March.
In Washo Ichiba, a market in Kushiro City on the eastern side of Hokkaido, you can make your own kaisendon or seafood rice bowl called katte-don! You can choose from the seasonal fish, your favorite shells, or make a seafood bowl with stuff you like. Read on to learn about how we made three different kinds of katte-don in Washo Ichiba.
The first step in making katte-don is preparing the rice. In Washo Ichiba, there’s a store that sells rice in three sizes: ¥150 for small, ¥200 for medium, and ¥300 for large. We recommend that you choose the size according to the ingredients you’d like to have as toppings.
Next, choose sashimi that suits your taste. Proceed to the shops that sell sashimi for katte-don. Check out the different stores and choose ingredients for your customized rice bowl. You can go to as many shops to create different katte-don!
It became a sumptuous rice bowl.
We chose seven sumptuous choices of crab, sailfin poacher, herring, Atka mackerel, Pacific cod, salmon and whale tail--all of which were seasonal. You can take a look at what’s on offer in each shop, and if you tell the shop clerk which sashimi you want, they’ll help you garnish your bowl.
The sailfin poacher is a specialty of Hokkaido. The body of the fish is octagon-shaped and it is also known as tokubire, which means “unique fins.”
The shell of the crab gives this dish a luxurious look.
This is our first katte-don. Atka mackerel served as sashimi is also a must-try. This rice bowl is worth ¥2,360, quite a steal considering you can customize your own rice bowl with a variety of fresh top-grade ingredients.
The ingredients depend on the shop. Let’s roam around and take a look.
In the next shop, we chose botan-ebi (shrimp), salmon roe, live octopus, sea urchin, red rockfish, sailfin poacher, and sardines. We were recommended the sailfin poacher, so we had it here, too. The sardines are noteworthy, and they’re in-season during summer.
It was full of summer specials during the interview.
The rice bowl looked rich with the head of the shrimp coming out of the bowl! The sea urchin in the middle is salt water sea urchin, which means it was kept using highly concentrated seawater instead of aluminum water in order to prevent it from losing its shape. This technique allows you to savor the genuine sweet taste of freshly caught sea urchin. This extravagant katte-don is worth ¥2,180. With ingredients that are fresh and gigantic, it’s really worth it.
The sweetness of the fatty tuna is impressive.
Next, we created a bowl with fatty tuna, nakaochi or the rich tuna meat scraped from its bones, sockeye salmon, surf clam, smelt, salmon roe, Matsukawa flatfish, pickled mackerel, and Hokkai shrimp. We basically chose seafood caught in Kushiro. The smelt sashimi was frozen and vacuum-sealed because it’s only in-season during autumn, but it was still worth having!
This is the third and last of our katte-don. The white flesh in the center is smelt sashimi. This is worth ¥2,360. This has more ingredients than the previous katte-don. The price and size depend on the shop, so it’s better to scope the selections well. What’s outstanding here is the Hokkai shrimp that was perfectly seasoned with salt.
A technique to make your katte-don a little more extravagant
There are a lot of different shops in Washo Ichiba to the point that there are only a few shops that brag about their Katte-don. There are also a lot of shops that sell fish eggs by weight. We went to one of the shops that sell them and had trout eggs for ¥190.
They will give you fresh eggs from the skein according to how much you want.
Trout eggs are smaller than salmon roe. This shop’s trout eggs are dipped in soy sauce and are exceptional.
By garnishing the bowl with trout eggs, you make it look more lavish.
We completed the bowl topped with trout eggs. You can make your own preferred rice bowl that will satisfy your appetite. While not a lot of people customize their katte-don, locals would say that it’s the best way to enjoy it. The technique of Kushiro’s katte-don is searching for additional toppings by going around with your own feet.
*Prices may change depending on season.
Provided by Japan Walker™, Hokkaido Walker™, and Walkerplus™ (18 October 2017)