Mmm-mmm, on market day in Koshinzuka, they still sell inago tsukudani, scoops of Jiminy Cricket’s relatives all toasted up nice and crispy in a salty-sweet marinade. And what do they taste like, you may ask? Okay, I admit I chickened out of this one. But if they’re anything like shrimp tsukudani or tuna tsukudani or seaweed tsukudani, they taste like…tsukudani. A combo of soy sauce and sweet rice wine. Only maybe a little, uh, crunchier.
If you can get past the idea of bugs in your mouth, I bet they’re actually quite tasty. It’s snacks like these that made it possible to put a little extra protein in people’s diets during lean times, so the fact that people still buy them when there’s a McDonald’s right around the corner tells you they’re probably not bad at all.
If you’d like to visit the market on Koshinzuka Street the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map is on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had. The street market is held on the 4th, 14th and 24th of each month.
Read a novel set in Tokyo…
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!