Yuko’s wine bar near Tsukiji

I met Yuko at one of the Spanish cooking classes I held at home in September this year. As usual, the participants to that class asked me what I do in life (besides cooking), so I explained Tadaku, which was yet to be launched. She immediately fell in love with the concept, and we arranged a meeting a few days later to provide some more details, where she could avoid having to worry about the tomato sauce or the lamb getting churned in the oven.

Yuko is the owner of a cozy, stylish wine bar near the famous Tsukiji market in Tokyo, the biggest fish market in the world. She goes there several times a week to buy fresh seasonal ingredients for the food she serves at her bar. She knows the place well, and has her selection of small shops she always goes to.

Yuko's wine bar

Yuko’s wine bar, with kabosu (a Japanese citrus) liqueur in the foreground.

Tsukiji, the biggest fish market in the world

Tsukiji, the biggest fish market in the world

When I explained about Tadaku, she started imagining taking guests for a tour through Tsukiji market before her cooking class. Yuko really enjoys sharing true local Japanese culture with foreigners, as she herself oftens travels to Italy (her Italian is pretty good!), and was telling me that the best moments she had were the times she spent visiting local markets and being introduced to local dishes by her Italian friends. Yuko is talkative and outgoing, and loves what she does.

We decided to prepare a menu that included a visit to Tsukiji market, something that most travelers interested in her cooking class would certainly appreciate. The menu includes Chanko Nabe, a kind of fondue often eaten by sumo wrestlers due to the high quantity of nutrients and calories it contains. It is made with fish, vegetables and a little bit of meat. At the end, when only the soup is remaining, white rice and egg are added, mixed together and eaten to close the meal with another couple of hundred calories. Recommended for sumo aspirants or for a cold winter day. Look here for more details.

Chanko nabe

Chanko nabe, a typical sumo wrestler meal. Hundreds of calories packed in a small pot.

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