Hotate Hoshi Kaibashira: Dried Scallop Adductor Muscles
“Chinmi (珍味)”, literately meaning “rare taste”, is the Japanese word for food delicacies, and what I introduce here, “Hotate Hoshi Kaibashira (ホタテ干し貝柱)” just comes under the heading of Japanese Chinmi.
Hotate Hoshi Kaibashira
Actually, Hotate Hoshi Kaibashira is dried scallop adductor muscle as “Hotate (ホタテ)” means scallop in Japanese, “Hoshi (干し)” means to be dried, and “Kaibashira (貝柱)” is the Japanese word for the adductor muscle of shellfish.
Here in Japan, the dried scallop adductor muscles can be seen sold in the snack and candy section of supermarkets, and they are pretty expensive compared to other snack foods.
Although the dried scallop snack is pretty hard and tough, it is packed with natural umami, and the more you chew on it, the more the umami comes out and the better it tastes.
How to Eat
Not only do we enjoy Hotate Hoshi Kaibashira as it is as an afternoon snack with green tea or as an Otsumami with alcoholic drinks, but the dried scallop adductor muscle is sometimes rehydrated with water and used in various ways.
For example, the dashi stock from the dried scallop can be used to simmer food, cook rice, or make soup, while the rehydrated adductor muscle itself is chopped into small pieces and often added to salad.