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The Shrimp of Kanazawa

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One of the most popular Kanazawa seafoods is sweet shrimp, beloved for its creamy, sweet flavor and plump texture. One variety of sweet shrimp that is rarely found outside Kanazawa is “gasu-ebi,” rustling sweet shrimp. Gasu-ebi has a significantly richer flavor. Please try both kinds of sweet shrimp!

Sweet Shrimp

Also know as hokkoku shrimp, sweet shrimp live off the shore of the Noto Peninsula between 200 and 700 meters deep. They live about eleven years and posses a mysterious ability to change from male to female after five. This translucent, ruby-colored sweet shrimp is most typically enjoyed raw as sushi or sashimi. Its plump texture is best when fresh, or its creamy, rich flavor is enhanced when allowed to sit overnight. The innards of the head and the roe are also delicious. Suck the head to experience a burst of wonderful flavor in your mouth.

  • Kanazawa ranks among the top in Japan for sweet shrimp catches.
  • Shrimp with blue roe are treasured in Kanazawa for their unique popping texture.
  • It’s great deep fried. The flavor and crispy texture of the shell are delicious.

Gasu-ebi (Rustling Sweet Shrimp)


Photo: Toge-zako-ebi

Shrimp called gasu-ebi in Kanazawa are officially known as Toge-zako-ebi or “Kuro-zako-ebi”, trombone crested shrimp or cloza shrimp, familiar throughout the coast along the Sea of Japan. The armor-like shell and dull coloring may not be as attractive as other types of sweet shrimp, but the firm texture and flavor of the raw meat are just as delightful. Some say that it even tastes more like crab when cooked. As the haul is much smaller and harder to keep fresh than other sweet shrimp, gasu-ebi are hardly found outside Kanazawa and often referred to as “phantom shrimp” for their rarity.

  • May not be good looking but sure is good! Some locals say it’s even more delicious than regular sweet shrimp.
  • It spoils quickly, so raw recipes are only enjoyed locally.
  • Gasu-ebi are said to make a rustling sound with gathered together in the fishing net.


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