Raw Octopus from Tsukiji Market

Just in at Sushi Kuni: RAW OCTOPUS (nama dako)! Kuni ordered this long, spindly tentacled arm last week straight from Tsukiji market. It was over three feet long, with a gorgeous purple-pink tone.

Raw Octopus from Tsukiji Market

Kuni lightly blanches it, only for a moment, so that it’s still raw in the middle. No vinegar necessary to tenderize it! Normal octopus is usually boiled thoroughly, often with vinegar, which is what makes this so especial.

Raw Octopus from Tsukiji Market

Unlike usual octopus, which can get flavorless after so much chewing, this was so tender and sprightly! I would even say a bit crisp– like good mirugai (geoduck). I loved the texture. Kuni just sprinkles a bit of salt on it, and with a squeeze of lemon, it’s a pillowish, magnificent bite. I would recommend it sashimi style– don’t ruin it by adding rice to it.

Raw Octopus from Tsukiji Market

For your nerds, here’s a great article by master food scientist Harold McGee about preparing octopus.



After many months of haggling, Kunio has finally caved and just put the Kumamoto oyster on the special menu. You see, I love the Kumamoto, and have always thought they should be offered to Sushi Kuni customers.  They’re so precious, a bit on the smaller size– so easily slurpable.


Served with ponzu, momiji oroshi (spicy daikon sauce) and scallions. $3/piece.

Kunio just debuted his “Kaki no ha” sushi, which is a specialty from Nara, Japan. It is two pieces of saba (mackerel) and sake (salmon) sushi each, wrapped individually with a persimmon leaf, then pressed into perfect little square pieces.

Here’s a video of Kunio making it.

Here are they are up close. He adds ginger in each piece which adds a nice tang.


This is a special for the fall season. $10 for an order of four pieces.

New Knife!


Kuni just got a new knife that I wrote about here. Check it out! It’s GORGEOUS!

大トロ: OTORO

Toro 1Toro 2Toro 3

Kuni just got this magnifiscent chunk of otoro from Tsukiji yesterday. Look at that gorgeously pink flesh! It brings a tear of joy to my eye.

Otoro (大トロ) is the fattiest part of tuna, and is the most expensive. Although some people think it’s too fatty, thus prefer chutoro (中トロ), it is definitely a highly coveted part of the fish.

This piece here comes from Malta (of all places) by way of Tsukiji Market. $15 for an order nigiri (two pieces). Ask for it sashimi style if you wish!

Watch the video my friend took at Tsukiji where they are auctioning off tuna. The little jingle is hilarious!

Closed Labor Day

Sushi Kuni Closed

Have a great holiday! Hope to see you Tuesday.

Tako Picante

Tako Picante

The Tako Picante is one of Kunio’s recent creations- it’s quite brilliant if I may say so myself (but don’t tell him I think so). It’s an offshoot of a typical tako-su, which is octopus with cucumbers and seaweed seasoned with a sweet vinegar sauce.

Kunio adds chopped jalepeno peppers and onions to the vinegar dressing, creating a spicy, refreshing kick to the dish. Perfect for this sticky, smelly hot summer!

This can be found on the special menu, or just ask Kuni to whip you up an order!

Photo by Yoko Kumano.

Tokobushi Is Here!

Kuni just ordered a couple of tokobushi, which is abalone. Not to be mistaken as “tAko”bushi, as in “octopus”bushi, as I always mistakenly thought it was called, until he corrected me yesterday. Silly me.

These abalone are farmed, hence they are not illegal. As for fishing them in California, I’m just reading on Wiki that, “Abalone may only be taken from April to November, not including July. Transportation of abalone may only legally occur while the abalone is still attached in the shell.”

These are 100% legal! Safe to eat! Fresh and still alive! In the pics above, the “mouth” of the clam is shaped differently in each one- it moves!!! Here’s a video:

Kuni will take the still-alive abalone from the shell and slice it up and serve sashimi style. It’s delicious- should have a crunchy texture that will snap in your mouth. Give it a whirl, there are only two orders for the week at $12 each!


Hello Blogosphere!

I’m Kayoko- blogger, professional eater, food enthusiast and daughter of Kunio. Yes, that’s right- Kunio, as in Kuni, as in… Sushi KUNI. Get it??? Get it?? He’s the man behind the bar. Make sure to say hello to him- he owns the place and is a treasure trove of knowledge about fish and anything else you will consume during your meal.

I figure if I’m gonna be walking you through all the fun behind the world of Sushi Kuni, you should know a little about me. I was raised in Cupertino, and even worked at Sushi Kuni all through high school, every Saturday night, for four entire years. Oh god, could you imagine??? Forget about going to all the parties with the cool kids.

Hmmm, then I went away to Santa Barbara for college, and lived in Italy for a year. I’ve been working in NYC for the last six years, mostly focused in the arts, but recently moved back to the Bay Area.

I’m the editor of UMAMIMART, a world-wide food blog with over 50 contributors, which I founded in 2007. So while this whole blogging thing is not new to me, I’m looking forward to sharing random thoughts and tidbits with you about my father, and update you frequently about what’s going on at Sushi Kuni.

Here’s a pic of my mama (she works in the Sushi Kuni kitchen), papa and me, at one of my favorite joints in NYC, Yakitori Totto. OMG I just realized we are all wearing gray turtlenecks- how EMBARRASSING!!!