Every Last Bit

Photo by Grant Cornett

Photo by Grant Cornett

“What’s this?” I asked on my first visit to Seki, an unassuming izakaya — a Japanese bar with food — in a quiet corner of Washington. The menu was typically simple, listing sashimi, fried octopus, grilled eel, tempura, pickles, skewered chicken hearts and monkfish livers. And something I’d never seen before: ara yaki.

“Oh,” said Cizuka Seki, who runs the restaurant with her father, Hiroshi, a short, stout, gruff but pleasant man who trained in washoku, traditional Japanese cuisine, in Tokyo. “We roast fish scraps, the leftovers from butchering the best fish.”

“And you serve it with . . . ?”


Read the rest of this column and get the recipe here.

Posted in Japanese, Recipes, Seafood


  1. ken durso said...

    Hi Mark, I enjoyed your article about ara yaki, as I do most of your articles.

    In the article you say you live in California and found some “reliable” fish mongers. I’m also originally from New York and live currently in the Bay Area. I have a hunch you may be living in the Bay Area, too? If so, can you let me know the name and location of the “reliable” fish mongers? I love the Bay Area and the food scene here, but “reliable fish markets” (like reliable butchers) I believe are unfortunately a dying breed. Thanks!

  2. rickv said...

    Hi Mark — on the NYT recipe page for this, the first instruction says to heat the oven/broiler to 475F, but then the next instruction, after browning, is to reduce the heat to 475F. Can you clarify?

    • Mark Bittman said...

      If the oven and broiler are separate, you want to start by heating the broiler + heating the oven to 475F; if they’re together, you broil, then reduce the heat to 475F for the last of the roasting.

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