深川宿 富岡八幡宮

Best Fukagawa-meshi in Tokyo

Once a humble home-cooked meal, this comforting dish of rice cooked in clams and broth has now become a must-eat Tokyo classic

By Shiori Kotaki
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A small fishing town in Eastern Tokyo, Fukagawa flourished in the Edo period (1603-1868), thanks largely to the abundance of high quality asari (short-neck clams) and oysters found in local waters. Back then, the fisherman staple was bukkake-meshi, a broth of clams, green onions and tofu poured over cold rice.

As clams were cheap and widely available, this humble dish became popular in the homes of Fukagawa – hence Fukagawa-meshi, meaning the rice meal of Fukagawa. While purists argue that authentic Fukagawa-meshi refers to rice with broth, the term now generally refers to rice cooked with clams.

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The nice rice

Fukagawajuku Tomioka Hachiman branch

Restaurants Monzen-Nakacho

This restaurant serves Fukagawa-meshi two ways: bukkake (pour-over), where you drench the rice with a clam and green onion broth that’s made with a well-balanced blend of Kanto and Shinshu miso, and takikomi, where the rice is seasoned with dashi and soy sauce.

Zentokoro Tempura Katayama

Restaurants Kiyosumi

Made from a secret recipe, Katayama’s take on Fukagawa-meshi is known as asari ankake donburi – it features a starchy broth of clams, shirataki noodles (transparent and made of konjac) and green onions. The Kyoto-trained chef uses the subtlest of seasoning and instead derives much flavour from the clam broth alone, which explains the mixture’s white colour.

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Choju-an Kyosho

Restaurants Kiyosumi

The soba restaurant’s signature Fukagawa Gozen is a set meal comprising soba and a mini serving of Fukagawa-meshi plus a selection of seasonal tempura. The Fukagawa-meshi features a generous helping of clams and green onions simmered in a broth made from hatcho miso and tsuyu (dipping broth). This unique method was devised to eliminate the clams’ strong smell.

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Dote no Iseya | Time Out Tokyo
Photo: Dote no Iseya

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