Basashi | Articles on Japanese Restaurants | Japan Restaurant Guide by Gourmet Navigator
Basashi means horsemeat sashimi – raw horsemeat cut into thin slices. Food cultures that promote eating raw horsemeat can be found in places like Aomori prefecture, Yamagata prefecture, Fukushima prefecture, Nagano prefecture, Yamanashi prefecture and other places where horsemeat is a local specialty; among these, Kumamoto prefecture is particularly known for its basashi as a local representative dish.
Basashi is a rare ingredient rarely found in common butcher’s shops. There are three main types of basashi – fatty meat, marbled meat, and lean meat – and rare cuts, such as mane and mane fat, liver and tongue are highly valued as only small amounts can be obtained from each horse. Compared to other types of meat, horsemeat does not smell, and is generally served with grated ginger, garlic, and chopped Welsh onions as spices, and with soy sauce. Lately, some restaurants offer sushi made by putting basashi on top of sushi rice (seasoned with vinegar, salt, and sugar) and other restaurants – very few of them – offer basashi as part of kaiten zushi. Most of the meat used for basashi in Japan is imported. If you happen to come across genuine domestic basashi, don’t waste the chance to enjoy this rare dish.