The Sea of Japan is known for its rich aquatic life. Primorye residents not only buy fish and other seafood delicacies in the restaurants and markets, but they also enjoy fishing. Just like their Asian neighbors, the locals will eat anything that originates from the sea: crab, shrimp, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, varieties of shellfish, and much more.
The first settlers in Vladivostok were interested only in oysters. It took them decades of living by the sea and communicating with Asians to develop a taste for clams, crabs, and seaweed. Now, scallops are considered a delicious seafood treat, whether you serve them cooked or raw.
The sea cucumber is a unique creature. Undeniably, you will have to acquire a taste for it. However, it has so many health benefits that it has been nicknamed “a sea ginseng.” Recently, locals have mastered the extraction of spisula (commonly known as surf clams or trough shells). Folks then stew it with onions or make a Korean style ceviche.
The easiest catch is mussels and sea urchins, which can be found at a depth of 1-2 meters in almost any bay in Primorye. Mussels are easy to cook and are such a versatile ingredient that you’ll never get bored experimenting with new recipes. We recommend you start with Mussel pilaf. Mussels are also good canned or preserved. As for the sea urchins, a greenish-brownish variety with short needles is considered edible. The edible yellow roe inside is like treasured gold from the ocean.
Recreational fishing is a popular activity among locals. Vladivostok’s primary winter fish is the Pacific smelt, which anglers get from fishing on the ice. Frying or drying fish is one of the common ways to prepare it. Another winter fish is the saffron cod, which we recommend pan-frying.
Spring is a season for flounder and pollock fishing, which requires a boat. On the Peter, the Great Gulf folks also catch Pacific herring; so-iuy mullet, also known as the haarder; rud, mackerel (rock greenling), and much more. The time for catching squid is in August, when fish retreat to the deeper, cooler water. To purse these creatures, fishermen use special traps and bright lights to attract the squid. Summer also brings out fans of underwater hunting.