Ark shell is translated as “red clam” or akagai in Japanese for its red flesh. It is high in hemoglobin and therefore gets its red color. When preparing, the clam is shucked and then the valves, and organs are removed and discarded, but the exterior mantle (membrane that surrounds the clam’s body) is saved. The flesh is then scrubbed with salt to rid the slippery body fluid. After this, the color of the arc shell becomes pink. The flesh is then butterflied and prepared into a nigiri.
The arc shell has a deep flavor. It’s aromas are strong, but it is not overpowering. It is also very chewy, but soft enough to bite through.
If the exterior mantle (Himo,meaning string) of the arc shell is thick enough, then it is used for sushi as well. The mantle is sometimes tastier than the clam itself. It is crunchy and concentrated in flavors.
Arc Shell HimoSushi
Popular style: Nigiri
Popular condiments: Wasabi
Category: Shellfish (Kairui)