Basashi, kumamoto, Horse Sashimi, 馬刺し, Sakura, 桜, MEAT DISH,

Japanese basashi is an unusual dish which incorporates thin slices of raw horse meat. It belongs to the popular and broad group of sashimi dishes and is considered to be a unique Japanese delicacy. Horse meat is usually leaner than other, more traditional types, it has a slightly sweet flavor, and depending on the maturity, its color can range from pink to dark red.

Traditionally, three different meat cuts are used to prepare basashi. One variety includes completely trimmed meat, without any excess fat on the meat or around the meat pieces. It comes thinly sliced and has a slightly tougher texture. With an appealing color combination and perfect texture, one of the favorite options is the cut which includes meat pieces thoroughly marbled with fatty streaks.

The rarest one is the incredibly soft, extremely fatty cut, usually taken from the neck of the animal. Although an unusual ingredient in the global gastronomy, horse meat is a tradition in Japanese culture. It is often associated with the prefecture of Kumamoto, but it can occasionally be found in other Japanese regions.

The popularity of horse meat has grown since the end of the First World War, after which it became an increasingly common household ingredient. Nowadays, basashi can be found in many izayaka bars served alongside soy sauce, grated ginger, and garlic.

It is usually paired with sake, the traditional Japanese rice wine.

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