Shinagawa Meshi (品川めし) is a local seafood and rice dish from Shinagawa in Tokyo Prefecture (Kanto Region).
There seems to be no defined version for what Shinagawa-meshi is; sometimes it uses shrimp, and sometimes it uses conger eel. It seems to just depend on who is making it. The only constant is that it has to be made in Shinagawa.
Shinagawa is major ward of Tokyo. “Meshi” (めし or 飯）means rice, or meal in Japanese.
Read on for more interesting info about Shinagawa Meshi:
The main ingredients of Shinagawa Meshi are:
- Conger eel
It is said that the dish was originally made with mantis shrimp. After shrimp became too expensive, people began using conger eel to make it instead.
The shrimp/eel is boiled in a sweet and savory sauce before being served over a bowl of rice. Sometimes an egg can also be added as a topping.
Shinagawa-meshi is only found in the Shinagawa ward of Tokyo. During the Edo period, the area was a major fishing town next to Tokyo Bay.
There was plenty of mantis shrimp in the bay, so local fishermen used it to prepare their meals. Fishing eventually left the Shinagawa area due to urban development and land reclamation of Tokyo Bay. Shinagawa-meshi left with it.
Today, there are just a few restaurants in Shinagawa that still serve Shingawa-meshi. One place that serves a version of Shinagawa-meshi is the cafeteria at Shinagawa District Ward Office.
If you’re in the area, check it out! (Google Maps Links)
History / Origin of Shinagawa Meshi
There is no reliable recorded history about Shinagawa-meshi, so we do not know much more details other than what is written above.
There is also no original recipe, so any restaurants that still serve Shinagawa-meshi have done so with their own inspiration.
There has been some small attempts to revive Shinagawa meshi, although none have been very successful so far.
Shinagawa Meshi Recipe
Have you ever tried Shinagawa Meshi before? What did you think of it?
Leave your thoughts and comments below!