The Healthiest Seafood of All

Not All Seafoods Are Created Equal

It’s common knowledge that seafood pack a lot of health benefits. We know that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish contributes positively to heart health. Studies have shown that eating seafood also supports brain function. It’s also a storehouse of valuable nutrients, as vitamins and minerals. Many seafood have a relatively high protein to calorie ratio, like as high as 7 grams per ounce.

Although many people are aware of the health benefits of different types of seafood, not everyone knows which is best for their diet. Here are some seafood choices to fit a wide range of types and price points that can fit every palate, budget and diet.

Salmon is a fatty fish rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, a good source of vitamin D for healthy bones, and which is not easy to find in many foods. The daily recommended value of vitamin D is 400 IU for adults and children ages 4 and older. Canned salmon with bones is an excellent source of calcium. Canned salmon is actually cooked in the can, so any liquid in the final product comes from the natural juices of the flesh when the salmon is cooked.

Tuna is also heart-healthy, containing omega-3 fatty acids, and niacin which helps lower cholesterol levels. Fresh yellowfin tuna contains almost 16 mg of niacin per a 3-oz serving. The same amount of canned tuna has an impressive 11 mg of niacin, an inexpensive way to stock up on lean protein. Mashed avocado is a healthier alternative to mayo as a compliment to tuna and other fish.

Medium-sized or jumbo shrimp brings in big benefits – 20 grams of protein from just 3 ounces of shrimp Besides protein, a serving of shrimp provides all of daily selenium needs, which helps support thyroid function, heart health, boost immunity and fight inflammation.

Cod is a mild-flavored fish with white flesh that can hold up to many different types of preparations without falling apart. It’s one of the leanest sources of protein. Cod is an excellent source of vitamin B12, with one serving containing a little more than 30% of the recommended daily value.

From sardines’ bones, there’s about 40% of recommended daily value of calcium per serving. Sardines are an excellent choice for many types of diets, especially those that can’t tolerate dairy. Sardines are also an excellent source of vitamin B12, selenium and phosphorus. Sardines are delicious right out of the can, served on top of a salad or mashed on top of a crusty piece of whole grain bread with a thick slice of tomato.

Scallops are a great source of magnesium and potassium, both important for heart and brain health. They also promote blood vessel dilation for better circulation, hence helping control blood pressure. A 3-oz portion of scallops is only 75 calories, 15 grams of protein and less than a gram of fat. They don’t take very long to cook and can easily be prepared. Only a touch of salt, pepper and avocado oil in a hot skillet can bring out the naturally sweet, buttery taste of seared scallops.

Oysters can boost iron intake. Oysters are very rich in iron, providing about 60% of daily needs in just one serving. There’s also vitamin C, vitamin E and plenty of zinc in oysters. There’s not much cooking when it comes to eating oysters. Slurping them down raw is best along with the addition of tangy sauces like mignonette or just a squeeze of lemon juice.

Clams provide a significant amount of vitamin B12 in just 3 oz of serving. Clams also provide iron and vitamin C, which all work together as vitamin C helps enhance the absorption of iron.

So which of the above is the healthiest of them all?

It depends on what nutrition you need. Each class of seafood presents its own blend of nutrients or the right combination can create a balance just for you. A word with your nutritionist and/or your doctor should be a lot of help. Next time you go to your grocer’s, ask about it.

Dining Out Healthy Japanese in Bellevue

Once you know, a Japanese dine-out might be able to help. At FLO, Japanese restaurant in Bellevue, we have a healthy combination of most of the best sources of nutrients for your diet. Enjoy our fresh seafood prepared in authentic Japanese style. Come by when you’re in Bellevue!

Japanese Cuisine: Different Regions, Different Specialties

Region-Hopping in Japan is a Culinary Adventure

Stretching from north to south, the different regions of Japan have have their own unique climate, hence the different traditions of agriculture, produce and recipes. While there are traditional dishes common throughout the country, many regions and cities in Japan have their own specialities. Here let us look at what specialties stand out as we go from one point to another.

Sapporo

Sapporo in Hokkaido is well known for its ramen shops, common all over Sapporo and other towns in Hokkaido. In fact, there’s a famous “Ramen Alley” or Ramen Yokocho, a narrow passageway with wall-to-wall ramen shops decorated with celebrity-customer signatures. The different cities in Hokkaido were the places of origin of some of the best known ramen found all over Japan.

Tokyo

Monjayaki is so popular in Tokyo that there’s a dedicated Monjayaki street called Tsukishima Monjya Street, or Tsukishima Monja Sutoriito. It was originally a children’s treat, now monjayaki is established as a speciality of the Tsukishima area of Tokyo, near Ginza. Although the dish is often compared to okonimiyaki, monjayaki has more of a liquid base.

Kyoto

Kyoto is known for yudofu is a warming meal, a winter hotpot dish in Japan, especially in Kyoto where winter is very cold. It’s made of tofu put in a kelp soup, taken out and dipped in sauce. Buddhist priests in Kyoto ate this as a source of protein as they’re unable to eat meat or fish for religious reasons. Today many restaurants offer delicious boiled tofu in Kyoto.

Osaka

Takoyaki are grilled octopus dumplings, tasty treats found in parks, along the street, in restaurants, almost anywhere in Osaka. As the octopus dumplings of Kansai are small and easy to eat, they have become a popular dish throughout Japan.

Hiroshima

Hiroshima is known for Okonomiyaki or savoury pancakes, popular even before the WWII. After the war, with food shortages, people developed these pancakes into a meal, adding additional ingredients. The Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki has a six-layered structure, with flour batter, cabbage, and noodles.

Shikoku

Kagawa on the island of Shikoku is famous as the origin of Sanuki-udon, and has many udon (wheat-flour noodle) makers and restaurants. Sanuki wheat-flour noodles are noted for their strong body and smooth texture with many varieties of toppings. Kagawa has many self-service udon restaurants.

Okinawa

Champuru is an Okinawan word meaning roughly “mix.” Champuru dishes are a mixture of various ingredients fried together, and usually named after the main ingredient. The most common types of champuru in Okinawa are goya (bittermelon) champuru, tofu champuru, and somen champuru.

Carpaccio Means Appreciating High Quality

The Carpaccio Journey: Painting to Plate

Carpaccio is a traditional Italian appetizer of raw beef sliced as thin as paper and then drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, and finished with capers and onions, and sometimes, parmesan cheese. These days, other types of meat and fish (particularly salmon and tuna) are being used as carpaccio.

Traditionally, beef of a high quality, as sirloin or tenderloin, is bought at the butcher’s, specifically asking for carpaccio, trimming all fat. The meat is then seasoned with salt and pepper, chopped fresh herbs like parsley, tarragon, or cilantro and maybe some balsamic vinegar before wrapping it with plastic and chilling it for at least 8 hours. While not to the point of frozen solid, one can proceed to slice it very, very thinly with a very sharp knife and some degree of knife skills. Serve with capers, onions, olive oil and lemon juice, along with some shaved parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley. It makes for a good appetizer.

While beef is classic, there are other variations. Seafood carpaccio is very popular. Sushi grade fish, like tuna or salmon, is often on restaurant menus. Sometimes seafood carpaccio will be accompanied with thin slices of jalapeno and a soy dipping sauce. Vegetable carpaccio can be creative – such as artichoke and fennel – sliced razor thin and prepared on a plate. Other proteins, such as lamb, veal, and venison can be used also. However, with any protein, it must be of the highest quality since it will be eaten raw.

The Japanese-style tuna carpaccio is a simple, almost exotic, light meal, though is an appetizer. Tuna must really be fresh, and fresh means it needs to be red and almost waxy-looking. A really simple, but delightfully delicious is tuna carpaccio with capers and shaved red onions, infused with olive oil.

Another is the hamachi carpaccio or yellowtail carpaccio. Like bluefin tuna, hamachi is a migratory fish sometimes called amberjack or buri. Its golden flesh is favored by Japanese sushi chefs. In Japan it is eaten both raw and cooked particularly in winter when it is fattier. When eaten raw and prepared as carpaccio, it is buttery and rich. Can be served with shaved jalapeno and garlic chips served with a light soy sauce.

Prepare your Appetite with Carpaccio in Bellevue

At FLO, before you go main course, we recommend our carpaccio – tuna or yellowtail – high quality and really fresh appetizers that will make your mouth water. Only at FLO Sushi and Sake Bar in Bellevue.

Energizing Freshwater Eels in Bellevue

Stamina and Vigor in Unagi

Freshwater eel is ‘unagi’ in Japanese. As with other marine eels, the freshwater eels are common in Japanese cuisine. The saltwater type of eel variety is called anago. Unagi is prized for its soft, fatty meat and bold, rich taste. It is cultivated mainly during May to October, and generally regarded amongst Japanese as being a summer food, as its high content of vitamins and minerals is believed to provide energy especially in hot weather.

Cooked is the way Japanese eels are always eaten. Due to its rich, fatty taste, the eel dish is usually accompanied with other dishes that have light, subtle flavors to balance the richness of the meat. Ground sansho pepper, a native pepper to Japan with a strong herbal flavor, is a popular condiment to serve with eel, as it cuts through the fatty flavor of the eel. You can enjoy unagi at tempura and sushi restaurants, or at specialty restaurants known as unagiya.

Though popular in Japan, eels are also well appreciated in other cultures, like in the US, Europe, New Zealand, China and Korea. Their meaty, oil-rich and distinctively strong flavor are so loved in Japan whose culture favors natural, healthy and sustainable foods. Eels are believed to provide stamina and body rejuvenation particularly in the summer, as well as vitality and energy especially amongst the elderly. The fish has amazing nutritional values from which these claims come from.

What is the nutritional value of eels?

They have zero sugar, low in sodium and high in potassium and phosphorus. They contain no carbohydrates, but have 18 amino acids. It is especially rich in vitamins A and B12, but also in B1, B2, D and E. Studies show that eels decrease cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing arthritis. Its high content of omega 3 fatty acids delays or reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Eel also reduces cardiovascular risk factors, one of them high triglyceride levels.

They also promote good eyesight and help against some skin conditions like eczema. Lastly, eels are also proving beneficial in normal brain development and nervous system function.
If you are watching your calories, this fatty fish can be good for you. Though eels have loads of vitamin and mineral content, its cholesterol component, of just 254 mg per 200 gram serving, may be a concern.

Dining at FLO in Bellevue

Enjoy our broiled fresh water eel served with rice and special unagi sauce, our popular Dragon Roll with unagi, and if available in season, you can have freshwater eel in our Omakase Sashimi. And for your pleasure, we also have anago at FLO!

Delicate Scallops in Bellevue

Studies Proving Scallops are Good for Health

Scallops, snails, sea slugs, clams, mussels, octopuses and squid are bivalve mollusks belonging to the same family, Pectinidae. These marine animals are unlike other bivalves as they are free-swimming, opening and closing their shells as they go, using their powerful adductor muscle. That muscle is the round, fleshy thing you are eating when you order scallops in a restaurant.

Delicious, tender and juicy, scallops can be grilled, baked, deep fried, broiled, or pan seared. Many studies have been published attesting to their being one of the world’s superfoods beneficial to health.

Benefits of Eating Scallop

A scallop diet, studies say, at thrice a month, works against ischemic stroke caused by lack of blood supply to the brain. The diet’s rich omega-3 fatty acids, with potassium and magnesium, lower triglyceride levels and reduce the risk of blood clots, which can cause heart attacks or strokes. They can help you lose weight, by stimulating the rates of metabolism. It is best not consume scallops in the fried form or covered with a rich sauce to make the most of this benefit.

Apart from being a powerhouse of these fatty acids, studies claim scallops are a good source of magnesium and potassium, two nutrients that provide significant benefits for cardiovascular health. Magnesium helps blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure while improving blood flow. Potassium helps to maintain normal blood pressure levels. The vitamin B12 in scallops converts a harmful chemical (homocysteine) from directly damaging blood vessel walls, associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. This small delicacy also eases the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, prevents arthritis, and combats skin disorders.

Another study says that eating broiled or baked, but not fried, scallops may reduce risk of atrial fibrillation, the most common type of an irregular heartbeat that can be life-threatening, leading to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, or sudden death. Still another study says that a scallop diet (or a fish diet) offers protection against three types of cancer: leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to its vitamin B12. In a brain cell research, it was found that the DHA in scallops boosts production of a protein which destroys the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. No wonder this is called a superfood!

A Delicate Power Food in Bellevue

One of the world’s healthiest foods we serve here at Flo Sushi and Sake Bar in Bellevue. Dine on scallops and reap the benefits of long life.