It’s a Rikuzentakata local delicacy, that’s what it is!
Whether you call it Ezoishi-kagegai (エゾイシカゲガイ), Clinocardium Californiense, or “the clam with the long appendage,” this local seafood is rare even within Japan, and is a must-eat for anyone visiting Rikuzentakata during its prime season.
Their long “feet” extend out from the shell, searching for food or a foothold to get around, long after the clam has been lifted from the ocean floor. The foot is so long, in fact, that one can’t help but wonder how it all fits inside of the shell in the first place.
And while it may give you the shivers to see in action, the truth is that the longer the foot, the more there is to eat. And Ezoishi-kagegai is delicious. You can have it raw, sashimi style or on top of rice as sushi. Or you can have it cooked–grilled and tossed in a light dressing with some vegetables for a refreshing side dish, or boiled into some hearty miso soup. It tastes mostly similar to other types of clam, but texturally is a bit firmer.
Any way you eat it, savor the flavor because once the catch is done at the end of the summer, you won’t be able to get Ezoishi-kagegai again until next spring. But that’s not so bad, either– all the more reason to come back to Rikuzentakata!