Autumn is for Appetites

Autumn is a time to celebrate the year’s harvest and enjoy some succulent in-season specialties. The weather turns cooler, we don sweaters, and our appetites start to come back. It’s a great time for cooking.

In Japan, autumn is a time for grilled mackerel, matsutake mushrooms, eggplant, newly harvested rice, nashi pears, and much more. The Japanese word “shun,” which means “in season,” is often associated with this time of year, though, of course, different foods are in season throughout the year.

At Uwajimaya, some Japanese favorites and lots of local in-season items can round out your fall menu. We asked the folks at Uwajimaya what we should look for on our next shopping spree. Here is what they suggested.

Black Cod

Never better than in autumn. Try black cod kasuzuke, made from sake kasu and available in the Uwajimaya seafood department. There’s a detailed menu for this dish on the Uwajimaya website.


Our local favorite is of course in season now. You can try the kasuzuke recipe above with salmon too. Or just grill it like you always do. The salmon is fatty and delicious this time of year.

Black cod kasuzuke recipe:

Albacore tuna

The local albacore tuna is especially delicious this time of year. Get it to grill or enjoy as sashimi.

Sweet potatoes

If you’ve been to Japan, you may have seen a fellow with a cart waling through the streets in fall singing, “Yaki imo!” That’s the sweet potato guy, and there is nothing more nutritious than grilled sweet potato in fall.


This delicious mushroom used to be plentiful in the Cascades. Alas, it is a rarity now, but Uwajimaya is stocking it while supplies last this year.

Author profile

Bruce Rutledge loves books, baseball, and Pacific Northwest beer, He also loves Japan and has dedicated his career to telling more stories about the country through books, magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, and now, on Origami magazine. He works in Seattle's Pike Place Market. Come visit him in his store in the Down Under.