The dried fish of Japan

Dried and processed food is an important part of the culture of traditional Japanese food in centuries; its legacy continues to the present day. These foods are called kanbutsu, and in this post we talk to three types of fish products of universal application.

Nowadays, we often hear about the wings compliment the prepared foods and noodle in the culture of “fast food”. But behind, the “slow” foods never loses its appeal: kanbutsu is an ingredient of many dishes in Japan, and an important part of Japanese life.

Dried tuna (Katsuobushi)

In Japan, tuna melon stripes are used the most to make sashimi, the thin slices are dotted with spices. But it also is widely used for cooking, in the form of dried bonito, or katsuobushi. Katsuobushi is one of the basic flavors of Japanese cooking, and used to cook broth, plays a role in important help in everyday cooking. This type of water is the basis of different soups and homemade stock. Pieces of dried fish a tasty thin is giving up on the other side dishes such as boiled vegetables (o-hitashi) or cold tofu (hiya-yakko).

Katsuobushi, made under a complex process. First, the melon-striped tuna fillet into two pieces, was dropped. Usually each fillet slice is cut into two by length, forming two small pieces, one from the back of the fish, and one from the abdomen; all created into four pieces. In the next two steps, the fillet pieces are cooked, then smoked. In the last stage, the surface of the fillet pieces have to be cleaned and processed trimming and tagged in the wooden box in the rooms where high humidity is maintained to facilitate development milestones. Mold covered with fish are dried under the Sun to create the taste, the last step is repeated many times.
The process, used oak wood and cherry wood, are repeated from 8 to 10 times; the process of raising the mold was set back 4 to 5 times. By because of the complexity of this process, katsuobushi, produced only in some areas, mainly in the Kagoshima and southern Shizuoka Prefecture. People think that way today katsuobushi production was probably developed from the early 18th century.
In the tradition, the family bought a piece of dry tuna, and the thin pieces are chopped off when cooking, use a kitchen tool called katsuobushi kezuri-ki. This instrument is today hard to be seen, except in the refined restaurant, as most families buy katsuobushi was cut thin before, available in the plastic bag.
The soup juices in classical (suimono) made by boiled a piece of dried kelp and a number of pieces of dried tuna. The type of water used as a key ingredient, along with sake, soy and mirin, vegetable dishes in the repository and other dry foods, as well as for other types of noodles in sauce, Japanese style.

Dried cod (Bodara)
Another famous products is the cod are in one or two months until the dry as stone. Bodara largely prepared in northern Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. The limited production in the coldest months, from December to March of winter when there are strong winds.

Bodara are soaked in clean water, or wash the rice water to soften before cooking. The preparation can be time consuming, because each piece of dried cod was cut into two or three small pieces, soak in water overnight and boil for about an hour before it.
Dried cod seems to step into a Japanese meal in Kyoto in the Muromachi period (1336-1573). A typical dish is imobo, the new year dishes are made in Kyoto includes pieces of dried cod has been poached in water softener with sake, soy sauce, mirin and sugar with taro potato called ebi-imo (“shrimp and potatoes,” as they curve like a shrimp)
The famous fish dishes made from dried cod warehouses spread from Kyoto into the next century and became part of folklore in cooking throughout Japan. For example, in the Northern Yamagata, cod are simmered with white radish, and southern Kumamoto Prefecture, cod was cooked with burdock root.

Rousong (Sakura-ebi)

Rousong, or sakura-ebi is a special local product, harvested from Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture in the spring. Types of shrimp has a beautiful light pink color, looks more like the color of cherry blossoms (sakura) and sometimes referred to as the map of the sea. Rousong is a part of the industry of harvesting about a hundred years. They are pulled by a pair of ship’s nets at night and return at dawn.

Acetes can be eaten raw, or dipped in boiling water (kama-age). Suboshi sakura-ebi been drying under direct sunlight, and niboshi sakura-ebi is to be trụng in a large pot and then be dried under the Sun or in a kiln drying. The taste of the kind delivered by basking in the Sun will more aggressively if it is chewed for long; and type of acetes was boiled before doing the hard and brittle structure dry lightly.
Because sakura-ebi is eaten whole, and also it is a huge source of calcium and enriching the flavor of the foods as sakura-ebi no kakiage (tempura made with chopped onion slices), and are usually eaten with noodles udon or soba. Sakura-ebi is typical components of homemade okonomiyaki (vegetables and meat or seafood mixed with the dough and FRY on video card)

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