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Today, I introduce a traditional specialty in Nishiizu Town, Shizuoka. Some of you may know Aramaki salmon, the salted salmon for preservation, but we have “Shio-Katsuo”, the salted bonito as preservative food during New Year’s days. It is processed almost in the same way as Aramaki salmon but not coated with salt when sold in the market. It is washed clean in salt water and hung for several weeks to get dried up. And traditionally, some people still deck it on the door with Shinto straw decoration during the New Year as one of the good-luck charms .
So, how is “Shio-Katsuo” cooked ?
I like it in “Ochazuke”. As you know, bonitos are often processed for soup stocks for Soba and various Japanese traditional foods. No wonder it tastes splendid ! But I also know that it is not favorable for us, tourists, to buy the whole dried bonito not yet ready to cook and eat. So, I introduce today some of the products that you can enjoy the tradition of Nishiizu Town more easily. They carry bonitos in, by the way, from Yaizu Port, Shizuoka prefecture, well-known for the largest catch of bonitos in Japan !
Now, the first product I take up is the one in the left picture. This is for Ochazuke I mentioned before. I found it in one of the souvenir shops in Izu area. You put it as much as is necessary on the rice and pour hot green tea on it. I did it and could feel the lovely smell of bonito very soon. I took the first sip. Not fishy at all as I had imagined. The flavor of bonito seemed to have been brought out to the utmost together with other ingredients such as seaweeds, sesame and dried lavers.
The most traditional way of cooking is simply to grill it. It may taste a little bit salty but very good with Japanese Sake.＾＾ To enjoy the grilled Shio-Katsuo, you can find products as below :
These products are from Kanesa Katsuobushi (Dried-bonito) Store in Nishiizu Town. You can buy them through their website. Kanesa Katsuobushi Store was established in 1882 and has been introduced through various media to this day. It is also recommendable to have it in soup or pickled. You can see the image from the attached PDF.
This will be a very good opportunity you can go through our tradition in Shizuoka.＾＾
Now, this is my last report in 2010. I’ll see you on Jan 4, maybe.
I thank all of you for catching my blog. Hope you have a really Happy New Year !(〃▽〃)
See you next year !＾＾
“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ＾＾