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”Shottsuru”, One of the 3 Great Fish Sauces of Japan, Moroi Jouzoujo Co., Ltd.

Preserve and Alter the Traditional Taste
”Shottsuru Moroi Jouzoujo Co., Ltd. ”

DATA
Shottsuru Moroi Jouzoujo Co., Ltd.
176 Kasezawa Funagawa Funagawaminato Oga-City 101-0511
http://www.shottsuru.jp/

Fish Sauce Handed Down in Japanese History

Seasoning sauce made with fish is popular in South East Asia. Fish sauce has been used in many countries, such as nam plaa of Thailand and nuk nam of Vietnam. In ancient Rome, it is said that they had fish sauce, the garum. Japan is not an exception, where in ancient script, Heian ”Engishiki” mentions a sauce called ”hishio”. It is said that this was sold in the markets of Heijokyo and Heiankyo. Fish sauce consists of amino acid and nucleic acid found in ample amounts in fish, and is thus rich in flavor. ”Shottsuru” is one of these fish sauces. It is said that ”shottsuru” originated in the beginning of the Edo period. It is said that Daimon Sukeuemon first made it for private use. It was first made commercially in 1895 and Sato Sashichi store was the first to sell it. In those days, soy sauce was a luxury and could not be used every day. Thus ”shottsuru” was used for seasoning stew and soup, becoming a necessity in daily life.

Desire to pass on Akita Culture

I visited Shottsuru Moroi Jouzoujo Co., Ltd. which was originally a brewery that made ”miso” and ”shoyu”. Although still making these items, since realizing that shottsuru was about to be forgotten in Akita, Moroi started making ”shottsuru” 20 years ago. One issue was that ”shottsuru” producers were vanishing. Another issue was that ”shottsuru” was originally made from the prefectural fish of Akita, the ”hatahata”. But recently, other types of fish are used instead. These two things triggered a strong emotion in Moroi – a desire to hand down Akita ”culture” with ”shottsuru” made using ”hatahata”.

Shottsuru is not just for ”nabe” hot pots

Nakata commented ”Shottsuru is used for ”nabe”, isn’t it?” Yes, that is the norm. Moroi replied, ”Yes, it’s true that lots of people enjoy nabe”. ”But. For instance in Italy, you have anchovies. Though they are both fish sauces, anchovies are also used for pasta. This made me think.”
As a result, the people of Akita started making ”shottsuru yakisoba”. It does not taste like sauce, nor does it taste like salt. It is yakisoba that has that unique salty ”shottsuru” taste. Besides that, it is used in other dishes such as oden. ”Shottsuru” changes in taste according to its maturity. Nakata tasted many different levels, but noticed that the more mature, the more mild it tasted. The difference in taste can be applied in different dishes. Keeping traditional culture while also advancing it – Moroi Jouzoujo Co., Ltd. is up for the challenge.

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