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Image Source : Aomori Prefecture Tourism Information Site Aptinet
- Main lore areas
Shimokita region, Tsugaru region
- Main ingredients used
Eggs, dried bonito flakes, grilled dried fish, fu, miso
- History/origin/related events
Around Tsugaru Bay, which has long been known as a scallop production area, people have been eating "shellfish miso" since the Edo period (1603-1868). It was a simple fisherman's dish, in which sardine or mackerel fillets and homemade miso were grilled on top, using a large shell (about 20 cm in diameter) as a pot. Later, when eggs became available to the common people, beaten eggs were poured into the shell and the whole thing was tossed together, but at that time, it was a special flavor that only the sick and expectant mothers could enjoy for nutritional purposes. Osamu Dazai, a native of Tsugaru, wrote about his admiration for "shellfish miso" in his book "Tsugaru.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Now that cultured scallops have become the mainstream, fishermen's lives have become more stable, but it has become difficult to obtain the large shells suitable for "shellfish miso". For this reason, fishermen's families sometimes keep large natural scallop shells and use them exclusively for shellfish miso. Locally, it is sometimes called "Kayagi-Miso.
- How to eat
The scallop shells are used like a pot, miso is added to the broth, the broth comes to a boil, the ingredients are added, and finally the scallops are dipped in an egg. In the Tsugaru region, scallops are simply eaten with eggs and miso. In the Shimokita region, where seafood is abundant, it is called "Miso Kaigaiyaki" and is often filled with seaweed such as ふのり or nori, sea urchin, squid, and scallops. The aroma of the mellow seashore from the hot shellfish, combined with the simmering roe and the slightly charred, savory miso flavor, makes this dish an excellent delicacy. It is also good with local sake, but at home, it is often served on top of hot rice.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
(Outline of the people who have passed it on, preservation groups, use of SNS, modern efforts such as commercialization, etc.)
In Shimokita and Tsugaru regions, scallops are served at many restaurants. Although it is difficult to obtain large scallop shells at home, there are efforts to introduce how to make scallops using a small frying pan or skillet in order to pass on the local food. The Mutsu Chamber of Commerce and Industry's "Research Group for the Popularization of Miso Shellfish Baking" is also working to popularize the dish by selling goods and introducing recipes.