These images of local cuisine may not be downloaded.
Image Source : Agricultural Extension Technology Division, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Iwate Prefecture
- Main lore areas
Yamagata-cho, Kuji City
- Main ingredients used
Flour, walnuts, carrots, burdocks and other vegetables, baked tofu, dried gourd, soy sauce
- History/origin/related events
Mamebu-jiru" is a local dish of Yamagata-machi, Kuji City (former Yamagata Village), in which ingredients such as familiar vegetables and baked tofu are simmered in a soy sauce-based soup flavored with dried sardines and kelp dashi, along with "mamebu," flour dumplings with walnuts.
It is said that during the Edo period (1603-1867), when bad harvests continued, people ate dumplings made of wheat flour wrapped in walnuts as a substitute for noodles in "Hare no Meal". The origin of the name is said to come from the fact that the dumplings are "the size of a pea" and "resemble mari-fu," or that the name was given to the dumpling with the wish to live a faithful, healthy, and proficient life.
The vegetables and other ingredients used in the dumplings vary from region to region and from household to household, but the use of niboshi (dried sardines) and kombu (kelp) for the broth, the taste of soy sauce, and the addition of walnuts to the dumplings are common. Sometimes brown sugar is added to the dumplings, creating a unique taste that allows the saltiness of the soup and the sweetness of the brown sugar to be enjoyed at the same time.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Dumplings are mainly eaten at home on ceremonial occasions such as weddings, funerals, and New Year's Day. It is said that the dumplings are made larger for celebrations and smaller for mourning. Even today, dumplings are eaten at home in winter.
- How to eat
Dumplings made of flour with walnuts are stewed in broth made from dried sardines and kelp with vegetables, grilled tofu, kanpyo (dried gourd) and other ingredients. Depending on the region, the dumplings may be made of walnuts and brown sugar, or only walnuts, or the soup may be thickened.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
(Outline of the people who have passed on the dumplings, preservation groups, use of SNS, modern efforts such as commercialization, etc.)
The dish was featured in the NHK morning TV series "Amachan" and is popular among tourists. More and more restaurants in Kuji City are offering the dish, and handmade sets that include pre-cooked ingredients and dashi are also available. It is also served at school lunches at local schools as an opportunity to learn about local cuisine. Iwate Prefecture certifies people and organizations that pass on local cuisine as "Iwate Prefecture Food Artisans," and there are "Iwate Prefecture Food Artisans" for "Mamebu-jiru" as well.