These images of local cuisine may not be downloaded.
Image Source : Miyagi Prefecture
- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
Salmon (meat, salmon roe), rice
- History/origin/related events
Miyagi Prefecture is home to a variety of rivers, large and small, including the Kitakami, Naruse, and Abukuma Rivers, where salmon return every autumn to spawn. The prefecture has a history of protecting and nurturing salmon, including an artificial hatching and stocking program that began more than 100 years ago. Today, there are 20 hatcheries in Miyagi Prefecture, and efforts are being made to propagate and conserve the resource.
The most famous local dish using salmon in Miyagi is "harako-meshi" (harako rice). Harako-meshi is famous because it was presented to Lord Date Masamune by the local people when he inspected the construction of a canal in Arahama. Harako" is a local term for salmon roe, which is said to have come to be called "harako" because of the "belly" of the salmon.
Even before it was presented to the feudal lord Masamune, harako was eaten as "fisherman's rice" by local fishermen who caught the salmon that came up the Abukuma River with seine nets. Since the seasoning differs from household to household, the watchword in Watari is "ours is the best.
Today, boiled salmon, rice cooked in salmon broth, and salmon roe dipped in the broth are served separately, but in the old days, all the ingredients were mixed together and called "mixed rice. Unlike today's harako-meshi, the Arahama Women's Association is involved in a variety of activities to pass on the original taste.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Autumn, from September to November, is the time when the salmon come back to the area. During this season, "harako-meshi" is served at many restaurants in Watari, the locality, as well as in Miyagi Prefecture. Harako-meshi is also served at autumn festivals to the local people and customers along with salmon ara soup.
- How to eat
Place the cooked rice in a bowl or a large bowl of chawan (rice bowl), and garnish with the broken salmon meat, salmon roe dipped in the broth, and mitsuba (mitsuba leaves) for color. It is often served with soup and pickles.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
(Overview of the people who have passed down the tradition, preservation groups, use of SNS, and modern efforts such as commercialization, etc.)
The "Arahama Harakomeshi-kai" (Arahama Harakomeshi-kai), a group of restaurants in Arahama, has promoted the dish nationwide, and it has become one of Miyagi's representative local dishes. In the fall, tourists from all over the country come to enjoy the taste.