- Main lore areas
Sano City Kuzuu area, Utsunomiya City
- Main ingredients used
wheat flour (medium-strength flour), taro, shiitake mushrooms, green onions, carrots
- History/origin/related events
Mimi Udon" is a traditional dish in the Kuzuu area of Sano City and the Shiroyama area of Utsunomiya City. Udon noodles are generally thought of as long and thin strings, but Mimi Udon has a slightly different shape. It is called "Mimi Udon" because the shape made from kneaded flour resembles the shape of an ear. In Sano City, there is a custom of holding an ear-shaped udon in one's hand and putting it to one's ear to pray for good things in the coming year. In Utsunomiya City, the Utsunomiya Shrine's Utsunomiya Shrine's Ujiko (shrine parishioners) used to eat ear udon as a feast during the New Year's festival.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
In the Katsurao district of Sano City, Mimi udon was made at the end of the year, soaked in cold water to preserve it, and served to New Year's guests. It can be said that the easy-to-prepare ear udon was a form of wisdom for daily life. In Utsunomiya City, they were made at the end of the year, dried and preserved, and eaten during the Hoshinomiya Shrine Festival. Nowadays, it is eaten not only during the New Year's holiday but also throughout the year.
- How to eat
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add dried bonito flakes, bring to a boil, and then turn off the heat to make broth. Chop taro, daikon radish, carrots, burdock root, etc., season with soy sauce, mirin, and other seasonings, and add udon noodles resembling the shape of ears to the broth. Since it is the same as ordinary udon, it may be simmered with meat or other ingredients of your choice. To make ear udon, combine lukewarm water and salt, knead the flour, stretch it flat, and cut it into matchbox-sized rectangles. While folding it in two, close the inner ends together and make and prepare one by one.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Tochigi Prefecture introduces "Mimi Udon" as one of the "Tastes of Tochigi," a collection of typical local dishes, on the prefectural website. In addition, citizens' groups in Utsunomiya City are preserving and passing on traditional regional dishes such as "Mimi Udon" by holding local cooking classes for children.