- Main lore areas
Nagasaki City (Urakami area)
- Main ingredients used
Pork, deep-fried fish paste, konnyaku, bean sprouts, carrots, burdocks
- History/origin/related events
This local dish originated in the Urakami area of Nagasaki Prefecture.
It is said to have originated in the late 1500s, when Portuguese missionaries who were proselytizing Christianity in the Urakami area tried to make the believers, who were not accustomed to eating meat at that time, eat pork as a "healthy food". Later, the missionaries began to make the dish with less pork and more vegetables, and this became the basic recipe, which has been handed down to the present.
Some say that the name comes from the Portuguese word "soprado (leftovers)," or from "rough chop," which means to chop the ingredients roughly.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Although it has been a popular local home-style dish for many years, the number of households that make it has been decreasing in recent years. On the other hand, there are many restaurants that serve this dish, not only as a side dish, but also as an idea dish such as "Uragami Soboro-don" and "Uragami Soboro Yaki Udon". Some ekiben sold at Nagasaki Station include a bowl of rice topped with whale meat instead of pork.
- How to eat
Although the name says "Soboro" in Japanese, minced meat is not used. It is made by cutting pork into thin strips and frying it together with fried fish paste, thread konnyaku, bean sprouts, carrots, burdocks, and other ingredients. It is seasoned with sake (mirin), soy sauce, and sometimes dashi (Japanese soup stock), making it a simmered dish as well. The ingredients and seasoning methods vary from household to household, but they all share the same simple, never-ending flavor.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
In Nagasaki Prefecture, it has become a standard menu item for school lunches.
In addition, the Urakami Soboro Preservation Society, a non-profit organization that aims to pass on the taste and culture of this dish to people in Japan and abroad and contribute to regional development, has started its activities in 2019.