- Main lore areas
Western part of the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
Turnip, yellowtail (and mackerel, etc.), carrot, amazake malt
- History/origin/related events
Kaburazushi is a type of narezushi with a perfect balance of sourness and flavor, made by cutting into salted turnips and sandwiching yellowtail or other fish between them, and slowly fermenting them with malt. It is a winter delicacy and an indispensable New Year's dish. It is a familiar local dish in Ishikawa Prefecture, where it has been passed down from generation to generation since the days of the Kaga Clan, but the western part of Toyama Prefecture was once part of the Kaga Clan and has many similarities with Kaga culture.
There are various theories about the origin of the dish, but it is said that it was one of the dishes offered to the lord of the Maeda Clan when he visited Fukaya Onsen (Kanazawa City) for a hot-spring cure, or that it was first eaten by farmers who hid yellowtail, which was only available to samurai at the time, in a turnip so that it would not be found by farmers. The Tonami Plain, which straddles Tonami City and Nanto City, is famous as a production area of turnips, and the cultivation of turnips starts after rice cultivation is finished. Large turnips weighing more than 1 kg are harvested in late October every year. In addition to yellowtail, mackerel, salmon, and trout are also used in Toyama.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
After the turnip harvest is completed, the making of "kaburazushi" (pickled turnip) begins in earnest at manufacturers and households around the end of November. The large turnips harvested in Toyama during this season are characterized by their freshness and concentrated sweetness due to the cold weather. It has long been served in many households as a special dish for New Year's Day. Kabura-zushi is a winter delicacy, but there is also daikon radish sushi, which can be enjoyed year-round, using daikon instead of turnips.
- How to eat
Peel the turnip thickly and use the soft part in the center; slice into round slices about 2 cm thick, cut a slit in the center, sprinkle with salt and leave overnight. Cut the mackerel into shaved pieces and place them between the salted turnips. Prepare a barrel and put amazake koji, turnips with mackerel, carrots, yuzu, and ginger slices alternately. After about two weeks of aging, the fish is ready to eat.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Although fewer households are making kaburazushi by hand in recent years than in the past, the food culture itself is still passed down through the generations as various manufacturers sell kaburazushi in the winter. In addition, an increasing number of people give kabuzushi as gifts during the year-end and New Year's holidays. There are also efforts to pass on the local taste to the younger generation by offering hands-on Kabuzushi making workshops, and convenient Kabuzushi ingredients are also available for home cooks.