- Main lore areas
Saiki City, Kabae area
- Main ingredients used
White fish, roe
- History/origin/related events
Saiki City, located in southeastern Oita Prefecture, is the largest city in Kyushu with an area of 903.12 km2. The city is divided into a mountainous area stretching from the Kyushu Mountains, a plain area spreading downstream from the Banjo River, a first-class river, and a coastal area on a rias coast. During the Seinan War of 1877 (Meiji 10), the mountainous area bordering Miyazaki Prefecture became a battleground. Part of Saigo's army, led by Saigo Takamori, also invaded Saiki city. The ruins of platforms can still be seen in the Ume and Naokawa areas.
Kujaku" in Saiki City is a deep-fried boiled egg with the white part colored red, wrapped in a paste of white fish paste colored green. The name "Kujaku" comes from the vivid colors of green, red, white, and yellow when the egg is cut in half, and from the fact that the cross-section of the egg resembles the pattern on the wings of a Kujaku. It is a local dish unique to Saiki City, located near the Bungo Channel, which is blessed with an abundance of seafood. Since long ago, surimi and other processed fish products have often been made from fish landed in the city so as not to waste the fish. Eso (Japanese pike conger) is often used for surimi, but because it has many small bones, it is not distributed as sashimi or grated into three pieces, but as surimi or kamaboko (fish paste). It is a familiar seafood to the residents of Oita Prefecture. The colorful and gorgeous "kusaku" has been eaten at New Year's and other festive occasions.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Because of its gorgeous appearance, it is often eaten on occasions of Hare (festive occasions). In Saiki City, it is also included in New Year's festivities and sometimes added to lunch boxes as a special side dish on field day. It is also sold at local supermarkets and roadside stations throughout the year, making it a familiar food.
- How to eat
Peel the shell off the boiled egg and color the white part by dipping it in red food coloring. Next, mince the raw white fish (e.g., pacific cod) and grind it in a mortar with sugar, salt, egg, potato starch, etc. At this time, add greenish color to the surimi. At this time, add green food coloring to the minced fish. Then, cover the egg with potato starch, wrap it in the surimi, and steam it for 15 minutes. The steamed version is the original way to eat it, but nowadays it is often deep-fried. When deep-fried, it is quickly deep-fried in oil at 180°C (180°F) so that it does not become tough. Steamed or deep-fried eggs are cut lengthwise and arranged in cross sections to look like the wings of a peacock.
You can use your favorite colors other than red and green to recreate a peacock's feather. Most are sold in red and green. Recently, there has been a trend to avoid artificial coloring, and products that do not color the surimi are now available.
- 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.)
Even today, "kusaku" is served at occasions such as celebrations and mourning, Obon, New Year's, and field day lunches. It is also sold at local supermarkets.