- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
Fish, okara, kabosu
- History/origin/related events
Usuki City is located in southeastern Oita Prefecture, and stretches out in an oval shape towards Hoyo Strait. It is on Usuki Bay facing Bungo Channel to the east, and the ridges of Mount Chinnan and Mount Himedake to the southwest. Fishing has long been practiced in the coastal communities, where single-hook handline fishing, longline fishing, and small trawl fishing are used. Specialty products include hairtail, yellowtail and blowfish. “Kirasumameshi” is a local cuisine of Usuki City, along with “Ohan” and “Chadaizushi”. Unlike the familiar winter dish of "Ohan" and the hospitality dish of "Chadaizushi", "Kirasumameshi" is eaten all year round. During the middle of the Edo period (about 1700 - 1750), the Usuki domain, which was often in financial difficulties, issued a decree of thrift and often regulated what to eat and wear. It was during this time that "Kirasumameshi" was born. Leftover sashimi or fish that have been cut were coated with okara, which is the dregs of soybeans, and used to increase the volume. It was a thrifty dish, yet rich in nutrition and loved by the common people. In the Usuki region's dialect, okara is called "kirazu", and “mabusu” (dredge) is called "mamesu”. Therefore, the dish is named "Kirasumamesi", which means sashimi dredged (“mamesu”) with “kirazu”. During the era of the domain, merchants and people delivering "Nengu (annual tributes)" from the mountains were said to look forward to eating “Kirasumameshi” with great expectation.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
In Usuki City, it is eaten at home throughout the year, but it is often mentioned as a spring dish, especially because it is an indispensable dish for cherry blossom viewing. Also, important guests are treated with "kirasu-mameshi".
- How to eat
Sashimi such as yellowtail, horse mackerel, and tuna are marinated in soy sauce-based dipping sauce for a while, and then covered with okara. Finally, the dish is topped with condiments such as green onions and ginger, and is characterized by the addition of a squeeze of kabosu (kabosu citrus fruit) to accentuate the finish. The aromatic and refreshing flavor can be enjoyed. The dipping sauce and condiments used vary from household to household, giving each household its own unique flavor.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
In Usuki City, the taste is still eaten at home and can be purchased at supermarkets. The prefecture has created a food education PR video, "Local Cuisine Rappbaa," in an effort to pass on the local cuisine passed down from generation to generation in various regions. The video introduces recipes for "Yaseuma" and "Ryukyu" to the rhythm of rap music.