- Main lore areas
Southern coast of the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
Seasonal seafood, sesame, ginger
- History/origin/related events
Facing the Seto Inland Sea and blessed with an abundance of seafood, Oita Prefecture is home to a wide variety of seafood for all four seasons, including horse mackerel, sea bream, hairtail, sardine, and mackerel. “Ryukyu" is a typical local dish of Oita Prefecture in which fresh local fish is served with a sauce made of soy sauce, sake, mirin, sesame and ginger. It became popular in the local area as a kind of preserved food. There are many theories about the name "Ryukyu. There is a theory that the name “Ryukyu” came from the fact that an Oita fisherman learned how to make it from an Okinawan (Ryukyu) fisherman and brought it back to his hometown, and there is another theory that it was derived from the fact that the dish of sesame-dressing is called “Rikyu-ae”. It spread from the southern coastal areas to the whole of Oita Prefecture as a fisherman's meal and a preserved food.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Yellowtail, horse mackerel, mackerel, and other fish that are in season at that time of year are used to make this dish, which can be eaten throughout the year.
Slices of sashimi after processing or leftover sashimi are generally used, but many restaurants prepare fresh fish for making "ryukyu". Restaurants in tourist areas often serve "ryukyu-don," a bowl of rice topped with ryukyu, and each restaurant has its own unique style, from simple to filling.
- How to eat
Marinate the sashimi in ginger and other seasonings. It is delicious served on hot rice as it is, but you can also enjoy the difference in taste by eating it with ochazuke (rice with green tea). In rare cases, konnyaku, which has a similar texture to fish, is added to increase the bulk of the dish.
Myoga, shiso, wasabi, etc. can also be added as desired.
In mountainous areas where the sea is far away and fresh fish is hard to come by, some families used to vinegar the fish before eating it.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Sashimi for "ryukyu" and "ryukyu" sauce are sold at supermarkets in the prefecture, making it easy to prepare ryukyu at home. Many restaurants also sell "ryukyu" as the soul food of Oita Prefecture, and it is well known as a local dish of Oita Prefecture both inside and outside the prefecture.
Oita City has implemented "Operation Ryukyu PR" to increase consumption of horse mackerel, sea bream, mackerel, yellowtail, and other fish landed in nearby waters. The city is disseminating information on the roots and recipes of Ryukyu, a local dish that has been popular since ancient times.