- Main lore areas
The whole prefecture
- Main ingredients used
- History/origin/related events
Oita Prefecture has a well-developed plateau and much of its land is unsuitable for rice cultivation, so field-based grain cultivation, such as wheat, has been popular for centuries. Since most of the grain was made into flour, the flour-based food culture has taken root in many places in Oita Prefecture. “Dango Jiru” (dumpling soup) is a good example of this. Dumplings made by kneading wheat flour and stretching it into thin strips, along with other ingredients, are served in a soup made with barley miso, which are popular in Kyushu, combined miso or white miso. It was routinely eaten as a substitute for rice at a time when rice was in short supply. The word "dango" is usually thought of as a spherical dumpling, but in Oita, the dumpling is stretched out by hand. It is firmer than Udon, and you can enjoy its chewy texture. It looks like Kishimen noodles, but the name is said to have originated from the fact that it is rolled up and laid down for a while as if you were making dumplings. The reason for making a thin strip afterwards is to help the flavors soak in when they are cooked in the soup. In Fukuoka and Kumamoto prefectures it is called "Dago Jiru".
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
In the olden days, "dango soup" was often made at home. The method of making dango soup has been handed down from grandmothers and mothers to their children and grandchildren, and has been handed down to the present day. Dango soup, which warms the body and fills the stomach when the cold season arrives, was often served from early fall through winter. It can be said to be the soul food of Oita.
- How to eat
Oita's famous shiitake mushrooms and iriko (dried sardines) are often used to make the soup stock, but each household has its own way of making the soup stock and stretching the dumplings, resulting in a wide variety of ways to enjoy this dish. These days, it is often made with common household ingredients such as carrots, green onions, burdock root, daikon radish, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, and meat, but taro is a very popular combination, especially when combined with the unique texture of dango.
Unlike "pork miso soup," this simple soup basically contains no meat. In the past, it was often made with local flour, and the more you chew, the more flavorful it tasted, but recently, local flour has become hard to find. In addition to miso, it is also delicious when seasoned with soy sauce.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
It is eaten at home on a daily basis, and is sometimes served in school lunches. Even today, it is sometimes served in a large pot at local festivals and events. Dango soup is a very familiar dish in Oita Prefecture, and many people learn how to make it from their parents or grandparents. To save time and effort in making the dumplings, wide commercial noodles are sometimes used instead.