- Main lore areas
All areas in Tokushima
- Main ingredients used
Daikon radish, carrots, deep-fried tofu, sesame, lotus root, dried shiitake mushrooms, konjac, etc.
- History/origin/related events
Narae is a dish made by blending seven ingredients (daikon radish, carrots, deep-fried tofu, sesame, lotus root, dried shiitake mushrooms, and konjac) with sanbaizu (vinegar). The name originates from the fact that it uses seven (nana) ingredients. However, some believe that the name comes from the inclusion of "Narazuke," which is vegetables pickled in salt and sake lees. In Tokushima, Narazuke was called "Naraware" or "Narae." One of the vegetarian dishes eaten around the time of the Taika Reform was narae. After that, it became popular, especially around 1965. Even today, it is a popular dish because it is rich in nutrients and can be easily prepared at home.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Narae was a popular food item that was often served at Buddhist memorial services and on the equinoxes. Back in the days when sweet foods were scarce, children particularly enjoyed the sweet vinegar taste and looked forward to being served the dish. In Mima Town, it was customary to consume narae along with miso soup, ohira, tofu paste, and fish as vegetarian food during celebratory occasions. Nowadays, narae is not only prepared at home, but is also included in school lunches and menus at nursing homes, and is enjoyed as an everyday meal by many.
- How to eat
Cut the vegetables and fried tofu into bite-size pieces. Then, simmer them in the stock of dried shiitake mushrooms. Once done, drain off the water and mix them in a vinegar mixture made from white sesame seeds, vinegar, yuzu vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. You can use seasonal vegetables like bamboo shoots, cucumbers, Japanese ginger, Japanese wild parsley, tofu, kelp, etc., in addition to the seven ingredients mentioned above when making this dish at home.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
It is often prepared at home and can also be found on restaurant menus and school lunch menus. As part of dietary education programs, some elementary schools are introducing narae to children. This is done to promote healthy eating habits and to pass on the knowledge of traditional cuisine to younger generations.