- Main lore areas
All over Fukui Prefecture
- Main ingredients used
Konbu (Kelp), Dried and sliced red herring
- History/origin/related events
During the mid-18th century, from the middle of the Edo period to the Meiji 30s, merchant ships called "Kitamae-bune" sailed westbound from Hokkaido to Osaka, trading goods as they traveled from one port to another. The ships were not only used for transporting cargo but also for buying inexpensive goods in bulk at ports of call and selling them at high prices in other ports, making a large profit. Hokkaido is responsible for ninety percent of the kelp distributed in Japan, but it was transported to western Japan on the Kitamae-bune. This led to the creation of Japanese cuisine using kelp in many regions. Tsuruga, located in Fukui Prefecture, was one of the ports of call for the Kitamae-bune. With its prosperity, food culture from different regions was brought in. Kelp and herring were two of the most prominent foods brought from the north. Kombumaki, a kelp roll with kelp wrapped around a dried and sliced red herring and boiled until tender, is a good-luck food that brings good fortune. Slicing the herring into round pieces also has the meaning of wishing for happiness. It has become a staple local dish for celebratory occasions and is especially eaten during autumn festivals and New Year's.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It is customary to prepare a large kelp roll for special occasions such as Bon Festival and New Year's Day. This roll is a delicacy that is usually not cut and is served on a plate. It is also known as "stick roll" or "chopstick roll" because it is rolled by placing chopsticks on the kelp roll. This dish is enjoyed throughout the year.
- How to eat
Soak the dried red herring in rice water, kelp in lukewarm water, and dried gourd shavings in water. Once the ingredients are soaked, place a pair of chopsticks on the kelp and wrap it around. Then, simmer the kelp with the juice and seasonings like soy sauce and sugar until the chopsticks can easily penetrate the kelp. You can enhance the flavor of the dish by rolling up a core of carrots or burdock root with filleted herring and burdock root or fried tofu. Make sure to leave enough room for one chopstick while rolling the kelp. This will soften the kelp to the center, resulting in a delicious dish.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
It is a traditional side dish for New Year's osechi, sold by rural women's entrepreneurial groups (6th generation groups) and in supermarkets.