- Main lore areas
Iwami region (Hamada city, Masuda city Hikimi town, Tsuwano town, etc.)
- Main ingredients used
Wasabi, sea bream, japanese parsley, seasonal vegetables (carrots, burdock, shiitake mushrooms, satoimo, tofu and fried tofu, chicken, kamaboko), etc.
- History/origin/related events
At first glance, it looks like “Ochazuke” (rice with green tea) with soup stock and wasabi (Japanese horseradish), but underneath the rice there are small pieces of sea bream and vegetables. Various theories remain as to the origins of this way of eating. For example, in the Edo period (1603 - 1868), when people were forced to be frugal and thrifty, they hid their extravagance from people, or they were embarrassed to be seen by others because the ingredients were poorly made. There is also a tradition to keep your eyes down when serving and eating. There is a similar dish in Yamaguchi Prefecture, which is said to have been handed down along with Buddhist beliefs, and some believe that animal products were not used originally. In 1939, “Uzume-meshi” was selected by the Imperial Household Agency as one of the "Five Famous Types of Japanese Rice" along with “Sayori-meshi” from Gifu Prefecture, “Fukagawa-meshi” from Fukagawa, Tokyo, “Chushichi-meshi” from Ogawa town, Saitama Prefecture, and “Kayaku-meshi” from the Namba region of Osaka.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It was served to guests as an evening meal to keep warm in the cold winter or as a hospitality dish for a New Year's event called "Harukagura" to worship the local deity. Today, it can be enjoyed throughout the year at tourist facilities as a local delicacy.
- How to eat
Stir-fry vegetables in a pot, add broth from sea breams and water, and simmer in soy sauce flavored a little thicker than that of sumashi soup. When the vegetables are tender, place the cooked ingredients on a bowl of rice, spread grated wasabi and top with rice.
When eating, pour the broth from the pot over the rice and eat it as chazuke (rice with green tea). The key ingredient in this dish is wasabi, and it is considered a good idea to use fragrant wasabi grown in mountainous areas with clean water. In Tsuwano Town, wasabi is grown as a specialty and is used in the famous "Uzume-meshi" dish. The wasabi from Tsuwano is said to have a strong sweet taste that suits even foreign palates.
The wasabi adds a nice accent to the light and simple taste of the rice. As you continue to eat, the ingredients come out of the rice, adding color to the dish. Enjoying what kind of ingredients are in the rice is one of the best parts of "Uzume-meshi".
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Since it does not require much time and effort to cook, some households make it at home. It is also served at restaurants and events in Tsuwano.