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Image provider:50 Aichi Local Cuisine Recipes
- Main lore areas
The whole prefecture
- Main ingredients used
- History/origin/related events
Flat udon (thick Japanese noodles) about 1 mm thick and 7 to 8 mm wide are called “Kishimen”. It is the soul food of Aichi Prefecture, eaten everywhere, and has its roots in the flat udon (called "Himokawa") that were a specialty of present-day Kariya City. There are many theories about the origin of the name "Kishimen", but it is said to have derived from the Chinese confectionery "Kishimen". Chinese "Kishimen" are made by kneading wheat flour, rolling it out flat, plucking it out with a bamboo tube, etc., in the shape of a go stone, boiling it, and then sprinkling soybean flour over it. It is said that the reason why "Kishimen" has become popular in Aichi Prefecture is that the taste of the dipping sauce is easier to soak up than udon, which suits the people who like strong flavors. In the traditional way, the dipping sauce is seasoned with mackerel scad and tamari (thick soy sauce). This is because the flat noodles have a light taste in the mouth, and the soup needs to be well seasoned. Mackerel scad can be used to extract a thicker soup stock with a more peculiar flavor than bonito. While soy sauce is made of soybeans and wheat, tamari is made almost entirely of soybeans and has a faint, distinctive aroma of miso. By combining this with the soup stock, a thick dipping sauce is prepared.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It is eaten on a daily basis throughout the year.
- How to eat
Generally, it is served with frozen or dried noodles. It is served with red kamaboko (fish cake), which is unique to Nagoya, to give it a more local flavor.
Nowadays, in addition to sauce made with muro-aji or tamari, it is often made with dashi broth and soy sauce. There are also many variations, such as "curry kishimen," "chikara kishimen" with rice cakes, and "carbonara kishimen.
In addition to hot "Kishimen," there is also "Koro," in which both the noodles and the broth are cold, which is eaten in the summer when people's appetites wane.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Even today, there is an environment in which people can easily make "Kishimen" at home, for example, noodles are sold at supermarkets. Kishimen is also served in school lunches at elementary schools.
Local udon noodle stores and flour makers are also involved in a variety of activities, such as a stamp rally to encourage people to try the noodles.