- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
Cold cod (all internal organs), miso, green onions, seaweed
- History/origin/related events
The spawning season of Pacific cod comes in the rough seas of the Sea of Japan, and it is a popular winter delicacy in the Shonai region. Cod, as shown in its kanji character ('snow' on the right and the 'fish' radical on the left), comes into season during the snowy season. Especially in the Shonai region, the cod caught during the cold season of the 24 divisions of the old calendar (from early January to early February) is called "Kandara (cold cod)". At this time of year when the fish gather to spawn, Kandara trawl fishery is very popular. Fresh cod are eaten as sashimi or kombu-jime (wrapped in kelp), while others are preserved in miso or pickled in sake lees. Cod milt is known for its thick and creamy texture, and in recent years, fresh milt has been used as a sushi topping. “Dongara Jiru” (cod soup) is a local winter dish using Kandara. It was originally eaten by fishermen on the beach. It is characterized by the use of Kandara from head to tail without leaving anything. "Dongara" is a word that refers to bony parts. “Dongara Jiru" is named after the soup in which the bony parts of Kandara are boiled. It is also known as "Kandara Jiru” (cold cod soup). Every January, “Kandara Matsuri”, a festival to eat Kandara is held mainly in Sakata and Tsuruoka Cities in the Shonai region, where “Dongara Jiru” is served.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It is a popular winter dish in the Shonai area, and is served from mid-January to February as a home-cooked dish, or as a winter specialty at inns and restaurants. It is also served at "Kadara Matsuri" (cold cod festival) held in various areas.
- How to eat
Kadara is said to be a fish that has nothing to throw away, and for "dongara-jiru," the meat is cut into pieces, bone by bone, and stewed in a pot with all of its internal organs. The key to the flavor is the liver and milt, and the most fatty "aburawata (liver)" is dissolved in a miso-based broth or cut into bite-sized pieces and stewed to create a rich flavor." To savor the flavor of the "dongara," the fish is usually served without green onions and garnished only with rock seaweed.
During the spawning season, the belly of the cod is round and swollen with eggs and milt, and fish weighing 4 kg or more are considered to be the best. Good cod should have shiny eyes, dark red gills, and a shiny, black exterior.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
It is a standard winter menu item served at local restaurants and home-cooked meals. It is also served at the "Kadara Matsuri (Cod Festival)," so it is well known locally. Dongara-jiru (cold cod soup) packets are also sold at some supermarkets.
In addition to the Shonai area, there are also areas where it is served as a school lunch menu item.