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Image Source : Kashima City Tourism Association
- Main lore areas
Kashima City, all areas
- Main ingredients used
- History/origin/related events
The Ariake Sea has a tidal range of about 6 meters, and at low tide, tidal flats extend 5 to 7 meters offshore. Although fish and shellfish of unusual shapes and sizes can be caught here, an alternative source of protein was needed during the off-season in winter. One such fish that was valued as a wintertime protein source was crucian carp, a river fish. It is the most common freshwater fish caught in Saga Prefecture, and is often caught in the creeks of Shiraishi and the Saga Plain, as well as in rivers. Farmers, in particular, catch crucian carp when draining rice paddies in the fall to dry them for long-term preservation. A famous local dish using crucian carp is "funankogui. Also called funanokogui, this dish consists of crucian carp wrapped in kelp and slowly simmered with seasonal vegetables such as radish, and is softened so that it can be eaten right down to the bones. It is loved as a local delicacy because of its unique flavor and lack of fishy smell. It is always served on special occasions throughout Saga Prefecture, and when it is prepared at home, it is customary to make a large pot of it and distribute it to neighbors. In Kashima City, there is a custom of offering funankogui to Ebisu-sama on January 20, the 20th day of the New Year, to pray for a good catch, prosperous business, and family safety. According to some accounts, the sea bream offered to Ebisu-sama was too expensive for the common people to afford, so they used crucian carp, which is similar in shape, to make up for it, or crucian carp was used instead of fish that could not be caught in the Ariake Sea in winter. In addition, a "funa-ichi" (funa market) has been held for more than 300 years on the 20th day of the New Year, where fresh live funa are sold as ingredients for "funankogui".
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Throughout Saga Prefecture, crucian carp is served on Hare (formal occasions) and is also eaten at Okunchi and other festivals. In Kashima City, where it originated, it is offered to Ebisu-sama on the 20th day of the New Year.
- How to eat
Put miso in a sarashi bag, hang it up, and strain it naturally to extract the juice. After the sand has been thoroughly removed and the kelp has been washed, roll the crucian carp in the kelp. Tightly roll the crucian carp and tie it with a kanpyo. Put radish, konnyaku, lotus root, and burdock root cut into large pieces in a pot, bring to a boil, place the crucian carp wrapped in the kelp on top of it, add the fish, brine, sugar, soy sauce, and other seasonings, and simmer over high heat for about 10 hours. Be careful to keep the crucian carp covered with water at all times. For the suume-jiru, use old miso or aka-miso (red miso) for the best taste, or simmer the fish with ingredients in a miso bag. You can also put straw or konnyaku in the bottom of the pot to prevent it from burning.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
(Outline of the people who have passed down the tradition, preservation groups, use of SNS, modern efforts such as commercialization, etc.)
In addition to being commonly made at home, it can also be enjoyed at restaurants in the prefecture. It is served every year at the Funa Market in Kashima City, and is also sold as a side dish at supermarkets in Kashima City a few days before the Funa Market.