- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
iwanori (seaweed), rice, takuan (pickled radish), chirimenjako (dried young sardines)
- History/origin/related events
Otsuki Town is a seaside town located in the southwestern part of the prefecture. In the town, agriculture such as rice cultivation, leaf tobacco cultivation, and horticulture are practiced, and fishing is practiced in the coastal area that forms a rias coastline. In one part of the town, there is a tuna aquaculture industry. The production of tuna is one of the highest in Japan.
Koshi-meshi" is a dish that the people of Otsuki eat on New Year's Eve. Koshimeshi" is rice cooked with chirimenjako (dried baby sardines) and finely chopped fish, and is said to have started as "koshimeshi" and gradually changed to "koshimeshi. An indispensable part of koshimeshi is iwanori, which is mixed into the rice as a finishing touch. Iwanori is called "menori" in this region. During the cold winter months, people dip themselves chest-deep in the sea to gather menori. Although the menori pickers wear "yanza," a cotton garment made of stitching, it is still cold in the frigid sea.
In the port city of Sukumo, menori is also used to make a rice dish. This dish is called "momoburi," and consists of cooked daikon radish, burdock root, carrots, and other ingredients mixed with rice and topped with lightly roasted menori. The word "moburi" is derived from "to smear.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Koshimeshi is eaten during the New Year's Eve holiday season, using menori seaweed, which is in season in winter.
In Otsuki Town, koshimeshi rice was a staple of the New Year's Eve celebration, and until a decade ago, there was almost no custom of eating soba noodles on New Year's Eve.
In recent years, menori has become hard to find, and some households use mominori instead.
- How to eat
Chop takuan into small pieces and lightly roast menori. Mix rice with dried baby sardines, soy sauce, and sugar, and let sit until the ingredients are well blended. When the rice has cooled to human skin, mix in the takuan and nori. The subtle sweetness of the takuan and sugar is a characteristic of this dish.
Bonito flakes may be used in place of chirimenjako (dried young sardines). If you want to add color to the dish, add fish cake or other ingredients.
After chopping takuan, squeeze it out with a dish towel before mixing it with rice.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
The dish is served at tourist facilities and restaurants, as well as at school lunches in local elementary schools, and is still passed down as a part of the local food culture.
source : Agricultural Products Marketing Strategy Division, Agricultural Promotion Department, Kochi Prefecture / Tosa Traditional Food Study Group