- Main lore areas
All over the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
Dried fava beans, soy sauce
- History/origin/related events
Dried fava beans are roasted and soaked in soy sauce, sugar, and red pepper paste while still hot. Unlike boiled beans, roasted beans are soaked in soy sauce before being soaked in soy sauce, which gives them a unique texture that crackles in the mouth when lightly chewed.
It is believed that soy sauce bean production began in Sanuki (present-day Kagawa Prefecture) during the Edo period. Some believe that soy sauce brewing began on Shodoshima Island during the Bunroku period (1588-1591), and that the beans were roasted to serve pilgrims on their 88th pilgrimage to the 88 temples on Shikoku Island, and the roasted beans fell into a nearby jar of soy sauce. The flavor of the beans and the soy sauce combined well, and the beans tasted delicious.
The cultivation of fava beans spread throughout Japan after the Meiji period (1868-1912). Since Kagawa Prefecture is blessed with a mild climate that is ideal for growing fava beans, farmers began to grow fava beans as a side crop to rice, and they have become one of the most popular vegetables in Japan. In the past, "soy sauce beans" were made from a type of bean called "Sanuki nagasaya," but most of the dried fava beans used to make soy sauce beans today are imported.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
As a side dish for reserve dishes and sake, it is often eaten throughout the year in homes and restaurants. Some households also eat them as a substitute for black beans in Osechi dishes. In the past, every farmer grew enough fava beans to eat year-round as a back crop for rice, and made "shoyu-mame" (soy sauce beans) as a reserve food for the busy farming season. They were also very useful because they could be stored for a long time, and were indispensable as a local dish for various local events.
- How to eat
Roast dried fava beans in a broiling pan or a frying pan over low heat. Put the roasted fava beans in a pot with water, soy sauce, sugar, and other ingredients, and let the mixture simmer overnight. In the old days, little sugar was used to make the most of the sweetness of the fava beans, but nowadays the degree of sweetness varies from household to household. Some households add ginger juice for flavor. After serving, the skin can be eaten whole.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Recently, vacuum-packed versions are mainly manufactured and sold in supermarkets as a typical local dish of Kagawa Prefecture.
It is also readily available at tourist attractions and airports, and is popular among tourists as a souvenir.