- Main lore areas
Southern part of Japan, all over the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
- History/origin/related events
During the autumn festival season, "tadasushi," a type of sushi made by leaving various types of fish in their original form, is often eaten in Tokushima. Sushi rice is wrapped with fish that have been cut open on their backs. In addition to horse mackerel and konoshiro (white croaker), the main fish used in this dish is bouze, which was once considered a luxury fish. Bouze is a name in the Tokushima dialect, and is also called ibodai, uboze, or shizu, a white-fleshed fish caught from summer to autumn. Boze itself is eaten throughout Japan as grilled, boiled, or open fish, but it is only in Tokushima Prefecture, where fresh bouze is readily available, that it is eaten as sashimi. The fresher the fish is, the tighter the flesh is, making it easier to prepare as sashimi. However, the catch of bouze itself is currently on the decline, and mackerel and saury are increasingly being used to make this dish.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
During the autumn festival, sekihan (red rice), kakimazushi (mixed sushi), osuimono (soup), amazake (sweet sake), and sushi with the shape of bouze are served. In addition to being served as sushi with the shape of bouze still intact, it is also eaten as "bouze nigiri," which is made by filleting the fish, marinating it in salt and vinegar, and then making it into a nigiri with sushi rice.
- How to eat
Cut open the back of the bouze, remove the bones, gills, eyeballs, blood, etc., sprinkle with salt, and let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then, soak the fish in vinegar for another hour, and make sushi by shaping sushi rice according to the size of the bouze and wrapping it in bouze. Sushi rice is sometimes made with aromatic ingredients such as sudachi or yuzu, which accentuate the fresh flavor. The finishing touches are made by pressing the rice with a weight for at least one day to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
In recent years, sushi has become more readily available at supermarkets during the autumn festival season. In addition, Tokushima Prefecture's website has published a recipe for bouze nigiri as "Fisherman's Table: Autumn and Winter," and has made efforts to increase awareness of the dish by introducing its origins and recipe in "Tokushima's Local Cuisine.