- Main lore areas
All over Nara Prefecture
- Main ingredients used
taro, deep-fried tofu, radish, carrot, dried shiitake mushroom, konnyaku
- History/origin/related events
One of Nara's local dishes, "Nokpe" is a stew of taro, radish, carrots, and other ingredients. There are "nogpe" and "nogpe soup" all over Japan, but Nara nogpe is a vegetarian dish using kombu (kelp) and dried shiitake mushrooms as the broth, and is characterized by the natural thickening of the taro as it cooks.
On December 15, prior to the "Onmatsuri" ceremony held at Nara Kasuga Taisha Shrine on December 17 every year, "Nara-nokppe" is served to Yamatozamurai and visitors to the shrine at the "Oshukusho Matsuri" where Yamatozamurai, the performers of the Onmatsuri, purify themselves.
The Onmatsuri festival dates back to 1135 during the Heian period, when Tadamichi Fujiwara prayed for the peace of the people during a time of famine and epidemics throughout the country. It is the festival that concludes the year in Nara.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
In Nara, the custom of eating "nokpe" has continued since ancient times. At this time of the year, 3 to 4 cm cubes of thick fried bean curd for nogpe are sold.
- How to eat
On cold days, it can be eaten as a soup with more broth or as a boiled dish. Although the broth consists only of kombu (kelp) and dried shiitake mushrooms, the flavor of the vegetables can be felt.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
It is still eaten at home. It is also served in school lunches in Nara City, providing an opportunity to learn about the history of nokpe, Nara's food culture.