- Main lore areas
Ise-Shima food culture zone (Toba area (Toshi Island, Kamijima, etc.), Hokusei food culture zone, Higashi-Kishu food culture zone)
- Main ingredients used
Sardines (saury), arame (dried)
- History/origin/related events
Mie Prefecture has many edible natural seaweeds such as sagarame (Alaume), akamoku (red seaweed), hijiki (dried seaweed), aonori (blue-green laver), maksa (Chinese bamboo grass), and wakame (seaweed). Cultivation of asakusa nori and aosa nori is also popular.
Arame is a member of the kelp family and looks similar to kelp, but it is called arame because it has rougher surface wrinkles than kelp. Mie Prefecture accounts for most of the domestic production of arame, and it is harvested mainly in the hot summer months (July to September) in the Toba-Shima area (sometimes along the Kumano-nada coast). It has been presented to the Ise Shrine since ancient times, and is one of the most carefully preserved seaweeds in the region. Abalone and turban shells also feed on arame.
Since arame has an astringent taste, it is soaked in seawater to remove the astringent taste, dried and aged from summer harvest until fall, and then slowly stewed or steamed to soften (it takes 4 to 5 hours to soften). The commercialized dried arame is returned to water for about 20 minutes, rolled with seasonal fish fillets, and seasoned with a sweet and spicy sauce to make "arame-maki".
Recently, chopped arame has also been commercialized and used in arame gohan (rice with arame) and simmered dishes, and shipped to Kyoto to be used in Buddhist vegetarian dishes and Kyoto's obanzai.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
In the Ise-Shima area, arame has long been offered to the Ise Shrine. In the Toba area, "arame maki" is made with arame. Aramemaki" is filled with the flavor of seaweed and the nutrition of fish, and is eaten as a side dish with rice or as a snack with sake. Other arame dishes include tsukudani (processed and sold in the Shima region), vinegared, boiled, or dressed arame (with vinegared miso paste), and takikomi-gohan (cooked rice). The "arame maki" is considered a New Year's must-have in each locality.
- How to eat
Roll the sardines three or more times in arame that has been rehydrated in water, then cook them in soy sauce, sugar, or sake. In the Kamijima and Higashi-Kishu areas, saury is often used; in the Toshijima area, sardines are most commonly used, but saury, hachio, and other freshwater fish are also used, as well as goby and other freshwater fish in the Hokusei area. The type of fish used varies from region to region, and the dish is made by wrapping the fish of the season in arame and boiling it.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
The dish has been introduced as a local dish representing the remote island of Toba, and its appeal is being communicated nationwide as a dish unique to Mie Prefecture that uses arame, a type of seaweed. It is also used as a teaching material for dietary education.