- Main lore areas
Southern part of the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
Vegetables such as taro, carrots, burdocks, shiitake mushrooms, deep-fried tofu, tofu, umen (Shiraishi hot noodles), thread konnyaku
- History/origin/related events
Shojin ryori (vegetarian food) is eaten mainly in the southern part of the prefecture during the higan (equinox) and obon (Bon festival) seasons in spring and fall. It is also a form of hospitality for people gathered for Buddhist memorial services. It is eaten as an offering to the Buddha and as a home-style dish.
It is made by simmering several kinds of vegetables, tofu, deep-fried tofu, and fu in shiitake mushroom mash, adding shiraishi hot noodles, and thickening the mixture with kuzu flour. In modern times, katakuriko (potato starch) is often used instead of kuzu flour to thicken the noodles. Shiroishi On-men, a specialty of Shiroishi City in the southern part of the prefecture, is slightly thicker than somen noodles and is considered easy to digest because no oil is used during processing. Vegetables used as ingredients vary from household to household, although they are mostly what is available at that time of the year. In any case, it has a gentle taste with dashi broth, and is popular among people of all ages, from children to the elderly.
In the northern part of the prefecture, there is another type of vegetable soup called "suppoko" or "nopponjiru," which is similar to "okuzugake. The preparation method is almost the same, but there is a difference in whether it is eaten on a daily basis or on special occasions.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
In the southern part of the prefecture, shojin ryori is eaten during the higan (equinox) and obon (Obon) seasons in spring and fall. In the northern part of the prefecture, "suppoko" is served to thank those who have served behind the scenes at Buddhist memorial services, and "nokatsu-jiru" is a local dish that is consumed on a daily basis.
Some restaurants, mainly in Shiroishi City in Sennan, serve it to tourists year-round.
- How to eat
It is served one portion at a time in soup bowls or rice bowls. Since it is essentially a vegetarian dish, no meat or fish is used, but some families add chicken or pork. Some families use udon noodles instead of Shiraishi On-men.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
(Outline of the people who have passed down the tradition, preservation groups, use of SNS, and modern efforts such as commercialization, etc.)
Although it is not the only tradition of okuzukake, the Ogawara Regional Promotion Office of Miyagi Prefecture holds cooking classes and serves okuzukake in various places with the cooperation of the "Miyagi Food Delivery Association" and other groups. At the roadside station "Joubin-no-sato" in Ishinomaki City, "zurubiki ankake-jiru" is served.